The curious world of real estate and design NFT – Finance & Commerce
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It is not uncommon for people to buy vacation homes that they can only visit a few times a year. What about a house you never visit? And that doesn’t really exist?
The market for digital files sold as “non-fungible tokens,” or NFTs, has exploded this year, especially when a work by Beeple sold for $ 69.3 million in an organized online auction. by Christie’s in March. But real estate, architecture and design are also booming in the virtual market.
Hrish Lotlikar, co-founder and CEO of SuperWorld, an augmented reality virtual world, said the company had already sold “thousands of properties” by 2021, with users spending an average of around $ 2,000 on the virtual real estate platform. .
SuperWorld is geographically mapped to the real world, divided into 64 billion equal-sized plots covering the earth’s surface. Thus, a person could theoretically own virtual land encompassing the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum in Rome, or prime commercial property in Lower Manhattan. Or if you’re nostalgic, an NFT from your childhood home.
“Some of these iconic properties that people bought early on,” said Lotlikar, who has seized nearly 50 virtual properties on his own platform, including one encompassing the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, Piccadilly Circus in London and several blocks in Manhattan in and around. Times Square. “But everyone, no matter where you grew up, you have some special places.”
Unpurchased 100m by 100m plots on SuperWorld cost the same – 0.1 Ether, or the equivalent of $ 250 depending on the recent value of the cryptocurrency.
“It’s definitely a land grab now,” Lotlikar said.
Marcus Fairs, founder and editor-in-chief of Dezeen, an architecture publication that has covered the world of virtual design sold as NFT, said many of his readers have rebuffed the trend. “We get angry commentators saying, ‘Stop, will you?’,” Fairs said. “A lot of people think it’s absurd.”
After all, isn’t a home’s most essential function to provide physical shelter? What can you do with a virtual sofa if you don’t sit on it? The practical use case is reminiscent of Lunar Land, the company that sells land on the moon (John Cleese, the comedian and alum of “Monty Python”, recently usurped the NFT craze, and brought it to life. compared to a classic sales pitch an NFT of an iPad design of the Brooklyn Bridge for $ 69.3 million).
At this early stage, it’s unclear whether virtual real estate and architecture is a curious fad or the future. Fairs, for his part, is intrigued by the possibilities. “I think the movement behind this is valid,” he said. “Obviously, we’re moving very quickly to a state where a virtual world can do whatever we can do in the physical world.”
If you’re scratching your head at people paying real money for virtual property in a simulated world, consider Mars House, billed as “the world’s first NFT digital house,” recently sold for 288 Ether. , or $ 512,000.
Krista Kim, the Toronto artist who designed Mars House, said she created it on an iPad last spring. She had created what she described as “digital Zen gardens,” and Mars House, inspired by the serene and elegant architecture of Kyoto, Japan, was her true dream home: it was designed specifically for the metaverse, the term of a shared virtual. space.
When she listed Mars House on the NFT SuperRare Marketplace, Kim was curious to see if this digital house would sell for the amount of a real house. She wasn’t surprised when it did.
“I could predict in the future that we would have a digital architecture,” said Kim, where with augmented reality glasses, “people would spend time in digital homes, digital spaces.”
Lotlikar imagines the monetization of virtual real estate in the metaverse – for example, renting display space to advertisers or buying and selling properties as you would in the physical world. Kim has obtained permission from the new owner of Mars House to open it for public tours and private events through the virtual reality platform Spatial. “We’re going to have the first Metaverse wedding in June at Mars House,” she said.
Andres Reisinger, a digital artist based in Barcelona, Spain, designs surreal furniture that moves back and forth between the physical and the digital. “The original works are digital,” said Reisinger. “But it’s very interesting when some of my digital pieces evolve.”
Take, for example, his Hortensia chair. Reisinger created the chair covered with geometric rose petals as a digital artwork, wanting to capture “the feel of blooming flowers”. But after posting an image on Instagram, the president encountered such a fanfare that he put it into production. A limited edition sold out in a gallery in Milan and, according to the edition number, sold for “around 30,000 euros”. He is now in talks with Moooi, the Dutch furniture brand, to create a line based on his digital designs.
Reisinger’s latest NFT furniture series, the Expedition Collection, numbered 10 digital pieces, five of which were also physically produced and sold for the equivalent of $ 450,000 in crypto. “Some collectors almost rejected physical coins,” Reisinger said. “For them, the ownership of works of art was more important.”
Pablo Fraile, a self-proclaimed digital art patron, collects Reisinger’s work. The work has “a layer of depth,” he said, that goes beyond even traditional art. “He was able to produce an object that I have at home, and I also have the NFT, and I also have the digital object,” Fraile said. “This is the only available item of this type.”
Yes, he admitted, a real chair is more useful. You can admire it at home. “But it’s less efficient than what I can do with digital devices,” said Fraile, who lives in Miami. “We are going to do a show in Europe. The NFT is going to cost me a few dollars to send and it can be presented in a number of ways. “
Shane Dulgeroff, a 27-year-old real estate investor in Southern California, tried to cash in on the NFT trend and do better at Mars House and SuperWorld. Instead of a digital asset trading hands, Dulgeroff attempts to auction off an actual home in Thousand Oaks, Calif. That also includes an NFT artwork by artist Kii Arens. The winning bidder for the NFT also gets the title at the physical home.
Instead of going through the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, Dulgeroff used the OpenSea platform, yet another marketplace for digital items and crypto collectibles. The minimum bid is 540 Ether, or roughly $ 1.5 million.
“Did I want to sell real estate? Not really, ”Dulgeroff said. “But this is the first real estate sale carried out in the NFT format. I was ready to do it to be a space navigator.
So far there is more than a week left and no offers.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
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