- Michael Gord is co-founder of Metaverse Group, a virtual real estate company based in Canada.
- Gord breaks down the recent takeover of digital properties, which sold for over $ 100 million last week.
- He also explains why he thinks the Metaverse’s opportunity could grow 200-fold over the next 16 months.
One day in 2012, Michael Gord read an article in Wired titled “The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin”. After six months of intense research, he decided that bitcoin was “the most exciting technology in the world” and became an “evangelist” of digital currency.
Since then, Gord has focused on accelerating the mass adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, but it hasn’t always been easy.
“My entire professional career, my friends, family and everyone have told me I’m crazy,” he told Insider in an interview. “I’ve reached the point in my career where if someone wants to tell me I’m wrong, then that’s fine.”
The change in mindset could come in handy as he tries to create one of the world’s first virtual real estate companies or, as Gord calls him, “the Brookfield for virtual space.”
The once niche and esoteric idea of buying and selling Metaverse land has become more mainstream recently amid the company’s renaming from Facebook to Meta and the boom in non-fungible tokens. The metaverse is the place where artists can perform, brands can advertise, and businesses can host meetings – recently seeing record transaction volumes.
In the last week alone, more than $ 100 million worth of metaverse land was sold as NFT in metavers, including sandbox (SAND), decentraland (MANA), CryptoVoxels and Somnium Space, according to DappRadar.
Gord’s company Metaverse Group, which sold a 50% stake in Tokens.com for $ 1.7 million, bought a decentralized digital land for $ 2.43 million last week. Another virtual piece of land was sold for $ 2.3 million on Axie Infinity, a game-to-win platform, the same week.
Why are virtual lands sold for millions?
The sudden boom in virtual real estate investing seems speculative and unsustainable to many investors, but Gord said the trend is early enough that buying virtual land is almost equivalent to buying pixels from a website. at the start of the Internet, which was not possible.
“Instead of ad space, instead of paying by eyeball, if you could actually buy ownership of that space and buy real estate on websites that would continue to be Facebook or really dominant networks. in the world, “he said,” your real estate ownership in Facebook would be invaluable. “
Gord’s company manages a portfolio of virtual real estate assets spread across decentraland and the sandbox, with most digital properties currently located in decentraland.
He first discovered decentraland during the initial coin supply craze in 2017, but passed it on as the technology was not yet mature at the time. In early 2020, seeing how the pandemic caused people to spend most of their time online, Gord started buying MANA, decentraland’s native token, at around 2 cents. The token, which traded at $ 4.2 on Friday afternoon in New York City, has jumped 34% in the past month and 4.493% in the past year, according to CoinGecko pricing.
Gord is betting on decentraland to become the “world’s most valuable social network”, overtaking Facebook, WeChat and WhatsApp, because the metaverse will not simply function as a communication tool.
“If we do fashion shows, concerts or conferences in the metaverse, it will attract tens of thousands of people in the short term,” he said. “But in the medium to long term, I think it’s reasonably likely that tens of millions of people will connect with these experiences.”
Decentraland has already seen the number of users on its platform grow more than 30 times to reach 384,000 at the end of November against 16,000 at the start of the year, according to Gord.
In his view, another factor contributing to the multi-million dollar price target of Metaverse Land is scarcity. For example, decentraland includes over 90,000 plots of land, each 50 feet by 50 feet.
Of course, the scarcity value depends on the extent of the demand. “If decentraland has people who can connect from anywhere in the world, I think it is reasonably likely that there is a larger decentraland business center than any city,” said Gord said.
“The potential in the metaverse is 200 times in 16 months”
Similar to real-world commercial real estate investing, Gord and his team assess location, foot traffic, proximity to downtown, value of past transactions, and plot size before bidding on any property. digital.
With 17 properties, the company plans to hold more metaverse fashion shows and rent space to top brands, who can showcase their NFT clothing such as a luxury NFT handbag.
“We have literally hundreds of people a day asking for the lease,” he said, adding that decentraland’s cheapest plot of land today remains around $ 20,000.
Amid the virtual land grab, $ 53 billion digital asset manager Grayscale Investments has said the metaverse has the potential to become a $ 1,000 billion annual revenue opportunity. Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood made an even bigger appeal, saying the Metaverse could turn into a multibillion-dollar market.
To Gord, the metaverse looks like bitcoin in 2012.
“I think the potential in the metaverse is 200x in 16 months,” he said. “I mean, it should be at least as big as the internet.”
“Is it a bubble? Absoutely’
Despite the multi-million dollar deals, some optimistic crypto investors are not betting on the current boom in metaverse land sales to last.
“Is it a bubble? Absolutely. It’s a bubble like any real estate bubble,” Jordan Fried, CEO of Immutable Holdings, told Insider. “There aren’t enough decentralized players or enough eyeballs in the game to justify that kind of price today. It’s pure speculation, a frenzy and a fear of missing out.”
However, he believes the metaverse trend is real and iconic of the opportunities that will emerge as consumers spend more time online.
“It shouldn’t seem unreasonable that someone would be willing to spend $ 4,000 for a virtual Gucci bag in the Roblox game even if it wasn’t an NFT,” he said. “If you spend that much time in Roblox you really want a nice item that displays status like wearing a Rolex or Gucci bag in real life.”