Rapid investment in ‘metaverse’ continues, but some urge caution

Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 8:32 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Millions of dollars around the world have been invested in virtual real estate in the developing “metaverse,” but there are many questions still about what this emerging world, or worlds, will look like.

According to those involved in its development, the metaverse is a network of 3D worlds which people explore using virtual reality headsets.

Investors in this space are envisioning people interacting with each other in these worlds like they already do in role player video games, but also interacting with the virtual world around them.

Brandon Brown, an investor in virtual real estate, has built a virtual community called White Sands, based on the idea that people are going to want a place to call home in the metaverse.

“At the end of the day, when you’re done slaying the dragon, you’re done going to the movie theater, you’re done going to the museum, you can actually go into White Sands and you can have your own virtual home,” Brown said. “And essentially what these are are cliffside mansions that allow people to have digital ownership of this property while being able to invite people over, and essentially do all the things they would do in the real world outside of sleeping and eating.”

People can buy virtual real estate in Brown’s community through a website called OpenSea, where property prices can range from a couple thousand dollars to several million.

“Right now, we are in what I call like the modern gold rush,” Brown said.

Some experts within the industry, though, say there are reasons for buyers to beware. For instance, the cryptocurrency used to buy virtual real estate fluctuates in value. That opens up the potential for so-called “pump and dump” schemes, where traders artificially inflate the price of a currency with misleading information, then sell their shares before the value of the currency crashes.

Online users have also reported bugs and glitches during their experiences in these virtual worlds.