The digital landscape is changing at a rapid pace. The value of crypto assets has grown from near zero to over $2 Trillion in just over a decade. Startup fundraising has become globalized and decentralized. There’s even more venture capital investment in blockchain companies than ever before.
The digital real estate sector is also being redrawn by new applications of blockchain technology. The first use case for blockchain was to decentralize finance. The second is to decentralize ownership of virtual land, which is being pioneered by Next Earth, the NFT-based replica of Earth, where users can buy one-of-a-kind metaverse property.
Now, you can buy the virtual Statue of Liberty of White House with a few clicks using BNB. This shift from physical to virtual real estate can be called the “democratization of real estate” and it’s already underway. It all started with the Next Earth ITO, or Initial Tile Offering, in which NFT “tiles” of Earth were sold to the tune of $1.5 million.
The ITO will shape the future of both blockchain and the metaverse. Here are some key impacts.
The ITO is democratizing ownership of virtual land
You are now able to buy your own plot of virtual land in a fully decentralized manner with no middlemen (such as real estate agents or title companies). The Next Earth ITO was the first large-scale application of blockchain technology to decentralize ownership of virtual land on a massive scale.
This will enable people who have never had access to such an asset class before to participate in the ownership economy. It will also open up new avenues for investment and speculation that have been closed off until now.
Fueling growth in the metaverse economy
The metaverse has become more than just a place to hang out—it’s an economic ecosystem where people spend money on goods and services. In fact, the value of NFT sales increased from $13 million in 2020 to over $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021 alone.
The ITO will fuel the growth of the metaverse economy. The metaverse has the potential to become a third ecosystem alongside the real world and the traditional Internet, which could unlock new ways for people to interact and create value.
This trend is being driven by demand for unique items in virtual worlds and the desire for ownership over scarce assets like art, sports memorabilia, or even land parcels.
Inspiring artists around the world
Next Earth is building a system that will enable artists to create pixel art on their virtual land tiles. The result will be artworks that span the real and virtual worlds for centuries.
The promise of this new digital landscape is opening up opportunities for individuals to pursue their passions, form communities, and help solve some of humanity’s grand challenges. This has already inspired many artists around the world.
As we look to the future, spending in digital spaces will only continue growing as a percentage of overall consumer spending. Consumers will always want brands that resonate with them, but they are also increasingly drawn to people and stories. Digital spaces create unique ways for consumers to engage with brands that were previously impossible or too expensive in the physical world.
Fostering “NFTs for good” projects
Next Earth is also pioneering the idea of “NFTs for Good.” These are projects that benefit the greater good by donating a portion of sales to environmental goals. The first such project involved donating 10% of ITO proceeds to The Ocean Cleanup and Amazon Watch.
These projects are not just about selling virtual land on an online marketplace; they are also about inspiring users with positive content while engaging in a broader conversation about the impact of digital assets on our world.
In the future, we can expect to see ITO’s impact continue to grow across the collectibles space, the metaverse, and crypto.