Metaverse Land Is All the Rage: Or Is It?

Metaverse Land Is All the Rage: Or Is It?

2 years ago

The new gold rush — digital land on the metaverse. Find out what's happening as land sales peaked in the top metaverses: Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, Cryptovoxels and Decentraland.

Metaverse Land Is All the Rage: Or Is It?

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In late November, report headlines around the world trumpeted news about record-breaking digital land sales, including a virtual NFT yacht known as the Metaflower, which became the most expensive Sandbox NFT ever sold, after being snapped up for $650,000. While the hype surrounding NFT land reached a fever pitch, leading many speculators to bill it the “new gold rush”.

But is there any truth to this? Here’s what the data says:

As per data from Nansen’s NFT God Mode tool, we took a look at the four largest NFT Land projects (Decentraland, Axie Infinity, Cryptovoxels, and The Sandbox) to see how their trading volume and average price changed over the last month.

Axie Infinity Land Plot

Starting with Axie Infinity, we find that the game has seen a slight downtick in the average price of its tokenized land plots — which fell from 6.6 to 6.4 ETH over the last month. On the flip side, trading volume has increased considerably, multiplying almost five-fold in this period to reach 149 ETH traded on Dec. 7, 2021.


Notably, a dramatic spike in land sales was observed on Nov. 24, which saw the average price of NFTs sold that day spike to a whopping 29 ETH. 


Cryptovoxels, on the other hand, saw a more gradual increase in both the trading volume and average price of its land parcels.


Daily average trading volume doubled from 30 to 59 ETH over the last month, while the average sale price of Cyrptovoxels parcels increased from 2.14 to 3 ETH at the same time. However, CryptoVoxels saw large spikes in trading volume on Nov. 25, reaching over 160 ETH, as the metaverse hype reached fever pitch.

The Sandbox

The Sandbox is the only project with an unequivocal uptrend in its average land NFT trading price, which grew from 1.4 to 3.4 ETH over the last month. Its trading volume, on the other hand, represents an almost perfect bell curve, climbing in the days leading up to Nov. 24, before falling back from then onward.


Nonetheless, the average daily trading volume is now 20x higher than a month ago, having climbed from 21 ETH per day a month ago to over 444 on November 7.


Source: DappRadar
While Decentraland has come in second behind The Sandbox in terms of total volume of sales, it has broken the record for the most expensive virtual real estate sold — $2.4 million for 116 land plots in Decentraland's Fashion Street. These plots were bought by a subsidiary of, with the intention of hosting virtual fashion events and promote clothings for digital avatars. Decentraland is no stranger to breaking records — it chalked up the most expensive land sale for $900,000 back in June.
There were two other land plots that grossed over $1 million — land in "BookLocal — Hotel Booking Marketplace" went for $1.08 million, while land in "VentureEstates" went for $1.03 million.
Due to the non-standard nature of Decentraland's token format, volume is flatlined in the charts. However, number of transactions peaked on Nov. 24, 2021, which was subsequently followed by a price all-time high of Decentraland's MANA token on Nov. 25, 2021.

Making Sense of This Data

Now, you may have noticed that on Nov. 24, 2021, all three platforms saw the average purchase price of their land assets reach a peak. This peak coincides with two major headlines that day, the first being that NFTs were named "Word of the Year" by dictionary publisher Collins and the second being that the well-known NFT marketplace OpenSea partnered with the renowned auction house Christie’s for a series of NFT auctions.

Overall, if you’re wondering whether there’s a future in digital land, consider that virtual items have been selling for thousands to potentially millions of items for decades. This includes Club Neverdie, an asteroid in the Entropia Universe that sold for $650,000 in 2008, and took just five years to obtain an ROI on his investment, as well as Planet Calypso, which was bought by SEE Virtual Worlds for a whopping $6 million in 2011.

Given that NFT-based assets provide true ownership, can vary considerably in their form and function, and can even outlast the game/platform they were designed for thanks to their interoperable and permissionless nature, there is good reason to believe that they provide much greater opportunity for utility and monetization than the digital assets of old.

Whether or not this translates to a long-term opportunity remains to be seen, but so far, the odds are looking good.

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