Ellen Britt for CNT #NFT
There is an advantage in knowing your history. Remember the old saying, “Those that don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it.” If you are going to play in the metaverse, it’s helpful to know something about its past.
We’ll get you up to speed in this two-minute read!
Contrary to what you might think, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, now Meta, did not invent the word “metaverse”. That honor goes to science fiction author Neal Stephenson, who coined the term in his 1994 novel, Snow Crash. In the book, Hiro Protagonist, the main character, travels through a virtual world.
A Prophetic Vision
Keep in mind this was nearly 30 years ago when the internet was in its infancy, as the internet did not officially “go public” until April 30, 1993. Mr. Stephenson was eerily prophetic, as Snow Crash envisions a virtual world in which people use avatars to represent themselves and explore their surroundings. Besides virtual avatars, the novel also predicted the use of virtual reality goggles, and an encrypted electronic currency. Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, didn’t come on the scene until 2009.
Virtual Real Estate Predicted
But the most interesting prediction was this: in Snow Crash, the author also wrote about spending money on virtual real estate. Truly a man ahead of his time!
A Second Life
Then, in 2003, Second Life appeared, quickly becoming a viral sensation in spite of blocky graphics. The “residents” as they are known, can spend money (real money!) on clothes and virtual real estate. So you can see that even though the futuristic virtual “cities” and landscapes envisioned by Facebook and Microsoft may be more visually appealing, the idea of the metaverse is not new.
Modern Metaverse Platforms Appear
Metaverse platforms such as Decentraland launched in 2017, and The Sandbox, which opened its metaverse to the public late last year, are booming, with virtual real estate sales across all platforms reaching an eye-popping $501 million in 2021. And there are signs of slowing down anytime soon. Soon to be launched Mint City Places has its eye on virtual commercial real estate as well as bringing businesses into the picture.
So now you know the history of the metaverse. We’ll be taking a look soon at how the monetization of the metaverse is shaking up the real estate industry big time!