The land was sold to NFT-based virtual real estate company Metaverse Group for 618,000 MANA, the native cryptocurrency of Decentraland, according to a statement by Metaverse Group parent company Tokens.com.
Per the statement, the virtual land will be developed to "facilitate fashion shows and commerce within the exploding digital fashion industry," with Metaverse Group planning partnerships with "several existing fashion brands" to build out their metaverse e-commerce offerings.
"Fashion is the next massive area for growth in the metaverse," said Sam Hamilton, head of content at the Decentraland Foundation, in a press release accompanying the announcement. "So it’s timely, and very exciting, that Metaverse Group has made such a decisive commitment with this land purchase in the heart of Decentraland’s fashion precinct."
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is a persistent virtual world in which users interact as avatars, in shared spaces dedicated to work or play. In recent months it's shot to prominence, following Facebook's announcement that it would rebrand as Meta, a "metaverse first" company. Other major players including Microsoft and Nike have also made moves into the metaverse space.
Decentraland is a crypto-powered metaverse platform, in which virtual objects and plots of land are represented by non-fungible tokens (), cryptographically unique tokens that prove ownership of digital assets. NFTs are regarded as a crucial building block for the metaverse since they enable users to take ownership of digital assets and move them between different metaverse platforms.
The growing hype around the metaverse in recent months has propelled cryptocurrencies associated with virtual worlds, such as Decentraland's MANA and The Sandbox's SAND, to all-time highs, though today's crypto market slump has seen both tokens pull back sharply.
Although Decentraland and Tokens.com describe Metaverse Group's virtual land purchase as "the largest public metaverse land acquisition to date," another NFT-based project might quibble with that description.