An “extremely rare” piece of virtual land in the crypto game Axie Infinity sold yesterday for 550 Ethereum yesterday, or more than $2.48 million at today’s prices.
The “Genesis” plot is one of the rarest in the game, with just 220 in existence.
Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn game in which players collect and breed small Pokémon-like creatures, called Axies, pitting them into battle with each other to earn the Smooth Love Potion (SLP) cryptocurrency.
In-game items, including plots of land and the Axies themselves, are represented by NFTs, or non-fungible tokens; cryptographically unique assets that can be used to prove ownership of digital content.
The game has shot to prominence over the past year, becoming the most-traded NFT collection ever in Q3 2021, with over $2.5 billion in trading volume. Its popularity is partly due to the game’s play-to-earn mechanic, which has seen gamers in countries such as the Philippines earning a living by playing the game. Speaking at a recent conference, Axie Infinity co-founder Aleksander Leonard Larsen noted that the game now has about two million daily active players, about half of whom have never used any crypto application before.
The $1 trillion metaverse
NFT-powered games like Axie Infinity are widely regarded as pioneers of the metaverse—a persistent digital environment where users move between virtual worlds, interacting with others through customizable avatars. NFTs are seen as a crucial building block in the metaverse, as they allow users to take ownership of virtual items such as plots of land, avatars and artifacts, and will eventually enable them to move those items between different virtual worlds.
In a report released on Wednesday, analysts outlined the opportunities presented by the metaverse, or what the report calls, “Web 3.0 Virtual Cloud Economies.”
“The Web 2.0 mobile internet changed how, where, when, and why we used the internet,” Grayscale writes. “In turn, this changed the products, services, and companies we used, which changed our business models, culture, and politics – the Web 3.0 Metaverse has the potential to do the same.”
What’s more, Grayscale has gone as far as to price this distinction at a whopping $1 trillion, citing Facebook’s recent pivot to the Metaverse “as a catalyst.”
The market opportunity for bringing the Metaverse to life may be worth over $1 trillion in annual revenue and may compete with Web 2.0 companies worth ~$15 trillion in market value today,” they write.
Certainly, the appetite for all things metaverse appears to be growing, with various metaverse-centric cryptocurrencies hitting all-time highs in recent days. And with Grayscale claiming that the Metaverse is still “in its early innings,” the industry is likely to see more multi-million dollar sales of precious virtual real estate.