Last month, Ryan Kunzmann went to a bar in New York to see his 58,000 square feet of property. No, it’s not the world’s biggest bar—his holdings are virtual.
Kunzmann was one of about 20 people meeting to chat and compare their little slices of Genesis City, a digital metropolis they’re hoping will eventually become a major hub for virtual-reality commerce. Kunzmann, who does tech support for a property management website, says he intends to turn one of his larger stretches into a virtual museum or art gallery. “There’s a lot of great art out there that people don’t get to see,” he says. “Especially if you don’t live in a big city.”
While this sounds like a lark, or perhaps another iteration of the faded online world Second Life, there’s already real money behind the blockchain-based real estate. In December, Kunzmann paid $15,000 for 62 plots of about 1,100 square feet apiece, and he recouped his investment three months later by reselling a mere eight of them. Today, resellers can reliably get as much as $30,000 for a Genesis City plot. Credit network Ripio.com paid almost $150,000 for a spot next to the main square where visitors appear when they enter the city. The record is $200,000, sold by a user who’d recently bought the same plot for $13,000.