I have spent my entire professional career devising novel ways to invest in real estate, and recently I have been spending a lot of time in Decentraland. For many years, my colleague TJ Kawamura has been pushing me to look into blockchain-based digital real estate, but it wasn’t until recently that it all clicked for me. Digital real estate has become a legitimate asset class, one worthy of investor consideration and one I believe is likely to appreciate exponentially over the near term.
Not only is digital real estate capable of delivering outsized returns due to its alignment with the rapidly growing crypto-investment universe, but it also appears likely to become a viable store of wealth, almost like real-world art and real-world real estate. Digital real estate exists inside virtual worlds, each its own “digital nation” with a system of clearly delineated, irrevocable property rights. Buying land today in virtual worlds feels a lot like buying land in Manhattan back in 1750. It is also insulated from the COVID-induced volatility of the real-world real estate industry.
Janine Yorio is head of real estate at Republic, an online investment platform for individual investors that’s launching a series of digital real estate funds called Republic Realm. She was previously head of real estate development at Standard Hotels and worked as a portfolio manager for NorthStar Capital.
In virtual worlds,