“Dumbest Shit Ever!”
This summer hasn’t been kind to cryptocurrencies and digital land in the Metaverse — as prices for digital firma falls through the floor, billionaire Mark Cuban had his two cents on the Metaverse and what he said could be its death knell.
Okay, maybe that’s an over-exaggeration, but when a natural entrepreneur, television personality, and media proprietor whose net worth is an estimated $4.7 billion, according to Forbes, has something to say, people should take those words very seriously:
“The worst part is that people are buying real estate in these places. That’s just the dumbest shit ever,” he told the crypto-themed YouTube channel Altcoin Daily last weekend.
Cuban, 64, ABC reality television series Shark Tank’s main “shark”, Dallas Mavericks owner and a crypto enthusiast, doesn’t believe in the Metaverse.
Sales for metaverse land have been falling since November 2021. At their peak on November 21 of that month, the volume of land sales across popular metaverse platforms like The Sandbox, Decentraland and Voxels exceeded $60 million. By August 6, the volume of sales among the top five metaverse platforms was just over $150,000, according to WeMet, which tracks digital land sales. The average sale price for a plot of digital land has also decreased 81% to $5,930 as of last week compared to $32,191 on November 21, 2021, according to WeMeta.
Digital Land Grab
This is all in stark contrast to the autumn of last year, when Facebook’s name change to Meta and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that his company was entering the Metaverse started what can only be called a digital land grab, with metaverse platforms such as Decentraland and The Sandbox leading the charge.
These platforms allow investors to buy land as an NFT, which can be developed by constructing virtual buildings or experiences or resold on secondary markets like NFT exchange OpenSea. Already, companies like Atari, Warner Music Group, Adidas, and Samsung, have all purchased digital land.
Unlike people already with investments in the Metaverse, Cuban doesn’t believe the central claim of metaverse land speculators that scarcity will make these digital plots valuable.
“It’s not even as good as a URL or an ENS [Ethereum naming service], because there are unlimited volumes that you can create,” he said during the YouTube interview.
Though an investor in Yuga Labs, the owner of popular NFT collections Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, Cuban said he was not a fan of the company’s land sale, which raised about $317 million for its metaverse platform Otherside in April.
“I still thought it was dumb to do the real estate. That was great money for them, you know, but that wasn’t based off a utility,” he said.
What was smart about the Yuga land sale, Cuban said, was that it was based on established communities, namely the owners and supporters of Yuga’s popular Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks NFTs, but he said he views the digital land as less important than creating a sort of exclusivity for Otherside through gated access.
Cuban also said that currently, the definition of the metaverse is unclear, and he is unsure how successful it will be.
“It won’t be just one size fits all. There’ll be a lot of different applications. And a lot of ways of defining the metaverse. But right now it’s more talk than anything,” Cuban said.