What is metaverse real estate?

In this interview, Tomas Nascisonis, CEO of Crypto House Capital, explains what metaverse real estate is and how metaverse real estate can connect to the real world through NFTs.

Jonas Kasper Jensen (JKJ): What is Crypto House Capital?

Tomas Nascisonis (TN): Crypto House Capital is an investor and developer of virtual real estate, although I need to say that we are in the R&D stage. So up to now, we have focused on research and development. At the moment, our focus is on developing meta-real projects.

The meta-real projects we are creating are a combination of buildings that will exist in real life and the metaverse. For each real-estate project we make in the real world, we are creating digital twins in the shape of an identical building consisting of flats represented on the blockchain in the form of NFTs. The projects we are planning to develop will thus also be built in web3-based virtual worlds like Decentraland and Sandbox. Our main goal is to define utility for virtual world real estate.

JKJ: You have mentioned both virtual-world real estate and real-world real estate. Could you elaborate on the difference between these two forms of real estate?

TN: The main difference, of course, is that in real life, you can live in real estate. Real estate can also be a school or university building.

With virtual real estate, our research suggests, there are many different utilities and applications. I can give you an example of the construction of a new school. Before a new school is built, a council will usually ask three different architect studios to propose the design of the school.

The council receives proposals from the architect studios as architectural drawings and a few visualisations of how the building will look in the real world. Until now, the studios still make those from material from the real world and drawings. The council is the only one who can review this material and decide what architecture studio should build the school. Imagine if these proposals instead were created in a virtual world. Afterwards, different people can visit the building and give their opinion. Ultimately, the kids and their teachers will use the building, so why not involve them in deciding how the building should look? The metaverse makes it possible to involve them in the decision process.

In the later stages of the construction, the engineers and the builders will typically use a BIM, a Building Information Model that tells how the building will be constructed in its smallest detail. Suppose the BIM is registered as an NFT, and the NFT 3D model is already presented in the metaverse. In that case, an electrician can use HoloLens glasses and see the virtual building directly and get to know what needs to be done in the physical building. Also, if the BIM is an NFT, it will be easy to transfer ownership of the BIM, and thus the actual planning of the school can easily change hands in the construction process.

Another example is that virtual real estate NFTs can be used to transfer ownership of property. I believe in the very near future, all the existing buildings will be registered in a blockchain-based registry, which will help people lease the property and sell the properties just like NFTs are already used for selling and renting out digital art.

JKJ: How does constructing virtual real estate differ from constructing real-world real estate?

TN: Virtual real estate development is very similar to real estate development in real life up to the construction stage. Drawings and architecture are used in both cases. For both, you also need finance, and then you need to buy land. Only one of the lands is virtual. Then it comes to construction, and here the two processes are different. In real life, you have plumbers, builders, electricians and construction workers. In the metaverse, our team consists of a 3D team that handles everything 3D, a game development team, and a web 3 team that implements smart contracts and NFTs. 

JKJ: Why would people want to own virtual-world real estate?

TN:  In the beginning, we thought most people would buy virtual-world real estate as an investment. But we saw other more appealing use cases and utilities if the real estate has a digital twin attached to real life so that the digital twin owners own both the real apartment and the digital twin.

Right now, we are, for example, planning that in residential buildings, all the building owners should be able to vote on issues concerning the building. And we can do this DAO based, so they vote with the NFT and hold the meetings in the real world or even in the metaverse inside the 3D building. This is one of the utilities that we think about.

JKJ: Is there any other reason to create these digital twins than just the utility?

TN: We try to solve the problems in real life, in the real world, with the agents and developers, and we want to make it easier to deal with real estate. In the UK, for example, it can take six to 12 months to get the keys to a flat after making an offer, and the seller can easily choose not to sell because he has changed his mind. 

That’s why we are researching if the metaverse and web3 can provide an alternative that will help make this and other processes more efficient in the future. Our next step is to bring our findings to real life. If we introduce this in real life, it will be much easier to lease and sell the property. It will be open, it will be transparent, and it will save money and time for people.

JKJ: What do you own when you own an NFT virtual world apartment?

TN: For now, the NFTs carry only utility, so they do not have the same legal status as they would have if they were deeds in real life. 

JKJ: So, the NFT should not be understood as the deed for the house, It’s more like a utility that comes with having the flat, right?

TN: Correct. At least for now. But in the future, it will be so that this will be an additional utility that you can use the blockchain to at least legally lease the property, sell it and so on. The digital and the real-world apartment will be connected through the NFT.

JKJ: What should happen for this to become a reality?

TN:  To make this a reality, countries and registry offices must adopt blockchain technology and make clear regulations.

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