An “extremely rare” virtual land in the crypto game Axie Infinity was sold for 500 ETH or over $2.48 million at current prices.

The “Genesis” batch is one of the rarest in the game and there are only 220.

The “Genesis” land plot (Image: Axie Marketplace)

Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn game where players collect and create small Pokémon-like creatures called Axies, putting them into battle with each other to obtain the Smooth Love Potion (SLP) cryptocurrency.

In-game items, including terrains and the Axies themselves, are represented by non-fungible tokens (or NFTs): cryptographically unique assets that can be used to ensure governance of digital content.

The game has caught on in the last year, becoming the most traded collection of NFTs in the third quarter of 2021, with more than $2.5 billion in trading volume.

Its popularity is in part due to the game’s play-to-earn mechanism, allowing players in countries like the Philippines to earn a living by playing the game.

Speaking to a recent conference, Aleksander Leonard Larsen, co-founder of Axie Infinity, noted that the game now has about two million daily active users, of whom about half have never used any type of crypto application before.

The $1 trillion metaverse

NFT games like Axie Infinity are widely regarded as the pioneers of the metaverse (a continuous digital environment where users move between virtual worlds, interacting with each other through customizable avatars).

NFTs are considered to be a fundamental building block in the metaverse as they allow users to gain governance of virtual items such as land parcels, avatars and artifacts, and in the future will be able to move these items between different virtual worlds.

In a report published this Wednesday (24), Grayscale analysts highlighted the opportunities presented by the metaverse or, according to the report, by the “Virtual Economies in Cloud of Web 3.0”.

“Web 2.0’s mobile internet has changed how, where, when and why we use the internet,” analysts said.

“In turn, [a Web 2.0] changed the products, services and companies we use, they changed their business models, culture and policies – the Metaverse of Web 3.0 has the potential to do the same.”

In addition, Grayscale priced that distinction at $1 trillion, citing Facebook’s recent foray into the metaverse “as a catalysis.”

“The market opportunity to bring the metaverse to life could be worth more than $1 trillion in annual revenue and can compete with Web 2.0 companies worth $15 trillion in market value today,” they add.

Undoubtedly, the appetite for all things in the metaverse seems to be increasing, as several cryptocurrencies focused on these virtual worlds hit record highs in recent days.

As Gryascale claims that the metaverse is still “in its infancy,” the industry is likely to see more multi-million sales of precious and virtual real estate.

*Translated and edited by Daniela Pereira do Nascimento with permission from Decrypt.co.

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