Would you pay $1 million USD for a property that does not exist in real life?
That is the question being asked by game developer Planet Arkadia, which last week claimed to have put the world’s first million dollar property on the market. The Singapore-based company is selling Arkadia Underground Deeds, which will make up the $1 million virtual property.
Players of the game Entropia Universe can invest in up to 200,000 deeds at a cost of 50 PED (the in-game currency, equal to about $US5). Earnings can be transferred to US$ at a fixed rate of 10 PED for each dollar. The company promises that investors can transfer their earnings to their real-life bank accounts at any point.
Entropia Universe is the world’s largest multiplayer online game with a real cash economy. The game has its own built-in economy, which uses a virtual currency with a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar. Users can deposit and withdraw real funds to use throughout the game.
Arkadia Studios CEO David Dobson said the virtual property initiative had a low barrier to entry, giving all players a chance to invest and earn revenue. “Every player can now participate in Arkadia’s vibrantly growing economy which has enjoyed a quadrupling of activity year-on-year for three years,” he said.
Hot on the heels of the rise of the virtual currency market, could this be the next big trend to hit the real estate investment industry? There are certainly signs that digital currencies are changing the way both agents and investors operate.
In Australia, for example, some real estate agencies recently started accepting Bitcoin in a bid to attract foreign investors. A spokeswoman for Sydney-based Forsyth Real Estate told Bloomberg that Bitcoin was cheaper and easier for investors to use, as virtual currencies don’t have the same fees and charges as other payment options like bank transfers.
Who knows how you will be paying for property in 10 years time.