NFTs Are Spurring a Digital Land Grab—in Videogame Worlds – WSJ

NFTs Are Spurring a Digital Land Grab—in Videogame Worlds – WSJ

Investors are pouring millions of dollars into land. But these lush fields and rolling hills only exist within videogames.
Just as physical land appeals to pension funds and family offices, digital real estate is luring both investors and dedicated gamers, said Craig Russo, the co-founder of Polyient Games, an investment fund and startup incubator focused on the intersection of gaming and so-called nonfungible tokens. Those are digital identifiers which help verify the authenticity of an asset .
NFTs work on the blockchain, similar to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The difference is that each bitcoin can be exchanged for another bitcoin while one NFT cannot be exchanged for an identical NFT. The craze has swept up basketball fans and art lovers alike. Just this month, a digital collage by the artist Beeple sold at Christie’s for $69.3 million. Rob Gronkowski, Mark Cuban and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have all started selling their own NFTs.
The market for digital real estate has been bolstered recently by a pandemic-fueled climb in electronic games and investor excitement around cryptocurrencies. Many see NFT-enabled games as a potential boon for the multibillion-dollar videogame industry.
Gamers for years have spent big on gear—such as weapons, armor or tools to strengthen their characters—in games like Fortnite, Minecraft and World of Warcraft. NFT-enabled games now allow players to trade game assets for cryptocurrency, selling them for a coin that can be converted to dollars when they score something better or switch to a new adventure.

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