By Marc Demar.
Soon, the Secondary Land Offering will take place. During this event Somnium Space will auction land parcels. In this article I will tell my personal story. Why I decided to get involved, invest and become a (proud) land owner.
Investing in digital – or crypto – currency is still a taboo for many people. Mention the word Bitcoin and you are frowned upon. The most common response is that it must be very risky. If I mention I also invest in NFT’s – in my case mostly virtual land in a virtual reality world – some people even shake their heads. Either because they think I am too far out or because they have no clue what I am talking about. In any case, I suspect my ventures do not quite fit their perception of what a responsible, grown-up man should be doing with his money. If you are a responsible person, you should be making smart, low risk, long-term investment decisions. Those that will get you where you want to be, guaranteed. You should invest your money ‘wisely’ in ETF’s, dividend paying stocks, bonds and real estate. Never crypto or other ‘wild west’ investment opportunities.
For the record, I work for an IT company. You’d expect people to be more informed. They can agree or disagree with how I invest my money as long as their opinion is an informed opinion. Most often it isn’t.
I think people often fail to ask the proper questions when it comes to my investment decisions. For one, what is your personal risk profile? How much risk are you willing to take? We are all different. We all have different goals and dreams in life. We’re of different ages. No two persons are the same when it comes to determining risk tolerance.
Second, people never ask me about my overall portfolio when I tell them I invested in virtual land. They think I put everything on the line and that I am in great danger of losing my house. The question to ask is of course: ‘What does your overall portfolio look like? What assets do you invest in and how big a share have you invested in crypto assets?’
Third, they fail to ask more about what exactly these crypto assets are and represent and on the basis of what parameters I concluded this was something I wanted to invest money in.
I love telling people about I invest in crypto, NFT’s and virtual land in Somnium Space. To be honest, many people are actually very interested. Maybe their initial fascination is driven by how a grown up man can make such disastrous judgement failures. But as I explain them what it is I am doing and what NFT assets are in general and land in Somnium Space in particular, I notice their fascination changing course. Many people I talk to want to know more.
That is always a great opportunity to explain them about Somnium Space, what the platform is all about, how much efforts have been put into it by the company and the community, how virtual reality in general is going to play ever bigger roles in peoples lives and not the least how unbelievably fascinating it is to immerse yourself in Somnium and let this world trick your brain into believing you are really there.
Why I became a Somnium Space land owner
Many people I explain about Somnium Space ask how I came across this world in the first place and why I decided to buy ‘non-existing’ (their words, not mine) virtual land.
If I hear them say ‘it doesn’t exist’, I usually respond by saying that the money on their bank account doesn’t exist either. These are just numbers. Bits and bytes. The question is not whether it exists or not exists and whether it is real or virtual, but how much you trust it has value. Today and tomorrow. Anyway, more about this later.
When I think about investments, I do not always look at it purely from a monetary perspective. Not initially at least. I am a strong believer in self-investment. Investing in my development, skills, knowledge and experience. Time and again I have seen that investing in myself is a perfect catalyst for money flowing my way a bit further down the road. Not because I always know how and when it will happen, but the things I learn today will be very useful tomorrow. One way or another.
A perfect example of this is Somnium Space member Snakebite. Snakebite has been around from the beginning and was one of the very first to purchase land in Somnium Space. Today, Snakebite is one of the most successful Somnium Space architects. You can hire him and for a fee he will make the most elaborate structure for you. He also gives tours in his London Museums of History in Somnium Space. If you ask him whether he had anticipated all this when he first decided to buy land his answer is a big NO.
How is this related to being a land owner in Somnium Space?
It started with personal fascination. I have been playing Second Life for quite a number of years, but stopped when I understood its shortcomings, boundaries and limitations. I’ve had inventories disappear from one moment to another for example and I had this feeling that the time I spent and skills I acquired were not the best investment in myself. That down the road they’d proof to be pretty useless. So I stopped playing and investing time in the platform.
Many years later, I bought a Bitcoin. Or rather a tiny little part of a Bitcoin. I started reading and learning about blockchain technology in general and specific blockchain applications in particular. Livepeer is one example. A decentralized live video streaming network. I also built my own Ethereum mining rig to mine for crypto.
Then I joined Decentraland and participated in a Game Jam (with a colleague). Out of more than 100 submissions we came in 7th. If you ever wonder why I have a Decentraland parcel or MANA in my wallet, it’s because of this Game Jam.
Not long after that I came across an article about Somnium Space. Old, forgotten connections in my brain were revived as I pictured Second Life again, but a million times better.
The rest is history. I had to have land in Somnium. This was the revolution I had been waiting for.
I mentioned before that it is all about trust. Now, what makes me trust Somnium Space? How come I believe that purchasing and owning land in this virtual reality world is a good idea?
Remember what I said earlier. I believe in investing in my own skills and knowledge. And here was a platform that would be an excellent driver of exactly those aspects. A playful environment that would help me gain knowledge about virtual reality and revolutionary monetization models in a social and extremely addictive, immersive environment. Best of all, it would be knowledge that would transcend Somnium Space itself.
The visions and relentless commitment of the company and founder/CEO Artur Sychov – who I spoke to many times – to developing Somnium Space infused the trust in me that I needed. Somnium is going to be around for many years to come and be at the forefront of developing the Metavere. Many of the early Somnium Space members who bought land will say this. They always talk about the trust, the visions and the commitment of Artur and the company. This is what made them believe investing in Somnium was a really good idea.
We’re a year down the road now and I have been proud owner of 10 parcels in Somnium Space. This is by no means a huge investment, but man what it has brought me in terms of socializing (making new friends in Somnium is very easy), learning about the sheer limitless possibilities of doing business in VR, discovering new sides to my own personal creativity and so much more. Oh yes, the value of the land has also skyrocketed. That’s great. But I am not selling (just yet). Why? Because I want to be part of this. I want to continue learning. I want to join the ride. These parcels are my ticket to the future. And I am convinced they are also my ticket to future incoming money streams. Do I know exactly how? Nope. But I do know knowledge is the key. Timing as well. And I strongly sense this is the right time. When I played Second Life I didn’t have this feeling.
I need to correct myself. I am actually renting out some of my parcels. Or rather, I let others use my parcels for (crypto) art galleries and get a percentage of each sale. That’s just one example of how you can monetize the parcels that you own. Other members have built nightclubs and sell entrance tickets. Others sell crypto art in art galleries. And as mentioned before, there are even architects/builders, tour guides, you name it.
A final note on trust. If you purchase a parcel in Somnium Space, it is not Somnium Space that keeps track of that. Your ownership will be registered on the blockchain and be forever undisputed. Second Life lacked that separation of assets and platform. But Somnium Space is fully integrated with the Ethereum blockchain, so even if the platform would be momentarily down, your ownership is unaffected and you can trade your assets on a separate NFT marketplace (OpenSea).
Invest or not invest
As I wrote, we are all different. It may make perfectly sense for me to invest and at the same time no sense at all for you.
But if you subscribe to some of the things I have been saying, then you may decide you want some virtual land as well. Ultimately, I believe you invest in yourself. Per definition, by joining you’ll become an expert in VR experiences. This does not require you to buy any land by the way. Somnium Space is totally free for you to immerse yourself in. But by purchasing land you multiply your possibilities. To be creative, have fun, do business, learn.
See you in Somnium!