As an investor, billionaire Mark Cuban hasn’t been afraid to throw his money behind several blockchain-based projects.
But buying virtual land in the metaverse? That’s a bridge too far for Cuban.
“The worst part is people are [expletive] buying real estate in these places,” Cuban said of crypto-based metaverses. “That’s just the dumbest shit ever. The dumbest, dumbest — did I say it was dumb? No, that’s not strong enough. Super, meta, immaculately dumb.”
In these metaverses, virtual plots of land can be bought and sold as unique digital tokens known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The virtual landowner can then develop uses for that plot — such as games, virtual shops or event centers — or try to rent it out to other users.
Both of the major metaverse projects currently launched or in development — The Sandbox and Decentraland — pitch investors on the idea that they have a fixed amount of virtual land that will not change. In theory, this offers NFT investors the premise of scarcity that helps underpin value in real-life real estate.
But Cuban is skeptical that the amount of virtual land is truly finite. Whether he believes the terms of each metaverse could be amended, or that investments could simply be threatened by the creation of new metaverses, remains unclear. But for one reason or another, he doesn’t seem keen on the idea of taking that promise of scarcity on faith.
“It’s just like if — it’s not even as good as a URL or an [Etherium Name Service], because there’s unlimited volumes [of virtual land] that you can create,” Cuban said.
For all the talk of the impending relevance of the metaverse, the internet community has yet to agree on what the concept means, or what it will exactly look like someday, Cuban said.
“People that focus on [virtual reality] want that to be the metaverse,” Cuban said. “People want Web3 to be the metaverse. Any time you have more than one person together, it’s — there’s no rhyme or reason to it yet.”
That said, Cuban thinks there could be a demand for virtual tokens that focus more on granting access to exclusive online communities and these could possibly take the form of “land” within a metaverse. But this differs a great deal from a fully real-estate-inspired model, he said.
“Now, after you create a community — not before — but after you create a community, then you could find places, depending on how that community works, that can have perceived value because of access or whatever,” Cuban said. “But beforehand? Based off of a traditional real estate model? Dumbest [expletive] shit ever.”
Watch the full clip below.