The metaverse is completely screwed.
Virtual real estate platform Decentraland, once valued at $1 billion, is now in free fall.
Revenues have absolutely cratered over the last year, The Block reports, with only a handful of users actually trading virtual real estate, or the slices of land inside Decentraland's virtual world that can be transacted in the form of NFTs.
The numbers are absolutely brutal. According to the report, only between 20 and 30 people are actually buying and selling property on a weekly basis, amounting to roughly $50,000. That's a massive drop, considering trading volumes were in the millions between late 2021 and early 2022.
Decentraland's woes are symptomatic of a much bigger decline in interest in owning virtual real estate.
Last year, data aggregator DappRadar found that Decentraland only had 38 "active users" over a period of 24 hours, a shockingly low number given the company's lofty billion-dollar market cap. Other platforms including The Sandbox have been seriously struggling to draw in serious numbers of users as well.
Decentraland recently put on a Fashion Week event, with 60 labels including top brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Adidas sponsoring shows. But despite over 100,000 people showing up to the same event last year, only 26,000 users attended this year, according to The Block.
"The world didn’t feel very alive," The Verge's Jay Peters recalled after attending the event. "While walking around, I’d usually only see one or two other people in my vicinity."
Decentraland's tanking trading volumes show that the appetite for virtual real estate is circling the drain — and its users are disappointed.
"Everybody saw prices skyrocketing with big businesses buying land for millions of dollars, which now in retrospect was a terrible mistake," metaverse architect Hunter Swihart told The Block, adding that he wouldn't be surprised if Decentraland would go under in the near future.
Others, like YouTuber Dan Olson, put it far less lightly.
"In practice, it’s a bad video game made up of smaller, worse video games wrapped in real-estate scheme cosplaying as The Matrix," he said in a blistering 109-minute takedown.
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