By Tim Hakki
For many this summer, squelching through a maze of ammonia-scented porta-potties to catch their favourite live music will remain a pipedream. But for residents of Ethereum-based computer game Decentraland, it’ll be (virtual) reality.
Next Sunday at 6PM UTC, crypto’s Second Life sim will host TO THE MOON, a music and arts festival. It’s a collaboration between NFT marketplace KnownOrigin, NFT tastemaker collective Illumino, and crypto consultancy firm BEAR NFT.
The festival will be hosted at KnownOrigin’s virtual headquarters within Decentraland and will feature performances by electronic music acts including Ookay, SNBRN, Fred Thurst (aka Dr. Fresch), Autograf, and Win and Woo.
The organisers promise exclusive NFT goodies. Attendees receive a virtual POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol) token to brandish on their Decentraland profile, and can buy exclusive (virtual) clothes, including a bomber jacket and hat.
Hang on, what is Decentraland?
Decentraland is a browser-based and crypto-powered computer game with Minecraft-style world-building and Second Life style-socializing that launched in 2017. The in-game currency is the Ethereum-based MANA. With it, holders can buy in-game items and any one of 90,000 plots of in-game land as NFTs. In March, Decentraland had about 10,000 daily active users, according to NBC.
In early June, Boson Protocol, which lets people turn physical items into NFTs, paid the equivalent of $704,000 in MANA for a plot of land, on which it plans to build a mall connecting Decentraland to real-world shops.
At the time, Boson’s purchase was the highest-value land trade on Decentraland, though it’s since been superseded by investment firm Republic Realm, a virtual real estate investment firm that paid $913,000 for a bit of Decentraland.
Virtual real estate, like much of the NFT space, is a risky investment. What’s hot and in-demand today might easily stink tomorrow. If the market pops, buyers won’t even have the satisfaction of non-pixelated earth to stand on. For carefree attendees of TO THE MOON, however, that’ll be nothing but a bad hangover.