- A virtual night club sold for $635,000
- Digital land, anyone? Just 1,000 ETH
- Someone paid 600 ETH for a virtual cat
- $50,000 was spent on a digital model of Amsterdam
- A Dota courier sold for $38,000
The most expensive virtual items ever
If the ongoing global-scale pandemic managed to shift a social aspect of life, that would be the fact people are now closed in their homes, with their only interface to engage in external interactions being the internet, where virtual assets act as physical packages of some sort of value.
Obviously, there are a plethora of things you could engage with online, not only to make spending some time home bearable, but also to educate yourself towards what’s yet to come on a social scale, or even make profit online by committing some of your extra time.
Cryptocurrencies are definitely getting increased traction during the mass quarantine era, considering that they enable secure and instant transactions without physical interactions, while at the same time offering a decentralized economic system that has a fixed supply of monetary assets.
While Ethereum‘s ERC-721 tokens or NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are meant to be naturally stored, distributed, and exchanged in a digital fashion, not all virtual assets are traded for digital currencies. Whether they were paid for in crypto or fiat currencies, we’ll be taking a look at 5 of the most expensive digital goods ever sold online.
1. Α virtual club in Entropia Universe sold for $635,000
Entropia Universe is a Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) that uses an economic system similar to cryptocurrencies.
In Entropia, users may buy and sell virtual assets for PED (Project Entropia Dollars), analogous to any other MMORPG, with the slight difference being that PED is actually pegged to USD at a 10/1 rate.
This led to users creating an organic in-game marketplace similar to the EVE Online and Lineage 2 economies, where items get valued according to the demand/supply formula, rarity, scarcity, and economic value, pretty much like what we see in traditional and crypto-assets.
The game managed make its way into the Guinness World Records Book on more than one occasion. Between 2008 and 2012, several Entropia Universe-based virtual assets were sold for tens of thousands of dollars, changing hands in an online fashion.
But it was in November 2010, when Jon Jacobs got a check of $635,000 for his club “Neverdie”, a popular destination for Entropians, that the game facilitated the most expensive transaction for virtual goods ever made.
2. Virtual land in Decentraland sells for 1,000 ETH
The biggest difference between traditional videogames and crypto games from an economic perspective would be the fact that crypto games are by nature financially motivated.
Decentraland is one of the first crypto games that managed to get the attention of players outside the crypto industry due to its concept of monetizing everything in-game, including your avatar’s name, every single land piece you can walk on, apparel, cosmetics and a bunch of other stuff that attracted micropayments junkies.
The interesting thing about Decentraland is that it didn’t need a USD analogue or another currency to be relevant, as it has its own blockchain-powered digital currency to complement the virtual realm experience.
Back in 2018, a player parted with 2,800,000 MANA, Dectraland’s native crypto, in order to purchase a piece of virtual land. At the time, the amount was equivalent to Ξ1000 or $215,000.
3. A CryptoKitty was sold for 600 ETH
The Ethereum Blockchain is popular for many different decentralized applications and videogames nowadays, but the first Ethereum-based game that managed to grab international attention was CryptoKitties.
CryptoKitties managed to bring the Ethereum distributed ledger network to its knees due to congestion. Even some of my friends who were not familiar with cryptocurrencies at all were asking me to help them get ETH so they could breed cute digital cats.
A CryptoKitty non-fungible token (ERC-721) was sold for Ξ600 back in 2018, worth about $170,000 at the time.
4. A virtual copy of Amsterdam in Second Life sold for $50,000
Another controversial traditional videogame, Second-Life is exactly what its name suggests. Second Life is a virtual environment resembling “real life” where users could spend real money on digital goods and even start their own in-game businesses accessing a way of passive income while they’re sleeping.
Users can use their imagination to create and deploy various marketable concepts within the game, and one truly creative player made a nice chunk of change by creating a three-dimensional model of Amsterdam, which was eventually sold for $50,000 in an online auction.
5. A virtual pet-servant in Dota 2 sold for $38,000
In the popular MOBA game Dota 2, players get to use a personal pet called “courier” which delivers recently bought items. It’s an important mechanism of the gameplay, but you couldn’t say it’s the essence of Dota.
Nevertheless, in the era of aesthetic superiority and micropayments, it’s not too surprising that there was a player who was willing to pay $38,000 to pimp out his virtual donkey.
The Ethereal Flames Pink War Dog, which reminds me of a four-legged Juggernaut, is an extremely rare courier skin that was only distributed to a handful of lucky players.
If you think twice about the cases described above, you’ll realize that you don’t necessarily have to be a gamer, but you can also use the videogame market as an investor, architect, collector, builder, etc.
If you’re an architect, you can consider selling your design skills to virtual businesses as the whole process from design to paycheck is digital. You basically sell the design without the building itself.
There are so many ways to benefit from the booming micropayments-focused gaming industry, and I am sure your skillset fits somewhere in there -you just have to figure out what your particular strong suit is.