The construction race in Malta shows no sign of slowing down. Precious land is being taken up, mostly for commercial purposes including supposed ODZ land. Where greenery should take centre stage, instead we find plans for petrol stations, shopping malls or hotels. But what if there’s a solution, one that many are unlikely to have even considered at this stage, especially in terms of malls?
First major sale of digital land takes place
A Canadian investment firm spent around €2.2 million to purchase 6,090 square feet of virtual land, in the largest deal of its kind to date. The firm, Tokens.com, focuses on decentralized finance (De-Fi), made the buy on Decentraland, a blockchain-based metaverse where cryptocurrency is spent to customize avatars, acquire real estate and interact with other members.
In Token.com’s case, the digital land they bought is a “116 parcel estate in the heart of the Fashion Street district within Decentraland”. In summary, it will be used to hold digital fashion shows and expand e-commerce services with fashion brands. And that’s where it becomes interesting for us.
Use land for renewable energy or affordable living
An increasing amount of our interactions and transactions are taking place online, whether that’s meeting friends, buying groceries, clothes or digital gadgets. However, doing both simultaneously has not really caught on yet, but that’s what the metaverse is building towards. Imagine digitally going to the cinema with your friends, and right after you head to a shopping mall, all while sitting comfortably at home.
The idea seems farfetched, and possibly ridiculous to some. However, we need to look at this from a future perspective; where the world will be in 5, 10 and 20 years. Meta has invested millions already into the metaverse, as has Microsoft, and we can expect Google and Apple to follow suit very soon. Whether we like it or not, this is the future, but with most of the tech giants investing, the transition will be far easier.
So, instead of building mall after mall on land that can be instead developed for renewable energy, such as solar panel farms, or affordable living quarters, should Malta invest in similar digital spaces? It’s certainly worth exploring. If it puts an end to ODZ development and results in reducing the size or repurposing of large structures, then investigating the idea is the least we can do.
Also, lest we forget, shifting a number of our daily actions to the digital sphere greatly reduces the need for transport. Getting people off the roads means less traffic and possibly fewer accidents. The issue for now, however, is that all of this is still early days. Buying digital land might just be a trend that dies in a couple of years. Or it could be the next big thing that shapes our island, literally and digitally.
Want to know more about the metaverse? Send us your questions and we’ll do our best to answer!