Not so long ago, owning or investing in property, real estate, and land was something the vast majority of humans could never achieve in their lifetime. If one was able to save enough to purchase a land, property or invest in a property fund or development project, this was considered a great achievement. With the onset of the 4th Industrial revolution, the Web3, and the advent of the blockchain and tokenization of assets, including fractional NFTs, the ownership of property, real estate and investment in real estate funds is now available to the majority of humans across the globe.
So how is this being done? Well simply through the digitization of assets whether these assets are real world assets or digital. The most notable tool today are NFTs. NFTs, are tradable digital receipts stored on a publicly distributed database, called a blockchain, that everyone can see and independently verify at all times.
These digital receipts contain unique information that can be used to prove who the sole owners of certain items are, whether they are tangible or intangible. NFTs do not store the digital item they represent. Instead, they simply point to the file’s location which exists somewhere else on the internet.
The most popular use for NFTs has been in the art world and with collectibles, but NFTs have started to proliferate in other areas including property and real estate whether in the real world or virtual.
Fractional NFTs for real estate investments
One such company has made huge strides in this area, and was the first in the world to launch fractionalized NFTs for property ownership. Aqarchain.io launched in 2021 as a product of SmartChain technology, is delivering to users a unique way to unlock NFT liquidity by providing access to owning parts of iconic and historical real estate in the form of fractional NFTs.
Fractional NFTs implies the act of dividing the ownership of an NFT into smaller fractions. This makes it possible for several people to own a single NFT.
However this is not all that you can do with an NFT, in many instances especially in the case of Aqarchain.io, investors can earn revenues directly related to their ownership either in the form of rent yields, capital appreciation, or even in the form of what is known as token Staking.
But Aqarchain.io went a step further and developed fractional NFTS making it possible to invest with as little as 500 USD in properties and real estate globally. As Nakhwa states, “You come in with whatever you have in your pocket and you can invest then and there. This has eliminated whatever barrier was present.”
Today you don’t have to reach a certain age, and have a lump sum saved to be able to purchase or invest in real estate; you can be as young as a teenager with only a few hundred dollars to spare.
Aqarchain.io has listed properties on its website. Examples include a penthouse in Dubai Marina, where the share price is 864 USD, a studio apartment, 2 bedrooms Apartment at Burj Khalifa Fountain View, Private Infinity Pool 1 bedroom Apartment and others.
In specific Nakhwa sees strong growth in the UAE property market as UAE witnesses a bull property market resembling that of 2003 and 2004. The UAE and specifically Dubai was one of the first countries to open up after Covid, with an array of conferences, and events. In addition more and more businesses are opening up their presence in the UAE, especially those in the tech sector.
Nakhwa believes the growth will continue in the next few years, as regulators in the region and globally come up with regulations for security token exchanges the uptake in investments will increase dramatically. As Nakhwa states, “ Most likely in a couple of years we will see everything regulated in the region in one way or another, we are still at very early stages.”
According to Nakhwa the metaverse is the future. It is part and parcel of the digital innovation that has taken place. It is growing because of the availability of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. He states, “In Q1 of 2022 we will launch our own virtual and augmented reality solution that will allow potential investors and buyers to visit properties before deciding on investing in them or not. They will not even need VR goggles but will be able to experience it through their phones and computer screens.”
The Metaverse is here
Given that our world is no longer limited to what is physical; and now encompasses the virtual known as the metaverse. The youthful generation is already engrossed in games on the metaverse, socializing in the metaverse and buying collectibles, avatars, and NFTs in all their forms for the metaverse.
Aqarchain.io forward looking as it is has launched AqarLand, its virtual land NFT. The virtual land is a digital twin of the real world. Users who purchase real estate assets either in full or fractions of the listed properties on Aqarchain can claim the same share of the Virtual land on AqarLand.
AqarLand assets marketplace is stated to grow by USD 500M till the first quarter of 2022. Nakhwa adds, “We have mapped real world assets to the virtual world in addition we are taking a gamified approach allowing users to Play to Earn on the virtual lands.”
Virtual Land and Gamification
Aqarchain has partnered with DeFi11, a DeFi powered decentralized gaming ecosystem built on top of Matic Blockchain. Aqarchain virtual land AqarLand and DeFi11 have partnered to officially sponsor the Delhi Bulls cricket team during the Abu Dhabi T10 League. DeFi11 purchased a virtual land to establish a live streaming stadium to commemorate the occasion.
Users were able to visit this Land and connect to the live broadcast in order to anticipate the winners of each innings for the Delhi Bulls franchise in the Abu Dhabi T10 league in 2021. Nakhwa explains, users will be able to earn passive income both from the virtual land and gaming.”
The utility of NFTs, virtual lands, Gamification in the metaverse will not be limited to one platform. Today NFT platforms are bridging to allow their users to move NFTs, virtual assets freely, growing the cross chain mentality. Nakhwa comments, “In the end the community will drive the decision on which chains to build on. Each chain has its positives and negatives, but more chains will come up offering faster transactions. The digital world will continue to grow, this is just the beginning. Aqarchain will continue to expand into new markets, forge new partnerships.”
Nakhwa believes that by bringing gaming and virtual land ownership alongside fractional ownership of NFTs in real estate, the young generation will be encouraged to invest in real estate instead of just investing in tokens in games. Gamers will own real estate at a very young age and thus adding not only fun but wealth to their portfolio of experiences.”
Maybe Christmas gifts this coming holiday season, or birthday presents in the future will be in the form of a fractional NFT of real world real estate, giving recipients of all ages the chance to play their favorite games utilize virtual land while populating it with cool assets, while their gift grows in value and provides returns both in the real and virtual world.