Yep, we’re gonna hit you with that metaverse word again… Portion, a global blockchain-based auction house has just made a big move into it – buying up a large plot of prime virtual land for roughly US$1.2 million.

The New York-headquartered, high-end physical and digital collectibles auctioneer recently acquired a digitised slice of real estate in Decentraland. And it paid for it with 425,000 MANA, the metaverse project’s native token. (MANA is currently down a bit from the time of the purchase, trading at US$2.78 per token).

Built on Ethereum, Decentraland was one of the first big blockchain-based metaverse movers, pushing MANA onto the market in late 2017. It really only began to drive wider engagement in the digital-realm narrative in early 2021, but it’s since proven to be a fertile virtual real estate market, attracting a growing number of big brands and organisations, including the Australian Open.

 

Portion District: a ‘premium thoroughfare’

Sales of real estate in the metaverse exceeded US$500 million last year and could double this year, according to investors and analytics. Some digital plots in the best-positioned Decentraland districts have gone for huge amounts of money, but Portion is one of just a few companies that’s paid more than seven figures for its land.

The auction house’s estate is being dubbed “Portion District” and is located near Decentraland’s “Genesis Plaza”. That’s a spot likened by the press release shared with Stockhead to Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue – a high-traffic, “premium thoroughfare for world-famous luxury brands”.

Portion says it bought the land to help brands and artists explore their potential in the space. The acquisition is part of its “wider decentralised mission to connect artists and collectors through blockchain” and NFT (non-fungible token) tech. And that’s all with the aim of facilitating the selling, investing, and owning of art and collectibles with transparency and verified, traceable authenticity.

 

‘A major step’ into the metaverse

Portion’s NFT auction platform is also built on Ethereum and its NFT marketplace lists high-end digital artworks from various artists. Its native token, PRT, can be used to bid on, purchase, and sell NFT art and collectibles on the platform.

Jason Rosenstein, CEO & founder of Portion, described the land purchase as “a major step in our journey” and one that will allow the auction house to “optimise proof of concepts for the growing pool of curious artists and brands merging themselves into the metaverse”.

Digital art by Maxwell Dewunmi, featured at the recent Afrofuturism: The Next Generation exhibition

Portion has partnered with celebrities including 2chainWizKhalifaVirgil Abloh, and well-known artists to make exclusive NFTs. It recently featured an NFT exhibition dedicated to Black History Month, highlighting a range of artists exploring the concept of “Afrofuturism”.

The Decentraland estate acquisition comes on the back of the company’s recent partnership with digital consulting company Publicis Sapient, which focuses on collaborating in Web3 business areas with ambitious brands.