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Snoop Dogg’s Metaverse Neighbors Paid $1.23 Million for Digital Real Estate
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On the Ethereum-based game Sandbox, three people paid over a million bucks combined to build digital homes next to Snoop’s, with the highest priced plot going for $458,000.
Published on December 7, 2021

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Wanna live next to Snoop Dogg? Even in the digital realm, living next to a world-class A-list celeb is going to cost a pretty penny. Or, rather, a pretty crypto.

This week, NFT plots of land neighboring Snoop’s digital house in the virtual world Sandbox — which runs on a cryptocurrency, or token, called SAND — sold for the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of real-world dollars. The priciest went for $458,000, or 70,903 SAND. One SAND is currently worth about $8 USD.

Two other adjacent plots went for $338,000 and $410,000, or about 55,000 and 67,000 SAND. Combined, Snoop’s Sandbox neighbors paid $1.23 million just so they could build digital cribs next to his.

The NFT land sales came quick. Earlier this month, Uncle Snoop announced a special pre-sale event for NFT land in Sandbox. The pre-sale announcement came just days after he dropped his latest album, Snoop Dogg Presents the Algorithm, featuring heady hip-hop heavyweights Method Man, Redman, and Wiz Khalifa

OK, so what is Sandbox, and why is its digital real estate selling for as much as real-world real estate? 

Sandbox is a virtual environment that runs on the Ethereum platform, the same platform fueled by the ether cryptocurrency. By market cap, Ethereum is the world’s second largest crypto. Bitcoin is the biggest. However, unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum is designed to host various apps, which includes financial software (which is what Visa is currently using it for) to other crypto-fueled platforms (like Sandbox).

Recently, Ethereum and Bitcoin both hit all-time record high prices, at roughly $4,800 and $69,000 per token, respectively. 

But back to Sandbox. Sandbox is kind of like a cross between Minecraft and the Sims, with the added bonus of being able to make real money in the game. Users can explore the virtual environment with an avatar while interacting with buildings and objects built by others on the platform. Users can also design their own games, artwork, or items in Sandbox and monetize them. One can even attend virtual events in Sandbox, like this concert:

Snoop “was immediately highly interested in The Sandbox,” Sandbox board member Mathieu Nazareth told Decrypt when the company asked Snoop to partner with them. “With him, we’re going to do a lot of things. The following campaign will focus on selling LAND with Snoop Dogg, followed by this massive performance. We sold 1000 tickets, and the event will take place early next year.”

As of last month, half a million people used Sandbox, and it generated $114 million in NFT sales, according to Decrypt. Mind you, this was before it had even officially launched. 

Snoop may be best known for his music, weed, and movies, but over the past couple of years, he’s been promoting cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other decentralized blockchains, too. In fact, in September, he revealed that he’s the guy behind the Cozomo de Medici Twitter account, which tweets non-stop about various NFT updates.

Crypto, on the other hand, was best known as a digital currency used to purchase illicit items on the Dark Web, namely drugs. But ever since 2020, crypto catapulted into combined market caps reaching trillions of dollars, with some like Ethereum and Bitcoin surpassing the market caps of corporate giants like Walmart. Today, crypto is primarily used for investment and speculation, though celebs like Snoop are pushing for crypto and their blockchain platforms to become mainstream exchanges.

Unfortunately, crypto, NFTs, and other decentralized assets come with risks, like any other investment. For one, they’re largely unregulated, which makes them susceptible to pump-and-dump schemes (as we saw with Dogecoin earlier this year). Second, their markets are incredibly volatile. Sure, it’s easy to make quick money with blockchains, but it’s even easier to lose money on them, as well. Third, while many vendors now accept crypto as payments, they’re still nonviable as everyday currency due to tax laws (under US tax law, you have to pay taxes on the initial purchase and on the crypto’s spent cash equivalent). Fourth, the price volatility swings both ways: In other words, the $10 you spent in crypto today could be worth $1,000 tomorrow. Or the $1,000 in crypto you accepted as payment today could be worth only $10 tomorrow.

Regardless, if you’re smart (and very, very lucky), you can make some decent cream with platforms like Sandbox. Or, if you’re like most folks, and have no clue WTF you’re doing, you could be stuck holding the bag. Either way, it’s pretty clear that crypto, NFTs, and blockchains aren’t going anywhere any time soon. They may even be here to stay.

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Randy Robinson
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Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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