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  • Writer's pictureJohn Ennis

Eye on AI - February 18th, 2022

Welcome to Aigora's "Eye on AI" series, where we round up exciting news at the intersection of consumer science and artificial intelligence!


This week, we’ll be looking into two new unique markets for NFT’s: physical real estate sales, and the newly unveiled GameStop NFT marketplace.


First House Sold as an NFT in Florida

Can physical real estate be sold as an NFT? Apparently, the answer is yes, for according to the article “For the first time, a home in Florida will be sold as an NFT,” an NFT enthusiast based out of Florida is going just that by auctioning off her Gulfport, Fla., home as an NFT, which will mark the first-ever sale of physical real estate via NFT.

“Real estate technology company Propy announced it would be selling a Gulfport, Fla., home as an NFT, which includes ownership rights to the property starting at $650,000, as well as a custom mural by a local Florida artist,” writes The Hill contributor Shirin Ali. “... the auction winner will own a U.S.-based entity that owns the roughly 2,000-square-foot Florida home.”

The property owner is herself an avid NFT investor and perhaps sees this as an opportunity to make a splash. But there are also real benefits to selling property as an NFT, from royalty fees paid to homeowners and real estate agents to enabling an easy transaction process. More importantly, though, it creates the opportunity to treat real estate as a collectible, which could help drive up value.

“... ‘trophy real estate’ is in high demand but short supply as its real estate is located in ‘super prime’ locations, considered a status symbol with well-known name recognition,” continues Ali.

With this being the first-ever NFT for a physical property sold, the idea of owning that particular token comes with its own desirability. While I’ll be very curious to see what kind of bidding this property receives, it’s the sales that come after that I’ll be most interested to see, which should better indicate whether NFTs have a future in physical real estate sales.

GameStop Announces Launch of NFT Marketplace

Continuing with the theme of NFTs, let’s finish this week with a look at GameStop’s newly unveiled NFT marketplace, which it hopes will establish the gaming company as a viable player in our digital future.

“GameStop’s marketplace is pitched as a place to buy and sell in-game assets represented as blockchain tokens,” writes The Verge contributor Adi Robertson. “... It’s built on Immutable X, a platform based on the popular Ethereum cryptocurrency blockchain... Immutable’s existing partnerships are supposed to give the new GameStop initiative a boost since companies that already use Immutable X will be able to feature their NFTs on the marketplace.”

Not so long ago, GameStop was on the outs when it experienced a Reddit-driven resurgence. Now with Web3 emerging, the company hopes the launch of its own non-fungible tokens (NFTs) marketplace, along with a multi-million dollar fund to entice game developers to use it, will move it beyond its previous meme stock label. However, there are real concerns that such a move will provoke a backlash from the large number of gaming community members that are anti-NFTs.

“While some companies, particularly Ubisoft, have forged ahead with NFT gaming despite criticism, others have canceled plans for NFTs linked with games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 and Worms,” continues Robertson. “That’s happened partly due to criticism from players but also a lack of enthusiasm from developers — who responded overwhelmingly negatively to the phenomenon in a recent survey.”

GameStop hopes its buy-in from blockchain games associated with Immutable in conjunction with its developer fund will help it avoid developer backlash. Whether or not this will work is difficult to say. NFTs do seem to be the hot ticket at the moment, particularly within a gaming world that seems well-positioned for their use. In theory, NFTs and the gaming world should have a relatively seamless integration. However, the simplicity of using NFTs across games and metaverses has been vastly oversold. I hope these and other NFT issues can be ironed out in time, as I still consider gaming NFTs a strong bet for the future.

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