In a new virtual reality interview, they spoke only with the director and founder of the Belgrade investment and real estate agency Leskaroski – Real Estate & Consulting, Filip Leskaroski.
Leskaroski is one of the few digital real estate dealers in the Balkans, and through the conversation he explained to us how to invest, what prices were once and what they are now, how to become the owner of land in Decentraland, and many other issues. Read in the virtual reality sequel.
Tell us more about yourself and describe how and when you got into digital real estate trading?
Leskaroski: My name is Filip Leskaroski, I am the director and founder of the investment and real estate
agency “Leskaroski — Real Estate & Consulting“, a company based in Belgrade. We are engaged in premium education in the field of investments and consulting activities primarily related to real estate. In addition, I am an international consultant for major world banks on the capital market, so I live between Frankfurt and Belgrade. I became interested in digital real estate trading at the end of 2021 when there was a famous “hype” around the NFT (non-fungible token) story. Then I made the first contacts in the real estate market itself in the Decentraland metaverse, I started with the first serious analyses, searching for the most suitable property for my needs, studying the way DAO works and the like. Of course, the interest of the wider audience has pumped up in the meantime, but my opinion is that we are just at the beginning of the development of the whole story. This is just a respite to the next upsurge of this market that will become part of our everyday life at some point.
What did he give and what is it for?
Leskaroski: DAO is an acronym for Decentralized Autonomous Organization, a decentralized organization that manages the metaverse. In the specific case of the Decentraland metaverse, the DAO owns public areas such as roads and green squares that cannot be bought and grown into private property. Decentraland users as owners of all NFTs in the metaverse are the ones who can vote within the DAO and influence how their environment will look with their votes. In this way, users through DAO decide from which NFTs are allowed as clothing and footwear in the metaverse, to whether the city will expand, what kind of buildings are allowed or prohibited, but also whether spaces like Dragon City will change their name at some point. In a word, the DAO is the decentralized public authority of a metaverse.
You said real estate prices in Decentraland were falling. Tell us what real estate prices were like at the beginning and what are they like now in the middle of the year?
Leskaroski: The end of 2021 and the beginning of this year were an incredibly good period for Decentraland when we talk about investors who invested money in the MANA cryptocurrency, which is actually the only official cryptocurrency of this metaverse. Mana’s market cap at the time exceeded 2.2 billion euros, while in recent weeks it has hovered between 1.5 and 1.7 billion euros. The bear’s crypto trend has also been reflected in this cryptocurrency, and real estate prices have fallen significantly in value only through a decline in the currency compared to other fiat money. On the other hand, after the passage of the first-ever Fashion Week in Decentraland in March this year, interest in digital real estate has subsided and has gone to the backof the media attention. So, for example, the cheapest property in February 2022 is valued between 12,000 and 13,000 euros, while today you can find the cheapest real estate for 2,800 to 3,000 euros. The incredible decline occurred in just six months, which only shows how risky, unregulated this type of asset is and therefore subject to sharp changes in value due to poor liquidity. The general rule of the market is that the fewer buyers and sellers participate in the market, the lower the liquidity and the easier for one buyer to manipulate prices. We can’t talk about a stable digital real estate market until this asset class is regulated and interesting to institutional and retail investors.
When you mentioned Fashion Week, tell us how it affected the prices of virtual lands in the metaverse?
Leskaroski: Fashion Week revealed a lot of bugs on the platform itself, participants could not hear live music at events even though they were at them, there were interruptions during the program and many more similar things happened. Try to find articles about people’s experiences and impressions of representatives of brands and fashion critics who followed the event. They’re pretty mixed up. Since then, real estate prices have fallen, but this trend has not been affected only by Fashion Week. It should be noted that the buildings where Fashion Week was held after the event were “demolished” and now many of these plots are for sale. It’s still called the Fashion District, but it remains to be seen whether next year will bring this event to the same venue. In the end, the general interest in NFTs has declined over the past few months and this also negatively affects real estate prices.
What is Dragon City?
Leskaroski: Dragon City is chinatown in the Decentraland metaverse. A very picturesque neighborhood in the southeast of the map where a large number of investors from China own plots. What is interesting in the last twenty days is that a huge number of plots in this part of the city are going up for sale, and this is especially the case since real estate prices in Decentraland started to fall.
How to become a land owner in Decentraland? Explain the process briefly.
Leskaroski: The rule that applies to every plot in Decentraland is that every land is actually nft, i.e. A unique piece of information stored on the Ethereum blockchain. You become a land owner by buying the required number of MANA cryptocurrencies, linking one of the accepted wallets like MetaMask or Coinbase to the Decentraland profile, and then you can send offers to land sellers. All plots that are for sale can be found very easily on the map and are marked in light-blue color, so for each of them you can easily see the price and make an offer.
What is the purpose of this virtual land and what can we do on it? Who can see him?
Leskaroski: Virtual land can be visited by any user who registers on the Decentraland platform, and it serves different purposes. I’ve really seen a lot in Decentraland itself and you can’t believe how creative people are when we talk about ideas for using their land. From creating galleries where they sell their NFT art, through DJs offering their music, real estate agencies that advertise their clients’ plots, brand branches where you can buy their digital and physical goods, to a huge corporate center of a large firm that advertises attracting new young talent from Web 3.0 technologies. You can also use the land for other purposes such as issuing outlets to other companies, since it is limited because Decentraland has a fixed number of land plots on 90,601 plots. I negotiated almost for one land where the owner made ready-made 3D models that he gave as NFT along with the land and I can tell you that I was fascinated by the speed at which he sold the land due to that circumstance and joint offer, and I realized how much turnkey access means to buyers even in the virtual world.
Otherwise, all interested investors in digital real estate can find the representative office of the agency “Leskaroski — Real Estate & Consulting” at coordinates 69,-27 in Decentraland, and will be informed about our further business plans in the metaverse in a timely manner.
What do you think is the definition of cryptocurrency and which wallet would you recommend to start with the average user?
Leskaroski: In the Decentraland metaverse, users are currently limited to a few well-known wallets such as MetaMask and Coinbase, so there is not much choice at the moment and only wallets that are 100% verified in the international market should be used. Take care of this and really do detailed research before deciding on any of the offers.
What is NFT and what is a plot? According to our information, some identify NFT and plot, i.e. land in Decentraland. Is that correct?
Leskaroski: That’s right, each plot is also nft. It is easiest to understand the non-fungible token or NfT as a barcode when we talk about the physical products we see in markets – each barcode is unique and each of the products has it as a unique record. The same is the case with NFTs, it is digital data written in a blockchain that can be trafficked among people on the market, but cannot be replicated in the same form or exchanged for the same NFT because each is unique. For example, Bitcoin is a fungible because for one Bitcoin that you sell at one time you can buy another Bitcoin after a while and the new Bitcoin you bought will be the same as the first one. NFTs are unique and cannot be copied in the same form. What’s interesting about plots is that we can see them as NFTs in real life. Are there two exactly the same soils on the planet, of the same composition, inclination, shape and performance? We can hardly find them, every land is unique. In other words, in real estate, digital real estate is NFTs, but in a way they are also physical real estate.
How does the Serbian community react to the metaverse and investments in it? Are you satisfied with the interests of the local community?
Leskaroski: The Serbian community reacts positively to the metaverse and the idea of investing in it seems to people to make sense. On the other hand, Serbia is not in the European Union and there are still restrictions on investing through individual exchanges, so this makes it difficult to significantly break through such ideas in the wider community. I have lived abroad for a long time and have personally participated in similar innovative investments outside the country, while they were received in Serbia only after a few years when the market was better regulated. On that side, I understand the entire international process in these situations and I know that the future will bring an increasingly easier option of investing in the metaverse and from Serbia. All we have to do is wait for good international regulations in this area because they are the key to protecting all investors, i.e. without them, it is pointless to talk about any acceptance of investments in the metaverse by a wider range of micro investors. Time will tell which of the metaverses will be best accepted by users and that’s the current million-dollar question that no one has yet to answer because we’re at the beginning of their development.