Cryptocurrency is skyrocketing.
Bitcoin is approaching a record $20,000, and Ethereum and Litecoin are ballooning in price (or “mooning” in blockchain parlance). As these cryptocurrencies rise in popularity, we’ve seen incredible projects that leverage blockchain technology, including the popular social media site Steemit and OpenBazaar, a peer-to-peer online marketplace.
Most recently, a website allowing users to trade and breed virtual cats, CryptoKitties, has gone viral. While a simple and fun concept, these sites demonstrate the power, excitement, and promise of blockchain technology to radically change how we interact with the web.
Lunar: Virtual Moon Land
Enter Lunar. Lunar has recently launched a site where users can buy and trade virtual plots of land on the moon. It’s cute and simple project, with a beautifully animated 3D moon. However, in the past few weeks, some asking prices for plots of moon have surpassed 15 ETH (that’s $10,000!)
Most of the moon land is already claimed, including the landing sites of the Apollo missions (PSA: Sector 214 is the Apollo 11 moon landing location!). As of writing this article, there are 119 plots of land available for purchase. Lunar’s developer is also releasing a new feature for the holiday season: buying “gift” plots of land for friends and family — perfect for astronomy-geeks or minimalists.
To buy the plots of land, you’ll need Metamask or a web3 compatible browser.
Why This Matters
Does buying these virtual plots of moon actually mean anything? Well, not quite. As the developer mentions, “the token should be considered a virtual trading card rather than a legally enforceable deed for lunar land.”
So, why should you care about a virtual trading card for a moon plot? Lunarhas actually made history as one of the first platforms to successfully prove the concept of non-fungible blockchain assets. In that manner, these collectibles have historic value, and are a cute way to celebrate both the blockchain’s potential and the mysterious charm of the moon.
Furthermore, platforms like Lunar and CryptoKitties have an important educational role. Lunar’s developer intends the platform to demonstrate how smart contracts could be used to manage real estate. While the moon may be an impractical example, think about how land deeds could be traded on an online marketplace with the ease of blockchain technology. There’s huge potential for entire industries like real estate to be radically changed, and Lunar is a user-friendly, fully-functioning example of this promise.