“You bought a virtual shirt?”

We’ve heard that line before. From our parents, our friends, sometimes even strangers. “Why would you spend so much money on this digital thing? It’s not even real!”

When we first started Pocket Worlds in 2013, people often reacted with confusion (or even concern) when we shared that we sell virtual goods in our virtual worlds. “Do you peddle virtual farm equipment?” But to us, buying and owning virtual goods never felt strange. We grew up playing Diablo II and World of Warcraft, buying and selling rare swords and staffs. These items were deeply meaningful to us and our community of online friends.

As the world moves online, buying a virtual shirt will be less and less strange. After all, we don’t buy physical shirts just to feel warm on a breezy day. We buy shirts because they shape our identity. They express who we are to other people. When someone buys a Supreme T-shirt, they’re saying something to the world.

This has been true online since the beginning of the Internet. Early games like Diablo and World of Warcraft created vibrant worlds where people care about how they presented themselves to others. This made virtual items important and valuable. But if Diablo or World of Warcraft shut down, those hard-earned items are gone. That’s a stark difference between a Diablo item and, say, a Beanie Baby or Magic: The Gathering Card (or Supreme T-shirt, for that matter).

Today, we’re experiencing a technology shift that ensures digital items are valuable whether the organization or individual who made them exists or not. Blockchain technology enables items to exist in a decentralized way — meaning, these virtual items will exist in a publicly accessible database forever. These items will exist forever, and they will be unique forever. The owner of these items can do whatever they want with them. In some ways, they’re even better than a Supreme T-shirt — after all, you can’t stain or tear them!

But there’s a lot more you can do once you have a virtual item on the blockchain:

  • You can sell it using any Blockchain-supported exchange.
  • You can lend the item out to others so they can use it, while still guaranteeing you’ll get it back.
  • You can fractionalize ownership, allowing a group of people (a DAO) to buy the item collectively.
  • You can collateralize the item, taking out a loan against the value of the item.

And much more that we haven’t even thought of! Suddenly, the value of your digital items becomes orders of magnitude higher. At Pocket Worlds, we are leading the charge on creating highly valuable digital items on the Blockchain.

So next time someone asks “you bought a virtual shirt?”, you can tell them that you’re making an investment in a digital asset!