The metaverse has been a topic of discussion in many industries, especially since Facebook underwent a name change to Meta, to show that the company has changed its focus towards creating and building a metaverse. Soon after, metaverse-focused tokens in the cryptocurrency space began to rally with many surging over 100%. As more investors now see the value the metaverse brings to the table and how much gains can be gotten from the industry.
The metaverse is described as a seamless convergence of our physical and digital lives, creating a unified, virtual community where we can work, play, relax, transact and socialize. The metaverse is still early in its evolution, and there is no singular, all-encompassing definition to which people can turn.
Speaking of the industry, one of Wall Street’s top banks, JPMorgan, released a report detailing the types of business opportunities companies can expect to find in the metaverse. The banking giant went on to call the metaverse space a trillion-dollar opportunity. The banking giant did not just release a report but also put its money on it as it became the first bank to open a lounge, called Onyx Lounge, in Decentraland’s metaverse.
According to the JPMorgan report, “The metaverse will provide a massive opportunity for business-to-business enterprises. Take a manufacturer that is buying new parts for its equipment. Presently, the process involves receiving a physical brochure or an emailed PDF with static 2D pictures. In the metaverse, users could test the products in a virtual environment at lower cost. Imagine being able to build a complex digital twin of a factory or industrial space at massive scale, and test how robotics systems will interact with the physical environment.
“One of the great possibilities of the metaverse is that it will massively expand access to the marketplace for consumers from emerging and frontier economies. The internet has already unlocked access to goods and services that were previously out of reach. Now, workers in low-income countries, for example, may be able to get jobs in western companies without having to emigrate. Educational opportunities will also expand, with VR worlds being a low-cost and effective way to access training. With these developments there will also have to be clear governance.
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“From a corporate perspective, there are opportunities to massively scale. Instead of having stores in every city, a major retailer might build a global hub in the metaverse that is able to serve millions of customers. Beyond retailers, the metaverse will turbocharge the shift in gaming, sports betting and gambling from cash to crypto. Companies such as Sightline Payments, that have built infrastructure to support cashless digital gaming for live sports and casinos, are ideally placed to capitalize on the opportunity as these industries rapidly transition to offering experiences to gamers in the metaverse.”
JPMorgan believes that in-game spending will reach $18.41 billion by 2027, just 5 years from now. With all that’s been said, here is a look at the top three in the cryptocurrency space.
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Decentraland was founded by Esteban Ordano and Ariel Meilich in 2015. The platform is a 3D virtual world. It is a browser-based platform metaverse that is built on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform seeks to incentivize a global network of users to operate a shared virtual world.
Users of Decentraland can buy and sell digital real estate, explore, interact and play games within the metaverse also powered by Decentraland. The platform also supports interactive apps, in-world payments and peer-to-peer communication for its users.
As with many Metaverse and Play-to-Earn (P2E) platforms, there are usually two or more types of tokens that govern their operations. In the case of Decentraland, the platform uses two tokens which are LAND and MANA.
LAND is a non-fungible token (NFT) used to define the ownership of land parcels representing digital real estate while MANA is the native token of the platform that facilitates purchases of LAND, as well as virtual goods and services used on the platform. Also, MANA acts like a governing token for the platform. This means it gives users the ability to vote on policy updates, LAND auctions and subsidies to improve the platform. Also, when LAND is auctioned, the MANA tokens used to purchase the parcels are burned, or removed from circulation, making the supply of MANA deflationary.
Decentraland has been the platform to go to for many institutional investors. JPMorgan, one of Wall Street’s and America’s largest banks, becomes the first major banking giant to establish itself in the Metaverse by opening a lounge in Decentraland, an Ethereum based metaverse, created based on blockchain technology. Asides from this, in January, electronics giant Samsung opened a version of its New York store in Decentraland and in November 2021, Barbados established a metaverse embassy in Decentraland. Also, two weeks ago, Decentraland hosted the first-ever metaverse wedding.
Decentraland’s MANA is the top-performing metaverse token in terms of market capitalization. Its market capitalization currently stands at $5 billion. We are also seeing a lot of demand for the token as its trading volume has spiked by over 80% in the last 24 hours. It currently trades $2.70 as of the time of this writing.
The Sandbox is also another blockchain-based metaverse that allows its users to create, build, buy and sell digital assets in the form of a game. The platform combines the powers of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the Sandbox creates a decentralized platform for a thriving gaming community.
The platform is built on the Ethereum blockchain. It was launched in 2011 by Pixowl. The two at the helm of affairs at Pixowl are Arthur Madrid, who is the co-founder and CEO at Pixowl and Sebastien Borget, who is also a co-founder and COO at the company.
The Sandbox is best known for its two smash mobile hits The Sandbox (2011) and The Sandbox Evolution (2016), which combined generated 40 million downloads across iOS and Android.
The Sandbox uses several token types to ensure a circular economy between all the types of users who will interact with the platform: players, creators, curators, and landowners. The main token types are SAND, LAND and ASSETS.
SAND is the native token of the Sandbox metaverse and it is used within the platform as the basis for all of the ecosystem’s transactions and interactions. LAND is a digital piece of real estate in The Sandbox metaverse. Players buy LAND in order to populate it with games, assets and interactive experiences. Each LAND is a unique (non-fungible) token lying on the public Ethereum blockchain (ERC-721). ASSETS are tokens created by players who build/assemble user-generated content (UGC). ASSETS utilize the ERC-1155 standard and can be traded on the marketplace, with their main utility being to serve as creative elements in The Sandbox Game Maker.
The Sandbox team has secured over 165 partnerships to develop content on the platform, including brands like Shaun the Sheep, DApp game studios like Dapper Labs (CryptoKitties), investors such as Square Enix (Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider), and iconic game companies like ATARI (Rollercoaster Tycoon, Pong). These partners secured their own virtual real estate in The Sandbox metaverse. Also, the platform has partnerships with the likes of Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, The Smurfs and Care Bears. Binance, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Socios, the Winklevoss twins and CoinMarketCap have all bought digital land in the metaverse of The Sandbox.
In a series B funding round in November 2021, Sandbox was able to raise $93 million to help the platform expand its NFT metaverse. The funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, which is SoftBank’s first investment into crypto assets. Other companies like Animoca Brands, True Global Ventures, Galaxy Interactive, SCB 10X, Polygon Studios, Samsung Next participated in the funding round.
Sandbox’s SAND token is the second top-performing metaverse token in terms of market capitalization. Its market capitalization currently stands at $3.6 billion. We are also seeing a lot of demand for the token as its trading volume has spiked by over 50% in the last 24 hours. It currently trades $3.27 as of the time of this writing.
Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based battle game that allows users to battle their Axies in real-time. Each Axies, which are characters used to play in the game, are unique and represented by an ERC-721 non-fungible token (NFT). The platform takes its inspiration from the success of the Pokémon game series.
Axie Infinity was created in 2018 by Sky Mavis, a technology-focused game developer. It was co-founded by Trung Nguyen and Aleksander Larsen. Trung Nguyen is the current CEO of the platform while Aleksander Larsen is also credited as the COO of the platform.
The platform operates two main tokens used in its ecosystem: Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) and Smooth Love Potions (formerly Small Love Potion) (SLP). AXS is the platform’s native governance token. Holders form part of Axie’s decentralized organization and can help shape the development of the platform such as by deciding how treasury funds should be spent or how the ecosystem fund is allocated. SLP, on the other hand, is earned by playing the game and can be used to breed new Axies. Both AXS and SLP are ERC-20 tokens tradeable on the Ethereum network.
The platform has gained so much traction, especially in 2021, when the platform made over $1 billion in revenue. There has also been a spike in digital land sales on the platform as the platform has surpassed $4 Billion in All-Time NFT Sales, which is mainly sales of it digital lands. Also, metrics indicate that there are 53,502 AXS token holders today and out of 166,870 Axies there are 45,276 Axie owners. In October 2021, the platform rolled out its staking program. This allows for holders of the AXS token to stake their digital assets and rewards will be activated in 24 hours.
The AXS token is the third top performing metaverse token in terms of market capitalization. Its market capitalization currently stands at $3.1 billion. We are also seeing a lot of demand for the token as its trading volume has spiked by over 55% in the last 24 hours. It currently trades $51.16 as of the time of this writing.