The word ‘metaverse’ has indeed become a household name. What exactly is it, and why is it quickly gaining attention from crypto investors and technological firms? Which metaverses should you explore in 2022?
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is a computer-simulated environment of the natural world where users can interact with other users via the internet. It can serve different purposes such as gaming, education, working environment, commerce, entertainment, etc.
Why is the metaverse gaining momentum?
Due to the fast evolution of the metaverse, it is gaining the attention of giant tech companies and crypto investors. For instance, World of WarCraft, a massively multiplayer role-playing game, was released in 2004.
Its subscribers grew to 12 million in 2010. Interestingly, by 2014, World of War subscribers had grown to over 100 million. Also, the game raked over $9.23 billion in revenue that same year.
Today, tech companies around the world envisage the potential of the metaverse. Accordingly, they are developing and acquiring virtual worlds with futuristic prospects.
In 2014, Microsoft bought Minecraft, one of the largest video gaming platforms, for $2.5 billion. Furthermore, Decentraland, a 3D browser-based virtual world, became an open platform in February 2020. By 2021 and early 2022, different brands had appeared on it, while others had purchased properties.
Some researchers believe the metaverse would be worth $5 trillion by 2030. Such economic growth is definitely a catch for any business planning its future expansion. So, which metaverse platforms have the most userbase today?
Popular Metaverse Platforms in 2022
The sandbox is a free-to-play virtual world you can explore as an avatar. The platform provides design tools like VoxEdit and Game Maker. Hence, users can build structures and generate games. Afterward, players can mint these gaming experiences as non-fungible tokens and sell them in an NFT marketplace.
The utility token of The Sandbox is SAND which is an ERC-20 token for performing transactions within the ecosystem. As of this writing, one SAND token is worth $1.175 with a market capitalization of $1.479 billion. Other assets in The Sandbox ecosystem are gems, virtual lands, games, crystals, Sand, and catalysts.
Decentraland is a 3D digital virtual world where users can buy, sell, and manage digital real estate. Players earn revenue by renting out their lands. Also, you can use virtual land for advertisement or use it to provide virtual services. As of 2022, Decentraland is the most valuable blockchain-based metaverse.
Major companies, including Samsung, Nike, Cocacola, Sotheby’s, and Adidas, have hosted virtual events on Decentraland.
MANA, the native token of Decentraland, serves as an in-game currency to perform transactions within the virtual world. MANA is worth $1.578 billion during this write-up. Besides MANA, LAND and wearables, which are in the form of non-fungible tokens, are a part of Decentraland’s virtual economy.
Roblox is a virtual universe that hosts tens of millions of people daily where they can enter different virtual worlds and play games that other users create for free. Players can create and trade virtual items on Roblox. For example, you can make wearables for other players to decorate their avatars.
As of August 2020, over 164 million users visit Roblox monthly, and creators produce as many as 20 million games annually. Moreover, developers that monetize their games earn up to 1 million dollars annually.
The in-game currency of Roblox is Robux which players can use to buy gaming items. There have been several virtual concerts and even movie promotions on Roblox. Examples are movies like Aqua Man and Wonder Woman 1984.
Axie Infinity is a metaverse platform running its network known as Ronin. Here, players breed cute creatures called Axies within Axie Infinity’s world and can battle other players. Unlike The Sandbox and Decentraland, Axie Infinity is not free to explore.
All items within the Axie infinity ecosystem are in the form of NFTs, which players can trade on the Axie Infinity marketplace.
The native cryptocurrency of Axie Infinity is AXS. Players use AXS to pay fees for breeding Axies. As of July 7, 2022, the price of AXS is $14.95, and it has a market capitalization of $1.24 billion.
SLP is another cryptocurrency on Axie Infinity. SLP is an incentive to reward players for the time spent beating other players’ Axies. You can use SLP to pay breeding fees or exchange it for real money on crypto exchanges.
This metaverse project is a blockchain-based game that uses Ethereum blockchain to operate its network. Users can buy nodes and take part in powering the Gala ecosystem. In turn, they will earn valuable NFTs they can sell. In addition, when players purchase and run the node software, they can earn rewards Gala tokens.
This native token of Gala Games is GALA. Players use it to buy gaming items within the ecosystem. Likewise, you can earn GALA when you play games or invite other players.
Somnium Space is a free-to-play metaverse platform and one of the blockchain games you can play on a VR headset. The platform is seamless and accessible on multiple devices. Therefore, you can play Somnium Space on a computer, a mobile device, or a virtual reality headset.
Users can build their worlds that other players can pay to explore. Meanwhile, assets such as avatars or land parcels are NFTs, which you can obtain from a marketplace. In turn, you may decide to resell an asset when it goes up in value.
The native token of Somnium space is CUBE which serves utility purposes. You can earn CUBE by building a game on your virtual land for other players. As of this writing, CUBE is worth $18.5 million by market cap.
These popular metaverse games represent the early stages of what the metaverse will be. Despite being in its evolution stage, the metaverse is fast becoming an interconnection between the real and virtual worlds. From all indications, the metaverse has the potential to become the future internet.