Facebook’s Meta announcement may have sent the internet into a metaverse frenzy, but we aren’t hopping into the Oasis just yet. Here are 6 metaverse crypto tokens to consider in the meantime.

With Facebook’s announcement to change their brand name to Meta on 28 October, the internet has been abuzz with the term ‘metaverse’, thanks to the company’s focus to “bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.”

The concept of a metaverse isn’t new to us at all. Pop culture movies have brought us the gritty realistic worlds of the Matrix and the fascinating open worlds of the Oasis in Ready Player One. The idea of a virtual world where we can work, play, and interact with one another from the comforts of our home has always captured our imagination.

The 2000s saw the creation of the first few metaverses like Second Life, along with the blocky precursors of Roblox and Minecraft. It’s safe to say that these OG open worlds led the tone and aesthetics for today’s decentralised metaverses like The Sandbox and Decentraland.

a character in a straw hat aloha shirt khaki shorts in impactnft alliance virtual exhibition
We experienced the metaverse experience firsthand during the ImpactNFT Alliance exhibition launch

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is essentially an open virtual world where users everywhere can interact regardless of time and place. As Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney puts it, it is a ‘Realtime 3D social medium where people can create and engage in shared experiences as equal participants in an economy with societal impact.”

Of course, much more R&D needs to be done to develop the metaverse concept. Facebook has put an estimate cost of $10 billion dollars in 2021 alone to get the project started, and it has reached out to non-profit organisations, governments and cultural partners to develop the metaverse together.

How will the metaverse turn out? That’s a question even Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t have the answer to yet. Perhaps it’ll be one giant Oasis a la Ready Player One; perhaps it could be a series of individual worlds bridged by blockchain technology – not unlike the blockchain bridges that are being built today. It could even remain an overarching term for virtual worlds, much like how we ‘surf the web’ when we browse Google or Youtube, or ‘buy crypto’ to describe the numerous altcoin and tokens available. Nevertheless speculation is rife on the future of the metaverse, with its potential value being estimated at a whooping $82 billion dollars.

While Facebook’s stock price may be a little pricey, you can still get a slice of the action by buying decentralised metaverse crypto tokens available on the market. Thanks to the Facebook Meta announcement, metaverse crypto and play-to-earn game tokens have also rocketed up and seen double-digit gains in its wake. Here’s a list of tokens that you should know about.

The Sandbox

One of two well-known decentralised metaverses, The Sandbox is a Minecraft-like virtual world built on the Ethereum blockchain where players can play, build, and create items that can be converted into gaming non-fungible tokens (NFTs) which can be sold on an NFT marketplace, or integrated into games with the platform’s Game Maker.

The project was first launched by Sebastien Borget and later acquired by Animoca Games. The SAND metaverse crypto token is the native in-game currency, and holders can use it for gameplay transactions, purchase digital real estate in-game, interacting with user content, and staking it to participate in the governance of the platform.

a character in the Decentraland metaverse blockchain decentralized game

Decentraland

Another well-known decentralised metaverse other than The Sandbox, Decentraland is a shared virtual world that is powered by the Ethereum network. Players use the native in-game metaverse crypto token MANA to conduct digital purchases, monetise content and interactive applications, and purchase digital land in the form of NFT tokens.

Parcels of digital estate within the platform can be further organised into communities known as Districts. By organising them as such, creators can build a common shared spaces with common interests and uses in-game.

a creature standing in the Illuvium metaverse

Illuvium

A cross between an open-world gameplay and play-to-earn concept, Illuvium is an upcoming Ethereum-based blockchain game that promises a high-quality game experience with a full 3D environment.

While the mechanics have not been finalised, its gameplay reads like a mix of Skyrim and Pokémon with users exploring open areas and collecting monsters called Illuvials. Battle mechanics in the trailer also seem to indicate a Yu-Gi-Oh style with 3 monsters on either side facing off in a PvP battles.

While gameplay is not available at the moment, Illuvium metaverse crypto token holders can stake their assets on the platform, and the option to purchase digital land or trade on a decentralised exchange seem to be in the works.

Enjin

Neither an open world or play-to-earn platform, Enjin is unique in that it provides users with the ability to create and tokenise assets in the form of NFTs, which they can then utilise in multiple blockchain games – imagine creating an NFT of an in-game weapon, which can then be used in another blockchain game using the Enjin setup.

The platform has worked with a number of brands to integrate their software seamlessly, such as Microsoft’s blockchain-based rewards program Azure Heroes.

Somnium Space

Think VR Chat but with blockchain infrastructure added in, and you’ll get a feel of what Somnium Space is meant to be. The open-world concept is a virtual reality world built on the Ethereum blockchain, and allows users to buy digital land, buildings, and in-game assets with the metaverse crypto token.

Somnium Space is being developed as a VR-first platform, and the virtual space can easily integrate all major VR headsets. The project has also recently announced that it will be building its own headset too.

Axie infinity metaverse blockchain gaming

Axie Infinity

You can’t mention play-to-earn projects without talking about Axie Infinity. The blockchain-based game allows players to breed, raise, and battle cute-looking creatures called Axies, and its player base saw a surge in Southeast Asia which makes it one of the most popular decentralised games in the region.

The creatures are coded as NFTs in the game, and rare forms of Axies can be sold on NFT marketplaces for a pretty penny. Players can earn Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) and Small Love Potions (SLP) while playing the game. AXS serves as a governance token, while SLP is used to breed Axies.

Is the metaverse already here?

The answer is yes. The following projects have been developing their own decentralised interactive worlds before the recent metaverse buzz, and the announcement by Facebook has only given them more exposure to new crypto investors who are interested in a slice of the future.

How would the metaverse look like in the future? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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