The Metaverse is in its infancy but projects like The Sandbox and Decentraland are giving us a hint of things to come.
There is no escaping the fact that your digital self will be a part of the metaverse.
You only have to decide which one is more likely to draw you in.
The Sandbox and Decentraland are two of the most promising projects, with a lot to offer both users and investors.
In light of the estimated 3.2 billion gamers in the world, it’s only natural for these metaverse projects to compete to get a slice of the pie.
So which one of these projects is more appealing?
Let’s take a look.
Founded in 2012, The Sandbox is a 2D mobile game that was released in 2013. (still available as The Sandbox Evolution). The transition to a 3D game based on the Ethereum blockchain began in 2017. A Hong Kong-based software company, Animoca Brands, purchased it in 2018 and has since received numerous investments to further develop this virtual world.
In 2015, Decentraland was launched as a 2D virtual world, but it has since evolved into a 3D metaverse. One of Animoca Brands’ investments, Decentraland, was introduced around the same time as Animoca purchased The Sandbox.
How Do They Work?
Virtual worlds have been built on the Ethereum blockchain by both platforms. When it comes to purchasing land or securing a job in the real world, these realities mimic these actions, but on the other hand expand their power beyond what can be achieved in this world.
Land in The Sandbox
166,000 plots of land in the Sandbox can be grouped into estates (owned by a single person) or districts (owned by multiple people) (owned by 2 or more people). The Sandbox marketplace allows you to sell and buy items, as well as customize and monetize the land (rent or feature play-to-win games). This marketplace is currently among the top 10 NFT projects for sales volume.
Land in Decentraland
You can buy land in Decentraland using the MANA token, which has a total of 89,601 parcels. Grouped by type of property: individual, estate, district and plaza (all of which share a common theme) (untradable parcels owned by the community). Similarly to The Sandbox, parcels can be modified and monetized as both rentable and playable games. It is currently outside the top 10 NFT projects in terms of sales volume for Decentraland.
- The Sandbox has collaborated with Skybound Entertainment, Big Fan (an eSports project), Ubisoft, and even Snoop Dogg. SoftBank, one of the world’s largest investment firms, has recently invested $93 million in The Sandbox
- Decentraland has more than 20 investors, including Digital Currency Group, CoinFund, Animoca Brands, and even the South Korean government, which has partnered with Samsung, and Polygon. A Decentraland trust with over 20 million MANA tokens has also been established by Grayscale
The Sandbox metaverse launched an early alpha version on November 30th. Due to its integration with Polygon, perhaps, the deadline was pushed back further (currently in development).
Their goal is to have it available on mobile devices by 2022, and they’re considering bringing it to gaming consoles like the Xbox and Playstation as well.
By the end of 2023, they hope to have 5,000 games available, some of which have already received funding from The Sandbox Foundation.
The Sandbox, like Decentraland’s casino jobs, aims to create in-game jobs that allow players to work as they would in the real world.
The future of Decentraland is unclear. To be honest, the user experience for Decentraland leaves a lot to be desired. The game is extremely slow to load and has a lot of glitches.
NFT art galleries have been added to Decentraland, allowing players to buy and sell artwork, as well as communicate with the artists via voice chat.
The Sandbox is becoming more environmentally friendly with each new day. By purchasing carbon credits, planting trees, and integrating with Polygon, it aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 99 percent (more energy-efficient thanks to its proof-of-stake system).
With Polygon, Decentraland hopes to reduce the high gas fees associated with Ethereum. In Decentraland, using MANA virtually eliminates the cost of fuel.
The Sandbox has one of the most active NFT markets in the industry. Today, there are approximately 900 million Sandbox tokens in circulation. There will be an additional 300 million SAND available for sale in December, which could result in a lower price. Instead of destroying their tokens, they give them back to the ecosystem in the form of staking pools and grants to creators.
In contrast, Decentraland has a cap of $7.3 billion, which makes it more difficult for the cryptocurrency’s price to move upward-although it has seen a significant increase since the Facebook rebrand to Meta.
Due to the LAND auctions, 600 million of the 2.8 billion MANA supply have already been used. In the long run, this will make it more valuable, as more land is sold.
Only 90,601 parcels of land are available and the cheapest one costs around $10,000, which is a significant increase from the average price of $5,800 in March.
Since Facebook’s rebrand announcement, both projects have reached all-time highs. Experts predict their value to continue to rise in the near future, given the current hype surrounding metaverses.
- With an increasing number of people abandoning the physical world in favor of the virtual one, our lives are becoming increasingly digital. This will increase the value of both projects
- Both of these metaverses are taking advantage of the current trend and appear to have a promising future
- The Sandbox and Decentraland have very different metaverse development strategies in mind. In comparison to The Sandbox, Decentraland is more dispersed and disjointed in its approach to development
Time will tell which method is most effective in the long term.
On a personal note, I’m invested in Decentraland but so far, have found the user experience so bad that I’m questioning why anyone would invest in this project. Maybe I need a better graphics card or laptop built for gaming instead of the MacBook I’m currently using. Still, I find the lack of utility with Decentraland, especially for new users (and investors) like me, to be concerning.
The Sandbox on the other hand was easy to sign up for and enter, although it’s now only available for Windows, so that was frustrating for me as I went through the sign up process, and got a taste of what the game was all about only to be told that I couldn’t enter because I was using a Mac.
I do see a lot of promise with both but they far from finished worlds.
Jay Speakman is a technology writer based in San Francisco, California. He writes on the topics of blockchain, cryptocurrency, DeFi and other disruptive technologies. Clients include Avalanche, Be[in]Crypto, Trust Machines and several blogs devoted to blockchain gaming. He will not rest until fiat currency is defeated.