Technology enthusiasts may recall where they were in 2007 when Apple debuted the first iPhone. That event, in retrospect, was a watershed moment that altered the path of history. It’s difficult to think how different the world of consumer technology would be today if not for the iPhone.
The metaverse, a 3D version of the internet that users can enter and explore, may be the same in a few decades.
Even though the concept has been around for years, Facebook’s choice to rename as Meta Platforms propelled the metaverse into the public, much like Apple’s launching of the iPhone propelled smartphones into the mainstream.
But it’s also feasible that the metaverse will be remembered as this decade’s version of 3D televisions, which failed to pique public attention and faded into obscurity. “It may be something of the ‘flying-cars’ promise of the ’60s,” Brian Mosoff, the CEO of Ether Capital, previously told Insider, citing a future technology that proved impossible.
Even though many virtual worlds run on the ethereum blockchain, which his firm adores, Mosoff said he was “a touch negative” on the metaverse. Metaverse proponents claim that the metaverse will transform how humans work, play, and interact in the future. Mosoff, on the other hand, is skeptical that the technology will live up to the enormous anticipation and become more than a fad.
“As someone who spent a lot of time with an Oculus VR headset during COVID,” Mosoff added, “I’m not sure what the metaverse’s stickiness is yet.” “I don’t see individuals wearing items on their heads to communicate with others, to have their everyday chitchat about their coffee or their office meeting,” says the author.
David Gokhshtein, the founder of Gokhshtein Media and a longstanding bitcoin supporter and promoter, believes in the metaverse. He believes that virtual worlds will become a place where people shop and socialize in the future and that they already are in some respects.
“I don’t think it’ll go away solely because it’s a haven for a lot of individuals,” Gokhshtein said. “With everything that’s been going on throughout the world with this pandemic, people are turning to social media to express themselves since there are limits everywhere.”
What are you going to do if you’re stuck at home or working remotely and there’s nothing to do but talk to your wall? No, you’re going to social media and starting a conversation. The clubhouse was the first victim. After that, there are Twitter Spaces. You now have access to the metaverse.”
People are hosting parties on the metaverse to connect with others as the coronavirus spreads, according to Gokhshtein. There is no need for social isolation. “I see it all the time: people contacting each other or tweeting out, ‘Hey, I’m holding an event on metaverse: Anybody wants to come?” According to Gokhshtein.
“Now you have folks who are simply leaving, and it has nothing to do with money.” People are simply going to the metaverse and having a wonderful time.” According to Gokhshtein, the metaverse is also an “untapped” opportunity for businesses to buy virtual land, open virtual stores, and establish real-life loyalty with their customers.
“You’ll have well-known brands — say, Nike or Adidas — who will open stores inside the metaverse to sell their wares,” Gokhshtein explained. “
Because I believe that individuals will become psychologically addicted to the metaverse and spend hours on it.” People will spend their time in the metaverse anyway. There’s a great potential for businesses to promote here.”
The top three metaverse cryptos to keep an eye on in 2022
Whether you like it or not, the metaverse — and the cryptocurrencies that are linked to it — aren’t going away anytime soon. According to Gokhshtein, the three metaverse tokens listed below stood out among their contemporaries.
These altcoins include both established leaders and promising up-and-comers in the young market. Each token’s symbol, market capitalization, use case, background regarding its 2021 journey, and Gokhshtein’s commentary are listed below.
Decentralland is a virtual reality world that is decentralized and similar to Second Life. Decentraland is distinct in that it is built on the blockchain. It was created to support the creation, development, hosting, and sale of virtual property and is powered by Ethereum.
Users of Decentraland can buy the virtual property and then turn it into an online, virtual business. On the plots of virtual land, a variety of various buildings or attractions can be constructed, which can then be monetized or simply sold to others for a profit. Two blockchain professionals conceptualized and created the project.
Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano worked on the blockchain and smart contracts that power Decentraland for several years. They were able to launch the mainnet in 2020, after which they both moved back into advisory roles, allowing the Decentraland Foundation and the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to lead Decentraland forward.
On a visible level, Decentrland allows participants to engage with the platform’s non-fungible assets known as LAND. These LAND chunks, which number in the thousands, can be bought and sold. Owners of LAND, moreover, can develop on it. They can be used to hold games, applications, gambling services, creative 3D scenarios, educational websites, and almost anything else.
The total number of LAND units is limited to 90,000, with each unit having a set dimension of 33 feet by 33 feet. While the length and width of each LAND are limited, there is no restriction on the height of a LAND, so an owner might theoretically build higher and higher indefinitely.
A district is formed by a collection of LANDs, which is essentially a community with a common theme (gambling, dragons, amusement park, pirates, etc.). As part of the DAO governance of the project, MANA holders can vote on matters that affect these districts. The vote’s weight is determined by the amount of MANA owned.
The MANA tokens are the engine that drives the platform. Everything is powered by MANA, Decentraland’s native cryptocurrency. MANA is an ERC-20 token that may be used to acquire LAND or any number of virtual assets and services within Decentraland, in addition to being utilized for governance.
What goes on behind the scenes Decentraland is constructed in the same way that most blockchain initiatives are. It has a protocol, which is divided into three tiers. The consensus layer, the land content layer, and the real-time layer are the three layers.
The smart contracts that track and control LAND ownership live in the consensus layer. The land content layer is in charge of generating the content you see when you enter Decentraland, and the real-time layer is in charge of providing the peer-to-peer connections that allow users to communicate with one another.
On February 20, 2020, Decentraland was publicly inaugurated and available to the public. Soon after, the DAO was developed, and the world has continued to evolve without the need for centralized authority. It came with three different native tokens when it was first released.
There’s the MANA token, which is an ERC-20 token that serves as Decentraland’s money. The LAND and Estate ERC-721 coins are the next two ERC-721 tokens. Estate is nothing more than a symbol for a group of LAND. The tokens LAND and Estate are all NFTs. They are, in other words, one-of-a-kind digital assets stored on the Ethereum blockchain.
If you’ve played other virtual worlds like Second Life, Environment of Warcraft, or other MMORPGs, you’ll feel right at home in Decentraland, where you interact with the world through an avatar. This avatar is used to travel Decentraland’s universe and visit all of its digital places.
The avatar can perform a variety of things, such as purchase art, trade with other Decentraland users, gamble in a casino, and attend Decentraland University. Decentraland is always evolving, and an excellent place to start when exploring the world is Genesis Plaza, where you may learn about the basics of Decentraland’s operation and history.
Before we go into how MANA powers Decentraland’s virtual economy, it’s important to understand the differences between ERC-20 tokens like MANA and ERC-721 tokens like LAND and Estate. The ERC-20 tokens, of which MANA is one, are fungible.
That is to say, they are completely interchangeable. Every single MANA token is identical to every other MANA token. Individual features are not present in the tokens. As a result, MANA is a suitable currency for use in Decentraland’s virtual economy.
The ERC-721 tokens, such as LAND and Estate, are another option. Because they feature specific qualities that make each token unique, these tokens are called non-fungible.
As a result, these tokens are not interchangeable and cannot be used as a kind of payment. They are, nevertheless, extremely important in the creation of in-world goods such as avatars, wearable items, and Decntraland’s distinctive land parcels.
The DAO formed Decentraland with 90,000 LAND units (which might be increased in the future), and all 90,000 were purchased during the first Decentraland auction. Each LAND unit is 33 feet wide by 33 feet long and can be as tall as it wants to be.
To construct an Estate, adjacent LAND can be united. Even after all of the LAND parcels were auctioned off, MANA can still be used to buy them on the Decentraland marketplace. You can also purchase items such as clothing and a name for your avatar.
Three smart contracts establish the attributes that characterize MANA, LAND, and estate. The MANAtoken contract, the LAND registry contract, and the EstateRegistry contract are the three contracts in question.
The original team deleted the secret key for the MANAtoken contract, which implies no changes can ever be made to it.
All of Decentraland’s virtual environment is made up of LAND, which MANA purchases and may be merged to form bigger chunks known as Estates. You can also buy gear for your avatar using your MANA, such as shoes, caps, and glasses.
Each wearable item is an NFT, which means it is one-of-a-kind and will be recorded on the blockchain. Owners of LAND are free to do whatever they want with it, such as create digital settings or add apps like themed community games.
These extra components can subsequently be sold for profit. Several blockchain companies (SuperRare, MakerDAO, Rarible, and others) have purchased LAND plots in Decentraland and established virtual galleries and offices there.
You enter Decentraland as an avatar, or a virtual depiction of oneself, which you can fully customize. You can choose from hundreds of free costumes or pay MANA to purchase unique clothing items and build an avatar with its individuality.
Each avatar has a Decentraland passport, which connects to an Ethereum wallet that stores all of your MANA and stuff. You can become a builder in Decentraland if you possess a piece of LAND, adding scenes or entire ecosystems to the LAND.
Decentraland provides a wide library of pre-built scenes that can be applied to any LAND, so no coding is required.
If you can’t do your development and don’t want to use the free products, you can always purchase something from a pair of sunglasses for your avatar to an entire Estate on the Decentraland marketplace.
When Decentraland was still in development, one of the initial use cases presented was the trade of LAND and Estates. You can also visit the marketplace to buy a name or a variety of wearable goods.
Decentraland’s control was handed over to the real users in the form of a Decentralized Autonomous Organization shortly after it went live to the public (DAO). This enhances the platform’s free economy characteristics by allowing genuine users to make improvements that improve the virtual world.
The Decentraland DAO is the owner of Decentraland’s most essential smart contracts and assets, including the LAND Contract, Estates Contract, Wearables, Content Servers, and Marketplace.
It also has a sizable MANA purse (222 million to be vested over ten years) that permits it to be truly autonomous as well as finance numerous Decentraland operations and initiatives.
2. The Sandbox
The Sandbox (SAND) is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum network that serves as the virtual economy’s original asset. SAND will have a maximum quantity of 3 billion tokens, with around 900 million now in circulation.
Surprisingly, for a project that prides itself on being decentralized, the firm, team, advisors, and investors receive the majority of the overall supply. The coin has two key roles on the platform at the time of writing. It can be staked for interest and then used to buy in-game products in the marketplace.
The editing program made accessible by The Sandbox team is the game’s base. Users can use this software to construct 3D items such as creatures, outfits, buildings, automobiles, and pretty much anything else they can think of.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are added to the blockchain and can be sold on The Sandbox’s marketplace or secondary exchanges like OpenSea. To create whole 3D games that can be played inside the virtual environment, you don’t even need to know how to code. If you’re serious about getting money from this, you can monetize your games and earn SAND every time someone plays them.
The Sandbox game is played on LAND, a huge map with fragmented zones. Each piece is an individual NFT that sells for thousands of dollars. Many gamers have turned into virtual real-estate moguls, enhancing their plots with stuff purchased on the market. LANDs can be combined to form larger, more valuable estates and districts.
Other than flipping your LAND, there are other methods to generate money with it. You can hold events and games for a cost, in the hopes of drawing a large number of paying customers.
SAND, according to its creators, will eventually be used as a governance token. The Sandbox will integrate a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) around 2023, according to the project’s whitepaper. SAND holders should be able to vote on decisions that affect the game’s and ecosystem’s overall fate after this is completed.
A majority of tokens, and hence voting rights, will almost certainly remain in the hands of the corporation, its team, and its backers, making a truly decentralized Sandbox difficult to envision. Although a major portion of the supply may be sold to the public in the future, the platform’s token is far from decentralized right now.
The announcement of Facebook was by far the most significant event in The Sandbox’s price history. Before it, the token had only just made it to an all-time high of $1 in September. For months, SAND was trading at around $0.05 until late January 2021, when it began to join the rest of the market in the incredible 2020-2021 bull-run.
It reached its first major high in March, about $0.85, a few months before Ethereum reached its all-time high in May. Despite its tremendous rise to $0.85 and then $1, it was outdone in the first week of November, rising to nearly $7 in a couple of days.
It plummeted about 20% after hitting $8, with a market valuation of nearly $8 billion, and has yet to recover. It still has a market capitalization of more than $5 billion, easily placing it among the top 50 cryptocurrencies.
Tokens like SAND surged after Facebook’s announcement. On the surface, this attitude appears to be quite reasonable. As more people become aware of the technology, existing platforms may see a significant increase in use.
Facebook, on the other hand, has just announced the debut of what will undoubtedly be The Sandbox’s largest rival. A tech behemoth has entered the fray, most likely to steamroll over the existing ventures.
Decentraland is expected to be Meta’s main adversary until Meta’s metaverse is released. On the surface, the two initiatives appear to be extremely similar.
They’re both metaverse games with an NFT-based economy and are structured around a coin. However, there are significant variances between them. With their revolutionary 3D editing program, The Sandbox allows users to create practically anything.
Decentraland is a little more basic, but for the typical individual, that might be preferable. Decentraland also has a lot more active users and appears to be getting a lot more brand exposure at the time of writing. Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), for example, has decided to sell branded NFTs in the game.
Although the Sandbox has several noteworthy partners, including Atari and Snoop Dogg, it still appears to be falling behind its opponent in this area. Sandbox is a user-generated and community-driven platform that allows users to build and contribute to the metaverse, as well as monetize game experiences and digital assets on the blockchain.
The Sandbox, unlike other popular play-to-earn games, does not have a predetermined gaming universe. Instead, it employs a flexible approach that allows users to customize anything with free and simple design tools.
Over the last few months, the Sandbox has seen a lot of progress, and it appears like everything is now coming together. They’ve landed some excellent relationships with gaming companies like Ubisoft, received a lot of funding from visionary investment organizations like Softbank, and The Sandbox NFTs are among the most widely traded cryptocurrency tokens.
To top it up, SAND has some excellent tokenomics. The Sandbox is meant to go live any day now, but according to their roadmap, they’re running a little behind schedule. This could be related to their recent Polygon integration, which will see existing Ethereum smart contracts migrated to Defi and new Defi-related smart contracts developed.
Its blockchain-based virtual gaming world allows players to build, develop, design, buy, and sell digital assets in the form of a game within its ecosystem, and it accomplishes this by merging NFTs and DAO to create a decentralized platform for a thriving gaming community.
When it comes to blockchain adoption, the gaming business is a largely untapped market, and The Sandbox gives players a world where they may create, collect, and construct blockchain-powered assets, carving out a space for themselves in the global gaming market by attempting to change it.
Harmony is a consensus platform with high throughput, low latency, and low fees that will power the decentralized economy of the future.
They intend to address the problems that have plagued other blockchain ecosystems by combining the best research and engineering practices into a well-tuned system. The project’s technological goal is resharding and secure staking via decentralized randomization.
Harmony also incorporates optimum cross-shard routing and quick block propagation. Harmony assists organizations in creating marketplaces for fungible token usage (such as loyalty points or energy credits) as well as non-fungible assets (such as in-game digital assets. ) Harmony’s zero-knowledge proofs are also used to facilitate data sharing while maintaining user privacy.
This incentivizes users and might be used for credit ratings, ad swaps, and other data sharing where centralized platforms have traditionally profited while consumers have been left with nothing.
Harmony has had rapid growth since its mainnet debut in June 2019, with over 1,000 nodes contributing to the network’s decentralization as of June 2020.
The project has also been able to transition from the initial ERC-20 and BEP-2 tokens to its native coins. Finally, a staking system based on Effective Proof of Stake has been incorporated in the project (EPoS). It’s been a busy year at Harmony, so let’s delve in and look at some of the specifics of what’s been accomplished.
Harmony designed the entire technology stack from the bottom up with an emphasis on optimization to accomplish the scalability requirements. In their Consensus Protocol, internal systems, and network engineering, they have included several significant advancements.
Harmony would provide a platform for Decentralised Applications (dApps) that would not be possible on other blockchains by applying these features. Decentralized exchanges, high-throughput payment systems, and Internet-of-Things transactions are examples of dApps.
Consensus governs blockchains, and the protocol employed can have a significant impact on how quickly decentralized consensus is reached. Blockchains like Bitcoin’s now use Proof-of-Work consensus mechanisms, which are inherently expensive and slow.
Other protocols, such as Proof-of-Stake, employ a variety of incentive mechanisms to address some of these issues. To address scalability difficulties, the Ethereum protocol is attempting to transition to their Casper PoS consensus. PoS, on the other hand, has its own set of difficulties.
Harmony is employing networking approaches to speed up message propagation and reach consensus more quickly.
Harmony leverages RaptorQ fountain code, which allows the network to disseminate blocks swiftly or among shards, according to their whitepaper. Harmony not only shards its network nodes, but also shards blockchain states, allowing for linear growth in storage, transactions, and machines.
They also use Kademlia routing, which allows them to perform cross-shard transactions that scale linearly with the number of shards in the network. Harmony can now execute a highly concurrent protocol thanks to this full implementation.
To circumvent single-shard assaults, the infrastructure has also been dispersed. The network will eventually be developed to contain 1,000-node shards to offer cryptographic randomness and to re-shard regularly, but for now, Harmony is employing four shards of 250 nodes each.
This provides the network with a high level of protection against Byzantine behavior. In addition, for unpredictable and unbiased shard membership, the network employs a Verifiable Random Function.
The native ONE token powers the Harmony platform, allowing users to participate in the ecosystem and act as a payment mechanism for various tasks. Developers and businesses may align the aims and incentives of multiple stakeholders by utilizing the Harmony blockchain.
In addition, Harmony’s planned zero-knowledge proof implementation will make it a data-sharing platform capable of overcoming a frequent difficulty in many data markets: participants’ fear of sharing data, yet a strong desire to acquire other people’s data.
On May 16, 2020, Harmony made history by introducing staking, making it the first sharded blockchain to do so. Staking, according to the Harmony team, was required to establish trust among network participants who did not know each other.
Because the protocol is now open to the public, it will allow for much more decentralization. Now that staking is enabled, the public is running 320 of the 1,000 nodes rather than Harmony or one of its trusted partners.
Harmony is led by a group of experts with backgrounds in entrepreneurship, engineering, and academic research. Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and several successful startups are among them. They’ve also worked on some of the world’s most complex systems, including the AWS infrastructure, Apple’s Siri, and Google Maps.
With only 20 full-time staff and four collaborators, the team brings experience in software development, machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and blockchain technology to the table.
Stephen Tse, the team’s CEO and leader, is a lifelong developer who has devoted his time studying and developing compilers and security protocols. From the University of Pennsylvania, he earned a doctorate in security protocols and compiler verification.
Harmony has worked to develop a community that is both offline and online. Since 2017, the Harmony team has hosted a weekly four-hour event in San Francisco to raise awareness of the project and expand its network of collaborators.
The online community building has resulted in a tiny membership, but one that appears to be tremendously engaged and enthusiastic about the Harmony protocol’s possibilities. The Harmony subreddit, for example, has only 1,300 subscribers, but it has many daily articles and a large number of comments on each one. It’s just been three months since the subreddit was created.