Previously, the metaverse was seen as an out-of-reach science-fiction vision for a digitized human future. But now with the rise of cryptocurrencies and companies like Meta, the concept is becoming more and more a reality. In addition, as with all things related to new technologies, the hype around the metaverse is overwhelming.
Since the metaverse has many different elements such as digital currencies, entertainment events, marketplaces, digital commerce, NFTs, workplaces, education, gaming, social media, digital humans, digital assets, and AI, it will need a whole host of innovative and visionary entrepreneurs, creators, and developers to bring out its full potential.
Just as physical money propelled the world economy with trade and finance, cryptocurrencies will play a similar role in funding development and innovation in the metaverse and the metaverse economy. But which particular cryptocurrencies will do that remains to be seen.
What Cryptocurrency Is Best Suited For The Metaverse?
So far, there is no single metaverse coin or metaverse token that governs or operates this new 3D virtual space and interoperable digital reality. Instead, there is a young grouping of project tokens/cryptocurrencies that are separated into specific industries and applications.
Can Ethereum Be a Metaverse Coin?
For example, Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, doesn’t brand itself as a “metaverse” tailored project, but the Ethereum blockchain, which features hundreds of companies that are building decentralized applications (of various types) on top of it, does give it some metaverse nexuses. This can be seen through the rise of DeFi, crypto gaming, ERC20 tokens, NFTs, and the trend of hypertokenization, which will be a large part of the metaverse.
Top 5 Metaverse Coins & Tokens
Axie Infinity (AXS)
Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn pet training game and virtual world built on the Ethereum blockchain. Players can collect, breed, battle, and trade in-game pets called Axies. In middle 2020, the game had less than 1,000 DAUs, but in one year alone, the game has attracted millions of users and reached a $10 billion dollar market cap.
What’s “metaversy” about Axie is its play-to-earn crypto and NFT gaming model, which gives players ownership of their in-game assets. Also, its in-game world called Lunacia, which is currently an Axie-specific metaverse. Moving forward, Axie’s roadmap includes additional governance, full play-to-earn, and App store integrations. These additions will be an improvement to Axie’s current ecosystem and will further launch the project into the metaverse.
The Sandbox (SAND)
The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences using NFTs and SAND (the platform’s utility token). Essentially, players can create digital assets in the form of NFTs, upload them to the marketplace, and integrate them into games with the Sandbox Game Maker.
Beyond gaming, what’s “metaversy” about Sandbox is that its virtual world is made of up LAND (digital pieces of real estate in the Sandbox metaverse) that players can buy and build experiences on top of.
Decentraland is a virtual reality platform being built on the Ethereum blockchain. On top of Decentraland’s infrastructure to support a shared virtual world is a decentralized ledger for land ownership, a protocol for describing the content of each land parcel, and a peer-to-peer network of users and content creators.
What’s “metaversy” about Decentraland is the platform’s focus on parcel ownership of digital land where users can create original content and unique environments.
Enjin Coin (ENJ)
Enjin is a cryptocurrency and smart contract platform that gives game developers, content creators, and gaming communities the required crypto-backed value and tools for implementing and managing virtual goods. In addition, Enjin operates virtual goods marketplaces for digital assets on Ethereum. Moreover, Enjin has its own wallet which allows users to use crypto, NFTs, and for them to carry their digital identity across blockchain games and apps.
What’s “metaversy” about Enjin is the flury of digital activity where users can play Enjin-powered play-to-earn games to earn NFTs and trade them on the marketplace. The ability to earn virtual goods, own them, and trade them with an economy of participants is a key feature of the initial Enjin metaverse.
Zilliqa is a smart contract platform featuring a sharded architecture that aims to address the scalability limitations seen in other blockchains. ZIL, the Zilliqa blockchain’s native token, is built to enable and scale decentralized apps, from financial services to NFT marketplaces. Zilliqa is shaping up to be a portal to the blockchain world, allowing people to design, build, and use powerful dApps.
Already, Zilliqa can do DeFi, dApps, NFTs and the creator economy, and governance. However, what’s most interesting is that Zilliqa recently made an announcement to foray into the metaverse. In particular, Zilliqa is the first layer-1 protocol to launch a metaverse of this scale, which will be called Metapolis, a highly immersive and gamified extended reality (XR) metaverse platform.
The Zilliqa Metapolis will have cities that feature brands, artists, concepts, games, e-stores, real estate, and other digital experiences like play-to-earn, NFTs, e-commerce, avatars, and advertising. Thus, it will offer a new level of engagement between the physical and digital worlds, with all sorts of exciting economic activity.
Although it’s a young product in development, the metaverse will certainly add to the popularity and FOMO for various cryptos that manage to convince investors of their “metaverseness,” applicability, and interoperability. As a result, a flury of investment will flow to these coins, and with that, will inspire more developers and creators to continue building out this new technology, as we have seen with Decentraland and Zilliqa, for example.