The metaverse has become the new buzzword in the past couple of months. As VR technology enters the mainstream, this novel approach to enhance our virtual lives is finally within our grasp. And blockchain technology, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies are certainly going to play a crucial role in this new paradigm.
In this article, we will provide you with a list of the best metaverse coins that are available on the market today. To make it relevant, we first demystify the concept behind the metaverse and explain how crypto fits in this context. Finally, we will thoroughly analyze some of the top metaverse coins, giving you a rundown of their fundamentals and future potential. Let’s get started, shall we?
What Is the Metaverse?
Before we dive into our list of best metaverse coins, let’s explore the metaverse concept for those unfamiliar with it. A metaverse is a virtual world, adjacent to the real one, where users can seamlessly interact with each other. Most of us already live some kind of virtual life powered by the internet. We interact on social media, play multiplayer games, purchase real items in online shops…
The metaverse enhances this concept with augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). You can do almost anything you can in real life but through a computer interface. If you have read the book or seen the movie Ready Player One, you should already be familiar with how this works.
Different people have different views on the metaverse. Some consider it to be an enhancement of their lives, increasing the engagement in the virtual world they spend their time in. Others see it as a dystopian approach, a way to escape the challenges of our daily lives. In either case, the concept and applications thereof seem to be finally catching on thanks to advancements in technology.
Where Do We Stand Today?
What was once a pipe dream, reserved only for science fiction novels and movies is now a reality. VR headsets are becoming more powerful and are able to display higher resolution content in a fluid manner. What’s more, they have become increasingly affordable. The high-end Oculus Quest 2 VR kit costs as little as $299, considerably lowering the entry point to this niche.
And with the recent announcement of Facebook Meta, it’s has become obvious that the metaverse is about to become a part of our daily lives in the very near future. Facebook’s vision of a metaverse that could connect billions of people worldwide created an incredible amount of buzz.
What is Facebook Meta?
In a nutshell, the presentation covered multiple subjects, including some revolutionary advancements in:
- Education – where the metaverse would enhance the online learning process, making it more immersive and engaging.
- Work – where meetups could be organized through the Horizon Workforce virtual offices. This would allow remote work to become much widely accepted, as it provides managers with palpable assessment tools.
- Commerce – the metaverse will offer more choice than ever before, allowing users to purchase virtual items and carry them across different platforms.
- Living – users will be able to purchase virtual homes, arrange them as they please, and visit each other.
- Entertainment – 2D screens can’t really convey the feeling of presence. With VR, users will experience a concert as if they were there, from the comfort of their home.
- Communications – users could use VR in calls and meet in a virtual world to chat, interact or even play games together.
- Gaming – gaming will also be enhanced, allowing us to participate in fully immersive experiences.
This is just a snippet of all of the possibilities, as the metaverse allows us to stretch the barriers of the physical world. Shortly after Facebook’s presentation, Microsoft had its own take on the subject. They announced Mesh for Microsoft Teams, a metaverse addition to their collaborative tool. With these two technological behemoths on board, things are about to get interesting.
The Importance of the Best Metaverse Coins
But how do the best metaverse coins fit in this narrative? Well, it’s important to note that to be successful, the metaverse needs a functioning economic system of some kind. Being able to retain the value of virtual items in the real world is a must.
In this regard, blockchain enables a peer-to-peer system where digital ownership can exchange hands without the need for an intermediary. NFTs and cryptocurrencies provide proof of ownership of digital assets thanks to the blockchain technology that powers them.
What’s more, they allow our virtual assets to retain real-world value. Virtual clothes are nearly useless if you only use them as a cosmetic enhancement for your metaverse avatar. Being able to sell them for profit, on the other hand, opens incredible opportunities. The best metaverse coins already allow us to buy or earn virtual items and monetize them on various NFT marketplaces.
Without crypto, corporations could easily control their metaverse instances. A decentralized financial system allows users to migrate their funds as they please from one platform to another and use them for whatever purpose they like.
Best Metaverse Coins for 2022
So, now that you have a good idea of the basics of a cryptocurrency-powered virtual world, let’s dig into our list of the best metaverse coins. As a short side note, we chose these top metaverse projects for having the most potential in an eventual global advent of a blockchain-powered metaverse. All of these strive to provide an economic ecosystem for creating virtual worlds with blooming economies. Consequently, we won’t be listing game-specific tokens such as Axie Infinity (AXS). You can instead read about these in our article listing the best crypto games.
The Sandbox is an open metaverse where users can own, create and monetize user-created 3-D content that is registered on the Ethereum blockchain. In the Sandbox, users can buy pieces of virtual land and deploy different gaming experiences for visitors. This land is essential so they can showcase and sell their NFTs created with the VoxEdit creator.
Additionally, users can deploy full gaming experiences, dungeons, and quests on their LAND and monetize access to these games.
To be able to interact with this world, users must purchase SAND tokens. This ERC-20 token is pivotal to the functioning of the platform. Players can use it to access the marketplace, play various games and purchase customizations for their avatars. Creators, on the other hand, can use it to purchase land, create NFTs and stake it for passive income.
It’s worth noting that there are only 166.464 pieces of land available, making this a highly scarce resource. What’s more, you can buy land only with SAND tokens. So as the price of virtual land increases because of scarcity, so does the value of the SAND tokens. The floor price of a single piece of Sandbox land is around 2000 SAND, equating to $15.000 at the time of writing.
Staking SAND has multiple advantages for creators. As we mentioned, it provides a regular source of income to those invested in the platform. More importantly, it rewards creators with gems, which are an essential ingredient for creating unique NFTs.
The SAND token also acts as a governance token for the platform. SAND holders are able to decide on future updates of the game or grant attributions to content creators.
Decentraland is a virtual world where users can create and play games, outfit their avatars with NFT items and buy and sell these items on a virtual marketplace. The project started back in 2016 as a simple 2-D experimental blockchain game. It has since evolved into a top metaverse project. Today, it’s a full virtual 3-D world filled with customizable land, NFTs, and various VR activities.
Like with the Sandbox, the primary resource in this metaverse is the non-fungible LAND tokens, which are in limited quantity (90,601). Only landowners can possess real estate in Decentraland and deploy creations. This enables them to monetize their investment through microtransactions.
MANA, which is an ERC-20 token, is the main currency of the game. It can be used to purchase LAND, create and buy various NFTs and participate in various games.
The Decentraland NFT marketplace is the pivotal element of this metaverse. Here, users can trade any type of item available in the world, including land, virtual clothing, art, housing, etc.
The next entry in our list of best metaverse coins is Enjin, the first gaming-centric token issued in 2017. This blockchain that runs on top of Ethereum enables developers to create NFTs. NFTs can represent any type of in-game asset (character, unique item, etc) and devs can mint them using the native ENJ token of the platform. The platform provides an SDK for easy integration of crypto assets within their games, allowing them to create play-to-earn games on the fly.
What’s more, NFTs minted with Enjin can be melted back into ENJ tokens. This is incredibly useful in case the game servers shut down or the game stops being popular. It allows players to retain some of the value of their in-game assets if they for some reason are unable to sell them on the open market.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that Enjin enables a new NFT protocol, the ERC-1155. This allows game developers to create both fungible and non-fungible tokens within the same smart contract. Consequently, even in-game currency can become fungible tokens that are seamlessly tradable for ENJ.
It is considered to be one of the top metaverse tokens because it attempts to solve the high gas fees on the Ethereum network. To this end, Enjin has deployed Jumpnet, its own Layer-2 scaling solution. Once the user bridges their assets to Jumpnet, the platform provides near-instant transactions at zero costs. This mechanism requires transaction fees only once the assets need to be sent back to the Ethereum blockchain. This provides game creators with an ideal environment for creating microtransactions in games and metaverse projects.
This project makes our list of best metaverse cryptocurrencies because it directly complements Enjin. Efinity is a parachain that runs on the Polkadot relay protocol. The goal of Efinity is to bring a cost-efficient environment for creating NFTs, compatible with both Ethereum and Polkadot out of the box.
In that regard, Efinity is a purpose-built blockchain for NFTs, providing cross-chain compatibility for NFTs. It’s there to incentivize the growth of the Enjin ecosystem and provide a greener, faster alternative than anything currently available on Ethereum.
The EFI cryptocurrency powers the Efinity parachain is as a deflationary token that runs on Polkadot. It’s used for governance, transaction fees, and rewards for ENJ stakers. Moreover, Efinity directly synergizes with Enjin by enabling ENJ coin staking. Once the tram releases the new wallet version (Enjin Wallet 2.0), Enjin holders will be able to gain passive income in EFI tokens by staking ENJ.
Gala Games was founded in 2019 by Eric Schiermeyer, the co-founder of Zynga. This blockchain company offers a platform for developing games and creating NFTs, not dissimilar from that of Enjin. The main difference is that Gala Games is also a game developer that launches games that make use of their gaming platform.
The platform offers a couple of already playable games, with more in development. Players are able to win in-game rewards in the form of NFTs usable across different games. They can also get rewards in the form of GALA tokens, the native token of the platform.
What makes GALA one of the best metaverse projects is the intricate triple-proof node system based on both Ethereum and the Binance Smart Chain:
- PoW founder nodes that require the purchase of a license that costs around 67.000 GALA tokens ($45.000).
- PoS which are also paid nodes, that operate for specific games, through a smart contract “rental” structure.
- Proof-of-storage nodes that are free to run and allow games to run in a decentralized manner.
Running a node provides validators with GALA rewards and unique NFTs that can be exchanged on the free market.
One thing is clear, the metaverse is finally making its first steps. Grayscale, one of the crypto’s biggest investment companies, just published a research report on the subject. The crypto investment firm estimates the metaverse to become a trillion-dollar business sector in the future.
And while it has been focusing mainly on gaming until now, it will inevitably spread into other sectors, including advertising, eCommerce, entertainment, and many more. As such, our list of the best metaverse coins should give you a good place to start your research for a sound investment in this niche. Hopefully, we managed to give you a good idea of their value and how they can fit in this industry.