Imagine a universe freed from the everyday physical realities of your life. In this alternate world, you can work, play, relax and connect with people anywhere else on the planet. You can attend gatherings, create incredible art and amass a fortune. You can do anything your imagination can conceive. This is not a far-flung dream: this is the metaverse, and cryptocurrency is the key to accessing it.
Metaverse blockchain technology is still under development, but the concept of this digital world is well-developed with roots extending decades into our past. Visionaries and science fiction writers have been working on the concept of the metaverse, dreaming of a way to move beyond the physical limits of our world to explore boundless horizons and create new possibilities. Whether you want to reach new heights of digital success, explore another world or interact with friends and family members in novel ways, the metaverse makes it all possible.
Mark Zuckerberg is the latest to dip his toes into the metaverse, and with no little fanfare. Facebook, now known as Meta, is a large and powerful company, but it is neither the first nor the only tech company to become enthralled with the idea of the metaverse. After all, the metaverse is the latest iteration of the internet and can no more be owned by a single company than can the internet. However, each company that involves itself will play a role not just in building the infrastructure supporting the metaverse but also in shaping how it will ultimately look.
What Is the Metaverse?
The idea of the metaverse first sprang from the fertile imagination of Neal Stephenson, who described a “metaverse” in his 1992 cyberpunk novel, Snow Crash. Stephenson describes a shared digital space that people access using virtual reality goggles and a shared fiber optics network. His metaverse contains virtual versions of everyday, ordinary spaces, from parks and buildings to fantastic and wildly whimsical spaces where the laws of physics no longer apply, only the rules and limits one imagines.
With Zuckerberg’s announcement describing the metaverse as the next chapter of the internet, the public’s interest in the concept has exploded. This metaverse opens up entirely new vistas of possibilities, giving you the space you need to do whatever you want: gathering with others, working, playing, shopping, creating, or learning about new places and ideas. The metaverse puts not just the entire physical world at your fingertips but the capabilities of your own mind in the power of your own hands.
In the metaverse, you’ll inhabit your own space and interact with others using an online avatar that enables you to move, speak and act freely. You’ll have complete autonomy to do whatever you want, including owning virtual property, much as you would own actual real estate. You can even create a property, such as art or buildings, and you can sell that property to other metaverse users, exchanging the property for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or other units of value.
NFTs are a type of in-game currency and collectible. These digital assets form a virtual economy for users, who engage in play-to-earn models and exchange virtual goods or property for tokens. They can also exchange their metaverse crypto with other users, or invest their metaverse tokens to earn interest or other collectible items. Many of the top metaverse gaming sites are already using their own tokens, which can be used for a variety of purposes or exchanged for real value in cryptocurrency or even fiat currency. Since Zuckerberg’s announcement, many NFTs and tokens are soaring in value, and adopting metaverse crypto now can help you get in early on exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and ride the wave to metaverse success.
Top Metaverse Cryptos
Living, working and playing in an alternate reality requires funding, and that means cryptocurrency. Just as there are several metaverses to use, there are also multiple cryptocurrencies. Understanding the options, differences, and pros and cons of each one can help you make the best investment decision for your needs.
Decentraland is a virtual reality platform that enables you to buy, sell and manage your virtual property (called LAND). You can create and develop your world any way you want, and explore this version of the metaverse from the convenience of your phone, computer or virtual reality (VR) headset. To get started, you’ll need Decentraland MANA. MANA is the native cryptocurrency used to give you the power to access interactive apps, pay for goods and services, or invest in more property.
MANA is well-established metaverse crypto and is widely available, making it highly attractive to even the most novice user. The metaverse associated with Decentraland also hosts exciting interactive opportunities for users, such as concerts and festivals, with vibrant entertainment venues rivaling those found in the real world. Decentraland is growing and has an active development team, providing you with plenty of options and opportunities. MANA also see a spike of over 400% and peaked at a record high of $4.16 as soon as Facebook’s announced changing its name to meta which sparks new interest in virtual property tokens.
However, as popular as MANA and Decentraland are, they do come with a few drawbacks. MANA runs on the Ethereum metaverse blockchain, which has great security but often high gas fees. The experience can also be isolating, with users rarely encountering another user “in the wild.” The terrain tends to be tedious, and the content is limited. However, the platform is constantly being upgraded to add new features and options, and Decentraland tokens have multiple uses. You can auction both LAND and NFTs, and the community is governed by the Security Advisory Board.
The Sandbox (SAND)
The Sandbox is a virtual world where you can buy and sell virtual land and other assets using metaverse coins called SAND. You can create and transform anything you can imagine, monetizing your virtual experience through the power of SAND cryptocurrency.
The Sandbox is backed by SoftBank, one of today’s most influential tech investment companies. You can purchase, sell and stake your assets and virtual plots. A play-to-earn metaverse, The Sandbox allows you to choose how you use it. You can create your own game, play other games, own virtual land, and collect, create or take control of a property.
The Sandbox’s metaverse runs on the Ethereum blockchain, offering top-quality safety and security. However, that also means you might incur high gas fees from time to time. Still, its editor enables you to create unparalleled animations and models while providing you with powerful tools to craft the world you want to inhabit virtually.
Star Atlas (ATLAS)
Star Atlas gives you the power to take your experience beyond the terrestrial. Here, the stars are your limit and you can explore an entire universe of possibilities. You can take your customized spaceship and delve deep into a unique metaverse, join or create a faction, and develop a world that’s all your own.
ATLAS is the metaverse token that fuels this unique world. It runs on the Solana metaverse blockchain and is the key to exciting new vistas and possibilities. The Solana metaverse blockchain is fast, safe and secure, like Ethereum, but is more scalable and less expensive. You can use ATLAS metaverse coins to purchase any of the digital assets you need to immerse yourself into the Star Atlas universe, including land, ships, crew members and equipment. You can also use ATLAS to purchase POLIS, an in-game currency necessary to manage certain aspects of your gaming experience. Specifically, you’ll need POLIS to govern your new world through publishing decrees and managing your community.
While the Star Atlas metaverse is a unique concept with a convenient metaverse token, the two tokens — ATLAS and POLIS — can be confusing or frustrating for some. Still, the pros far outweigh the cons, and Star Atlas is a vibrant, exciting world with NFTs that offer a lot of virtual bang for the buck.
Axie Infinity (AXS)
Axie Infinity has more than a quarter of a million daily players. The players own tokens, called AXS, which give them a stake in the ownership and operation of the game. Players can build kingdoms, search for rare resources and hunt for treasures. The most engaged players earn rewards through the metaverse blockchain.
Players compete to earn monsters called Axies, which are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that can be bought and sold outside of the game. Axies can range from around $150 to more than $100,000 depending on the rarity. However, the most expensive Axie was sold for 300 ETH and Axie Infinity clocks the highest-ever $1 billion in trade back in August. It’s available on multiple operating systems, including iOS, Android, Windows and Mac.
AXS, like many other metaverse coins, is based on the Ethereum metaverse blockchain, which means that gas fees can be high. However, you can be confident in the platform’s safety and security. AXS can also be traded for other cryptos, such as Ether, or fiat currency.
Completing quests and other activities on the platform will earn players AXS, but you can only earn so many AXS on a specific day. Furthermore, some of these activities require an extensive time investment, making it difficult for those with jobs or other responsibilities to participate fully. Finally, while you can earn AXS through playing, the game itself is not free. Start-up costs can be prohibitive for many players, who must own at least three Axies to participate.
The Enjin platform enables users to mint, store and sell virtual goods. To begin, developers must assign value to their virtual goods by locking ENJ tokens, the metaverse token, into a smart contract. Players can then trade, sell or use virtual goods, according to the terms of the contract. When the item is sold, the seller receives ENJ.
As with other metaverse coins, there is a limited supply of ENJ. Only one billion will be created and issued. Users can store ENJ in the platform’s wallet, which ties all features together. With the wallet, users can connect to games, access and use items, trade items and metaverse coins with other users, and sell digital goods for ENJ.
Enjin also offers a unique marketplace experience that can help users and businesses expand their markets using NFTs and QR codes, and connect with other users through websites, applications and games. The network is powered by Ethereum, offering a decentralized experience. However, the wallet is not open-source, so it can be difficult to vet. In addition, ENJ isn’t backed by any commodity, profit or assets.
WEMIX is a blockchain platform designed for gaming and more. Users can win or craft items for NFTs and trade them and can trade WEMIX tokens with other users. Designed by Wemade Tree Pte. Ltd., WEMIX is one of the newest arrivals to the scene, providing users with a decentralized marketplace to use and exchange digital currency. Game tokens are easily swapped for WEMIX, which is also listed on crypto exchanges and can be purchased with Bitcoin, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.
NetVRk tokens are used much like other metaverse tokens, making it possible to access virtual assets such as property, homes, vehicles and other items. You can even use tokens to purchase advertising space that earns passive income, providing you with more tokens to build your wealth and further develop your world. The token also enables you to purchase a stake in the NetVRk, granting you a fixed interest payment based on how many metaverse tokens you have staked with the network.
The NetVRk metaverse allows all users to build and create the virtual world of their dreams with an unlimited amount of unique content. The platform offers endless experiences and interactions with other users, and grants reward for participation.
While the possibilities are exciting, there are a few drawbacks. NetVRk runs on the Ethereum network, and gas fees and other costs can be high. NetVRk is also newer than some other platforms, which means that there could still be some bugs to work out of the system.
Is Crypto the Key to the Metaverse?
NFTs and crypto are ultimately the keys to accessing the virtual reality of the metaverse. With NFTs, you can access digital assets ranging from virtual homes and businesses to digital clothing for your avatar, digital art or other virtual items. Your NFTs are secured by the metaverse blockchain, protecting your digital property from duplication or hacking.
Although metaverse blockchain technology is well-established, the metaverse itself is still evolving, which means that it hasn’t yet taken its eventual form. While there’s a lot of hype surrounding what that will look like, much uncertainty continues to swirl around the value of non-fungible tokens. However, many NFTs, including those listed here, have proven their potential for growth and possibility, which is why people are increasingly coming to see them as an investment opportunity.
The metaverse has the potential to unlock numerous possibilities, but the real promise ultimately lies within the user. You can profit from digital assets through the monetization of your digital crafts. Digital assets such as fundraisers, games and collectibles can be created, and then tokenized as in-game assets or turned into play-to-earn games. Users are able to invest and trade non-fungible tokens, making real money without ever having to play. It’s even possible to create a virtual reality that’s just like our own world and improve upon specific aspects. However, it all depends on using a metaverse blockchain that secures and confirms the data it contains — and a cryptocurrency that supports it. Ultimately, the best crypto for future use is the one that grants you access to the world you wish to inhabit.