The metaverse is an idea that has been explored in science fiction for many years. It presents a future world where humans can connect with each other and with machines through a virtual space. While this innovation is still a long way off from being part of our everyday life, its importance is clear from its popularity as a concept in video games and movies. Today, metaverse use in the blockchain sector continues to grow.
The metaverse is no longer only science fiction. A world beyond the universe, the metaverse is evolving fast. At a time Meta (formerly Facebook) and some other popular brands are digging into the metaverse, it may also be time to get interested as a crypto asset investor. Read along as we cover what the metaverse is, why it is so popular, and what the top metaverse coins are.
What is the metaverse?
The term ‘metaverse’ refers to the idea of connecting multiple universes into one super-world or metaverse (a portmanteau combining ‘meta’ and ‘universe’). So etymologically, the metaverse finds root in Greek, where ‘meta’ is taken to mean ‘beyond’ and ‘verse’ coined from ‘universe.’ Thus, metaverse means ‘beyond the universe.’
Drawing from Stephenson’s definition, the metaverse is now being considered by experts as the next technological frontier to watch out for after the Internet. These assumptions have come on the heels of the interest surge that has been noticed, especially from popular brands, including Google, Microsoft, Nike, and others.
The metaverse consists of a 3D immersive virtual environment where people can deploy virtual representations of themselves or avatars while enjoying digital interaction amongst other benefits. Imagine that every game you played was connected with hundreds or thousands more—and each new addition would add more possibilities. You could explore new lands without leaving your couch; develop relationships with characters who show up randomly throughout your adventures; trade items across platforms without ever having to leave home again. The possibilities are endless.
The metaverse is a virtual world that allows people to do anything they can imagine. It’s a place where you can meet individuals from everywhere in the world, bring in cash, and master new skills. The metaverse sector has grown rapidly over recent years, with many new projects and coins being created every day as developers continue to experiment with different ideas or use cases within this exciting space.
Origin of the metaverse
The first appearance of the term was in Neal Stephenson’s science-fiction novel, Snow Crash, published in 1992. In the book, Stephenson thought of the metaverse as the ultimate evolution of the internet—a world ruled by virtual reality and augmented reality, enabling digital interaction and ownership. Venture capitalist Mathew Ball in his essay Metaverse Primer, says “the Metaverse will not replace the Internet, but iteratively transform it.”
The concept of the metaverse was also captured in Second Life by Philip Rosedale (the founder of Linden Lab) in 2003. But it wasn’t until 2011 when Second Life entered its second phase of development that it became more accessible. This new version allowed anyone to create an avatar—a digital representation of yourself—that could travel around their town or village as well as interact with other avatars from all over the world. This is all without having any real-life obligations attached.
The metaverse, blockchain, and non fungible tokens (NFTs)
NFTs, on their part, will ensure secured, traceable, and transparent ownership rights over virtual assets or any other digital representation of property in the metaverse.
NFTs have become such a raging force themselves that experts predict that these assets will form one of the primitives of most metaverse platforms. In fact, this is already happening. Lands, digital wearables, and avatars—there is no limit to what can be acquired on metaverse platforms, thanks to NFTs. The ownership proof of these items are stored on the blockchains.
In a virtual environment with people and properties interacting digitally, the metaverse will have use for decentralized crypto wallets such as MetaMask for example. The metaverse offers a use case for cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies. This is because being a virtual economy and digital ecosystem, the metaverse will need smart money for buying and selling as well as tokens that enable users access to certain platforms (utility tokens for example).
But the metaverse is not limited to NFTS, blockchain technology, and cryptocurrencies. It is beyond these. The metaverse will greatly involve augmented reality and virtual reality, bringing digital interaction to life. Where blockchain applications come in is to ensure governance (consensus), ownership (NFTs), smart money (cryptocurrencies), and digital representation of physical assets (tokenization).
Adoption of metaverse applications and interoperability
Interoperability is a major talking point in the blockchain ecosystem. How blockchain networks can interact with one another have been the priority of recent blockchain solutions and the teams behind them. While it is acknowledged that each blockchain has a separate utility, communication between several chains is important as it will be a catalyst for more mainstream adoption. Metaverse is not left out of this phase.
Interoperability will assist the adoption of the metaverse as users will get the opportunity to connect with another platform from a native one. They will also get to deploy their NFTs, including avatars across these platforms. For example, a gaming metaverse that allows users to acquire in-game items as NFTs can also enable users to deploy them on other gaming metaverses. Thus, instead of an isolated metaverse, we will have a series of interconnected metaverses contained in an ultimate multiverse.
Dangers of the metaverse
Despite the many promises of the metaverse, there are some serious concerns. Founder of Unanimous AI, Louis Rosenberg, likened the metaverse to social media, expressing worries over how the metaverse could lead to more toxic behavior, divisiveness, ethnic, and racial bias. According to him, social media has been used to promote division and spread untruths. The metaverse could also suffer the same fate, if users become too engrossed with the allure of virtual reality and begin to display illegal and unethical behavior.
As with all human interactions, social conflicts will always arise. From outright criminal behavior to ethically or morally questionable acts, certain human interactions—whether in a physical or virtual environment—will run against law and order. The metaverse will bring about new risks. Blockchain-powered governance and self-regulation on the metaverse may not provide adequate protection.
So while we witness increasing adoption of metaverse innovations, the metaverse will bring new risks. Metaverse innovators, adopters, and the government must begin to consider the possible risks and threats that the metaverse could pose to our lives as individuals and to society at large.
Top 5 Metaverse Coins in the Crypto Market
The metaverse has birthed multiple projects and each of these projects gives clients a chance to put resources into them for profits or because they have faith in the future of the project.
Decentralized metaverse projects have also been emerging, relying on blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens as incentives to warm their way into the hearts of crypto and blockchain natives. Projects like the Sandbox and Decentraland have laid the groundwork for decentralized metaverses by allowing users to acquire digital items including real estate as NFTs, attend virtual concerts using digital identities (avatar) and generally explore the possibilities of the metaverse.
So much of the growth of existing metaverse platforms has been attributed to NFTs and cryptocurrencies. Decentraland ($MANA) and the Sandbox ($SAND) have built their metaverses around a token economy providing a way for their users to earn by investing in their tokens. These tokens have also found utility on the platforms since they are used to purchase digital items. In the wake of the metaverse hype, many of these tokens built across different chains began to peak, reaching new all-time highs as investors poured money into them. BLOK, the native token of the Bloktopia metaverse built on BSC peaked by over 900% from its all-time low.
Here are the top 5 metaverse coins in the crypto market as per market capitalization.
#1 – Decentraland (MANA)
Market Cap: $1.45B
Decentraland, a famous metaverse coin, provides a 3D environment that clients may enter without charge through a browser. Its vibrant economy is the home of several brands. In this metaverse reality, users construct everything from individual buildings and sceneries to huge settlements and space endeavors. Players can exchange LAND plots with the MANA token.
The cost of MANA has increased by almost 4,000% in the last year. Tokens paid above $2 million for virtual land on the site, while Decentral Games produced more than $7 million in pay in only three months. MANA likewise hit a record high last year when Facebook changed to Meta.
#2 – ApeCoin (APE)
Market Cap: $1.44B
ApeCoin is an ERC-20 governance and utility token created to support decisions, governance, and what’s built by the BAYC community. It acts as a decentralized convention layer for activities organized by the Ape community that advances culture in the metaverse.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT is a collection of 10,000 different Bored Ape NFTs. Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano launched Yuga Labs in 2021, which produced the line. Notable personalities including Eminem, Steph Curry, and Mark Cuban are the owners of the collection.
The ApeCoin token has seen impressive growth since its launch, beating its predecessors to become the second-largest metaverse token according to market capitalization.
#3 – Sandbox (SAND)
Market Cap: $1.39B
The Sandbox is a virtual gaming environment that allows players to design games and earn money from them. It is quite possibly the most famous stage available and completes about 100 deals per minute.
In the metaverse, SAND tokens may be utilized by players to pay for items and take part in P2E. Additionally, users get the opportunity to own anything they acquire via gameplay.
When it comes to virtual land, Sandbox can be regarded as the most ideal choice by many. The platform sold more than $144 million worth of gross items within the last year while securing partnerships with top brands such as Adidas.
#4 – Axie Infinity (AXS)
Market Cap: $1.17B
Axie Infinity is an in-program game with Axies. Axie Infinity was and is still a forerunner in the crypto gaming sector. Players may purchase, breed, and exchange NFTs in the game. Users can also stake their coins, buy items in the game, and participate in governance utilizing the AXS token.
Axie boasts of being one of the top NFT marketplaces where a single exchange can cost about $400. Axie has above one million dynamic players and its revenue has reached a peak of $2.05 billion. At some point, one could get a singular virtual land on the platform for a whooping sum of more than two million dollars.
#5 – Theta Network (THETA)
Market Cap: $1.16B
Theta is a decentralized video streaming application created to solve the quality and failures of the existing video streaming industry by combining cryptocurrency with a video distribution network. The network is powered by the THETA token. Coin holders can protect the network, approve exchanges, and vote to make changes on the network.
In partnership with Google, Theta Network’s client base has continued to expand. Theta has joined forces with several organizations such as NASA and ONE Championship. In the meantime, the Theta ecosystem has received support from titans of industry like Samsung, Next, and Sonny Innovation Fund.
The hype around the phrase increased as soon as social media giant, Meta (formerly Facebook), announced its interest to launch headlong into the metaverse, prompting a name change to Meta. Meta is looking to leverage the metaverse to support remote work and expand financial opportunities. Considering that Meta currently owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp—all social media and instant communication platforms—the potential of a metaverse application appears to be massive.
Beyond Meta’s vision of the metaverse, there are many metaverse projects today with potential as well. With the help of blockchain technology, metaverse technology has a root in today’s digital economy. This root will become firmer as both the concept of the metaverse and projects centered around it evolves. This is why some people consider it a good idea to invest in some of them, especially the popular ones. Just like every form of investment, you are advised to make adequate research before investing in any particular metaverse project.
We’ve covered the most well-known metaverse tokens in this present economy, including MANA, SAND, and AXS. As the concept of the metaverse and projects centred around it develops, some of the serious metaverse coins out there are expected to appreciate in value. But before you finally decide, ensure you do your own research. Start with understanding crypto investment risk here.
We hope this article has given you an overview of what the top metaverse tokens are, how they work, and why they’re so popular among cryptocurrency enthusiasts.