Analysts at Citibank project the metaverse industry to be worth $13 trillion by 2030. And blockchain-related technologies will help power the expansion. Let's explore why The Sandbox (SAND -2.44%) and Decentraland (MANA -2.98%) could be great ways for investors to bet on this opportunity.
1. The Sandbox
The Sandbox, with a market value of $3.9 billion, is an Ethereum-based metaverse designed to help users build and monetize gaming experiences. Its captivating design and experienced development team could give it a lasting edge.
Blockchain technology is well suited to metaverse development. Crypto tokens can be used to store and transmit value, while non-fungible tokens (NFTs) serve as proof of ownership for in-game assets. The foundation of The Sandbox is a portfolio of 166,464 plots of virtual real estate called Lands, which are NFT products allowing owners to customize experiences within the metaverse. Users can combine multiple Lands to form Estates or jointly owned Districts to enable even more immersive experiences.
The Sandbox began public Lands auctions in February. And the project has high-profile investors such as the Gucci fashion house and rap artist Snoop Dogg, who created a metaverse experience called Snoopverse based on his own mansion in the real world.
The Sandbox's developers (The Sandbox Franchise) have a track record of success. According to the project white paper, the team has been involved in world-creation games since 2012 with 40 million downloads across platforms like Android and Apple's IOS. This real-world experience lends much-needed credibility to their current project.
With a market cap of $4.8 billion, Decentraland is another affordable way to invest in blockchain-based metaverse development. The project focuses on facilitating social interactions among users, and its real-world partnerships are an impressive vote of confidence in the concept.
At its core, Decentraland is very similar to The Sandbox. Both projects are built on the Ethereum blockchain. And both feature a burgeoning virtual economy based on building and monetizing gaming experiences on virtual real estate. But unlike The Sandbox, Decentraland is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), which means its users can use their MANA (the native token of the platform) to vote on governance issues like its fee structure and development road map.
This feature makes Decentraland more democratic and reins in developer control, which is in keeping with some of the philosophical underpinnings behind blockchain technology.
Decentraland is also attracting its fair share of real-world partnerships. In January, the platform teamed up with global telecom giant Samsung for a virtual space modeled on one of its stores. It also teamed up with the Australian Open tennis organization for an in-game virtual rendition of some of its properties. These collaborations could be a sign of its growing mainstream adoption.
Getting in on the ground floor
With their relatively small market caps, the Sandbox and Decentraland are great ways for investors to get in on the ground floor of what could become a life-changing investment opportunity. Even a fraction of the metaverse's projected growth could give these cryptocurrencies great potential over the coming decades.