Virtual Real Estate: Sandbox and Decentraland

Recently, a virtual plot of land in Decentraland was sold for a whopping $2.43 million (618,000 MANA) to Metaverse Group. Let’s learn about Sandbox (Sand) and Decentraland (Mana).

The growing interest in the metaverse since Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, is observable across all industries.

A short time later, Microsoft announced plans to enter the race with 3D avatars and immersive meetings.

In similar news, sportswear giants Nike and Adidas have also shared their plans to join the metaverse. While Nike announced a partnership with the online game Roblox to create a 3D virtual space called Nikeland, Adidas announced it will partner with the leading crypto supermarket project The Sandbox (SAND) to develop its supermarket services.

By now, you may have started to notice that leading entities in various industries are not afraid to enter the new metaverse space. As a result, several metaverse-related tokens have seen very rapid price increases over the past few weeks.

Sandbox (Sand) and Decentraland (Mana)

Two notable tokens of these are Decentraland (MANA) and The Sandbox (SAND).

In this article, we’ll dive into the two metaverse-themed tokens mentioned above and uncover the reasons behind their enviable appeal over the past few weeks.

What is Decentraland (MANA)?

Decentraland is an online, decentralized virtual reality blockchain project based on Ethereum that aims to create, develop and sell virtual land. At first, the idea of virtual or digital land can be a bit daunting but we will explore the idea in detail throughout the article.

In Decentraland, users interact with virtual plots of land called LANDs which are essentially Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) that give holders exclusive ownership rights. Additionally, users can also pay for goods and services in the world of Decentraland to boost the in-game economy.

Decentraland has a native ERC-20 token called MANA, which is used to purchase LAND and the aforementioned in-game items and services. However, what is interesting is that whenever a user buys LAND in Decentraland, the MANA used to purchase said land will be burned forever. Such a mechanism puts pressure on the price of the MANA token due to its constantly dwindling supply.

Thus, an active price loop is created to incentivize the purchase of LAND to increase the price of the MANA tokens. While initially, the Decentraland team sold LAND for 1000 MANA, today LAND is only available for sale on secondary markets.

Currently, the cheapest plots of land or Virtual LAND in Decentraland are available for 10,000 MANA up north, at a current market price of over $47,800. Similarly, just like in the real world, LAND in popular areas in Decentraland requires millions of dollars.

For example, recently a virtual plot of land in Decentraland was sold for a whopping $2.43 million (618,000 MANA) to Metaverse Group.

What is Sandbox (Sand)?

Sandbox is another virtual reality blockchain-based metaverse project that allows users to interact with each other in the digital world. Like Decentraland, The Sandbox allows users to buy plots of land in its virtual economy for SAND, the project’s native token.

Similar to Decentraland, The Sandbox also offers LAND units that can be used by individuals or companies for any purpose they deem fit.

Sandbox is also gearing up to launch a play-to-earn blockchain game that will allow users to use Ethereum-based NFT, to build virtual identities in the game, and play with their coworkers. Details about the game are expected to be announced soon.

The project’s native token, SAND is used to boost the in-game economy. Where tokens can be used to buy LAND and do any kind of transactions and interactions in the Sandbox ecosystem. Furthermore, SAND can be used as a governance token to chart the future course of the project.

SAND can also be staked in The Sandbox ecosystem to earn in-game rewards in the form of NFTs and a share in the revenue from all transactions in SAND tokens.

Sandboxes have recently gained popularity when the leading sports accessories brand Adidas announced on November 23, 2021 that it is working on developing its own adiVerse in The Sandbox.

So what’s the deal with this virtual real estate?

Such exorbitant prices may make you wonder, why would anyone spend millions on pieces of land that aren’t even tangible?

The answer is simple, it is part of a company’s future business expansion strategy.

According to gaming giant EA, the blockchain-based virtual reality gaming industry is expected to grow to hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years. As a result, more and more companies are saving cash to make their presence manifest in such a digital reality.

An apt comparison would be the in-stadium advertising by popular brands during a football match with the only difference being that in Decentraland or The Sandbox, the brands are not required to pay per match. Instead, they can permanently buy a space in the virtual land in the form of an NFT and use the same for advertisement, expanding business, and increasing customer engagement in ways never thought before.

To conclude, the idea of a metaverse is still in its infancy and it is likely that the eventual product that disrupts our daily lives would be a lot different than what is currently being portrayed.

Although it’s still unknown if the metaverse narrative will stand the test of time, one thing is for certain that we will see both Decentraland and The Sandbox play a key role in shaping the future of virtual reality in the coming years.

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