Metaverse or metaverse is one of the new buzzwords on the internet. It is a parallel digital world in which you can immerse yourself with virtual reality glasses. Something similar exists since 2003 without virtual reality, that is to say on normal screens: “Second Life”. After the initial hype, Second Life can now be described as a flop.
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However, some tech companies, including Facebook, see the Metaverse as a game-changing technology that could transform our lives just as the World Wide Web did a generation ago. From shopping and entertainment to learning and playing.
The Metaverse became a household word after Facebook changed its name to Meta last year. However, the concept and term of metaverse is not an invention of Facebook or Meta.
Cryptocurrencies are already playing a key role in some areas of this brave new world. However, their role in the formation of the metaverse has been delayed by the sharp drops of the “crypto winter” 2022. Note: Buying cryptocurrencies is inherently risky. However, buying the following coins is a huge risk and should be considered a game rather than an investment.
Here is an overview of the top Metaverse coins – cryptocurrencies that could play a role in commerce and exchanges within the Metaverse – with a market capitalization over $500 million.
1. ApeCoin (APE)
- Market cap: $1.4 billion
ApeCoin is not only one of the biggest Metaverse coins, but also one of the newest. The cryptocurrency was developed to support the growing ecosystem around the Bored Ape Yacht Club.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club is one of the best-known non-fungible token (NFT) art collections. The lowest price for one of these blockchain art monkeys is estimated at $100,000. Sister collection NFT Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) has a reserve price of $18,500, according to data from CoinGecko.
To capitalize on the popularity of these expensive apes, APE was distributed to any Bored Ape or Mutant Ape NFT holder in March 2022.
62% of the total ApeCoin supply is allocated to the ApeCoin community. A portion of that (15% of the total supply) will be available starting tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. ET.
— Bored Ape Yacht Club (@BoredApeYC) March 16, 2022
Holders of the APE coin can participate in the vote. If you own the APE-Coin, you will have your say on the rest of the project. You can also use APE as a payment method like other cryptocurrencies, as long as the merchant accepts APE.
After peaking at nearly $6.8 billion in market capitalization, APE fell nearly 79% as bored monkey prices also fell.
2. Internet Computers (ICP)
- Market cap: $1.3 billion
Internet Computer was developed by the Swiss non-profit organization Dfinity Foundation. ICP’s goal is ambitious: to replace today’s Internet, in which a few large corporations hold a lot of power, with a decentralized alternative. Because today’s Internet is mainly shaped by powerful providers such as Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Meta (Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp) or Tiktok.
Internet Computer, founded in May 2021, wants to change this order and give users the opportunity to switch to an open-source Internet. The company wants to implement this vision with smart contracts – called smart contracts – that enable higher speeds with lower IT costs.
Smart contracts operate on an if-then model: developers implement an algorithm that performs certain actions based on input. Since a smart contract is developed on a blockchain, there is no need for a third party to verify that everything was executed correctly.
Backed by venture capitalist Andreesen Horowitz, Internet Computer has had a brief but tumultuous history. Initially, ICP reached a market capitalization of over $45 billion when the token traded for around $700.
Although it is still one of the biggest cryptocurrencies, the enthusiasm has waned significantly. The ICP price has fallen over 99% from its initial highs.
3. The sandbox (SAND)
- Market cap: $1.2 billion
The Sandbox is a smartphone video game with its own tokens that can be used to buy and sell digital goods in the mobile game. SAND can be earned and spent in The Sandbox game, just like MANA in Decentraland – another Metaverse coin that makes an appearance on this list.
Tokens for virtual worlds in computer games show what makes investing in the metaverse so difficult. With the Metaverse still in its infancy, offering an ever-increasing number of platforms and the environment changing daily, it’s hard to pick a winner.
Moreover, the SAND token also depends on the overall market. And the crypto market has recently moved negatively. Unsurprisingly, the price of the SAND token has struggled this year.
Whether the Metaverse achieves its goals or not, the question remains as to which games, platforms, and apps will prevail. Currently, SAND is one of the biggest players in this field.
4. Decentralized (MANA)
- Market cap: $1.2 billion
Decentraland runs its own metaverse. It is a VR platform based on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain and its MANA token is used to transact in virtual worlds.
Users can create avatars and navigate at will in this online universe. In the Decentraland marketplace, they can purchase land, clothing for their avatars, accessories, and more. Content and applications in the world can also be monetized.
The hope of this project is that Decentraland will become a place where more and more users will meet, do business and transact on a daily basis.
Concerns about declining user numbers have some wondering if Project Metaverse will catch on or if traditional games will continue to be a better alternative.
MANA has also fallen sharply, from a market capitalization of $8.5 billion in November 2021 to $1.2 billion today.
5. Theta Network (THETA)
- Market cap: $1.1 billion
Youtube, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Twitch are the titans of video streaming and are run by very powerful centralized companies.
This is where Theta comes in: a blockchain designed specifically for video streaming. It aims to decentralize video streaming and operate a peer-to-peer network for video streaming. Peer-to-peer is when two people trade or exchange something with each other without a central authority being involved.
The company’s promises are similar to those of many Metaverse business plans: cutting costs, shifting corporate power to the masses, and cutting out middlemen. According to Theta, this vision would give content creators a bigger slice of the pie and make video cheaper for consumers.
The Theta Network is designed for video viewers to donate some of their computing power to the network in exchange for earned THETA tokens. The more people on the network, the higher the quality and speed of the streaming.
The traditional video streaming industry has taken notice. Theta’s advisory board includes Twitch co-founder Justin Kan and YouTube co-founder Steve Chen.
6. Axie Infinity (AXS)
- Market cap: $932 million
Axie Infinity took the crypto world by storm during the Covid-19 pandemic and became the biggest game to win, paving the way for companies like Sandbox and Decentraland.
Inspired by popular games like Pokémon and Tamagotchi, Axie Infinity is similar in many ways. Players pit cute monsters against each other to earn game pieces (tokens).
Unlike its centralized cousins, Axie Infinity resides on the blockchain, monsters are purchased as NFTs, and the earned tokens – AXS – are an actively traded cryptocurrency in the market.
AXS was very popular during the pandemic because it allowed people to earn money while staying at home. However, as the play-to-earn model developed, its hierarchical nature was criticized.
Wealthier investors called academics could buy the expensive NFT monsters and rent them out to players called workers in low-income countries.
Players who simply rent the NFT monsters receive only a portion of the income they earn while playing because they do not have the financial means to buy the NFTs without an intermediary.
Axie Infinity is very popular in the Philippines, Venezuela, the United States, Thailand, and Brazil, in that order.
With the cryptocurrency crash, the appeal of the play-to-earn model has drastically diminished. After peaking at 2.7 million daily active users in November 2021, the month in which Bitcoin hit its all-time high, Axie Infinity’s user count has now dropped to 680,000.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Metaverse Coins
How to buy Metaverse coins?
You can trade Metaverse coins like any other cryptocurrency on crypto exchanges or with brokers.
However, it may happen that there is no way to buy smaller Metaverse tokens directly with euros. Therefore, in some cases, investors must first purchase a larger cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum before exchanging it for the desired Metaverse token.
However, as the historical price information in the article above shows, buying these coins is a huge risk and should be considered a game rather than an investment.
You must be vigilant and do all the necessary research. Only invest what you are prepared to lose. Like other cryptocurrencies, Metaverse coins are highly volatile and extremely susceptible to large price losses.
Where can you buy Metaverse coins?