Analyzing Metaverse Projects in 2022 | by Clément Bourcart | Apr, 2022

121 shares, 81 points

What drives the value of digital land?

Photo by Erik Mclean:

Since the hype train was set in motion earlier this year, with the rebrand of Facebook to Meta, we have seen the price of digital land skyrocket.

At the time of writing, the “floor” (meaning, the entry point of assets currently up for sale) for Decentraland plots sits at 3.5 ETH, or almost $9,000. And, over the course of 2021, the price for digital real estate has increased by a whopping 700%.

With such excitement, metaverse platforms have seemingly multiplied over the past year. As a potential investor, where do you even begin? What are the key data points and stats to look out for? Let’s explore.

The dominant platforms with the largest user bases include the following:

  • Decentraland and The Sandbox: 3D,browser-based digital worlds where users can buy and sell land, as well as build their own structures and games on top of it. Both have their own marketplaces where land, as well as wearables and other items, are traded.
  • NFT Worlds: this platform differentiates itself by the sheer size of each of the 10,000 land plots it is made of. A single plot is multiple times larger than both The Sandbox and Decentraland, combined. NFT Worlds also has the highest floor price out of all platforms at present, sitting at 10 ETH.
  • Cryptovoxels: a similar 3D world organized around “Womps”— user-created worlds others can teleport into. Displaying NFTs in art galleries is a popular use case of this platform.
  • Somnium Space: Somnium is more focused on VR capabilities, and includes stunning landscape, scenery, and graphics. Here again, users can create their own property, games and experiences, and even avatars which they all can trade on the Somnium marketplace.
Source: metaverse leaderboard from

There are 4 key factors to consider when assessing various platforms.

1. Which blockchain the metaverse platform runs on

It’s important to be aware of which blockchain is used, for two main reasons.

First, for a metaverse platform or game to scale and reach mass adoption, it needs to be able to handle many micro-transactions seamlessly. Otherwise, the network will slow down, creating a poor user experience. Secondly, if users need to pay tens of dollars every single time they make a transaction or create an item, this will be a serious barrier to take up.

This is the reason why market leaders Decentraland and Sandbox use a popular Ethereum scalable solution, Polygon. This “Layer 2” blockchain is built on top of the original Ethereum network, but addresses its current limitations around scalability and efficiency.

Simply put, metaverses built on top of such scalable blockchains are better positioned for user and platform growth versus those that don’t.

2. Size of user base

Naturally, a larger and more engaged user base provides more stability and positive signals as to future prospects.

Newer projects who do not benefit from this will struggle to compete against the behemoths already in the market. They will typically enjoy a hype-fueled boost during their launch phase, which can quickly die out if not followed by robust execution.

Larger platforms with a proven product-market fit and existing, thriving communities therefore tend to be safer bets, all things considered.

3. Rewards and mechanics

Some metaverse platforms include Play-to-Earn elements, whereby users can get rewarded for completing certain tasks, and generally engaging with the ecosystem. For instance, on Upland, users can earn NFTs when they spend the platform’s currency inside its marketplace.

This encourages users to stay on the platform, growing its economy over time.

4. Health of the underlying native token

Most of these different platforms have their own token: such as $MANA for Decentraland, and $SAND for The Sandbox.

These tokens power the native economies run inside metaverses, enabling transactions to take place between users. How well a token performs can be (but not always) reflective of the health of the overall ecosystem.

If more users enter the given metaverse, and start transacting in it, they will need the native token which in turn drives demand for it. Depending on the supply for the particular token, higher demand for a fixed supply can lead to an increase in the token’s value — which would be a good indication that more users are engaging and transaction in the metaverse.

This might seem like a lot to take in. Luckily, there are a number of tools to help you cut through the noise and make your own investment calls.

Amongst the many available tools, watchlists, land aggregators, analytics and ranking sites are great places to start.

CoinMarketCap watch list

CoinMarketCap is a key resource for anything crypto-related, and it comes with a handy tool that lets you pick and monitor any crypto asset within a simple dashboard.

This makes it easy to track the performance of the underlying tokens native to each platform, as an indication of demand, amongst other factors.

Depending on your investment horizon, it makes sense to pay close attention to the platform’s market cap, as well as its trading volume, to spot trends and stay ahead of where the market is going.

Source: author’s CoinMarketCap metaverse watchlist

Metaverse land aggregators

Certain sites gather data on virtual assets sold across marketplaces, and across platforms. This lets you have a better view of the market, all from one place, without having to jump back and forth between each metaverse.

One such example includes Blockee, where you can quickly browse land for sale, understand floor prices, and gain insights when it comes to the valuation of specific plots.

Metaverse analytics and rankings

Tools like WeMeta provide useful stats and insights around metaverse platforms. You can easily track overall market data (such as total sales volumes, and average market cap across top platforms) as well as dive deeper (for instance, monitor the sales volume over the past 24 hours and the floor of each platform listed).

In addition, tanking sites such as DappRadar also offer a bird’s eye view of the overall market and how each project ranks based on the number of users and volume.

The metaverse frenzy shows no sign of dying down, and it’s important to know what to look out for before making any investment decisions.

By looking at the few key factors and using some of the tools mentioned above, you should be in a good position to navigate this weird and wonderful space.

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