If non-fungible tokens (NFTs) aren’t your cup of tea, but you’re still looking for a trendy 2021 blockchain bet, consider taking a step into the virtual world. The floodgates have been opened, and investors are now deep into their searches for the best metaverse cryptos to buy. The fledgling industry has a long way to go before the leaders begin to truly emerge. However, there are a handful of plays that are making rock-solid cases as potential metaverse monoliths.
It has been less than three weeks since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:FB). And while it continues to fight an uphill PR battle in response to the change, it did well in shifting investor attention to the metaverse as an industry sector.
Mark Zuckerberg’s big metaverse product reveal brought the concept of a social virtual reality to the forefront of tech conversation recently. Meta will be the largest company to take a stab at the metaverse and, as the name change implies, it’s going all-in on the product. However, there are a lot of gripes with this. One of the central idea to the metaverse is that it allows users to express themselves in ways they want, censorship-free. Of course, Meta presents a very heavily centralized metaverse play, already entrenched in controversy.
As such, attention is turning toward metaverse on the blockchain, where everything is pushing toward decentralization. By investing in metaverse crypto, one can make a bet on the industry’s explosion while also skirting the unattractive parts of Meta’s incoming metaverse offering. These products also each have their own unique take on the metaverse and what it is exactly, allowing investors to diversify their assets even in a niche space.
As people think of the metaverse, they might think of a virtual reality hangout — people all congregating as avatars and having conversations. While this is true as an anecdotal example of what the metaverse looks like, the truth is, it comes in many forms.
There’s the immersive, three-dimensional hangout with a virtual reality (VR) headset, sure. People can put on the headgear and sit in a work conference from home, they can go see an immersive concert experience or they can go visit an NFT gallery. These plays are the most known by investors because they’re the most “different” experiences — they augment reality and perception as we know it. But there are plenty of other examples of the metaverse at work in different ways, emphasizing less of the sensory experience and more of things like digital property ownership or gaming.
If you want a diverse portfolio of metaverse cryptos, consider one of these:
- Decentraland (CCC:MANA-USD)
- Axie Infinity (CCC:AXS-USD)
- Sandbox (CCC:SAND-USD)
- Efinity Token (CCC:EFI-USD)
- Bloktopia (CCC:BLOK-USD)
- UFO Gaming (CCC:UFO-USD)
- Star Atlas (CCC:ATLAS-USD)
Metaverse Cryptos to Buy: Decentraland
Decentraland is definitely the poster child of what the metaverse is thought of as. At its core, it provides a space for social gathering in the virtual world. If investors are looking for what Meta is looking to offer while escaping the corporation’s control over the platform, MANA is definitely the first place to look.
Decentraland spent the summer slowly building up name recognition thanks to the NFT trend. As art continues to turn digital, users want a place to proudly display their assets. The Decentraland universe became a way to do just that, and a major partnership brought extra attention to the network. Indeed, art auction house Sotheby’s drew eyes toward MANA when it bought a plot of land and recreated its New York City headquarters in the metaverse.
The crypto market correction saw MANA prices falter, but Decentraland began trending again at the end of July when NFT interest picked back up significantly. Upon the reveal of Meta’s big rebrand from Facebook, though, things really began taking a turn for the best. Users seeking out something controlled more by the users than by the developers found Mana with ease, and trading volume is increasing more and more ever since.
Today alone, MANA’s trading volume is up over 400% compared to yesterday’s. The token is posting a 27% gain as we get into the afternoon. Of course, this wonderful growth still doesn’t hold a candle to MANA’s broader gains recently; the last two weeks have brought gains of over 300% to the token, making it one of the fastest-growing in an already exploding market.
Axie Infinity Challenges Conventional Ideas of the Metaverse
Axie Infinity doesn’t fit the stereotypical three-dimensional, VR-headset-clad version of the metaverse that Zuckerberg and company have been putting on the world stage. Rather, Axie makes the metaverse a part of its already robust gaming platform.
The Axie Infinity network is primarily tied to its arena fighting game. Users purchase Axies — creatures that the players use to battle other players. These Axies are in fact NFTs, and they can become increasingly rare through “breeding.” Users can combine their Axie NFTs into more rare and powerful ones through the supplementary token Smooth Love Potion (CCC:SLP-USD). SLP is earned through playing the game, but it can also be bought; as such, players can earn a fair bit of income simply by playing the game and selling the tokens rather than using them.
The network is fitting in with the metaverse industry through its incoming land project. Developers are implementing a virtual community to the network, where users will buy plots of land and continually upgrade them through gameplay. Indeed, the upgrade doesn’t just slap a “metaverse” label on the network. It also vastly expands the capabilities of the actual game. It implements things like resources and crafting. Additionally, it adds a player-versus-environment element; players will have to fight it out with computer-generated enemies in addition to other players.
AXS is the largest crypto play mentioned here by market cap. That’s because it has skyrocketed in popularity throughout the last three months. Since the beginning of August, AXS is seeing gains of over 325%. The steady increases in transaction volume over recent weeks are pushing its market cap above $8.6 billion, making it the 24th-largest crypto in the world.
Metaverse Cryptos to Buy: Sandbox
When it comes to metaverse cryptos, Sandbox is the closest competitor to MANA. The two have similar structures, giving users a straightforward virtual reality to create, explore and socialize in. Being the most sensory-submersive examples of the metaverse — allowing users to throw on VR headsets and experience 360 degrees of virtual reality, the two companies are some of the leading examples in the metaverse crypto industry.
Through Sandbox, users are invited to participate in a deep offering of different games, many of which are official partnerships with licensed TV and film brands, such as Walking Dead. It also is making itself out to be a competitor to Decentraland’s virtual live music offerings. According to the Sandbox website, the network has partnerships with musicians spanning a wide range of genres like Snoop Dogg, Avenged Sevenfold and Deadmau5.
Similarly to other networks, users are invited to earn passive income through the minting and sales of cosmetics NFTs. In addition to user-generated content, the network is also becoming known for its boutique, one-of-one NFTs, which continue to land on the marketplace.
Sandbox might be the second-most popular to MANA, but it is fast approaching Decentraland in terms of value. Thanks to some big investments by a number of heavy hitters in the blockchain space, the team is rapidly accelerating development of the platform.
Recently, the network received support from SoftBank (OTCMKTS:SFTBY), the Japanese holdings firm that keeps its thumb on the pulse of the crypto world. The fundraise led by SoftBank is injecting $93 million in capital into the network. Indeed, that’s a great push to get it closer to MANA. But, it still has a ways to go. As MANA holds nearly $6 billion in market cap, SAND stands at just $2.3 billion.
Efinity Token Sees Interest Thanks to Large Network Backing
The metaverse cryptos discussed thus far are the metaverses themselves, allowing people to jump in and have a fun experience. They all have underlying marketplaces and gears that keep their machines running, but the main product is the ability to dive into a virtual world. When one invests in these tokens, they’re investing in the end product above any kind of marketplace. Efinity Token is different; by investing in EFI, one is investing directly the picks and shovels that keep the metaverse industry running and growing.
Efinity is an NFT network created by blockchain gaming play Enjin Coin (CCC:ENJ-USD). It spawned as a result of a $100 million grant from the Enjin network. Furthermore, it is already gathering an impressive following.
Through the Efinity network, users can import NFTs from any marketplace around the world. This allows one to aggregate all of their tokens in one place if desired — something not offered by many networks that only allow bridges from select markets. Even more desirable is Efinity’s Recipes. Recipes are a feature for frequent users of the network. Essentially, it allows one to alter existing NFTs without needing any of the technical know-how to do so.
Through these tools, Efinity is furthering its goal of opening up a fully decentralized metaverse; it wants to give users the fullest extent of the powers the metaverse unlocks. Since launching in EFI in August, the token saw an immediate nosedive. However, it has been steadily increasing. Since the end of October, EFI is gaining nearly 100%. The token rests currently at about $1.55.
Metaverse Cryptos to Buy: Bloktopia
Bloktopia is offering a very creative spin on the virtual universe. Rather than making a large map of land across which users can trek, Bloktopia’s environment is vertically stacked.
The Bloktopia metaverse is confined to a 21-story skyscraper — an homage to Bitcoin’s (CCC:BTC-USD) 21 million coin supply. The Bloktopia network in particular stands in stark contrasts to its peer metaverses; its cyberpunk aesthetic drapes everything in a hyper-futuristic, neon-drenched fabric.
On the BLOK network, users can own property, just as they can in any other metaverse. But the draw for Bloktopia users is in its unique model of passive income. One can host advertisements on their property in exchange for BLOK tokens. They can also participate in events and games. Another unique facet of Bloktopia is that it is an educational network. By participating in the virtual universe, one can educate themselves on the history and inner workings of the crypto network.
Bloktopia’s biggest draw is its graphics; the metaverse is certainly one of the most beautiful on the blockchain. The network achieves this by using the real-time 3D Creation Engine. This engine, created by Bethesda Studios, is notable for fueling some of the most popular video games of recent years, like Skyrim and Fallout 4.
KuCoin’s (CCC:KCS-USD) recent partnership with the Bloktopia network is bringing many eyes to the BLOK token. The KuCoin exchange established its very own office in Bloktopia’s massive tower ecosystem. Users can visit the virtual office and speak with the team, bringing the exchange’s relationship with users ever closer.
UFO Gaming Aims to Create a Robust Offering of NFT Games on ‘Dark’ Metaverse
UFO Gaming is looking to take blockchain gaming to new heights through its “Dark” metaverse. And if the network has its way, users won’t be investing in the success of the UFO network by buying UFO tokens. Rather, they will be investing in the growth of its partners.
The UFO network doesn’t want to rest on one chain. Indeed, its developers plan on making the Dark metaverse one found on a slew of other chains. It hopes to do this by launching new games on partner chains.
UFO is a relatively new project, having launched in July, and it promises a very expansive and robust project. As of right now, the network has only one game to play. Super Galactic, a space-themed role-playing game, sees users spending UFO to mint NFTs of characters and pursuing various quests in the outer reaches of the galaxy.
The offerings of UFO extend into the metaverse just like Axie Infinity does — through land ownership. Users purchase plots of space land to do with whatever they please. Meanwhile, by playing games, users can earn loot crates that contain randomly generated NFT loot. They can use these items across UFO’s game ecosystem. Althernatively, they can sell it for real profit on the UFO NFT marketplace.
Metaverse Cryptos to Buy: Star Atlas
Rounding out the list of metaverse cryptos is Star Atlas, which presents one of the most unique and original game concepts. Star Atlas continues the trend toward space-themed VR products. And given its very early stages of development, investors are seeing an opportunity to board the ship earlier than any of the other projects on the list.
A scroll through the Star Atlas website shows the grandiose plans for the Star Atlas metaverse. In a nutshell, the network promises a massively multiplayer online game, in which users pick a faction and build their fortune. Players can use their NFT ships to explore the galaxy for resource-rich planets to tap into and build up wealth. This wealth can be taken to help develop ones plot of land. Alternatively, it can be turned into real-life profits through the marketplace.
The graphics are breathtaking. Plus, the concept is very exciting for gamers, and a successful launch will make Star Atlas one of the largest video games ever in terms of scope of exploration. And while the game is still in pre-alpha stages of development, an investment in the ATLAS token now would be very early along. Only a handful of users have access to the product-in-development as of yet. However, the trailer is available here so investors can see just what it will look like aesthetically.
Thanks to partnerships with major crypto players like Solana (CCC:SOL-USD) and FTX, as well as its investor-powered governance model, there are a lot of forces at work steering the ATLAS ship. While a full launch might be a ways away, this could be one of the most exciting products in the metaverse sector thus far.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.