It isn’t hard to identify exactly the moment that Decentraland (CCC:MANA-USD) became instantly relevant. A cursory glance at its price chart shows that moment occurred on Oct. 28.
That was the day that Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his social media giant would be changing its name to Meta Platforms. The notion of the metaverse has long been discussed in smaller niche circles. But the rebrand and renaming to Meta Platforms may, in time, serve to signify a distinct, identifiable beginning of the metaverse.
Decentraland itself is a virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD) blockchain.
Buy and Build
Much like in the real world, Decentraland users can buy plots of land, develop them, and reap the rewards. So, it’s no surprise then that MANA, the Decentraland token, moved up quickly when Facebook became Meta Platforms: the metaverse had begun.
Although the metaverse is nascent at the moment, its promise is important to understand. Early signs are that you, me, and everyone else could be carrying out important aspects of our daily lives in the metaverse in the near future.
Your avatar will roam around the digital world, interacting with a virtual reality. Decentraland is one of the most developed of those early worlds.
Just as entrepreneurs around the world buy land and develop it to capitalize, so too do Decentraland users. And with Facebook signaling to the world on Oct. 28 that the metaverse is not a joke, MANA exploded.
It essentially spiked from below $1, to nearly $4 over the two days following the Meta rebrand. It has moved in stepwise fashion over the past few weeks and now sits above $4.
Competition in Other Places
While it’s clear that Decentraland is one of the early favorites to capitalize massively on the impending buildout of the metaverse, there is competition.
The Sandbox (CCC:SAND-USD) is the most important one at the moment. Like Decentraland, The Sandbox is an Ethereum-based platform on which a metaverse is being built. Also like Decentraland, The Sandbox has increased in price quickly since the Meta rebrand.
In fact, SAND, The Sandbox token, has increased in value quicker than MANA. Since Oct. 28, MANA has appreciated by more than 500%. Meanwhile, SAND has appreciated by a whooping 800%-plus.
It’s almost certainly too early to make any definitive conclusions about winners and losers here. And all things considered, the difference is slight. However, it is worth mentioning that SAND has received more attention early in the game.
The idea is that Decentraland will be one of the locations in which the metaverse will actually take place. Whatever ultimately ends up being created, Decentraland will be the venue in which the interaction occurs.
That leads one to wonder what Meta Platforms will do. Again, it’s very early, but it’s fair to assume that Meta Platforms will be looking to establish itself as a hardware-first company in the metaverse.
Early reports were that Mark Zuckerberg “discussed opening retail stores that will eventually span the world … The stores would be used to introduce people to devices made by the company’s Reality Labs division, such as virtual reality headsets and, eventually, augmented reality glasses.”
That means that hardware could then be used to port into Decentraland. Meta Platforms is by no means the only possible winner in the metaverse. But it is safe to say that it will play a vital role.
What to Do
There are clearly a lot of ways to capitalize from a metaverse like Decentraland. One is to simply purchase MANA. I think that alone makes a lot of sense. Further, there are many opportunities for creative individuals. Buying land and developing it is the most obvious. But I’m sure there are many other possibilities. That’s why MANA should continue to rise.
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois 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.
Alex Sirois is a freelance contributor to InvestorPlace whose personal stock investing style is focused on long-term, buy-and-hold, wealth-building stock picks. Having worked in several industries from e-commerce to translation to education and utilizing his MBA from George Washington University, he brings a diverse set of skills through which he filters his writing.