Metaverse altcoin Decentraland (CCC:MANA-USD) went over an all-time high of $5.90 in late November. However, MANA-USD has failed to continue the rally and slumped more than 25% since that peak.
Despite the recent decline, MANA has returned about 60% in the last 30 days and currently trades at $3.89. With a market capitalization of over $7 billion, the digital currency ranks among the top 40 names in the vast universe of cryptos.
Launched in 2017 and opened to the public in 2020, Decentraland is a blockchain-based decentralized 3-D virtual reality platform where its community can buy and sell land through “non-fungible, transferrable, scarce digital asset stored in Ethereum smart contract.” MANA-USD is the Ethereum(CCC:ETH-USD)-based limited-supply token used to acquire non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the platform.
Earlier in the year, MANA-USD first caught the attention of NFT enthusiasts. But after the rebranding of Facebook to Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:FB) in late October, Decentraland entered a new reality. Now, the metaverse bulls wonder what could be next for the altcoin. Let’s take a look.
From NFTs to the Metaverse
Recent research by Michael Dowling of the DCU Business School in Dublin, Ireland, highlights that Decentraland exemplifies “the growth of non-fungible tokens (NFT). An NFT is a blockchain-recorded right to a digital asset … Decentraland is one of a new generation of virtual world, popularly referred to as metaverses, built on the blockchain.”
Virtual spaces, where users share and interact in 3D via digital avatars, are gaining broader acceptance since the pandemic. As such, Decentraland claims to be more than just an online social gaming platform. It even has a decentralized autonomous organizational structure (DAO) for governance decisions.
Metaverse Group, a real estate company and a subsidiary of Tokens.com, (OTCMKTS:SMURF) recently bought a virtual plot of land located in the heart of Decentraland’s Fashion District for 618,000 MANA. The firm allegedly paid twice the asking price for the digital real estate. The Metaverse Group also committed to collaborate with Decentraland to “develop the estate for fashion shows and commerce.”
Meanwhile, with an increasing number of people getting socialized digitally, virtual events are also becoming a new normal. From Oct. 21 through 24, Decentraland hosted “Metaverse Festival,” a four-day virtual music festival which welcomed 80 artists.
Amid the hyper-growth of metaverse projects, metaverse-themed tokens have also increased in popularity. For example, MANA soared around 4,800% year-to-date (YTD).
By comparison, so far this year, other metaverse coins Axie Infinity (CCC:AXS-USD), The Sandbox (CCC:SAND-USD), and Enjin Coin (CCC:ENJ-USD) have gained about 19,900%, 15,000%, and 2,000%, respectively. Meanwhile, major cryptos Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD), Ethereum, and Binance Coin (CCC:BNB-USD) are up 76% YTD, 486% YTD, and 1,458% YTD, respectively.
The Bottom Line on Decentraland
Calculating the intrinsic value of a digital asset is not easy. Though there are a couple of valuation techniques, none are widely-accepted as of yet. In the world of crypto, investing on “fear of missing out” (FOMO) seems to play a key role behind traders’ decisions.
For example, MANA and other metaverse tokens have suddenly become a trending topic and rallied thanks to Meta Platforms. Hype-driven investors interpreted the name change as a sign of greater acceptance of the metaverse concept. Then on Nov. 24, a mysterious whale transferred 9 million MANA tokens, worth over $47 million, to another anonymous account. That transaction helped MANA hit record highs.
Long story short, cryptocurrencies will remain vulnerable to speculative movements in the months ahead. MANA-USD is as choppy as it is attractive. Thus, risk-tolerant investors who seek profits in the metaverse revolution could consider investing at the current levels, allocating a small part of their portfolio.
On the date of publication, Tezcan Gecgil 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.
Tezcan Gecgil, Ph.D., has worked in investment management for over two decades in the U.S. and U.K. In addition to formal higher education in the field, she has also completed all three levels of the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) examination. Her passion is for options trading based on technical analysis of fundamentally strong companies. She especially enjoys setting up weekly covered calls for income generation.