If you were watching crypto at the end of 2021, you know that the metaverse is set to be huge in 2022. The trend of virtual socialization rose meteorically over the last several months, leaving some astonished by the idea and others still scratching their heads. The latter group is likely the larger one — hesitant to adopt this new way of interacting which seems foreign, complicated or both. Still, they will come around; the phenomenon seems to be more than a passing fad. With this said, though, investors may be running into trouble when seeking out metaverse cryptos to buy.
What are the currencies you should be purchasing when considering a metaverse investment? After all, there are so many ways to invest in the space. Well, one popular niche within the class of metaverse assets are those tied to virtual real estate. Indeed, the metaverse space is lush with digital property ripe for the taking. These digital spaces are growing so quickly in popularity, too, that they have spawned real estate firms solely devoted to pixel property. Digital plots of land are selling for prices similar to real ones.
Seeing the money flowing into this industry, and the greater support for the metaverse as a whole from companies like Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:FB), it’s safe to assume the metaverse, and therefore digital real estate, will remain a savvy investment for the future.
But where do you begin? Well, here are some of the best metaverse cryptos to buy if you are looking into buying digital property:
- Decentraland (CCC:MANA-USD)
- Sandbox (CCC:SAND-USD)
- Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD)
- Axie Infinity (CCC:AXS-USD)
- GALA (CCC:GALA-USD)
- Enjin Coin (CCC:ENJ-USD)
- Atlas (CCC:ATLAS-USD)
- Bloktopia (CCC:BLOK-USD)
Metaverse Cryptos to Buy: Decentraland (MANA-USD)
If you are already familiar with the metaverse, it’s likely that you’re aware of Decentraland. The project holds more market capitalization than any other metaverse project out right now, and it keep stacking up firsts for the digital space. As the poster child for a booming industry, it makes sense as a metaverse investment to catch the real estate trend.
Decentraland has also had some time to grow, launching the MANA token back in 2017. Users have had a long while to become acquainted with the quirky digital space — a blockier version of a world not unlike the real one. Users can stroll the streets of the town, go shopping in a mall-like shopping district, or hang out in an NFT art gallery. They can also hop into immersive game experiences and go to real concerts and parties from the comforts of their computer desk.
The MANA token is one of the fastest-growing metaverse cryptos, blossoming from 75 cents in early October to a high of about $5.50 in November. Since then, the project’s market capitalization has grown significantly. Since October, it has added $4.5 billion in capitalization, bringing its total to nearly $6 billion. The token is now the 33rd largest cryptocurrency in the world.
The attention Decentraland drew from the price jump saw some reputable companies moving their headquarters to the digital space. For example, auction house Sotheby’s has a gallery in the Decentraland metaverse. Of course, land is now becoming a hot item, and plots closer to various hubs and plazas can sell for millions of dollars worth of MANA.
The Sandbox network is Decentraland’s biggest adversary. The two projects share a relatively common aesthetic, they were both formed around the same time, and they are the two largest projects in terms of their underlying values. They also have their fair share of differences. But what Sandbox lacks in terms of experience as a fully released project, it makes up for with institutional backing.
While the two projects both saw their tokens launched in 2017, Sandbox hasn’t had its metaverse out for very long at all. Indeed, until Q4, the project remained in development stages. It was lucky enough to catch the same wave of interest that MANA did in the fall, though, going from 78 cents to $8.40 in a matter of days. And while it didn’t have its metaverse ready to jump into, the network’s fast gains and promising model were enough to earn it support from SoftBank (OTCMKTS:SFTBY). The company invested $93 million into the project to help it get its product to market faster.
A late November launch saw select users enter the virtual space, participating in immersive experiences and games and earning a income for doing so. Participants were able to earn three different exclusive NFTs worth thousands of dollars each.
So while Sandbox has less skin in the game than Decentraland, it is quickly ramping up Now, it’s expanding its virtual realm with a Mega City, selling dozens of new land plots. The plots are expected to sell nearly instantly, and at very high prices. One would be remiss to count out SAND as one of the best cryptos to buy as a digital real estate play.
Metaverse Cryptos to Buy: Ethereum (ETH-USD)
Ethereum was not created to be a real estate cryptocurrency like other projects. It does not have its own metaverse, or a team dedicated to crafting one. But, it’s the best way for an investor to put money into the success of the metaverse as an industry.
See, Ethereum is the largest decentralized application (DApp) platform in the world. It hosts thousands of different projects, many of which have their own tokens. It even has a developed standard for these tokens to ensure they meet certain basic requirements.
And with the most active users of any blockchain in the world, it’s the obvious choice for metaverse developers. In fact, nearly every token listed here is an Ethereum one, each adhering to the ERC-20 standards and hosting their projects on the robust network.
And while Ethereum doesn’t offer up its own real estate for investors to scoop up, its currency is one of the most popularly used for buying up metaverse property elsewhere. The NFT boom, which is still located almost entirely on the Ethereum network, is seeing most digital tokens exchanged with ETH. Platforms like OpenSea see most of their transactions in ETH; these platforms just so happen to be some of the most ubiquitous options for buying digital property.
With Ethereum preparing to undergo its Merge upgrade in mid-2022, the network is going to migrate to proof-of-stake. The move will greatly streamline the transaction process on the network. More transactions will be able to process and settle, and gas fees will be greatly reduced. The upgrade only serves to make the network even more appealing to these other metaverse and real estate plays. As such, ETH is a savvy picks-and-shovels investment.
Axie Infinity (AXS-USD)
Axie Infinity isn’t a brand-new project. In fact, it has been on investors’ radars for a while now. But, where many consider the project to just be an investment in video games, it’s now becoming a way to invest in virtual real estate.
The Axie Infinity universe came to prominence in the summer of 2021. In mid-July, the AXS token began to rise meteorically. After spending much of its life trading under $4, it reached an all-time high of over $160. It did this thanks in large part to the project’s ability to net users serious passive income. By simply playing the game, you can earn Smooth Love Potion (CCC:SLP-USD) tokens. These tokens can be used to mint increasingly valuable NFTs, which can then be sold on the marketplace. They can also be sold to other players. The rewards can be so large, many have been able to make a livable income just by playing.
And while these factors themselves make for an appealing product, there’s also a new feature coming to Axie Infinity that makes it an apt way to invest in digital real estate. Soon, the game will be adding tokenized plots of land for players to buy, develop, and sell to others. The white paper for the project also claims users will be able to find AXS tokens simply by occupying land. Once you own a plot, you can also scavenge the world for resources. These resources can be used to upgrade land or Axie pet NFTs, adding real-world value to both.
Metaverse Cryptos to Buy: Gala (GALA-USD)
Gala Games is another network that wants to blend video games with the booming world of digital real estate.
Gala is unlike many of the other picks on this list in that it is not dedicating itself to just one universe. Rather, it wants to be a platform for a multitude of metaverses, ranging a span of genres and aesthetics. The project’s website showcases its ambitious roadmap; as of late, there are eight different metaverses in various stages of development to choose from.
Business simulator, survival, fantasy role-playing and deep-space strategy games each bring their own unique aesthetic to the platform. Users get whatever they want. You can buy a storefront in the Legacy metaverse and live out your virtual days in a white-picket fence neighborhood. Or, you can buy a plot with a small, makeshift shack to fortify in the woods in The Walking Dead: Empires.
Gala is proving itself to be quite worthy as a digital real estate play, receiving coverage on the likes of the Wall Street Journal due to the massive prices some pieces of land are fetching. Most notably, a group of players spent a whopping $1.6 million on an ornate palace in the fantasy metaverse Mirandus.
Enjin Coin (ENJ-USD)
Enjin, like Ethereum, is a way for users to invest in the underlying infrastructure of the booming metaverse real estate industry. While it doesn’t have a metaverse of its own, the platform gives users a convenient way to mint tokenized assets. And, its new partnerships are helping to make it a force in the virtual property niche.
The Enjin network powers a variety of NFT games. These projects tokenize assets through Enjin. Players can buy or earn these NFTs and store them in the platform’s dedicated wallet. The platform is becoming increasingly interesting to those interested in blockchain gaming, because it enables developers to create NFTs which you can bridge to other games. These assets are typically things like in-game items.
Recently, though, the network is expanding on its roots as a blockchain gaming play. Now, it’s looking past things like tokenized items toward plots of virtual land.
Perhaps most interesting, though, is the network’s foray into physical real estate as well. Indeed, the platform is moving beyond tokenizing digital assets and allowing its clients to tokenize real-world assets. It recently struck up a partnership with Labs Group, an NFT real estate platform. Using Enjin, Labs will tokenize real estate assets and allow them to be sold on the blockchain. Thus, investors who might be skeptical of the digital real estate market might then find Enjin to be a sound investment still.
Metaverse Cryptos to Buy: Atlas (ATLAS-USD)
Atlas is one of the most interesting picks included here because it offers one of the most innovative and outside-of-the-box offerings in terms of virtual real estate. It’s a metaverse that’s focused less on earthly property and more on the interstellar. As such, it’s one of the best metaverse cryptos to buy to play digital real estate from a different angle.
Atlas is a strategy-based, massively multiplayer online game (MMO). It takes place across a vast outer space ecosystem, where users extract resources and explore. What makes Atlas very appealing is simply the look; where most universes have a sort of blocky charm to them, Atlas has breathtaking graphics, thanks to the fact that it’s developed using the Unreal Engine 5. The Unreal Engine is one of the most esteemed of video game engines, fueling many triple-A titles.
The Atlas metaverse has a different feel to it than others. It’s a very immersive virtual experience, with players picking things like factions and organizations through which to align themselves. The real estate is less focused on land and more focused on the vast and detailed ships which players use to travel from colony to colony. It blends the video game metaverses with more social-focused metaverses in a way that looks seamless.
While Atlas isn’t ready to jump into quite yet, investors are impatiently anticipating the pre-alpha launch of the world. With Unreal Engine 5 set for a full release in early 2022, one can expect Atlas developers to make headway in getting an early access product to market in the near future.
Exploration is good, but it can sometimes be quite overwhelming. You can get dropped into a brand-new virtual world, and you might not know which way to travel first. Bloktopia makes things simple: Just go up.
The Bloktopia metaverse is centralized into one skyscraper in a massive, neo-futuristic city. But, it’s still an expansive world where one can wander around and get lost, if desired. The 21 floors of the building — an homage to Bitcoin’s (CCC:BTC-USD) 21 million BTC total supply — is chock-full of immersive experiences and games. It also houses plenty of educational resources to learn about blockchain technology and crypto, which adds up to make a compelling experience for seasoned metaverse users and newbies alike.
One of Bloktopia’s draws is the opportunity for property owners to earn income by owning real estate. Property owners can rent bits of space out to advertisers. When other users walk by the property with ads, the property owner gets paid. And thanks to the neon-drenched aesthetic of the tower, these flashy ads don’t seem out of place like they would in other metaverses.
The digital space came into the wider crypto audience back in November. Crypto exchange KuCoin (CCC:KCS-USD) announced that it is bringing an office space to the Bloktopia tower; users can now drop by and speak with a KuCoin representative whenever they like. The news is the first major co-sign of Bloktopia by a large project, and it’s unlikely to be the last as the digital real estate trend continues to heat up.
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.