The Metaverse is an internet-like reality that merges social media, online gaming, and augmented/virtual realities. Due to this innovative use of blockchain technology, users can interact digitally like never before. It provides a seamless blended experience with its cryptocurrencies for transactions within this digital universe, giving people access no matter their location or device of choice. With their first-mover advantage, The Sandbox (CCC:SAND-USD) and Decentraland (CCC:MANA-USD) have the edge over other platforms in that they already offer fully functional virtual worlds.
However, Facebook’s decision to invest in decentralized networks and rebrand itself as Meta (NASDAQ:FB) is also an important move for the future of virtual reality. We are still in the conceptual stage of metaverses. Still, it offers some insight into their ambitions with this investment and potential partnerships forming as more people enter this new market.
However, Decentraland holds an advantage due to its first-mover status. There is a risk that the move of major companies into this space can cannibalize the market share. Nevertheless, Decentraland has a monthly active user base of about 300,000 people and 18,000 daily users. The company is investing heavily in marketing and user experience to make sure they can capture as many users’ attention span with their product, which is why it only makes sense for them being number one out of all other virtual worlds available today.
At one point, there might come a time when Meta manages to wrest away the top position from Decentraland. But that does not look like happening anytime soon. Hence, the MANA token is the best to play in this space.
The Metaverse: Massive Use Cases Set It Apart
The Metaverse is a virtual world where users can shop, socialize, and participate in leisure activities. Recently many brands have started to use these opportunities as marketing for their products or services. The ads mimic real life and blend into gameplay. The in-game billboards or branded clothing appears just as it would on a street corner, but with an added digital twist.
Companies and organizations worldwide have found new ways to stay connected with each other, even when it is difficult or impossible for people face-to-face. One way that this can happen? The Metaverse!
Nowadays, we use Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM), Skype, Teams, etc. But what if there was one tool that allowed you to communicate and collaborate virtually better than these platforms? The future of work might take place inside virtual offices instead.
Participants get to explore and engage in various ways with the help of creative concepts powered by gamification and data analysis. Their environment is richer as it becomes more complex. The platform allows people to replace physical spaces all day long, like offices or stores.
It is not a secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has also affected education. To accommodate this, K-12 and university students learn remotely through platforms like Zoom, which provides them with many benefits. But they also come with a plethora of challenges. However, imagine a world where you can seamlessly move between different spaces — such as your teaching duties in class and then go off-site for research or meetings. The Metaverse promises an online experience with one avatar who possesses the necessary skills to navigate this connected universe; it will be like having two lives!
Decentraland: Invest in a Decentralized World
The hype around Metaverse has been growing in recent months. Since Facebook rebranded, people are sitting up and taking notice. And Decentraland is one example worth looking into as more emerge each day. Its popularity continues to rise with its price, too.
Decentraland is an experimental game that the MANA token has powered since 2016. The first 2D experience became a reality when it moved into 3D and now offers customizable land, art assets, and activities for users to get involved with. There are 90,000 plots of land on the platform. A non-fungible token (NFT) defines each one.
The possibilities are endless with Decentraland. From becoming a virtual real estate tycoon to hosting your very own private island retreat, there’s no limit on what you can achieve in this immersive digital world.
The free-to-play Decentraland game is much simpler to get started with than most of its competitors, allowing users even more opportunities for fun. You can play this virtual reality space in a browser window. The only thing you need to do to make the game more immersive is purchase MANA-USD. Then you can go ahead and purchase land, art, or any other item you like and enjoy it in the Metaverse.
One of the most interesting features of this game is decentralization. If you hold a sizeable number of MANA tokens, you could go ahead and vote for changes on the platform. It may be one of the only blockchain-based games to deliver on its promise of true decentralization.
Decentraland: Competition and Risks
Decentraland has many competitors, but it’s in the top three because each offer unique and differentiating features that set them apart from one another.
The Sandbox created an entire virtual “Minecraft-esque” world for you to explore, while Axie Infinity (CCC:AXS-USD) focuses more on battling and earning rewards instead. As you progress through it, earning mostly Small Love Potion (SLP) tokens, you make money directly from playing this fun but challenging game.
Decentraland and Axie are expensive games with high buy-in costs. The Sandbox is only a little bit cheaper, but you’ll still need at least $100 worth of NFTs to play it on your own, which may be difficult if not impossible for new players without much money or luck on their side. If you’re looking to buy into Decentraland, be prepared for an expensive purchase. The cheapest plots are going for around 4,000 MANA-USD, which is about $13,000.
Nevertheless, if you want to get your feet wet with VR, there’s no better place than Decentraland. The game is free and incredibly easy for anyone who wants some basic introduction to the Metaverse.
Time to Future-Proof Your Portfolio With Decentraland
In the wake of Covid-19, interest in metaverse technologies has gone through the roof. People are working from home and going to school remotely more than ever before; it’s only natural that this would lead people down an exploration path for virtual worlds like the Metaverse. There remains some uncertainty about how these new digital realities will impact our culture as a result.
Its profit potential can be immense, but so too could the downside. If you purchased this crypto at the start of 2021, then you are sitting on massive returns by now.
It’s always a good idea to know what you’re getting yourself into. The crypto world isn’t as safe or predictable as some people think. Let’s say you got in when interest in Decentraland was at an all-time high in the summer of 2021. In that case, your holdings are down by a fair margin. It is par for the course since volatile cryptocurrencies are known for huge fluctuations of value over short periods. Think about this risk before making any investments.
Overall, if you want to play this space, Decentraland is the go-to crypto at this stage.
On the publication date, Faizan Farooque 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.
Faizan Farooque is a contributing author for InvestorPlace.com and numerous other financial sites. Faizan has several years of experience in analyzing the stock market and was a former data journalist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. You can check out his analysis on InvestorPlace and TipRanks.