One of the most anticipated innovations in the crypto space has been the metaverse. With Facebook rebranding itself into Meta in November 2021, it has been further thrust into the limelight. While the metaverse is yet to reach the stage where it can be a truly virtualized world, several projects are working to make this happen. The most prominent of these are Decentraland and Sandbox.
What Does The Metaverse Mean?
The metaverse is meant to create an entirely virtual world for us to engage with. It will allow us to create a 3d avatar and enter spaces to interact with people from all over the world. The metaverse enables us to create and work with users even if they are not in the same place physically.
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It is essential to understand that there may be several different metaverses operating together, each with a different goal. Some may be spaces for gaming, others for collaborating and creating and some may even be for shopping. The aim is to make this variety of spaces compatible with each other, as this allows us to use the same avatar and same items in any metaverse we choose.
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What is Decentraland?
Launched in 2017, Decentraland is one of the earliest metaverse projects. It offers you the chance to purchase parcels of digital real estate known as LAND. You can use your LAND to create anything you want, whether they are static images or fully-immersive virtual experiences and environments.
These parcels are grouped together into districts, which are collections of LAND with similar themes or experiences. Decentraland enables you to dive into the experiences created by other users too. From space adventures and dungeon mazes to entire cities and villages created in the metaverse, you can explore and interact with all of them as a member of Decentraland.
There are two different tokens used in the Decentraland metaverse. The first is MANA, the main token of the platform. MANA is also the governance token of the Decentraland DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation). Second, the project uses the LAND tokens, serving as real estate on the platform.
What is The Sandbox?
The Sandbox is a metaverse platform that enables players to build and monetise their games. Similar to Decentraland, The Sandbox has land available for purchase. This land is used to create unique gaming experiences and allow other users to enter and enjoy their creation. By pushing user-generated content to the forefront, the platform ensures its community thrives. It makes it easy for its users to engage with each other and the platform.
Land in The Sandbox is divided into estates owned by a single individual, or districts owned by more than one person. There can only ever be 166,464 pieces of land available in the game. This can be used by you to host events, stake the land for passive rewards, play games you create or even vote in the governance of the metaverse.
The Sandbox is advertised as a decentralised space, but it is currently owned by a single entity. However, there are plans to start a Sandbox DAO soon. This will ensure full transparency and will not allow any individual or entity to influence its decision-making to a large extent.
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The Sandbox metaverse primarily uses 3 tokens. The first token is SAND, the utility token of the platform. It is used to purchase items and transact in the marketplace. Second, LAND tokens are also used for the virtual real estate you can buy. Finally, ASSETS tokens represent in-game items you can buy and own as NFTs.
Sandbox vs Decentraland
The Decentraland roadmap is hosted on Trello. Every feature being worked on is laid out for the public to observe. While it may not be as neatly presented as the Sandbox roadmap, there is a lot more detail on the exact items being implemented. The roadmap is divided into live features, soon, next and later.
By contrast, The Sandbox roadmap is available directly on their website. It presents its plans for collaborations and expansions to other platforms and consoles soon. However, there are less detailed breakdowns of each feature they plan to work on.
Decentraland and The Sandbox are making strides in fulfilling their promise of a functional and immersive metaverse. Decentraland has had more time to mature and build on its platform, while The Sandbox seems to have more active projects from the users and more content available. The Sandbox also has better graphics and gameplay than Decentraland. However, it is plagued by its weakness of being centralised. Users must choose depending on their preference for better graphics or better decentralisation.