The trend for metaverses emerged in late October 2021, after Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook as Meta and announced a course to create a metaverse. Several similar projects were already in operation by that time, and the news caused their token values to surge.
Large businesses willingly joined the process of developing the virtual space. For instance, Republic Realm paid a record $4.3 million for a virtual plot of land in the Sandbox; Tokens.com, an investment company, bought $2.5 million worth of land in Decentraland; and GameStop, a gaming equipment manufacturer, announced it was starting to accept tokens from the metaverse as means of payment.
The Metaverse Prospects in 2022
Jefferis Bank experts chose the companies that can benefit from the metaverse development. According to them, Meta and Snap will reap the biggest profits as they produce devices for accessing the metaverse. A strategist at Jefferies, Simon Powell, believes that their platforms could see significant audience growth. This will come when the metaverse platforms penetrate everyday human life.
Roblox can already bring some of its goals into the digital space. In mid-November 2021, the daily audience of this project exceeded 48 million users, and the company’s capitalization was more than $64 billion. Epic Games, Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive are also considered promising companies — computer games owned by them can become the basis for creating their metaverse platforms.
Denis Vasin, the technical director of Waves Enterprise, expects the growing popularity of projects related to the metaverse sector. In his opinion, big players will consolidate and take over the market as this technology requires serious financial expenses to develop and bring it to life. The expert believes that the metaverse will be widely used in the corporate environment. An office in digital space will become a must-have brand attribute once the technology becomes widespread.
Investment company Grayscale released a report that analyzes the metaverse market. The active audience of different metaverse platforms by June 2021 has increased tenfold compared to the beginning of 2020. Recall, this was even before Zuckerberg’s announcement. Experts predict that the potential target market could be more than a trillion dollars by 2025.
Most Promising Projects in the Metaverse Sphere
Some metaverses already stand out on the scale of their competitors. The statistics here and below are based on information from CoinGecko and NonFungible and are current as of February 7, 2022.
The Sandbox (SAND)
It is the largest metaverse in trading volume, built on the Ethereum blockchain. Players can explore the world, create virtual artifacts, build real estate, and modify the virtual space in all manner of ways. SAND token holders have a say in decisions to change the project.
Adidas has already opened a virtual office here, and the Warner Music Group label plans to create a music theme park and concert venue. During the last 360 days, SAND tokens gained more than 3.600% in value. Total land sales surpassed $404 million.
Decentraland is the second most popular metaverse. It is an Ethereum-based virtual space. Samsung, Coca-Cola, Nike, Domino’s and many other brands opened their representative offices within the metaverse. The auction house Sotheby’s has created a virtual gallery. Barbados plans to open its own official embassy in the virtual world.
One of the four Grand Slam tournaments, the Australian Open, announced that it would be present in virtual space. Other sports organizations may join the events in the future. MANA tokens rose in value by more than 1.300% in the last 360 days. Total land sales exceeded $184 million.
More Interesting Metaverse Projects
Lesser-known metaverse projects are:
- CryptoVoxels is the smallest by area, but not by scale blockchain game with a Minecraft atmosphere, which has already sold about $35.7 million worth of land
- Somnium Space is a cross-platform virtual reality world with more than $21.5 million worth of land sold
- SuperWorld trades digital copies of real-world structures in virtual space. Total sales exceeded $3.8 million.
Among other metaverse projects that have been either recently launched or are about to launch but have already caused a certain amount of media excitement:
- Illuvium with open-world, ILV and sILV tokens
- Vulcan Forged in an antiquity setting with PYR token
- Space Star Atlas DAO with POLIS token
- Bloktopia project with BLOK token and advanced 3D engine, created on Polygon blockchain (more than 90% of other projects are built on Ethereum)
- And, of course, Meta’s Horizon Worlds, which has been in beta testing since December 2021.
The metaverse is the most promising trend in developing blockchain technology, the NFT market, GameFi, virtual reality technology, and advanced biomedical engineering. It helps big businesses to build marketing communications in a new way, and therefore the volume of this market will steadily grow. In turn, users have the opportunity to escape the mundane, gain new experiences, and even earn money with the help of NFTs and internal tokens. This contributes to the growing audience. Thus, the realization of Grayscale’s prediction of a trillion-dollar metaverse market looks only a matter of time.