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The Sandbox/Decentraland: Who will dominate the metaverse market?

Last October, Facebook announced its desire to change its name and to invest massively in the metaverse sector. The digital giant went ahead to change its name to Meta. Much more than a name change, this initiative allowed the shedding of light on the ecosystem of the metaverse. Among the big winners are; The Sandbox and the Decentraland. In the space of a few months, the two projects saw their prices multiplied by almost 50. 

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Intriguing for some, frightening for others, the world of the metaverse leaves no one indifferent. Today, we are going to try to make a comparison on two of the giants of this booming sector: Decentraland and its native token MANA and The Sandbox and its token SAND. 

Ready for an overview? Let’s roll!!


The Sandbox: The close to Nigerian-Style Metaverse!

The Sandbox: the French-style metaverse! 


The Sandbox was born in 2012. Initially available in two dimensions, the project migrated in 2017 to the Ethereum blockchain. It offers a decentralized ecosystem co-built by metaverse users. The platform allows users to create NFTs that can be used in the metaverse. These NFTs can take two different forms:

  • Items to use in the metaverse game
  • Plots of land on which the player can, for example, create mini-games.

Note that these two types of NFT can be resold on NFT marketplace platforms such as the Opensea platform

In terms of marketcap, The Sandbox project today represents the second metaverse project with a capitalization of 3.05 billion dollars. A capitalization that allows The Sandbox to appear in the thirty-eighth position of the main crypto projects. The SAND token, at the heart of The Sandbox project, is a governance token. This means that the owners of these tokens can have a say in the management of the project. The community of SAND token holders can thus vote for the various developments of the platform.


Decentraland: An Already Functional Metaverse!



Founded in 2015, Decentraland uses the same principle of ecosystem co-construction as The Sandbox. If this universe was founded later, it passed more quickly from a 2D version to 3D. Because, unlike The Sandbox, the game is now available and accessible to the general public. Note that it is only available via a browser.

Via the Decentraland metaverse, it is also possible to create an avatar, buy objects in the form of NFTs, or even own plots. Plots of land can also be sold in the form of NFTs via a marketplace.

As with The Sandbox, the MANA token of the Decentraland project is also a governance token. For purchases within the ecosystem, Decentraland works with two tokens: MANA and LAND. The LAND token represents the plots within the game. In terms of marketcap, the Decentraland project is the largest metaverse project in the world, according to data from Coinmarketcap. With a valuation approaching $4.2 billion (31st crypto project), Decentraland is now positioned as the benchmark in the sector. At the time of writing, the MANA token is trading for $2.36.

Good to know: The two metaverses; the Sandbox and Decentraland run on the Ethereum blockchain. For both universes, migration to Polygon has been a major topic, especially in terms of carbon impact.

Decentraland/The Sandbox: Different Roadmaps

On the future development of the projects, it would seem that the visions between the two metaverses diverge. The Decentraland project seems to focus primarily on the interoperability of its ecosystem. In other words, project leaders would seek to make their metaverse compatible with other virtual worlds. So eventually a user who owns a house or a car on Decentraland could use it in another metaverse.

The Sandbox still seems to focus on in-house development. Thus, the project’s roadmap shows the ambition to market more than 5,000 different games by the end of 2023. The project should also implement concerts, as Decentraland is already doing, in the current year 2022. The roadmap of The Sandbox will also include the creation of jobs in the metaverse. An innovation that would allow users to have a stable and regular income over time.

On this point, it would seem that Decentraland thinks about its ecosystem more globally while The Sandbox still focuses on internal development and the attractiveness of its metaverse. After the launch of its metaverse, The Sandbox will likely take on a broader view.

Which Project Will Dominate The Metaverse Sector?


If many features seem similar, it appears that the two metaverses could have a different strategic vision. Decentraland seems more focused on a metaverse in line with what Meta could offer. On the side of The Sandbox, it seems that the emphasis has been placed on the gamification of the experience. Thus, the two metaverses could ultimately be very complementary and address two different audiences. The Sandbox metaverse seems to focus on virtual real estate. With more than 166,000 plots compared to 90,000 at Decentraland.

Either way, both of these projects will remain largely dependent on their communities. Their involvement could become an important competitive advantage for The Sandbox as well as for Decentraland.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the metaverse sector is still in its infancy. It is, therefore, possible that other players will emerge in the months or years to come. Projects which in the long term could even dethrone Decentraland and The Sandbox.

A hypothesis is all the more plausible when we understand the appetite of tech giants for this new playground. Meta could quickly become a strong competitor. Microsoft has also communicated its desire to develop its metaverse branch just like Apple, the largest company in the world.

In the months to come, the sector of the metaverse could see profound changes. The Sandbox and/or Decentraland could do well or suffer from the strike force of new competitors.

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