Top metaverse coins: what are the best?

Your guide to the top metaverse coins in the online gaming space

A metaverse illustration                                 
Metaverse coins vary considerably in value and utility – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

With the growth of online gaming, it’s only natural the metaverse has helped bring forward metaverse coins – tokens that help power virtual worlds of one kind or another.

As interest grows, investors are looking for the biggest and most interesting metaverse coins. With dozens to choose from, it’s not easy to pick a winner.

What is a metaverse?

The metaverse is a fairly straightforward idea, and one that has been around for decades. The idea is that, at some point in the future, all humans will interact in a virtual world through their own avatars.

The concept has been around for a while, with the early 1990s boom in virtual reality (VR) a key driver. However, there has not yet been one single online existence that has linked humanity together. There are smaller virtual worlds where people can log in and explore the space and interact with other users. These are called metaverses.

What does that have to do with cryptocurrency? Many virtual worlds at present are powered by blockchain. Having a crypto token that is associated with the metaverse can give participants in the metaverse the power to help govern the space. Also, in many metaverses, there is the option to buy digital products, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), using metaverse tokens. 

There is a lot of crossover between the top metaverse coins by market cap and the biggest cryptos in both the play-to-earn and NFT spaces. As of 7 January 2022, the four biggest metaverse cryptocurrencies were MANA, AXS, SAND and GALA, which were also the top four play-to-earn coins. Many metaverses offer NFTs and as a result these spaces offer play-to-earn games.

Here are our five picks from among the biggest and most interesting metaverse tokens.  

The Sandbox (SAND)

Someone playing The Sandbox game
The sandbox is an online world which allows players to create and trade their own NFTs – Photo: Shutterstock

SAND is the native metaverse token of The Sandbox. This is an online world that allows players to create and trade their own NFTs in-game. SAND, which is an ERC-20 token operating on the Ethereum blockchain, can be used to buy online parcels of land and interact with the NFTs. It can also be staked for certain privileges within the Sandbox system.

The SAND white paper says the token can give holders voting rights on key elements such as Foundation grant attributions to content and game creators and feature prioritisation on the platform roadmap.

Owners of SAND can vote themselves, or delegate voting rights to other players of their choice. SAND can also be staked, with staked coins allowing their stakers the chance to make money from the land they own, as well as getting items associated with creating in-game NFTs, called ASSETS.

A small slice – 5% – of the total SAND spent throughout the game is siphoned off, with half going to a staking pool and the other half going to the foundation that runs the game. As of 7 January 2022, SAND had a market cap of just over $4.58bn, making it the third-largest metaverse cryptocurrency, and the second-largest metaverse pay-to-earn coin. 

Immutable x (IMX)

The Immutable x coin app
The Immutable x coin supports NFT trading – Photo: Shutterstock

Another coin worth looking at in the context of the metaverse is immutable x (IMX). This metaverse token is different from the likes of SAND because it does not support a specific metaverse. There is no Immutable world to go into and explore. Rather, it aims to support a system that allows people to create and trade their own NFTs using its protocol.

The network, which was set up by Australian brothers James and Robbie Ferguson, is designed to set up a scalable solution for NFT traders on the Ethereum blockchain. At present, a lot of NFT trading can be pretty slow, but if people use the Immutable protocol, that should speed things up.

The token itself is used for governance, so holders can vote on proposals related to how the system is run, together with staking. People can stake their tokens to earn rewards – 20% of all transaction fees on the Immutable network are paid in the IMX metaverse coin.

The Immutable X system has announced a partnership with the OpenSea NFT marketplace, which is positive news for the token, even if it is not one of the best known right now. On 7 January 2022, IMX’s market cap was about $720m. 

Ultra (UOS)

The Ultra (UOS) logo
Ultra (UOS) is designed to work in a games distribution system – Credit: Ultra

The Ultra (UOS) cryptocurrency is designed to work in a games distribution system based on the blockchain. What makes it a bit different is that people do not just have the opportunity to buy games from developers and play them but they can also resell their games.

The system’s website says: “Ultra is the first entertainment platform providing a variety of games industry services under a single roof, accessible through a single log-in: discover, buy, and play games, watch live-streaming feeds, interact with your favourite influencers, participate in contests, compete in tournaments and much more.”

Ultra was set up in an attempt to break what it calls the “walled garden” – the control of gaming content put on gaming platforms – by making things more decentralised and giving people choice and flexibility.

The UOS metaverse token is used to pay for advertising and to trade and take part in beta testing and bug reporting. It is also used in the system’s loyalty programme. Ultra will offer all prices in US dollars in an attempt to deal with potential inflationary problems, even if transactions take place in UOS. The coin’s market cap was about $381m on 7 January 2022.

Illuvium (ILV)

A scene from the Illuvium (ILV) game
Illuvium (ILV) a classic metaverse crypto – Credit: Illuvium.io

Another token worth examining is Illuvium (ILV). This metaverse token might be described as a classic metaverse crypto. The coin itself helps power Illuvium, which is an online roleplaying game with a fantasy theme.

The game is built on the Ethereum blockchain and operates as a crossover between an open world experience and a player-vs-player battle game. People can find, defeat and collect creatures called Illuvials. These beasts are then used to create an army that battles other players’ forces.

What makes this game different is that while the Illuvials are NFTs, there are other ways for people to make crypto in the game. For instance, a player can earn ILV by using a series of decentralised applications (DApps), which include a yield farm and a decentralised crypto exchange.

However, people can still sell their Illuvials in the game’s marketplace, though the game claims to be less focused on crypto and more on gameplay. This could make it a good one for people who like games but are not fully in the crypto space. On 7 January 2022, the ILV market cap was about $522m.

Vulcan Forged (PYR)

The Vulcan Forged logo
The Vulcan Forged platform contains a range of games for people to play – Credit: Vulcanforged.com

Finally, the Vulcan Forged (PYR) metaverse coin is a system not too dissimilar to GALA, where the platform contains a range of games for people to play. The network’s main difference is that the games are all, in one way or another, based on Greek mythology.

There is VulcanVerse, which gives people the chance to buy, sell and develop plots of land. There is Anvil, which allows people to put up NFTs free of charge. Bezerk is a collectable card game that uses NFTs from Anvil and VulcanVerse. There is also Frenzy, which enables players to create their own battle tournaments.

The PYR metaverse token is paid as a reward for winners of Frenzy tournaments. It is also used for governance of the system and to pay for items within the Volcan Forged network.

That’s our look at the reality of these coins. Just remember, before you invest, do your own research – remember, prices can go down as well as up and never invest more than you can afford to lose. 

FAQs

That depends on how you define a metaverse coin, but according to CoinGecko there are 70.

Possibly. If you do, though, you will have to do your own research. Remember prices can go down as well as up and never invest more money than you can afford to lose.

You can buy them on a range of exchanges, although not all exchanges will trade in metaverse crypto. For instance, you can buy decentraland’s MANA token on Currency.com.

Further reading:

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