On the horizon: The top metaverse tokens to watch out for

2022 is shaping up to be a formative year for the metaverse, but which projects stand out?

Cartoon image of two people wearing VR helmets, surrounded by planetary objects – Photo: Shutterstock                                 
Metaverse to the moon, or is it all hot air? – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

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When Facebook announced its rebranding to Meta in November 2021, Mark Zuckerberg’s trillion-dollar social media behemoth effectively put its virtual flag in the digital ground of the metaverse. What followed was a frenzy of buying activity on the cryptocurrency markets, as new and existing projects pivoted their offerings to align themselves with this new and little-understood crypto craze. 

During a single week in November alone, DappRadar reported $53m in sales of digital real estate assets. LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman predicted a “ton of investment” into the metaverse, despite acknowledging that true immersive experiences are still a while away. The Financial Times concurred, reporting that investors are gearing up for a “gold rush” in metaverse hardware.

Despite stratospheric digital land valuations and impressive metaverse token gains in recent months, there is still plenty of scepticism surrounding the movement. Katharine Wooller, managing director of crypto wealth firm Dacxi and regular contributor to Currency.com, said: “While ‘the metaverse’ is a hot topic, it is still in its very formative and experimental stages.

“Currently, ‘the metaverse’ is more hype than substance – fuelled in part by the Facebook rebranding. As such its sense of purpose is very poorly defined – rather it is a basket of disparate tokenised projects fighting to find an audience and carve out a position and proposition within the digital space.”

Whatever your thoughts are, the metaverse is likely here to stay, and top metaverse tokens present viable, if volatile investment options. In the following article, we aim to give you the lowdown on five of the top projects causing a buzz among investors, celebrities and users in 2022.

Decentraland

Decentraland (MANA) continues to post strong numbers, even if recent engagement is below the all-time high figures we saw in November, when a seven-day sales history neared the $16m mark. After slumping in December, sales rose in early January back to $7.7m. The trajectory points to a continuation of these numbers.

Contributing to this is the average value of asset sales, currently coming in at $19,500. Asset retention is 18%. To get an idea of how high land parcel valuations can get, on 7 January, one parcel in Decentraland’s Hacker District sold for 250,000 MANA, giving it a current valuation of $732,000.

Big names continue to be drawn to Decentraland’s virtual space. After Samsung’s announcement that NFT support will be built into future smart TVs, the electronics giant launched its 837X digital world in Decentraland, offering visitors an interactive experience, including NFT quests and live events.

Elsewhere, the Australian Open announced a virtual Decentraland party running throughout the tournament from 17 January. In a press release, Tennis Australia project manager Ridley Plummer said: “Taking the Australian Open into the metaverse is an important step to provide truly global access to our great event.”

Whether Novak Djokovik is invited remains to be seen.

The ERC-20 MANA token is currently trading at $2.93. While down from a November all-time high of more than $5, this is still a 28-times increase year-on-year, giving an indication of just how far metaverse projects have climbed in value. But the important question is: can MANA’s price go bullish again?

Forecasters suggest that over a 12-month period MANA could hit $5.6 (WalletInvestor), $4.87 (PricePredictoin), or $4.06 (Digitalcoin). These may be fairly conservative estimates, though likely hampered by Bitcoin’s poor recent performance. Chart activity also took a hit after the recent crypto slump. MANA continues to chart below the trend line and the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) line is in the red; both bearish indicators.

Trading chart of MANA – Photo: currency.com
MANA remains below the 20-day MA – Photo: currency.com

Despite that, there are many fundamental reasons why Decentraland could regain plenty of ground once the wider market recovers. Corporate and celebrity endorsements continue to pile into the project. But perhaps more importantly, the MANA community is serious about Layer-2 Polygon integration, a process which will reduce gas fees on NFT sales considerably, which should drive even more users to the platform.

There is clearly much to be excited about for Decentraland in 2022, even if MANA’s price is struggling in the short term. If you are considering an investment, be sure to conduct your own fundamental analysis beforehand. Bear in mind that this article is for educational purposes and does not constitute genuine financial advice.

The Sandbox

Joining the company of Snoop Dogg and the French electronic music star Deadmau5, the global Big Four accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, whose revenues exceeded $45bn in 2021, recently announced its acquisition of virtual land in Sandbox’s digital universe for an undisclosed sum. 

As quoted in The Wall Street Journal, William Gee, a partner at PwC Hong Kong, said: “The Metaverse offers new possibilities for organisations to create value through innovative business models, as well as introducing new ways to engage with their customers and communities.”

The acquisition is representative of an influx in corporate engagement in the platform, as the suits pitch their tents next to the celebrities, making for a diverse virtual community.

Sandbox made headlines in November 2021 when NFT investor Republic Realm purchased a virtual land plot from Atari for a staggering $4.3m; the largest metaverse acquisition to date. Complementing these impressive sales, Sandbox recently announced a $93m funding round from investors led by the SoftBank Vision Fund.

Looking at recent sales activity on the platform, the seven-day sales volume was $18.75m with an average asset price of $15.,500 and a retention rate of 16.2%. Although this is down from November’s metaverse buying bonanza, these figures have remained consistent in the months since.

So how might the ERC-20 SAND token, currently trading at $4.63, fare in the year ahead? Looking at the digital forecasters’ 12-month predictions, we can see price targets of $13.42 (Gov Capital) and $14.73 (WalletInvestor) at the most bullish, yet only $6.38 according to Digitalcoin’s prediction.

In terms of chart activity, SAND is encountering a bearish moment in the short term as a result of an underperforming cryptocurrency market, and is trading below the trend line with a MACD in the red. A downward channel trend can be observed, which is likely to continue until the next level of support, estimated at the $3.65 mark. That could present a buy-in opportunity for investors should you believe that a rejection will occur (please note that this is intended as neutral information, not investment advice).

This short-term downtrend is concurrent with the wider cryptocurrency market, but as one of the leading metaverse projects, Sandbox has serious potential to regain some traction in the months ahead. Sandbox’s 2022 roadmap promises staking opportunities for SAND holders, virtual concerts from the likes of Deadmau5 and Richie Hawtin, an interactive game in collaboration with The Walking Dead and finally, an expected mobile launch in the fourth quarter.

Metahero

Not every metaverse project is simply concerned with the buying and exchanging of virtual land parcels. Metahero’s HERO cryptocurrency could be one metaverse token to invest in with true growth potential. Metahero leverages Ultra-HD photogrammetric scanning technology to scan people and real-world objects, transforming the physical realm into the NFT realm for avatar representation in the metaverse.

This is more than just a concept; Metahero has an official business partnership with Wolf Digital World (WDW), itself an official technology partner of Sony Digital. WDW’s cutting-edge scanning technology has been used by Disney, Ferrari and CD Projekt Red (developer of the hit console game Witcher 3). Metahero and WDW are now teaming up to bring this technology to the metaverse.

Metahero’s in-progress roadmap suggests a 10-year plan to scale 100 million users. Its first-quarter 2022 goals include the implementation of a 3D marketplace, “strategic investment onboarding” (jargon for “attracting more money”) and partnerships with artists, software studios and “influencers”.

Metahero’s business model revolves around B2B and B2C pay-to-scan revenue generation, but here is where potential investors might want to take stock of some fundamental considerations. While the tech is impressive, it can hardly be deemed scalable in its current iteration; users need to visit a scanning location to be turned into an avatar and loaded up into the metaverse. How Metahero plans to overcome this problem to reach that 100 million user goal remains to be seen.

The Binance-based HERO token launched a pre-sale on 6 July, proceeding to sell out within 98 seconds. A $20m HERO airdrop was also executed. Token distribution can be seen below.

Table outlining the HERO token allocation – photo: meta hero.io
Public presale constituted 10% of total supply – Photo: metahero.io

HERO, currently priced at $0.10, is up 13 times since launching in July for $0.0074. An all-time high of $0.25 was seen on 3 December during the metaverse token goldrush. With a market capitalisation of $528m and a circulating supply of 5.1 billion, there is clear room for growth. It should be taken into account that HERO is yet to be listed on the leading exchanges; KuCoin and gate.io are the primary sources of liquidity. A listing on Binance or Coinbase could see trading activity shoot upwards.

Looking at the price targets given by the forecasters, WalletInvestor’s 12-month projection caps out at $0.50, roughly in line with Gov Capital’s $0.53 price target, indicating potential 5x gains. That said, other forecasters are not so sure: Digitalcoin’s 12-month HERO price prediction is $0.13, slightly below PricePrediction’s $0.16 average target.

With a scanning partnership with Monaco 2022 in the bag (likely aimed at impressing ultra-rich patrons) the following year could be the real testing ground for Metahero’s true potential.

Somnium Space

Established in early 2018, Somnium Space naturally pivoted to the metaverse movement, benefiting from an existing virtual reality platform built on the Ethereum blockchain and availability on Oculus, Vive and Steam. Through Somnium’s implementation of the Unity SDK platform, Somnium’s digital world is highly customisable. Users have the tools to create games, marketplaces and other experiences at their fingertips.

Despite having a smaller user base than some of its competitors, some statistics are promising. Over a recent seven-day period, a total of $437,650 of land sales was executed, with an average sale price of $19,020. The NFT retention rate is 15.6%. DappRader reported a seven-day trading high of $1.5m in November 2021, with one land asset going for more than $145,000. 

Somnium’s CUBE token is an ERC-20 standard, though interestingly, the majority of Somnium NFT assets are traded on Solana’s Haloplex marketplace, undoubtedly because of the far lower gas fees.

One of the most head-turning aspects of Somnium is its partnership with Teslasuit (not affiliated with Elon Musk’s Tesla company), a human-to-digital, full-body interface allowing for haptic feedback. Despite the Teslasuit being in limited supply at a high price, such a collaboration shows that Somnium is thinking big when it comes to metaverse applications, perhaps more so than its larger competitors.

With all that said and done, how is its CUBE cryptocurrency faring on the market? Could it become a top metaverse token in 2022?

CUBE is currently trading at $6.89. With only 12.5 million of the 100 million supply in circulation, CUBE’s market capitalisation currently stands at $86.15m, a significantly lower valuation than other projects in this article. Therefore, it could be argued that this valuation has loads of room to grow.

Recent chart activity closely mirrored other metaverse tokens and the crypto market as a whole. As such, CUBE is trapped in a bearish downward channel, trading below the trendline with a MACD in the red. An all-time high of $28.46 was seen on 3 November, but while a correction followed in the months after, CUBE is still 3.3 times up from before the bull run.

There are also some bullish 12-month price predictions emerging from the forecasters, including WalletInvestor's prediction of $28.11 and Gov Capital’s $34.43 price target. Should they prove accurate, these projections equate to four-times and five-times gains respectively. But as always, bear in mind that digital forecasters should not be used as genuine investment advice.

With higher forecaster projections than many of its competitors and a potentially undervalued market cap, Somnium could potentially be one of the top metaverse tokens to watch in 2022.

Horizon Worlds

No metaverse token list would be complete without acknowledging the project that kickstarted the metaverse token gold rush that we witnessed in the latter stages of 2021.

Following a two-year beta phase and Mark Zuckerberg’s fairly awkward announcement of Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, the mega corporation at long last opened up its Horizon Worlds digital playground to 18+ US and Canadian Oculus Quest 2 headset users.

Speaking to Digiday, Meta’s vice-president Vivek Sharma outlined his vision: “You can imagine us building out an entire ecosystem where creators can earn a living, where communities can form and do interesting stuff together. So it’s not just a place for games; it’s not just a place for people to build creative stuff; it’s all of the above.”

From an infrastructure perspective, three distinct elements constitute Meta’s digital society: the co-working app Horizon Workshop; virtual events platform Horizon Venues; and Horizon Worlds, the digital real estate market more akin to Decentraland.

Horizon Worlds has one obvious selling point that its metaverse competition lacks – the backing of a trillion-dollar corporation and all of the power, expertise and influence that comes with it. That being said, whether or not this proves to be a turn off for users and investors more inclined to gravitate towards more decentralised, community-run organisations is something to keep in mind.

The BEP-20 MTH token is currently in presale mode until 20 February. Potential investors may purchase 10 billion MTH for 0.1 BNB ($42.56). If that sounds like a steal, one should bear in mind the mind-boggling maximum supply figure of 1,000,000,000,000,000, or one quadrillion. An airdrop and referral scheme is also active, allowing users to claim 200 million MTH for each invitation to the presale.

With such a large proposed circulating supply, Meta is clearly banking on winning the metaverse race. But with other well-established projects also rebranding as metaverse contenders, not to mention the considerable reputational battering Facebook has endured in recent years, its success is not set in stone.

Final thoughts

The year 2021 saw the metaverse concept entered the zeitgeist. While a truly immersive metaverse might be a little while off, 2022 will undoubtedly see many exciting use cases and technological developments that will help to realise these ambitions.

You should always remember to conduct your own thorough research on a project before investing. Further research could include assessing white papers, researching the development teams and reading social media and Telegram posts.

FAQs

Depending on the project, metaverse tokens could potentially be a good investment. We witnessed considerable gains on most major metaverse tokens in 2021, followed by a correction phase. 

Extensive due diligence, including reading the white paper, research the development team and checking social media engagement, should be conducted before placing an investment.

Metaverse tokens can be purchased on various exchanges, depending on the project. Major tokens including MANA are available on Currency. Check official websites to find out.

You should always conduct thorough research before investing in metaverse tokens. Make sure to never invest more that you can stand to lose. Please bear in mind that the contents of this piece should not be considered as genuine investment advice.

Further reading

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