What is the sandbox (SAND)? Your ultimate guide

What is the sandbox (SAND)? It’s the native token of the Sandbox gaming experience

The Sandbox logo seen on a mobile phone in front of a gaming screen                                 
SAND is the coin that helps lubricate the Sandbox game experience – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

In the world of interactive gaming, which also brings non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to the masses, one of the biggest names is The Sandbox. The game even has its own cryptocurrency, the SAND coin. 

But what is the sandbox (SAND)? How does the sandbox (SAND) work? What is SAND used for? Before we talk about the sandbox (SAND), however, we need to take a look at The Sandbox itself.

The Sandbox network is a virtual world, not dissimilar to the likes of Decentraland or Second Life. SAND is the native token of The Sandbox, which is why it is so important.

The Sandbox explained

The Sandbox has been around in various incarnations for nearly 10 years, as it was first released in May 2012. It initially turned up as a mobile experience in 2011, which is when video games studio Pixowl launched it.

Pixowl was co-founded by its CEO, Arthur Madrid, who had previously started 1-Click Media, together with 1-Click Media's former project lead, Sebastien Borget. As of 2021, Madrid serves as Pixowl’s CEO and Borget is the company’s chief operating officer (COO). 

The game began as a two-dimensional experience, with players taking the role of an apprentice deity and creating their own worlds within the system. It proved to be reasonably popular and, as more people used it, The Sandbox launched its own PC version through the stream network in 2015. The game was successful enough that a sequel, The Sandbox Evolution, came out in 2016. Between the two of them, the games have been downloaded more than 40 million times. 

With the two games enjoying these successes, it was perhaps inevitable that a third game would be released. While The Sandbox Evolution had more or less started where its predecessor had left off, the third incarnation would – at least in the context of the games – represent a revolutionary new era.

In 2018, Pixowl was bought up by the Hong Kong-based company Animoca Brands in a deal worth $4.875m (£3.658m, €4.347m). With Animoca’s backing, the next game became its own three-dimensional project and was linked in with the blockchain, as this enabled participants to both create and trade in NFTs int he midst of the in-game experience. 

Now, for those who have been living in a box over the past year, non-fungible tokens – or NFTs – are in effect unique and therefore collectible pieces of digital artwork. The definition of “fungible” is something that can be replaced by something that is identical, but not the same.

In the world of crypto, a cryptocurrency such as bitcoin (BTC) can be seen as fungible: you could lend someone BTC and then have it paid back with different bitcoin tokens to the same value. Meanwhile, since each NFT is unique, if you were to lend it to someone and they were to repay you with another one, you would not receive the same NFT with the same equivalent value. 

The Sandbox white paper says: “Our vision is to offer a deeply immersive metaverse in which players will create virtual worlds and games collaboratively and without central authority.

“We are aiming to disrupt the existing game-makers like Minecraft and Roblox by providing creators true ownership of their creations as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and rewarding their participation with our utility token – SAND.”

 

The Sandbox (SAND) digital currency coin plus price graph chart
The SAND coin is the native token of The Sandbox – Photo: Shutterstock

Making the game

The Sandbox white paper argues that while there are already a lot of games that give their players the chance to create a world – for example, Minecraft – these games are centralised. This means that in games where transactions can take place, the prices are controlled by whoever is at the centre. Since many creations are copied, it can be hard to see who originally came up with a design, idea or product, and thus the issue of intellectual property and who owns the copyright prevails.

The Sandbox says: “We aim to overcome these limitations while accelerating blockchain adoption to grow the blockchain gaming market. We will do this by building a gaming platform where creators are able to craft, play, share, collect and trade without central control, thus enjoying secure copyright ownership with the ability to earn cryptocurrency (SAND). This copyright ownership will be established and guaranteed through the use of NFTs, where every in-game item will have a unique and immutable blockchain identifier.”

As far as creating NFTs within the game goes, The Sandbox uses a system called Voxel Editor. The NFTs made by users can be sold on the game’s marketplace, with transactions taking place in the SAND cryptocurrency. When people buy their NFTs, they can use them to decorate their own digital plots of land, called LAND, in the system. This will enable other users to visit them and share their experiences.

SAND coin explained

The sandbox (SAND) cryptocurrency is used to buy virtual land within the Sandbox metaverse. It can also be used to interact with the NFTs that are created within the game, and it can be staked for certain privileges within the Sandbox system.

The white paper says the token can give holders voting rights on key elements such as Foundation grant attributions to content and game creators, and to buy prioritisation on the platform roadmap. SAND owners will also have the ability to vote themselves or delegate their voting rights to other players of their choice.

The SAND coin 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 – which are referred to as called ASSETS.

As well as that, 5% of the total amount of 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, in effect. 

The sandbox cryptocurrency  is an ERC-20 token, which means that it is based on the Ethereum blockchain. It went on the open market in late 2020, but before then it was subject to an initial coin offering (ICO), which raised $3m in August 2020. There is a total supply of three billion SAND, of which 892,246,119.22 – or about 30% – are currently in circulation. 

What makes SAND different from Decentraland’s MANA cryptocurrency, for example, is that SAND can be held in order to create NFTs within the game’s system itself, as well as for buying NFTs in game. This means that people who want to make their own tokens might buy up SAND for that purpose.

There is currently a total supply of three billion SAND, of which 892,246,119.22 – or about 30% – are currently in circulation. 

Both The Sandbox and SAND coin were created by the Pixowl game studio, which was founded by Arthur Madrid and Sebastien Bourget.

You can buy SAND at some, but not all, crypto exchanges. We don’t have it yet at currency.com yet, but we will let you know if and when we do. 

Further Reading

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