Metaverse is one of the hottest new buzzwords on the Internet.
If you’re new to partying, the Metaverse is the latest iteration of virtual reality, or the world people access using virtual reality headsets. Businesses see the Metaverse as a new frontier with as transformative potential as the World Wide Web a generation ago.
This broadly futuristic concept became a household word after Facebook rebranded itself as Meta Platforms last year.
Cryptocurrencies are starting to play an important role in certain areas of this Brave New World. However, its role in shaping the metaverse has been complicated by the significant decline in crypto winters through 2022.
Here we take a look at the top Metaverse coins (cryptocurrencies that serve to facilitate commerce and exchange within the Metaverse) with a market cap of over INR 40 billion.
1. Apecoin (APE)
- Market cap: INR 14.3 billion
ApeCoin is not only one of the largest metaverse coins on the market, but also one of the newest. It was designed to power the growing ecosystem around the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Bored Ape Yacht Club is one of the most successful non-fungible token (NFT) art collections. The lowest price for these blockchain art monkeys is estimated at around Rs 8 million. Her NFT collection of sisters Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) has a price tag of INR 1 million as the lowest price tag.
To capitalize on the popularity of these expensive apes, APEs have been airdropped to all owners of Bored Ape or Mutant Ape NFTs in March 2022. The goal behind APE is voting and governance issues and trading within the “Ape Metaverse”.
2. Internet Computer (ICP)
- Market capitalization: about 127 billion rupees
Internet Computer was developed by the Swiss non-profit Dfinity Foundation. The ICP’s goals are ambitious. It’s about replacing the centralized internet we know so well today with a decentralized alternative.
Today’s Internet is largely thought to be built by centralized companies such as Alphabet and Amazon.com, which own the Google family of products.
Internet Computer, launched in May 2021, seeks to change this order, helping users move to a more inclusive and open source internet. We aim to implement this vision using smart contracts to reduce computational costs and increase speed.
Backed by luminaries such as venture capitalist (VC) Andreesen Horowitz, the company had a brief but eventful streak. Initially, ICP amassed a huge market capitalization of over INR 3 trillion when the token traded at around INR 57,262.
It’s still one of the bigger cryptos around, but enthusiasm has waned, with the price of ICP dropping significantly from its early highs.
3. Stack (STX)
- Market capitalization: 106 billion Indian rupees
Bitcoin (BTC) may be the progenitor of all blockchains, but its role in the metaverse was somewhat unclear until the stack was launched on top of it.
Stacks is a Layer 1 blockchain that connects to Bitcoin’s blockchain via STX’s proprietary Proof of Transfer (PoX) mechanism. This technology allows Bitcoin miners to pay to create new STX tokens. Additionally, stack holders can be stacked ( staking) Earn BTC rewards with your own STX coins.
Stacks’ main goal is to bring Web3 decentralized applications (dApps) and smart contracts to Bitcoin, the world’s oldest and most secure blockchain. Founded by a number of venture capital funds including Winklevoss Capital, Y Combinator and Digital Currency Group.
Stacks 2.0, the first cryptocurrency to receive approval for sale by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), will launch its mainnet in January 2021.
4. Decentraland (MANA)
- Market cap: INR 86 billion
Decentraland operates its own entire metaverse. It is a VR platform powered by the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, with the native token MANA used to transact business in that world.
Users can create avatars and freely navigate this online universe. The Decentraland Marketplace is where you can buy land, avatar outfits, accessories, and more. Content and applications from around the world can also be monetized.
The hope of this project is that Decentraland will become the place where more and more users choose to hang out, do business, and trade every day.
Concerns over user decline have led some to question whether the Metaverse project will take off, or whether traditional games will continue to be a better alternative.
5. THETA NETWORK (THETA)
- Market cap: INR 80 billion
YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Twitch are video streaming giants run by powerful, centralized companies.
Enter Theta, a blockchain dedicated to video streaming. It aims to operate a peer-to-peer video distribution network to decentralize video streaming.
The company’s promise is like many metaverse business plans. That means cutting costs, shifting power from corporations to the masses, and eliminating middlemen. According to Theta, this vision will give content creators a big chunk of the pie and make video cheaper for consumers.
Theta Network is designed to utilize some of your computer’s power and spare bandwidth as you consume video content to relay those videos to other users on the network. In return, you will receive THETA tokens. The more people on the network, the better the streaming quality and speed.
Those in the traditional video streaming business are taking notice. Theta’s advisory board includes Twitch co-founder Justin Kan and YouTube co-founder Steve Chen.
6. Axie Infinity (AXS)
- Market capitalization: 79 billion rupees
Axie Infinity took the crypto world by storm during the Covid-19 pandemic, emerging as the biggest “play to earn” game, paving the way for the likes of Sandbox and Decentraland.
Axie Infinity is inspired by popular games like Pokémon and Tamagotchi, and is similar in many ways. Players earn in-game tokens by pitting cute monsters against each other.
Unlike its centralized brethren, Axie Infinity is registered on the blockchain, monsters are purchased in the form of NFTs, and tokens earned (AXS) are actively traded cryptocurrencies on the market.
AXS was very popular during the pandemic as a way to make money while people were stuck at home. However, as the Play-to-Earns model has grown, criticism of its hierarchical nature has leveled.
Wealthier investors known as academics can buy expensive NFT monsters before leasing them to players known as workers in low-income countries. , followed by Brazil, is very popular.
Players only receive a portion of the earnings earned from playing. Without an intermediary he has no financial means to purchase NFTs.
7. Sandbox (SAND)
- Market cap: INR 74 billion
A sandbox is a virtual world with native tokens to trade with in-game digital assets. SAND can be earned and spent within the Sandbox, as can his MANA in Decentraland, another metaverse coin that appears on this list.
Virtual world tokens highlight why investing in the metaverse is so difficult. The Metaverse is still in its early stages, with an ever-increasing range of platforms and a rapidly changing environment that changes day by day, making it very difficult to pick a winner.
The price of the SAND token has not come as a surprise so far this year as both these variables and the wider market have moved against it.
Whether the Metaverse achieves its goals remains a question of which games, platforms and applications outperform the rest.