The metaverse is capturing the imaginations of millions worldwide, not only people interested in spending copious amounts of time in an alternate universe. Investors and brands are also enthralled, pouring buckets of real-world fiat into metaverse projects. VCs, investors, and large commercial brands’ investments give the meta corner of the cryptoverse a unique tether to the real world.
Money makes the real and virtual worlds go ‘round. As the metaverse gains traction, new digital currencies, aka “metaverse cryptocurrencies,” are emerging to facilitate commerce and exchange.
What are Metaverse Coins?
As you might expect, metaverse coins are cryptocurrencies that allow users to buy virtual goods, trade assets, and engage in various economic activities in the metaverse. Like other cryptocurrencies, metaverse coins rely on blockchain technology to ensure transparency, immutability, and security.
From the earliest days of the metaverse, developers realized the need to embed interoperability so that users could spend or efficiently exchange their coins across different virtual worlds and platforms. Like the real world, users can often carry their digital assets and currencies from one metaverse to another without needing multiple wallets or accounts.
Why Does the Metaverse Have Different Cryptocurrencies?
While it may seem logical to use popular cryptocurrencies like ETH or BTC as the primary medium of exchange within the metaverse, there are several reasons why metaverse developers issue different currencies.
- Specialization and Functionality: Issuers design metaverse coins with unique features and functionalities to support the metaverse ecosystem. They may include built-in mechanisms for virtual asset ownership, digital identity verification, or smart contract capabilities optimized for seamless transactions within the metaverse.
- Scalability and Efficiency: The metaverse experiences a high volume of transactions, ranging from microtransactions for virtual goods to larger transactions involving virtual real estate or complex in-world interactions. Specialized metaverse coins are often built on blockchain networks with high transaction throughput, enabling faster and smoother transactions than general-purpose cryptocurrencies.
- Economic Independence: Introducing distinct metaverse currencies fosters financial independence within the virtual realm. Metaverse coins are part of a self-contained economy that users hope can operate free from external fluctuations in the value of popular cryptocurrencies.
- Customization and Governance: Different metaverse projects and platforms may have unique rules, governance systems, and economic models. Using specialized metaverse coins enables customization and flexibility in designing these virtual economies.
- User Experience and Adoption: Dedicated metaverse currencies can enhance the user experience by providing a seamless way to interact within the virtual world. Unlike fiat currency, distinct metaverse coins can have a collectible-quality that fosters loyalty among users with shared values.
In sum, the emergence of specialized metaverse coins offers scalability, efficiency, customization, and improved user experiences while contributing to developing vibrant virtual economies within the metaverse.
High Market Cap Metaverse Coin Projects
As the crypto winter decimated cryptocurrency prices, metaverse coins also experienced a deep freeze in loss of value. The crypto press sees it as a glass-half-full situation, assuming the market will recover to its previous highs. If correct, today’s top market cap coins look like an incredible bargain with substantial future upside.
Given the difficulty in reading crypto’s crystal ball, that’s a big “If.”
Below are the projects with coins with market capitalizations greater than $500M, based on Crypto.com at the time of this article.
Let’s look at a few metaverse coins the experts are watching.
Metaverse Coins to Watch
The Bored Ape Yacht Club gained immense success as an NFT collection of irreverent ape art. Owning one of these blockchain art monkeys can require a significant investment, with prices starting at an estimated $100,000. Similarly, the sister NFT collection, Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), carries a floor price of $18,500, according to CoinGecko’s data.
In March 2022, APE tokens were airdropped to all holders of Bored Ape or Mutant Ape NFTs. APE serves a dual purpose, facilitating voting, governance, and transactions within the “Ape metaverse.”
ApeCoin stands out as one of the largest metaverse coins available and is among the most recent additions to the market. Its purpose is to fuel the expanding ecosystem surrounding the highly popular Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Internet Computer (ICP)
Centralized entities such as Alphabet (Google) and Amazon dominate Web 2.0. A Swiss nonprofit organization Dfinity Foundation developed Internet Computer (ICP), intending to replace the centralized Internet with a decentralized alternative.
Launched in May 2021, Internet Computer seeks to disrupt this order by empowering users to transition towards a more inclusive and open-source Internet.
Decentraland and The Sandbox
Decentraland is a virtual reality platform that allows users to create, explore, and interact with a decentralized digital world. Decentraland aims to provide a decentralized and immersive environment for users to engage in various activities, such as building and monetizing virtual experiences, participating in social interactions, and even establishing virtual businesses within the virtual world. Its native cryptocurrency is MANA.
The Sandbox is similar to Decentraland, except it prioritizes user-generated gaming content and experiences.
Decentraland and Sandbox retain large market caps, but users don’t seem to have gotten the memo. Skeptics point to low user counts as a sign that these platforms may not leap from immersive video games to virtual worlds with mainstream appeal.
Avaxtars is a current top mover. A concept from the video game segment, Avaxtars is an idle browser game that focuses on minimal player input and gradual progress. In an idle browser game, the play revolves around accumulating resources or in-game currency, even when the player is not actively interacting with the game.
The primary feature of idle browser games is their ability to continue progressing even if the player is inactive. AVAXTARS runs on the Avalanche Blockchain Platform with the Play to Earn (P2E) model.
Users can use ERC-721 NFTs to produce new ones and may earn $AVXT, the primary gaming token of the Avaxtars.
The emergence of metaverse coins opens up new possibilities for creators, developers, and users. As the metaverse continues to evolve and expand, metaverse coins are a fascinating element in shaping the future of digital economies and virtual experiences.
Whether your crypto strategy includes a metaverse play or not, ZenLedger can help aggregate all your transactions across wallets and exchanges, compute your capital gain or loss, and generate the tax forms you need.
The above is for general info purposes only and should not be interpreted as professional advice. Please seek independent legal, financial, tax, or other advice specific to your particular situation.