The term “metaverse” seems to be everywhere — in the news, on social media and even at the dinner table. Although the technology is far from mainstream, it’s quickly garnering the attention of tech and crypto investors. As a result, metaverse coins present an untapped opportunity for 2022.
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It also helps that one of the biggest tech companies globally, Meta, is betting on the metaverse, even going so far as to change its name from Facebook. The company reportedly spent $10 billion on its metaverse project in 2021, calling it the future of technology. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain will play a vital role in that journey.
It’s important to note that cryptocurrency is a quickly changing market, and what’s doing well today may plunge tomorrow. Never invest more than you can afford to lose.
So how is the metaverse linked with cryptocurrencies? What is the metaverse exactly? Plus, what metaverse tokens should you be buying? Here’s a look at everything you need to know about the metaverse and the best coins to invest in.
Best Metaverse Coins To Buy Right Now
The good news is that because metaverse projects are fairly new, coin prices are quite low — well under $1 in many cases, and less than 1 cent in some. This opens the investment opportunity for nearly anyone. At the same time, it doesn’t mean all projects are worth your money.
In fact, industry experts say the current bear market is likely to shake out the “bad actors” — developers who have been more focused on building their fortunes than building their projects, CNBC reported.
It’s ideal to buy those metaverse coins that have shown potential through performance, utility or powerful financial backing — or all three. Here are some promising metaverse cryptocurrency coins for 2022.
1. ApeCoin (APE)
APE is what’s known as an ERC-20 token, which means it exists on the Ethereum blockchain. As a governance and utility token, it allows holders to participate in governing the Ape ecosystem and gives them access to games and other products and services available only to apecoin holders.
Apecoin is the native token for Otherside, a metaverse game from Yuga Labs, which created the wildly popular Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible tokens. Yuga Labs recently raised about $320 million in a virtual land sale that allowed APE token holders to purchase parcels in Otherside, Fortune reported.
Holders purchased 55,000 lots, or “Otherdeeds,” and 45,000 went to other individuals, such as Yuga Labs NFT owners and project developers. The sale created so much traffic on the Ethereum network that it drove up “gas fees” — the fee each user pays to conduct a transaction over Ethereum.
Issues with the minting process associated with the Otherdeeds resulted in a major apecoin price drop and greatly decreased demand for the coin, Cointelegraph reported. APE’s price fell from a high of $26 at the time the sale was announced to $3.49 in June. However, Yuga Labs’ demo of the Otherside metaverse, to which it invited 4,300 Otherdeed holders, caused a price surge that could prove to be a turning point for the coin. APE’s price as of Sept. 15 is $5.11.
In addition, APE tokens are being removed from the circulating supply in an effort to bolster the price. Whether that will be successful is anyone’s guess. Buying APE now, at its current bargain-basement price, could pay off handsomely if the project survives. But failure of the project would render apecoin worthless.
Apecoin was launched on March 17, at which time about 30% of the maximum supply of 1 billion coins was expected to be in circulation. Despite its position as a brand-new token that has experienced major challenges, apecoin has a market cap of $1.57 billion, making it the largest metaverse coin.
2. The Sandbox (SAND)
The crypto metaverse project The Sandbox has shown impressive performance. The native token of the platform, SAND, was consistently on the rise during 2021 and finally crossed the $1 mark in the last quarter of 2021, continuing its upward trajectory to $8.40 last November.
Like most, if not all, cryptocurrencies, however, the price has taken a nosedive since then and sits at $0.88, up about 50% from its one-year low, as of Sept. 15.
With a virtual reality aspect, this project is realizing the vision of the metaverse. The Sandbox is essentially a game, and it has the backing of gaming brands like Atari, which could help it navigate the current bear market. In addition, Lionsgate recently partnered with The Sandbox to create a “Hellboy”-themed metaverse destination, Deadline reported, and Tony Hawk announced he will build a skateboard park there.
The Sandbox is heavily based on the creation and trade of NFTs. Players can create NFTs using the SAND metaverse tokens.
Like countless other cryptocurrency projects, this one is based on Ethereum. It recently launched Alpha Season 3, which is expected to attract half a million users, Fortune reported.
Another promising factor is that it has a limited coin supply of 3 billion tokens, of which 1.5 billion are in use. Its market cap stands at $1.3 billion as of Sept. 15.
3. Decentraland (MANA)
In terms of popularity, Decentraland is one crypto metaverse project that has frequently been in the news. This was partly because of the NFT craze, which also led to significant gains for the platform’s native token, MANA.
Many NFT owners started using the platform to show off their NFTs. But NFTs aren’t the only thing on this metaverse platform. As its main feature, you can also buy virtual land and create virtual games and other digital assets — hence the name.
Sotheby’s, the broker of luxury goods and art, bought a plot of land in Decentraland and used it to create a replica of its London offices. This goes to show that even big companies are eyeing metaverse projects.
Created in 2017, Decentraland is one of the older projects that has taken time to get recognition. Although MANA’s performance hasn’t been something to write home about, its market cap impressively stands at $1.36 billion as of Sept. 15, making it the second-largest metaverse token by market cap.
MANA is down significantly since the beginning of the year but seems to have leveled off over the last several months.
4. Highstreet (HIGH)
Highstreet is an interesting metaverse project with virtual reality support that has potential, at least in terms of metaverse applications. For one, you can shop for things inside this virtual universe using the currency HIGH. Some Shopify stores are already integrated into the platform.
From a real-world — or in this case, meta-world — point of view, this project already accomplishes what the metaverse technology promises. If you’re an investor who sees practicality as a measure, this might be a good option.
The project is backed by the tech company HTC and, in August 2021, raised $5 million. Its market cap as of September 2022 is over $17.8 million.
5. Floki Inu (FLOKI)
Yes, floki inu is yet another dog-meme-based cryptocurrency, but it’s in the running for viable metaverse crypto — especially for those looking for undervalued cryptocurrencies. The currency is named after Elon Musk’s dog, which is a shiba inu — also the name of another crypto project.
The project’s website says that it aims to combine memes with real-world use cases. It also says that it will launch a game and an NFT marketplace, as well as a content and education platform. This is a project that is still in the making, but that hasn’t stopped over 400,000 people from buying the FLOKI tokens.
Floki inu has a market cap of $81.16 million and is selling for $0.000008679 as of Sept. 15.
6. Metahero (HERO)
Metahero is a new metaverse project that revolves around creating high-definition avatars of real-world objects and people using 3D scanning. The company has even installed a scanning chamber in Doha that scans objects and creates their digital, 3D form for the Metahero universe.
Metahero has partnered with Wolf Studio for this purpose. The cryptocurrency HERO, its native token, has a market cap of $16.26 million as of September 2022. Although that’s comparatively smaller than other tokens on this list, that’s because the project is very new.
Metahero’s YTD performance is dismal, with the currency having lost nearly all of its value. Recent collaborations that founder Rob Gryn has entered into with his other meta project, Everdome, could bolster Metahero as well, so HERO isn’t down for the count just yet. However, it is likely one of the most speculative metaverse cryptocurrencies at present.
7. Virtua (TVK)
Virtua is a project that goes back to 2017, when NFTs weren’t even in existence. However, now it’s a virtual environment that’s all about NFTs. You can create, sell and buy NFTs from other members using the native token TVK.
Since this project is banking on NFTs, it has massive potential given the surge in NFT investment. The platform is compatible with web, PC and augmented reality/VR environments, according to CoinMarketCap.
The TVK market cap as of now stands at over $29.45 million, while the YTD performance is -80.8%. However, new partnerships, such as a recent one with the NFT game Kawaii Islands, could increase its user base enough to make it viable in the long term.
8. Star Atlas (ATLAS)
Star Atlas is a metaverse project based on a game offering stunning graphics. The game shows the future — the year 2620 to be exact — where players can conquer land and collect resources in a highly futuristic setting.
The metaverse recently partnered with iBuyPower, a PC manufacturer that’ll serve as Star Atlas’ hardware provider, in a deal that’s expected to expand the game’s membership.
The game involves a metaverse token, ATLAS, which is earned by playing the game. Think of it as an average reward-based game where you earn coins as you play and accomplish things. But in this case, the rewards have the potential to make gains.
The game is based on Solana, which gives it the advantage of low transaction fees as compared with Ethereum-based projects. Its market cap is $11.13 million and the coin trades for $0.005163.
9. Enjin Coin (ENJ)
You’ll see a lot of metaverse coins in games, and Enjin is no exception. It’s a metaverse-style gaming environment where you can “mint” the local token, ENJ, which you can then use to buy assets that will help you progress in the game.
Everything in the game, from medicine to feature enhancement of your character, can be paid for with ENJ. So it’s also like a marketplace.
Enjin is based on the Ethereum blockchain and has a market cap of $499.4 million. Enjin recently launched the first-ever NFT parachain on Polkadot, making available over 100 games and apps.
After reaching 500,000 wallets — each wallet representing a user — in May, Enjin is currently beta testing its Enjin Wallet 2.0.
10. Epik Prime (EPIK)
Epik Prime is a metaverse project that has become all about NFTs. The cryptocurrency EPIK is available on PancakeSwap, Hotcoin Global, KuCoin and Huobi Global. Epik has over 300 gaming clients and licenses NFT collectibles and experiences to companies like Warner Music and Universal, according to CoinMarketCap, suggesting it’s likely to bounce back after the slump of the last few months.
EPIK was released just last year and has a market cap of $5.16 million. That’s the smallest by far of the coins on this list, but use cases from major companies make it worth considering.
What Are Metaverse Coins?
Metaverse is the technology behind a virtual universe where people can shop, game, buy and trade currencies and objects, and more. Think of it as a combination of augmented reality, virtual reality, social media, gaming and cryptocurrencies.
In the metaverse, cryptocurrencies will serve as money. This is based on the blockchain concept. This naturally is where the terms “metaverse coins,” “metaverse tokens” and “metaverse crypto” arise from. Every metaverse project has tokens that are used for transactions within that particular environment.
Current Metaverse Projects
Numerous metaverse projects are already in motion, and their tokens are available for purchase, with some, such as MANA, SAND and HIGH, even listed on certain coin exchanges. Both crypto investors and enthusiasts are eyeing these projects as they show potential.
According to Macro, a research firm based in the U.K., metaverse coins saw gains that topped those of bitcoin — with a whopping 37,000% increase — in 2021. Meanwhile, bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency by market value, made gains of 100%.
Metaverse projects range from virtual games to non-fungible token marketplaces, each proposing a unique concept and even some real-world applications.
Metaverse projects are appearing right and left, but some show real potential and stand above the crowd. The metaverse concept is deeply rooted in blockchain and cryptocurrency, which is why it can be a good idea to invest in some of these projects. Plus, the NFT buzz only seems to be increasing.
However, as with any other investment, don’t bet all your money on just one kind of metaverse coin, and don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose. It’s best to diversify, and more importantly, buy coins you think have potential.
Data was compiled between Sept. 15 and Sept. 16, 2022, and is subject to change.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.