Apple is ready to take its leap into the metaverse if rumors around the launch of a mixed-reality headset are to be believed. The excitement has permeated the crypto side of the market too. The demand for AXS, SAND, MANA, and FGHT is growing, as both crypto and non-crypto investors pile in.
According to industry experts, metaverse tokens are one of the most profitable crypto investments in 2023. The ongoing developments in the crypto-metaverse sector look promising, with many projects ready to explore beyond gaming and entertainment to real-world use cases. The release of some much-awaited VR devices is expected to fuel the hype, generously rewarding investors who bought the dips.
Here’s an analysis of the crypto metaverse mania and whether it is here to stay.
Apple has been playing around with the idea of augmented reality for some time now. With the rumors around the launch of an AR headset gaining strength, it looks like the company is joining Google, Meta, Microsoft, and other tech giants in the venture toward the virtual world. The long-due mixed-reality headset is expected to go live in the second half of 2023, while the actual dates of announcement and release remain blurry.
According to some reports, the company is planning to unveil the product this spring, before the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Over the years, Apple has been dropping clues about its metaverse dreams with some primitive to simple AR features on iPhones and iPads. The headset will join a long list of contenders, including PlayStation VR 2 and Meta Quest 3.
It is likely to feature a high-end experience with a focus on work, mixed reality and eye tracking onboard, bearing similarities to Meta’s Quest Pro. The first version would be designed with a focus on gaming, media and communication, keeping in line with the ongoing developments on crypto metaverse platforms. AR FaceTime is one of the much-awaited features, which may allow users to interact with each other in their 3D avatars. The functionality would be compatible with most metaverse platforms. The device might be lightweight in comparison to existing VR headsets, while heavier than a normal pair of glasses. In fact, some reports say that Apple plans to replace the iPhone with AR in 10 years.
Advanced processors, likely based on Apple’s recent M2 chips, will give the project a competitive edge against peers. But the possibilities of a stand-alone device can’t be ruled out either. It will be compatible with (most of the) other devices from the brand, enhancing their user experience.
The metaverse hype began toward the end of 2021 with NFTs coming to the forefront with a unique model of virtual-world ownership. The tokenization of virtual assets into NFTs ensures that their transactions are recorded on the blockchain, overseen by a predefined smart contract. Nobody can manipulate these data without the knowledge of everyone else involved.
The breakthrough garnered a lot of attention in the crypto-metaverse space, urging prominent brands and celebrities to take their metaverse plunge. Leading companies like Nike, Adidas, Gucci, and J.P. Morgan marked their entry into the metaverse, and soon more followed the path. While some bought virtual real estate assets and flaunted their metaverse presence on popular platforms like The Sandbox and Decentraland, others launched metaverse NFTs.
The price of the crypto and NFT assets on these metaverse platforms skyrocketed, as a result. The news around Facebook’s dedicated entry to the metaverse with a drastic rebranding further fuelled the hype, rendering them unfeasible for actual users. By the end of last year, some metaverse assets had lost up to 95% of their market cap. Lack of user acquisition and retention, combined with the broader market downturn, worsened the plight.
Stepping into 2023, we’re witnessing a much-needed price correction in the crypto market. The biggest gainers of the recent bull run are metaverse tokens. Given that they have lost a large share of their value last year, the surge is likely to continue for a few more weeks till the market saturates for the time being.
The enduring crypto winter, however, didn’t stop the crypto market from experimenting with metaverse concepts. Established platforms like The Sandbox, Decentraland, Axie Infinity, Bloktopia, Theta Network, Illuvium, and Alien Worlds continued to introduce new features in line with the rising demands from the gaming and entertainment sectors. But we have also seen new projects with bold business models that explore real-world use cases emerge in the crypto metaverse arena.
Metaverse tokens are one of the most promising crypto assets to buy in 2023. No doubt about that. But a closer look at the market reveals that many of these tokens are standing on pure speculation, with no robust technology or business model supporting their value. If metaverse tokens have to sustain the value gained by the ongoing bull run, they need to amass a decent user base.
Crypto metaverses should have gripping utilities that lure in users. It can be games, virtual concerts, business events, or something new and unexplored. In addition, the technical foundation should be compatible with the ongoing developments in the traditional side of the world. Whether it’s the hardware or the software, the features should be futuristic with room for upgrades.
Moreover, they should not be discriminative towards users with lower initial capital. The entry barriers should be low, if not free, making the metaverse concept universal. Since metaverse hardware is expected to be expensive, crypto platforms have to ensure access without AR/VR gear as well. NFTs and crypto tokens should be within the reach of everyday users. That is critical to the mass adoption of the concept.
So it is important to analyze the underlying projects in detail before investing in any metaverse asset. We will give you a hand. Listed below are five metaverse tokens anchored by utility-rich and technically-sound projects.
There are few crypto metaverses that have done justice to the label “metaverse,” and Decentraland is the best among them. It is centered around a virtual reality platform where you can create, experience, and monetize content. The metaverse allows you to build truly virtual experiences.
According to the Decentraland 2023 Manifesto, this year will be a year of the creators.
If Decentraland focused on building an open protocol last year, it aims to become the most popular publishing medium for spatial content this year. This will be realized through monetizable, user-generated content with improvements to the Avatars, Emotes system and smart wearables. It will also experiment with a new publishing system called ‘Worlds’ in 2023. But there is more underway.
The consistent upgrades in Decentraland can sustain the value of MANA tokens, even after the bull run dies down. In addition, the platform has some vibrant events coming in 2023:
Next on our list is The Sandbox, of course. The project, which started as a 2D game for mobile phones, was acquired by Animoca Brands in 2018. On November 29, 2021, the game launched a blockchain-based 3D open-world game of the same name and went on to become a rage in the community. Although 2022 has been a lackluster year for the project in terms of asset prices, the consistent value built in the ecosystem is likely to pay off this year. We’re already seeing signs of it.
SAND has charted 64.8% growth in the last thirty days.
The 2023 roadmap has resonated with the audience, as proven by the double-digit price surge in the last few days. The primary goal this year for The Sandbox is to support the partners’ ecosystem.
The platform’s Web3 strategy, asset and experience creation, and marketing activations will undergo improvement to keep pace with time. Another important goal is to activate high-value NFT communities by empowering brands to take back control of their most loyal audience.
By the looks of it, The Sandbox will be at the forefront of the crypto metaverse mania this year, too.
Illuvium is an open-world metaverse that features a graphically-rich sci-fi adventure. In the NFT creature collector and auto-battler game, you need to conquer the wilderness to help your crash-landed crew flourish and earn rewards. The virtual world has seven alien landscapes, each of which will unveil the cataclysmic events that destroyed it.
As you can tell, the theme is addictive for all sci-fi fans. Illuvium is ruled by the deadly beasts called Illuvials, who possess hybrid synergies and unique abilities which can make or break your gameplay. You can prove your worth and increase your earning potential by discovering, hunting, and capturing over 100+ Illuvials. They can be then trained and fused to build a team of your own. Illuvium’s reward system is based on ILV tokens.
You can collect ILV tokens by playing, completing PVE quests, securing special achievements, and winning prizes in contests and tournaments. Illuvium hosts tournaments in the Leviathan Arena, a PVP Battle Arena. Another highlight of the platform is IlluviDEX – an NFT marketplace that facilitates instant peer-to-peer transactions at zero gas fees using Immutable X.
Despite the hype around metaverse projects, they have high entry barriers that regular players can’t break through. Meta Masters Guild (MMG) aims to solve this. It is the world’s first mobile-based gaming guild dedicated to building high-end mobile games with play-and-earn integrations.
The first three titles in the guild show promise in terms of gameplay and user acquisition:
But there are more features that underline the project’s relevance in the crowded metaverse gaming market. To begin with, MMG’s first principle is to never lose sight of the fun. It is a play-and-earn project rather than a play-to-earn project. That essentially means it shifts the attention back to the gameplay, integral to the long-term growth of a game. We have seen how gripping gaming mechanics are integral to bringing traditional gamers aboard and strengthening the foothold of blockchain games.
The rewards in MMG are distributed in Gems, which can be converted to $MEMAG tokens. The cryptocurrencies can be then staked or reinvested in the ecosystem through upgrades or cashed out in open marketplaces. It has the potential to give Sandbox and Decentraland a run for their money in the next months, as revealed by the widespread reception of the $MEMAG presale. It is the best early investment gateway to the project.
As you can see, all the projects discussed above revolve around gaming. Blockchain gaming holds large potential, but the increasing number of projects spawned into the market renders it saturated. Emerging metaverse gaming projects without unique themes and gameplay are unlikely to stand the test of time.
We need metaverse concepts with real-world utilities to take the concept to every household. Fight Out is a new metaverse project that introduces a blockchain fitness app and a high-end gym chain. The ecosystem will be anchored by advanced move-to-earn mechanisms. Although the project is new, you may have already seen it trending on social media platforms. The ongoing $FGHT presale is one of the biggest this year, having seen traction from both crypto and metaverse communities.
The market relevance of the project is emphasized by the fact that traditional fitness applications and gyms have failed to retain customers. Their poor performance makes it clear that we need more than just a gym membership and dozens of notifications to get out of the couch and sweat it out.
Fight Out puts forward an attractive alternative with the Fight Out Companion App. It helps you become fighting-fit in the real world and the metaverse, by giving workouts curated to your goals and ability. More importantly, it meticulously tracks your progress and achievements and then integrates them into your Fight Out soul-bound digital avatar. As the name hints, Fight Out soul-bound digital avatars can’t be transferred or resold. This is contrary to the popular narrative around NFTs that reduce them to cash grabs or absurd collectibles.
The move-to-earn mechanism on the platform rewards you based on your stats. The rewards are accumulated in REPS, which you can convert to buy gym passes, merch, private sessions, and NFT cosmetics for your avatar. But the metaverse token of the Fight Out ecosystem is FGHT, which you need to compete in leagues, tournaments, or special game modes. It will be the sole cryptocurrency of the platform.
An analysis of the Fight Out metaverse validates the ongoing presale, which is moving toward an early sell-out after seeing large traffic. The influx is also expedited by the early 50% bonus. If the metaverse succeeds in realizing its whitepaper vision and roadmap, the $FGHT token can fetch up to 20X returns for early investors by the second half of 2023.
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