Learn Cryptocurrency
15 Dec 2021

The Metaverse and Cryptocurrencies: Explained

Devansh Sinhal

Have you ever hypothesised something audacious yet achievable? Well, there are good grades, and there’s the Metaverse. 

As you’ll read in this blog, the Metaverse is a virtual integration of futuristic, technical elements, including virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, where users can ‘live’ within a digital world – one that’s completely disconnected from reality. 

Key Takeaways

  • Metaverse is the virtual space replete with real possibilities
  • As a concept, Metaverse will make digital and virtual life a reality
  • In the Metaverse, you can play virtual games, buy land, purchase NFTs, attend concerts, and manage other activities, all without leaving the comfort of your home
  • Metaverse-relevant cryptocurrencies are the ones that can be used to transact in this virtual space
  • AXS, SAND, ATLAS, and GALA are top Metaverse gaming tokens
  • MANA and ENJ are other Metaverse-relevant tokens for purchasing digital assets and NFTs
  • Leading companies like Meta Platforms and Microsoft have already ventured into the Metaverse space

The Metaverse and Cryptocurrencies: Explained

The Metaverse lets users recreate their experiences in the real world on a virtual platform. This effectively allows them to interact with friends and have new experiences virtually. 

While the technology is still in development, enthusiasts claim that the finished product will allow users to work, shop, exercise, do business, buy land or create art in a completely virtual environment. It can also be described as a wholly digital and virtual extension of reality itself.

Imagine owning 1,00,000 square meters of land in a virtual world without having to talk to brokers, stand in endless queues, and go through heaps of paperwork!

Metaverses are being developed by many companies worldwide, and most of them use cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for transactions, buying land, or simply being part of the all-inclusive virtual environment.

How The Metaverse is Related to Crypto

Metaverses function using their currencies. Ideally, they can be used to buy real estate, invest, sell, buy luxuries, etc., in the virtual world using characters that users control in real life. The Metaverse concept revolves around the idea of creating another virtual world using machine learning, augmented reality, and high-powered computers. 

Decentraland is one such virtual marketplace where users can communicate, attend concerts, play games, and do almost anything they would in a real-world setting. 

For this to efficiently take place, there has to be a currency that acts as the medium of exchange for it all.

Enter cryptocurrencies.

Unlike the real world, where fiat currencies can be used to pay for services, land, and other resources, the Metaverse uses crypto.

Metaverse games use these cryptocurrencies to reward players and keep them incentivised. Tokens like Axie Infinity and Axie Infinity Shards are used in a game where players collect Smooth Love Potions – digital tokens that can potentially be converted into real money through crypto.

That’s not it.

As you’ll read about below, the Metaverse can also be used for many other things – NFTs, corporate meetings, and saving lives.

Metaverse Games

Cryptocurrencies allow games to operate by giving them a transacting medium that’s not only fast but also reliable.

Axie Infinity

Many players play Axie Infinity for collecting these tokens and later redeeming them for real money. Although it’s hard to say how many people are playing just to earn money, DappRadar, a firm that tracks data on DeFi, recorded a 600% increase in the number of crypto wallets connected to the game’s servers. The number jumped from 51,000 active wallets to a whopping 359,284 in just over three months.

Convert Axie Infinity (AXS) to INR

“Axie embodies a new generation of games, where game creators are not operating from a place of fear but rather as an open, free market economy,” wrote Arianna Simpson, general partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz that has invested in Sky Mavis, the Vietnamese studio that developed Axie. “What this means for the future of games, and really the web as we know it, is as big as your imagination will allow.”

Buy Axie Infinity (AXS) in INR

Star Atlas

Star Atlas is not so much a game as it is an exploration device of sorts. The platform lets people explore the virtual extra-terrestrial environment through personalised spaceships. The huge Metaverse created by the platform supports in-game activities like territory exploration, operating a virtual economy, and being part of an established society.

Most of the activities in the environment are supported by the ATLAS token built on the Solana blockchain, which is believed to be much faster, cheaper, and more secure than the Ethereum one. The game also uses an in-game token called POLIS, which opens up more functionalities for connected users wanting to have an immersive and active virtual exploration experience.

The Sandbox

Adding to the Metaverse-relevant gaming experience is Sandbox, a fully-developed virtual world that concerns competitive gaming. And what’s interesting is that this platform comes across as a play-and-earn ecosystem, where the earned tokens can also be used to purchase virtual objects and land. 

Convert SAND to INR

Gala Games

Gala Games is yet another Metaverse-relevant gaming ecosystem with Ethereum at its core. The best part about this gaming space is that it encourages competitions and token exchanges between the participants, all the while increasing liquidity for its token, GALA, on exchanges around the world.

Investing in The Metaverse

Metaverses, and the games developed on them, are growing at breakneck speed with millions of dollars of institutional money flowing into their R&D. These include augmented reality, machine learning, and artificial intelligence – technologies that support their development. The efforts are spearheaded mainly by big names like Meta, Sandbox, Microsoft, and smaller firms like Decentraland, Star Atlas, and Axie Infinity.

For investors looking to be a part of the insane growth of this space, there are two options:

  • investing in the companies and studios that build these games/environments; or
  • investing in the cryptocurrencies these platforms use virtually.

We’ve compiled a list of companies and tokens that you can invest in if you want to ride the GameFi and virtual yet highly productive wave as an investor.

Top Companies Involved in The Metaverse

Here they are:

Decentraland

Decentraland is a virtual reality space that uses the crypto token MANA. Users on Decentraland can explore LAND owned by other users and witness incredible scenes and structures.  These include “…a space adventure to a medieval dungeon maze to entire villages crafted from the minds of community members”, says the Decentraland website. Users can create scenes, artworks, and more using the Builder tool on the platform and participate in events to win prizes. 

Convert MANA to INR

Decentraland also allows community members to buy and sell LAND, Estates, and Avatar accessories on a ‘marketplace’ within the platform’s servers. These transactions are all supported by the Ethereum blockchain.

Buy Decentraland (MANA in INR)

Microsoft

Microsoft, the software giant, has already dipped its toes and started pouring money into the R&D of extended reality applications with the Microsoft Mesh platform. 

The most significant objective right now is to integrate augmented reality with virtual reality. For that, Microsoft has begun developing holograms and virtual avatars. For a test launch, developers are bringing these virtual avatars to the video conferencing and team collaboration platform, Teams. 

Branching out and collaborating with the U.S. Army, Microsoft is also working on an augmented reality headset called Hololens 2, which helps soldiers train, rehearse, and perfect their skills in a virtual platform.

Meta Platforms

Meta seems to be so involved with this Metaverse concept because they’re the one company already leaps and bounds ahead of the competition in this space. Meta acquired Oculus back in 2014, a company that produces VR headsets for an immersive in-game experience for users.

It is working towards a world where people are represented in the virtual world using artificial avatars. Like in real life, these avatars interact with other users through their respective avatars.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Meta, said, “The next platform and medium will be an even more immersive and embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it, and we call this the metaverse.” 

Facebook already has skin in the game with the launch of Facebook Horizon, an invitation-only environment that users can access using an Oculus headset. The company also rolled out Horizon Workrooms in 2019, a feature where co-workers can hold meetings in virtual rooms using VR headsets, interacting with each other through cartoonish 3D versions of themselves.

While Meta might be a big name in the metaverse space right now, some smaller players have made headway in getting this technology out to people. For instance, Decentraland incentivises users to operate in their shared virtual world where they can buy real estate in the form of NFTs, etc.

Metaverse-Relevant Cryptocurrencies on CoinSwitch Kuber

These are the leading cryptocurrencies supported on top metaverse projects currently under development.

top metaverse crypto tokens available at coinswitch

MANA (MANA)

Termed as the hottest Metaverse altcoin, Decentraland’s native, MANA token is now listed on CoinSwitch. But getting listed isn’t the only good thing about MANA. Decentraland lets you delve deeper into the Metaverse by giving you access to digital assets, NFTs, virtual land, and more.

MANA is the key to all those functionalities. Also, if you are into tokenomics, MANA is deflationary and is backed by Genesis One Capital, Coinfund, and Animoca Brands. At the time of writing, MANA is closing in on more than a $9 billion market share.

SAND (SAND)

The Sandbox gaming ecosystem is already a market leader in the Metaverse space. Its token, SAND, manages the various competitions, rewards, and transactions relevant to The Sandbox while also acting as the native currency for its marketplace.

Also, good news!

SAND is finally listed on CoinSwitch, showing a lot of promise owing to its insane popularity and an ever-increasing market cap of more than $6 billion at the time of writing.

GALA (GALA)

With a market cap of almost $5 billion, GALA is one of the most impactful Metaverse-relevant Altcoins. This Ethereum-backed token is insanely popular in the Gala Games blockchain space, where users deploy this utility token for transactions related to in-game essentials. 

But that’s not it. GALA tokens can also purchase platform-specific NFTs, which can then be sold or bought at popular NFT marketplaces like OpenSea.

Solana (SOL)

Solana is a blockchain network that supports the ATLAS token used on the Star Atlas platform. It was first launched in 2010 and has become a prime competitor to Ethereum. Currently ranking at #5 by market cap, it commands a market share worth $56 billion.

Convert Solana to INR

Axie Infinity (AXS)

Axie Infinity is a growing universe of games and systems that uses cartoon characters like Axis.

Community members themselves usually generate axes and are also termed in-game NFTs. 

The game has garnered more than 13,000 ETH in revenue so far and has a steadily growing user base. The Axie Infinity token AXS fell to its lowest point back in mid-September; it has grown phenomenally in the last couple of months to be valued at around $160 per token in the first week of November.

Both these coins are available to be traded, bought, sold, or held on CoinSwitch Kuber, the largest crypto exchange in India with more than 12 million active users.

Visit our website and download the mobile app now!

Is Metaverse The Next Big Thing?

There is a growing community of people who believe that the metaverse concept could grow big enough to define the future of the internet. Virtual reality has come a long way in recent years, with headsets that can immerse the wearer into a virtual reality not much different from the real one. 

Although players can move around in these virtual worlds, participate in meetings, buy or sell real estate, or even build a house, the platforms that enable them are not as consistent or efficient as we’d like them to be yet. Even though there’s a lot of research currently taking place in this field, a lot more is still due.

Impact of The Metaverse on Global Crypto Markets

Metaverses and cryptocurrencies work in tandem. Together, they unlock a wide variety of experiences that can only be lived virtually. The blockchain platform that supports crypto coins and NFTs adds security and safety to these digital transactions and unlocks an untapped world of ownership in digital money.

More people are getting interested in cryptocurrencies because games like Axie Infinity act as entry points for investors in this space. That is also why tokens like MANA, SAND, and AXS have shot up in value exponentially, helping gamers pay their bills and support their families. Several multiples have increased trading volumes after thousands of new wallets were linked to Axie Infinity. 

This works because players grind through the game to earn valuable tokens. Others who want to fast-track their progress through the game buy these tokens on the open marketplace. 

Players can also trade a game-related NFT outside the game in an open market, and smart contracts allow players even to earn royalties on such sales. Since engaging in these transactions requires people to have access to an exchange and a wallet, cryptocurrencies grow organically and shoot up trading volumes worldwide. Liquidity is enhanced, and everyone is better off.

Hence, one could reasonably infer that the GameFi trend has brought more institutional investors to the future of decentralised finance, the applications of cryptocurrencies, and the adoption of digital money. 

Blockchain and the Metaverse

With its decentralisation, immutability, and transparency, the blockchain allows cryptocurrencies and the Metaverse to coexist. With their seamless integration, the Metaverse can find opportunities for growth in a world adopting crypto at breakneck speed. With the blockchain working behind the scenes on metaverse projects, time is the only barrier behind their adoption. Experts predict that the blockchain’s decentralised nature will help scale the metaverse concept, bringing access to the virtual world to anyone with a computer.

Conclusion: Is it Worth Investing In The Metaverse?

While the opportunity to get into the space as an early investor is long gone, there are still several buying opportunities for people wanting to invest in GameFi long-term. Companies like Meta and Microsoft are good bets to consider since they are market leaders in the space.

Perhaps, the best investment to make in the GameFi and Virtual space is buying the tokens these games and platforms use – tokens like AXS, SAND, GALA, and MANA. History is witness to the price jump these coins have shown after their respective games exploded. The end is nowhere yet, and development keeps increasing exponentially. 

CoinSwitch Kuber is one of the best platforms to consider for investors who want to ride the metaverse wave. Not only do we support prime coins like AXS and SOL, but hundreds of others too. With an easy-to-use application interface to a clutter-free experience, we’ve gone out of our way to make the platform as user-friendly as possible. 

Visit our website or download the app now! (Android iOS)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Metaverse token?

Although there’s no official definition, a Metaverse token can be a native cryptocurrency used by a Metaverse platform in-game. Functionalities could include NFT trading, buying or selling assets within the forum, or even engaging in P2P transactions with other users.

What is Metaverse ETP?

Metaverse ETP is an index of the top five Metaverse-related digital assets. Recently launched, the Metaverse ETP can be traded on select exchanges worldwide.

Disclaimer : Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. The information provided in this post is not to be considered as investment/financial advice from CoinSwitch. Any action taken upon the information shall be at user's own risk.

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Devansh Sinhal

Content Writer

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