The rise of metaverses. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and virtual real estate have made the news cycle as many celebrities and billionaires are now spending millions in hopes of getting in early on this fledgling sector. Recently, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced that he is teaming up with Vietnamese gaming start-up Sky Mavis to help them grow their super popular blockchain game, Axie Infinity. The latter is only one of many virtual worlds that offer money-making opportunities, which along with its competition, is gaining traction at an incredible pace.
A metaverse is a shared virtual space where users can interact, explore, build structures, and even run businesses. Massive open-world games have existed for quite some time now. However, thanks to the ever-growing acceptance of blockchain technology, this concept has gotten elevated to an entirely new level. Today, popular metaverses live on top of existing digital ledgers, which provide the foundation for their transactional capabilities. Below, we break down the four most popular virtual worlds, where users have the potential to make a living from home.
Currently, Decentraland is likely the most robust metaverse in terms of financial possibilities. This Ethereum-based world started in 2015 as a 2D pixel grid where users would get assigned digital estate ownership. It then went through several updates, and a year later, it began morphing into a massive 3D environment that launched in late 2017.
Users can purchase in-game items using Decentraland’s native currency – MANA, which is an ERC-20 token. However, the most enticing aspect of this world is its virtual real estate. All users can purchase estate plots called LAND (ERC-721 token) and build structures on top of them, which they can turn into a base of operations for a business. Gaming pioneer Atari recently signed a two-year lease for an estate in Decentraland’s Vegas City district to open a virtual gambling venue that would feature slots and live tables, gaming options similar to games found in online casinos.
Axie Infinity went live in 2018 and is the brainchild of two Vietnamese software engineers, Tu Doan and Trung Nguyên. It is a universe undoubtedly inspired by Pokémon and Tamagotchi games. Like Decentraland, Axie Infinity also uses the Ethereum blockchain, utilizing ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens.
The goal in this world is to collect Axies. These are pet-like creatures that live in artificial environments called terrariums. Users can breed these pets using Small Love Potion (SLP) tokens. Every Axie gets born weak, but each can get the experience needed to ascend to a superior level via daily activities and battles. These virtual pets are NFTs, that if build-up enough, can get sold for ridiculous prices. In November of 2020, an Axie named Angel got bought for a record-breaking 300 Ether, or $130,000.
Mobile gamers may be familiar with the Sandbox due to the two smash-hit smartphone games from developer Pixowl, the Sandbox, and the Sandbox Evolution. The duo generated over forty million downloads on the Apple store and Google Play. Due to their popularity, in 2018, Pixowl decided to transport its creation onto the Ethereum blockchain, disrupting games like Roblox and Minecraft by allowing users ownership of their creations in the form of NFTs.
The Sandbox is a very similar platform to Decentraland, boasting the same low-poly graphics. SAND is the ERC-20 token that is the basis for all transactions within this ecosystem. Users spend SAND to play games, customize avatars, buy equipment, and acquire LAND and ASSETS. The latter gets created by players who assemble user-generated content and utilize the ERC-1155 standard. ASSETS can get traded or sold.
Somnium Space is an open-source social virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain. It went live in early 2020, with a promise to move closer to a Ready Player One virtual experience year after year. Somnium Space is different from other multiplayer VR games because it hosts its players in a single world. Competitors divide into mirrored instanced rooms and sub servers. It also has native NFT integration and a persistent server architect.
The graphics in Somnium Space are a tad more advanced than the metaverse mentioned above, as they feature daily weather changes, cast shadows, and superior character models. Though, it has the same already discussed money earning schemes. Somnium Space’s in-game currency is Somnium Cubes, an ERC-20 token.
To Sum Up
Non-fungible tokens are the reason why metaverses are in style and will likely maintain in the coming years. Blockchain technology now allows users to monetize digital creations. NFT artworks are getting sold for millions, and many predict that we are on the cusp of a virtual real-estate boom. People operate nightclubs, museums, casinos, and so much more in these games. Thus, there may be a time where money-making opportunities even out in the physical and virtual worlds.
About the Author
Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com. However, over her eleven-year career, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.