The metaverse is a digital extension of our real lives. You can spend time with friends and family there, socializing at art galleries or concerts from any location around the world. And as the platform is digital in nature, it only makes sense that cryptos will go hand in hand with the metaverse. It is already being used to buy land or goods from online stores within virtual universes. So naturally, metaverse cryptos are all the rage right now. And as the concept continues to gain momentum, so will these coins.
Cryptocurrencies are volatile assets, so it’s important to know the risks before investing any money. Even when it seem like speculators have pushed a coin up, there could be hidden risks that make it less safe for average investors. This is especially treacherous territory for those who don’t follow tech news closely or have limited funds available, meaning they could miss out on other opportunities (like stocks.)
Before social media platforms such as Meta’s (NASDAQ:FB) Facebook or Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Linkedin became multi-billion-dollar companies, they were preceded by other sites that were less successful. This reminds us not to write off the metaverse if it fails to catch on initially; we should notice when new applications arise with potential. Hence, coins and tokens dealing with this new investment area warrant your attention.
Here are five metaverse cryptos to buy if you want to play this red-hot trend:
Metaverse Cryptos: Decentraland (MANA)
Virtual reality is the new frontier of gaming, and you can experience it for yourself today with Decentraland. You don’t need any cryptocurrency or headsets to explore this virtual world.
There are many different ways to play the game, including owning and developing a parcel of virtual land. You can use tools inside this digital world that people have created for you with things like mazes or casinos.
The Decentraland project, which aims to create an immersive virtual world on the blockchain, was launched in 2017. Since then, it has had quite some time to grow — all because this digital space is similar, but also different than our reality.
Users can take a break from the hustle and bustles of their everyday lives to stroll through town or visit an interactive art gallery. There’s also plenty for gamers in this online world, with immersive experiences available at your computer desk.
Decentraland hosted the first-ever multi-day music festival last year. More than 80 artists from around the world, including Paris Hilton and electronic dance music maestro Deadmau5, came together for the festival.
Due to its first-mover status, Decentraland did very well last year, jumping from under a dollar to near $5.50 in November. Since that time, the token has lost considerable steam. But investing in Decentraland is a savvy decision as it becomes more popular and valuable. Although these are still early days, MANA remains one of the best metaverse cryptos out there.
The Sandbox (SAND)
The Sandbox is like Decentraland in that it allows you to buy land, create and share games with others. The competition between the two projects is fierce, but they share a common aesthetic.
Both were formed around the same time and hold many values in common. However, there are some differences; for example, The Sandbox hasn’t yet released its entire virtual world for all players, which makes it somewhat exclusive right now.
Alternatively, The Sandbox is the best way to get started with non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It allows for more customization and a larger focus on creating unique items that players can purchase or trade for coins.
Users can build their games, which may be played or traded with other players through the platform’s partnered websites. These include several big names and franchises, like Snoop Dogg and The Walking Dead.
It was only a matter of time before The Sandbox’s metaverse saw similar success. The project has been in development since 2011. But much like Decentraland, it caught fire at the tail-end of last year. It won the support of SoftBank (OTCMKTS:SFTBY), which invested $93 million to help it get its product out faster.
The crypto market is currently in the red. But there are still opportunities for investors to make money. One such opportunity would be with The Sandbox’s new Mega City project, which allows people to buy virtual land and sell it immediately once they’re ready. If done correctly, it could give investors significant — and quick — gains.
When judging metaverse cryptos, it might seem like The Sandbox and Decentraland are interchangeable. But there are key differences that suit different investment needs. Therefore, you need to invest accordingly.
Metaverse Cryptos: Ethereum (ETH)
One of the first and most-popular coins on this list, Ethereum has been around since 2015. It’s also an open-source cryptocurrency that uses blockchain technology to operate its internal systems and decentralized applications (dApps). This means no more third parties like banks taking fees from transactions.
A great thing about Ethereum is how stable its value can be, even though there are so many other cryptocurrencies out right now. These alternatives might change more often than not because they’re based on similar principles. Still, each offers something unique to offer investors.
The Ethereum network is the most active blockchain globally, making it obvious for metaverse developers. Nearly every token listed here adheres to ERC-20 standards and hosts its projects on this robust platform.
Ethereum is a popular cryptocurrency for purchasing real estate in the metaverse. The NFT boom, which still mostly occurs on this network, uses ETH as its currency of choice.
It is also worth noting that this year will see Ethereum finally move from proof-of-work consensus protocol to proof-of-stake mining. So, ETH is looking like a great crypto investment this year.
Axie Infinity (AXS)
Axie Infinity is a project that investors have been watching for some time now. With many considering it just an investment in video games, they begin to see the potential of using their funds for virtual real estate instead.
In just one summer, the Axie Infinity universe rose to prominence. This was first apparent with their AXS token rising meteorically in July. That was when the metaverse concept was first gaining steam and becoming popular.
Axie Infinity has seen astronomical gains so far this year. The top-performing coin inspires cute (and unique) Axies. Players can raise or breed them to compete for victory against other breeds and breeders on the marketplaces. On top of that, you can sell them.
Axie is a new type of game that rewards players with cryptocurrency outside the app. This idea has caught people’s attention, especially during Covid-19. Many were looking for ways to generate revenue outside of wages from their jobs or savings accounts. Axie’s play-to-earn model means you can work your way up through levels and get crypto.
In a world that is increasingly digitized, Axie Infinity offers players the chance to invest in real estate with tokenized plots of land. As well as being able to purchase and develop these properties yourself, soon enough, there will also be other ways you can sell your ownership.
Metaverse Cryptos: Enjin Coin (ENJ)
Enjin is making it easier than ever to invest in the metaverse. With partnerships and new projects launching every day, this platform will be a force within the virtual property realm for years ahead. While Enjin doesn’t have its own metaverse yet, it gives you convenient ways to mint tokenized assets.
Enjin is a blockchain platform that powers all sorts of games. Players can buy or earn these NFTs and store them in their secure wallets on the network’s dedicated domain. Alternatively, they can take them to different platforms if developers decide it would make sense.
For the past decade, many gamers have been dreaming of a way to own and manage their digital assets across different games. Now they’ve found it with Enjin. This platform lets you create your NFTs, which can then be used in any game that supports them or be sold on its marketplace.
The expanding blockchain gaming network is now looking past tokenized items toward virtual real estate. The platform, which allows its clients to own a piece of the real world with their favorite cryptocurrencies, is not just for investors. It has serious implications for today’s society and tomorrow’s economy.
On the publication date, Faizan Farooque did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Faizan Farooque is a contributing author for InvestorPlace.com and numerous other financial sites. Faizan has several years of experience in analyzing the stock market and was a former data journalist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. His passion is to help the average investor make more informed decisions regarding their portfolio. Faizan does not directly own the securities mentioned above.