The prices of crypto metaverse tokens are soaring as much as 100% in the wake of Thursday’s news that Facebook was rebranding to ‘Meta’ in a bid to “bring the metaverse to life”.
MANA, the token powering the browser-based video game Decentraland–a kind of hybrid of Minecraft and Second Life–is currently trading for $3.39, up 100% from yesterday.
SAND, the native token for The Sandbox, a community-driven metaverse where users can make their own NFT gaming worlds, has rallied 35% since yesterday.
SAND hit an all-time high of $2.41 in the early hours of the morning UTC before retreating 30% to its current price of $1.73.
The Metaverse Index token, a tokenized index fund that tracks the price of top metaverse tokens, climbed 20% overnight and 50% in the past week, according to data taken from Zerion.
The Metaverse Index token is priced according to the values of several underlying tokens that are linked to metaverse products, including SAND, MANA, and AXS–the native token for the Pokémon-styled blockchain game Axie Infinity–the price of which sunk 11% overnight to hit $136.
What is the Metaverse?
Facebook’s (now Meta’s) announcement on Thursday was a clear sign that the company wants to establish itself as one of the prime developers in the metaverse, but the ‘metaverse’ itself isn’t a Facebook invention.
The metaverse describes a new incarnation of the internet, where the two-dimensional surfaces of today’s web have been replaced by immersive 3D virtual reality environments.
The metaverse proposed by Facebook in its keynote address will be a place of social interaction and commerce. Virtual environments might include meeting or exercise rooms. Recreation might take the form of 3D online shopping, gaming, or live music events.
Considering that the crypto community has pioneered both fungible and non-fungible digital assets, and inserted them into 3D open-world contexts like Decentraland and The Sandbox, it’s natural to assume that crypto will play a big role in the metaverse going forward. Facebook’s own keynote acknowledged the role NFTs will play in its metaverse designs.
However, John Carmack, the CTO of Facebook’s VR hardware arm Oculus, clarified in a YouTube keynote address that crypto’s incorporation in Facebook’s metaverse will most likely be limited.
The crypto community generally understands the metaverse as a collective of online protocols that are all interoperable, with blockchain being the tech that makes all this possible. Some think that Facebook’s attempt to create the metaverse by itself is at odds with this vision.
Still, investors have been betting big on the metaverse ever since Thursday’s announcement. Whether Meta embraces crypto or not is beside the point. The point is that the metaverse is now a buzzword in the tech world, which means that crypto will certainly have a role in some form or other.