According to new reports, the sales of NFT tokens jumped to over $17 billion in 2021, which was a 21,000% increase from the total of $82 million in 2022. Without a doubt, NFT and blockchain game tokens were the highlights of cryptocurrency in 2021. Let us look at how NFT tokens are shaping the crypto market.
The Rise of Metaverse in Virtual Reality
Blockchain games are an integral part of the crypto market and also the hallmark of NFT tokens. Virtual game items and land parcels are designed as NFTs and offered to crypto enthusiasts as metaverse assets. That means holders of these assets can live in a virtual reality where they own lands, build houses and estates, and establish kingdoms virtually.
The strong appeal for these assets is in ownership. Many tech giants are buying into this virtual reality and creating metaverses that gamers and investors can latch to. For example, Facebook already rebranded to Meta Platform, giving the world of Metaverse a boost. The narratives around the metaverse are becoming prominent and getting into the mainstream.
Blockchain games and NFTs, as well as virtual reality are also growing in popularity. Over the past months, several blockchain projects have been launched, giving the metaverse and play-to-earn a boost. Additionally, the current hype around NFT tokens, play-to-earn, and the metaverse is growing and it is not looking like it is going down any time soon.
Top NFT Tokens Leading the Crypto Market
NFT-based blockchain games account for over 390 active games in the market as of January 2022. New gaming projects are being developed and launched every other day with each having its share of investors and players from across the world. Although there are hundreds of NFT-based games in the market, few market leaders are leading the crypto market.
As of March 14, The Sandbox and Decentraland were the biggest metaverse platforms in the blockchain gaming industry. In the last year, these platform’s tokens, SAND and MANA, have grown up to 297% and 62.5% respectively.
The Sandbox: SAND
The Sandbox is one of the top NFT tokens leading the crypto market. The game launched as a mobile game in 2021 and 2018, it was bought over by Animoca Brands, a Hong-Kong based blockchain Company. After the acquisition, the game transitioned into a metaverse-themed, Ethereum-based game. The game platform allows users to create and upload NFTs to marketplaces for trading.
The native token of The Sandbox is SAND and it is used as in-game assets and to vote in the DAO of the game platform. In terms of market capitalization, SAND was the 37th largest crypto as of March 14, 2022. Its capitalization was valued at around $3.09 billion. The brand has partnered with global celebrities and brands, including Adidas, Atari, and Snoop Dogg.
The Sandbox experienced a dramatic surge in 2021 as many brands purchased parcels of land in its virtual metaverse. For instance, an NFT investment company, Republic Realm, spent more than $4.2 million to purchase virtual land parcels in the metaverse in November 2021.
According to data, the native token of Decentraland, MANA, was the top gaming crypto by market capitalization as of March 14. It is the 31st largest crypt in the world with over $4.2 billion in capitalization. Users in Decentraland use MANA to buy finite virtual land parcels or space, which are NFT assets.
The token is also used for voting on governance policies and purchasing in-world goods and services. In 2021, Decentraland also experienced a massive sale with a Canada-based company that purchased a land parcel in the Fashion Street Estate in the metaverse for $2.4 million, which is equal to 618,000 MANA.
Thanks to this transaction, MANA hit an all-time high value of about $5.9 in November of 2021 as many fashion brands began to set up virtual shops in Decentraland. These brands include Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Gucci, and US-based investment bank, JP Morgan.
While the early year 2022 was a bit shaky for the crypto market, new NFTs are hitting the market. Bitcoin fell by about 19% and other NFTs have also experienced the same fate, including SAND, MANA, ENJ, GALA, and AXS. Many crypto enthusiasts are hopeful that the market will pick up again. While NFT may be experiencing a downtown right now, the outlook of the market is not as bleak as it seems.