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August 22, 2022

Battle of the Cardano Metaverses: Cardania vs. Cornucopias

How many times have you come across the term “metaverse” while scrolling through social media? What about “NFTs”? Chances are, these two buzzwords have appeared on your radar in recent weeks. 

With Facebook recently rebranding itself as Meta, Oculus virtual reality (VR) headsets flying off the shelves, and Snoop Dogg buying up blockchain real estate and partnering with Sandbox, metaverse is primed to explode. As such, you’d want to get in on the ground level on the rapidly growing chain that is Cardano.

In this article, we will cover two Cardano metaverse projects that show great promise even in the early stages of development. These offer unique takes on the metaverse experience and the concept of a digital land. They are also potential investment opportunities in the new frontier. In reading, it is advisable to remember the golden rules of crypto and NFT exploration: it’s NFA (not financial advice), and DYOR (do your own research)!  

WHAT IS A METAVERSE?

Terraforms

The concept of a metaverse is a virtual world that exists independently of our physical, “in real life” world. 

Popularly tackled by Ernest Cline’s sci-fi novel Ready Player One, the metaverse is essentially a world in which our digital identities can exist. Blockchain technology such as Cardano and Ethereum make the creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) possible. Thus, NFTs allow for instant, undeniable fact of ownership. That has game-changing implications for metaverse world creation. 

WHAT IS DIGITAL LAND? HOW DO NFTS FIT INTO THE EQUATION?

Digital land, similar to real land, would require proof of ownership to reflect and retain value. Prior to the metaverse, traversing across lands in video games simply meant being a tourist. With blockchain tech, you can now OWN real estate on the blockchain as NFTs. While the term “real” estate may be debatable, the proof of ownership is very real.

WHAT IS CARDANO? HOW DOES IT FIT INTO THE CONCEPT OF METAVERSES?

Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain ecosystem that is the brainchild of Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson. From a layman’s perspective, proof-of-stake blockchains and their cryptocurrencies are much more efficient, both in terms of transaction processing speeds and energy use. This is as opposed to the “big two” cryptocurrencies of Bitcoin and Ethereum, which operate on proof-of-work.

The leading frontrunner in the metaverse race on Cardano is Pavia. Pavia is often compared to its counterparts on Ethereum: Decentraland (arguably the first major metaverse project on blockchain) and Sandbox. 

All three of these metaverses have 3-D graphics and ecosystems, with plots of land already sold off as NFTs on their respective chains. Plots of land on Decentraland and Sandbox can be worth multiples of ETH, which can cost up to tens or hundreds of thousands in US dollars. 

Being on Cardano, Pavia is much more affordable, with plots of land currently selling on markets for hundreds and occasionally thousands of ADA — roughly equivalent to the same amount in US dollars at the time of writing.

WHAT IS CARDANIA?

Cardania

While Pavia is the clear frontrunner in the Cardano metaverse race, Cardania is another metaverse project that is not far behind. The world of Cardania is one that fuses sci-fi and fantasy. Its conceptual art should appeal to many who are fans of either genre. 

The world of Cardania exists in the form of a giant “C”-shaped letter, with diverse biomes and ecosystems spread across its metaverse. Different ecosystems contained within Cardania are home to a variety of cultures, species and life forms. Some denizens that inhabit Cardania are the Solar Barbarians (a tribe of hulking individuals who pride themselves on their physical prowess) and the Spacers (who find “creative” means to survive in Cardania).

What differentiates Cardania from Pavia and other metaverses are NFT land plots. Cardania’s land plots are called “terraforms” and reflect a variety of environments. They can range from lush grassland and frozen tundra to intimidating lava. Each terraform is a uniquely generated asset and effectively an NFT. No terraform is the same. 

Terraform rarity is not determined by location. In fact, the Cardania team has mentioned that the idea is to have terraform locations shift and move across their metaverse. So how do you determine its value? 

The answer is simple: resources. Each terraform is an NFT containing unique resources that players of the game/holders of the NFT can eventually mine. Naturally, the rarer landforms or resources on your terraform, the more valuable it is. The extent of those resources utilized within the Cardania gaming metaverse is uncertain, but what is clear is that the rarer resources you have, the greater value your terraform would be. 

Cardania has also released their native token called the RAD token. If you are new to the world of crypto and metaverses, you will see that most metaverses have their own in-game currency and token, especially those with a gaming component. Pavia has the PAVIA token while Cardania has RAD. RAD tokens will be used as currency for transactions within the game. But because it’s a Cardano token, you will also be able to trade it with other cryptocurrencies. 

Currently, the options for buying and trading RAD are only limited to decentralized finance (defi) options. It is likely that RAD will find its way into larger exchanges such as Binance or Kucoin if Cardania continues to progress. 

Cardania is a unique metaverse concept based on resource mining that has a game mechanic currently based on a collectible card game. As with most metaverse and play-to-earn blockchain projects, Cardania is still in its developmental stages. Its whitepaper (project roadmap and plans) is detailed, showing plenty of thought and planning. If you are looking for a metaverse to get involved in, research Cardania! 

CARDANIA QUICK FACT-SHEET:

Cardania Founder’s Cards Floor (JPG.Store marketplace): 50 ADA (as of March 6) 

Cardania Terraforms (JPG.Store marketplace): 88 ADA (as of March 6) 

Marketplaces: JPG.Store and CNFT.io 

Web site for further information: https://cardania.com/ 

*If you are purchasing, make sure you look for the official “check” or verification on the marketplace. Beware of scams and fakes! 

WHAT IS CORNUCOPIAS?

Cornucopias

Branding itself as a “Play-to-Earn”, “Build-to-Earn”, and “Learn-to-Earn” game, Cornucopias aims to build a gaming metaverse that aims to reward the players through a variety of gameplay mechanics. Cornucopias is a newer entrant into the gaming metaverse space on Cardano, but it has a strong and reputable team with plenty of experience in software development. 

The world of Cornucopia is being built on the Unreal 5 games engine, and it will be set on “The Island”. Similar to the different biomes of Cardania, “The Island” is divided into different zones based on different themes: “Wild West”, “Farm Life”, and “The Age of the Samurai”. As you can imagine, each environment is its own unique “biome” and will provide varying gameplay. 

The appeal behind a “play-to-earn” mechanic (largely publicized by the Ethereum chain game Axie Infinity) is that players are able to earn in-game cryptocurrency, which can then be exchanged on centralized and decentralized crypto marketplaces. The concept of “play-to-earn” is a monumental paradigm shift and a disruptor of the traditional concept of gaming and the relationship between game and gamer. 

In the games that we’ve come to know and love, the players own nothing within the game and are required to purchase downloadable content (DLCs) or customization options and “loot boxes”. Blockchain gaming turns that on its head and gives players the options to earn in-game currency (which have real world market value) and own in-game items (as NFTs). 

In addition to “play-to-earn” mechanics to earn the in-game currency called COPI, players are able to “build-to-earn”. Running an artisan workshop on “The Island” or a farm will allow players to build and generate in-game items to earn profits. Think of your favorite farming simulation games such as Farmville, Township, or Hay Day on mobile devices, but with the ability to sell your fruits and eggs as NFTs to manage an in-game farm in the metaverse. 

The “learn-to-earn” mechanic is novel, as the EBU (European Business University) in Luxembourg has partnered with Cornucopias to reward participants in-game while they learn from real-life lessons. Essentially, you can be rewarded for going to school! 

Cornucopias recently released 12,000 Bubblejett Sprinter NFTs after a couple weeks of delay. These “Bubblejetts” are bubble-domed vehicles that would allow for travel in the metaverse and to other metaverses such as Pavia and Cardania, should bridges and portals be developed as collaborations between the different metaverses. 

Not long after their Bubblejett drop (which sold out), they also announced the next set of NFTs: a motorcycle type vehicle called the Javelin. The team is moving quickly and aggressively, but these large NFT drops will likely affect the value and floor of its NFTs. 

CORNUCOPIAS QUICK FACT-SHEET:

Cornucopias Bubblejett Sprinters (JPG.Store marketplace): 150 ADA (as of March 6) 

Marketplaces: JPG.Store and CNFT.io 

Web site for further information: https://www.cornucopias.io/ 

*If you are purchasing, make sure you look for the official “check” or verification on the marketplace. Beware of scams and fakes! 

CARDANIA VS. CORNUCOPIAS: THE VERDICT

Both projects have ambitious goals and have experienced and “doxxed” (verified and real) team members focused on creating gaming metaverses. They both have in-game currency and offer NFT ownership of items and land within their metaverses, providing opportunities for “play-to-earn”. Although Pavia is the clear first-mover and frontrunner of the Cardano metaverse pack, there is no doubt that these two projects are the closest competitors. 

If you like the terraform mining concept and a 90s type sci-fi vibe, Cardania is the one for you. If you’re into building and farming, then Cornucopias is ideal. You can also participate in both! However, as with any blockchain or crypto project, these are still in early stages of development. 

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