Decentraland vs Sandbox: Which Metaverse is Better?
The virtual world has come to fruition, as we see it materialize in the form of Decentraland and Sandbox. Decentraland and Sandbox metaverse worlds are both leading platforms in the virtual space. Will one’s digital assets, including land parcels and other in-world collectibles, prevail while the other’s value dwindles to nothing? Is one better than the other? Let’s find out.
What is Decentraland
Let’s start with the Decentraland virtual world, the one with virtual real estate and where you can create in-game jobs to make money. Decentraland has a decentralized autonomous organization (Decentraland DAO) built on the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem. It’s its own little world where people can purchase virtual land and build their own “scenes” (virtual experience) with the drag-and-drop builder.
The platform is backed by heavy-hitters such as CoinFund, Digital Currency Group and Animoca brands. The Decentraland marketplace features access to around 100,000 parcels of land as of now, including individual parcels and multiple parcels (estates), untradable parcels owned by the community (plazas), and other non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Gaming enthusiasts and those just getting into the virtual world will fully appreciate the experience where you can move freely among the space and customize your assets.
The digital assets on Decentraland are called LAND, which are purchased with Decentraland’s native tokens, Decentraland MANA.
What is Sandbox?
Sandbox is another Ethereum blockchain-based virtual world and is Decentraland’s biggest opposition. It is another decentralized metaverse that is very widely used and has more plots of land (around 166,000 as of now) than Decentraland. You can gain access to the districts, estates, and items on the Sandbox marketplace. You can monetize your land parcels by renting them or utilizing play-to-earn games.
Both Decentraland and Sandbox have native currencies. In Sandbox’s case, it’s called SAND (SAND token), which you need to purchase land and other in-game items. The Sandbox metaverse features bring creators together. Users create their own little virtual worlds and participate in their chosen activities.
Like Decentraland, Sandbox also allows you to group several plots of land together to create an ESTATE, which is many pieces of land that follow a theme. There is unlimited potential to what you can create, and this concept is something that has appealed to the likes of the big-name rapper Snoop Dogg and even led to a partnership with AMC’s The Walking Dead.
How Do Sandbox and Decentraland Differ?
• How They Work
Decentraland has close to 100,000 plots of land, and the real estate can be divided into single parcels, estates (multiple parcels), and plazas (land that shares similar themes). You can trade, buy and sell parcels and estates, but the plazas are owned by the community. The utility token in Decentraland is MANA, with which you need to buy land. There are two other tokens alongside Decentraland MANA: LAND (land tokens) and WEAR (wearables).
Sandbox works in a very similar way. The platform offers closer to 200,000 digital land parcels, which can also be grouped together to form estates and districts. SAND tokens are used for transactions, and users can also find LAND, ASSET, and GAME tokens as well.
• Track Record
When it comes to the track record, the Sandbox VS Decentraland comparison result is pretty close. These metaverse projects are pioneering advancements in the virtual reality world without having much history. Decentraland is the winner in maturity since it is the first one to create a 3D blockchain metaverse. It’s a fully-working platform with proof of concept open to the public. However, Sandbox only has its alpha version released.
Alpha mode means the platform hasn’t been truly tested, and there isn’t proof of concept, which makes Decentraland the winner.
• Historical Performance
What brought Sandbox and Decentraland to where they are today? Decentraland Foundation, the team behind the Decentraland virtual world experience, was founded by Esteban Ordano and Ariel Meilich back in 2015. They worked together to raise Ethereum, which equaled the amount of about $26 million, to fund the metaverse project’s development and unveiled the platform in 2020.
Sandbox was originally a mobile game that existed back in 2012. The Sandbox brand was acquired in 2018 by Animoca, which also partners with Decentraland. Sandbox then went on to raise money to finance the metaverse project development, and the final product was released in 2021 but is still in the alpha stage.
Speaking of raising funds and acquisition, let’s explore the backing of Sandbox and Decentraland. Some of the biggest investment companies in the world are behind these projects.
Decentraland has the weight of CoinFund, Polygon, Samsung (and the South Korean government along with it), Cyberpunk, FBG capital, and more.
Sandbox also has impressive backing from Softbank, a Japanese investment management company, which is one of the largest investment companies behind the brand. Other renowned companies that want to get in on the action of revolutionizing the metaverse space include Slack and Uber.
It’s not just all the hype that makes both metaverses legit. With such big names behind the metaverse game platforms, you know that Sandbox and Decentraland are big players in the VR experience and NFT space.
In order to use MANA and SAND cryptocurrency to fund your transactions, you need a crypto wallet. Since both platforms are built on Ethereum, they support many of the same ones. Supported digital wallets include MetaMask and WalletConnect as long as it’s ERC-20. One factor that gives Decentraland another edge over Sandbox is the bridging of the Polygon layer 2 solution for ETH, which is cheaper.
The main asset provided by both metaverse games is the land. How easily accessible these parcels are, what hoops do users have to jump through to get the utility token, and what cryptocurrency exchange works with the marketplace all come into play for how we rate a platform.
This aspect is where Sandbox has a slight edge. It is because it doesn’t limit users the same way Decentraland does by only allowing parcel purchases from its own marketplace. In fact, Sandbox works with OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace on Ethereum, complete with NFT Drops and its own marketplace.
The market capitalization for Decentraland is currently close to $6 billion, whereas the market cap for Sandbox is close to $5 billion. This makes sense as Sandbox is the younger platform, but it gives the advantage to Decentraland.
What about the value and pricing of the utility tokens in both metaverse games? SAND is close to $4,000 ($3,664) as of now, and MANA is a little ways from $3,000 ($2,452) — point for SAND.
Advancements in both games refer to the development of new features. Both Sandbox and Decentraland focus on improving virtual experiences for their users. There is no limit to what they allow creators to do and what future innovations they may incorporate, but as of now, Sandbox is also utilizing Polygon layer two solutions in its operations, as we mentioned earlier.
• Future Projects
Sandbox’s future plans lie in the full release, as it’s currently still in alpha. It also has plans to release a version playable on mobile devices. It’s also ambitious enough to tap into the gaming industry and integrate the platform with gaming consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox, but this is further down the line.
While Sandbox lays out its plans more clearly, Decentraland does not have a specific roadmap. As many decentralized autonomous organizations do, the team votes on its future. However, the platform does have plans to introduce celebrities and brands to its world, make Decentraland interoperable between other Metaverses, and special NFT drops in the future.
The eco-friendliness of the Sandbox VS Decentraland debate is called into question because they are both on the Ethereum blockchain, one that’s not known for its low energy consumption. Sandbox is a very sustainable choice with its Polygon integration.
Other measures Sandbox takes include carbon credits and tree planting in an effort to reduce its footprint. You can also move MANA between Ethereum and Polygon, a more environmentally-friendly blockchain with lower gas fees on Decentraland.
Where to Get SAND and MANA Tokens
In order to play games, buy, build and socialize in these virtual worlds, you have to purchase each platform’s utility tokens (SAND and MANA). To do this, you need a centralized or compatible crypto exchange like Coinbase.
For those looking to buy SAND, we suggest using Gemini because although Coinbase is a larger exchange, SAND is not yet available there. MANA is much more accessible on exchanges such as Coinbase, Gemini, and eToro. You can also opt to use decentralized exchanges.
Forecast for Decentraland and Sandbox
What is the potential and price forecast for both Sandbox and Decentraland? What largely drives the price of crypto, NFTs, and utility tokens is its hype. The more hype people generate around something, the higher the value. Both platforms have a high potential to succeed in the future. After all, they are pioneers in this space, spearheading the way for other smaller up-and-coming metaverse projects.
Perhaps one day, they will grant unlimited access to users on both platforms to traverse the boundaries into both worlds. When this happens, we believe MANA and SAND will increase in price. You can even expect 10x the value of the tokens now.
What happens in the future also hinges greatly on the movies each platform makes. The prices right now on Decentraland parcels are very bullish, and it could price itself out of the market. However, the platform has no gas fees, something its competitor, Sandbox, is refining,
Which is the Better Investment?
It’s hard to say which is the better investment for you without some independent research. Also, while both are key players in the metaverse space, this concept is still a new one. Who knows what will happen down the line? All we can do is focus on their short track records. Remember that Sandbox is still in its alpha seasons, unlike Decentraland, which has a working proof of concept.
However, the prices on Decentraland are very bullish, to say the least, so not everyone can participate in the experience. When deciding on a better investment, it’s important to look at your goals, what you can afford, the future projections, and other categories we listed above.
Other Options in the Metaverse
If you aren’t sold on either platform or are looking for even more options that may be more affordable or have greater potential, we’re happy to say that there are other options in the metaverse for you to explore. Somnium Space (an open-source platform), Enjin, Axie Infinity, Cryptotanks, and My Neighbor Alice (on Ethereum) are great alternatives.
If you want to venture out of the pricey Ethereum ecosystem, then Metahero (BSC) and Pavia (Cardano) are good examples.
• Is Decentraland a good investment?
Yes, Decentraland is a good investment if you have the funds. It’s expensive but is the first metaverse operating with full proof of concept. Keep in mind that the world of crypto and NFTs is very volatile, and the prices can rise and fall quickly.
• How high can Decentraland go?
Decentraland MANA can go as high as $15 within five years, or it could drop. The future is unwritten but based on algorithm forecasts, Decentraland’s native token has a very good potential to increase in value.
• Is buying land in Sandbox worth it?
Yes, buying land in Sandbox is worth it. It’s growing in value, but keep in mind that it is based on how many people the metaverse can attract. The gaming niche is one that can be volatile, and when you add the unpredictability of crypto and NFTs, it’s a risk that can pay off or not.
• Is Sandbox a finite land?
Yes, Sandbox is a finite land. There are only 166,464 land parcels available on a 408×408 square foot map. This is how much there is now and how much there will ever be. The finality of it will help to increase its value instead of diluting it with infinite space.
Sandbox or Decentraland? Which is the better investment, which has more potential, and which one is the more popular choice? Analyzing how the platforms differ from each other will give you a better idea. Sandbox is still in alpha, while Decentraland has proof of concept. Both of the metaverse worlds have unique features, so make sure you conduct research into each one before making an investment.