Metaverse Tokens: Forbes’ Top 7 Picks for the Virtual Economy

Metaverse Tokens: Forbes' Top 7 Picks for the Virtual Economy

With the rise of virtual reality (VR), the metaverse has become a hot topic, offering a new frontier for various aspects of life, including shopping, entertainment, learning, and gaming.

Facebook’s rebranding as Meta Platforms in recent times has further solidified the metaverse’s presence in the digital future. Cryptocurrencies are playing a role in shaping this emerging metaverse, despite the challenges the crypto market faces.

A Forbes report reveals the top 7 metaverse tokens, each with a market capitalization exceeding $500 million, and explores their unique contributions to the metaverse ecosystem.

Internet Computer (ICP): Building a Decentralized Internet

Developed by the Swiss nonprofit organization Dfinity Foundation, ICP aims to replace the centralized internet dominated by tech giants like Google and Amazon with a decentralized alternative.

Launched in May 2021, Internet Computer uses smart contracts to enhance internet speed and reduce computational costs. Despite its initial meteoric rise to a market cap of over $45 billion, ICP’s price has seen fluctuations.

Currently, it is valued at $4.75 with a market cap of $2.13 billion. Recently, the introduction of the Bitcoin Ordinals marketplace, Bioniq, operating on the ICP blockchain, has added to the platform’s growing ecosystem.

Stacks (STX): Connecting Bitcoin to the Metaverse

Stacks bridges the gap between Bitcoin and the metaverse. This layer-one blockchain interacts with Bitcoin’s blockchain through its unique proof-of-transfer (PoX) mechanism. Bitcoin miners can mint new STX tokens by paying for the privilege.

Stacks holders can also stack their STX coins to earn BTC rewards. Founded by venture capital funds, including Winklevoss Capital and Digital Currency Group, Stacks 2.0 gained SEC approval for sale in January 2021. Presently, STX is valued at $0.74, with a market cap of $1.06 billion.

Axie Infinity (AXS): Exploring play-to-earn (P2E) gaming

Axie Infinity gained prominence in the “play-to-earn” gaming genre during the COVID-19 pandemic. This blockchain-based game draws inspiration from classics like Pokémon and Tamagotchi, allowing players to pit adorable monsters against each other to earn in-game tokens called AXS, a cryptocurrency actively traded on the market.

However, the hierarchical nature of Axie Infinity, with wealthy investors known as “scholars” purchasing expensive NFT monsters and leasing them to “workers” in lower-income countries, has sparked criticism. Nonetheless, it remains immensely popular in various countries, including the Philippines, Venezuela, the U.S., Thailand, and Brazil. AXS currently trades at $6.45.

The Sandbox (SAND): Navigating a nascent Virtual World

The Sandbox is a virtual world where native tokens (SAND) are used for transactions involving digital assets. Like Decentraland’s MANA, SAND can be earned and spent within the virtual world.

The metaverse is still in its infancy, with numerous platforms and a rapidly changing environment, making investment decisions challenging. Despite facing headwinds this year, SAND remains one of the most patronized metaverse tokens in this space. As of now, the price of SAND stands at $0.41.

Theta Network (THETA): Decentralizing Video Streaming

Theta Network aims to disrupt the centralized video streaming industry by offering a blockchain-based, peer-to-peer video delivery network. By leveraging users’ computer power and spare bandwidth, Theta rewards participants with THETA tokens, promising to increase earnings for content creators and reduce costs for consumers.

With an advisory board that includes Justin Kan (Twitch co-founder) and Steve Chen (YouTube co-founder), Theta Network is actively participating in the metaverse. The current price of THETA is $0.999091.

Decentraland (MANA): Creating a VR metaverse on Ethereum

Decentraland operates its VR metaverse, powered by the Ethereum blockchain, with its native token, MANA, facilitating transactions within its virtual world. Users can create avatars, purchase land, outfits, and accessories, and even monetize content and applications within the platform.

While questions regarding user numbers persist, Decentraland aims to provide a platform where users can engage, conduct business, and conduct transactions regularly. MANA is currently priced at $0.44.

ApeCoin (APE): Powering the Bored Ape Yacht Club Ecosystem

ApeCoin is one of the market’s newest and notable metaverse tokens. It was designed to support the growing ecosystem around the Bored Ape Yacht Club, an NFT art collection.

APE was airdropped to every Bored Ape or Mutant Ape NFT holder in March 2022, allowing voting, governance, and transactions within the “Ape metaverse.” The price of APE currently stands at $1.61.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.