5 Metaverse Cryptos to Watch in 2022
Metaverses became the talk of the town last year after Facebook rebranded to Meta. Metaverses are virtual worlds where you can explore, meet people, attend concerts, visit galleries, and do many of the things you might do in the real world. They have their own economies that are often based on cryptocurrency tokens.
If you're worried you missed the metaverse boat, it's still very early days. Here are five metaverse cryptos that should be on your radar in 2022.
1. The Sandbox (SAND)
The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can buy and develop land, build games, and create and trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs are crucial to many metaverse and gaming blockchains -- they are a way to own digital assets, which previously might not have had any value. The Sandbox was among the top performing cryptos in 2021 .
2. Decentraland (MANA)
Decentraland opened the doors to its virtual world in February 2020, making it the first blockchain-based decentralized world. What's exciting about this metaverse is you can enter without connecting your crypto wallet or opening an account. If you're interested in exploring and understanding these digital universes, this is a great place to start.
3. Enjin (ENJ)
Enjin is all about NFTs . And NFTs are the building blocks of the metaverse. Its platform lets people create, store, list, and trade NFTs all in one place. It has various use cases. For example, gamers could transfer assets from one game to another. Musicians or artists might find new ways to monetize their music.
Many NFTs use the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, which is the most established smart contract crypto but also struggles with high gas fees. It can cost up to $100 in fees to make a transaction on Ethereum, which could be prohibitively expensive for some. As a result, many projects are moving to newer networks with lower fees. Enjin is developing its own NFT-focused blockchain called Efinity (EFI). This could be a game changer for Enjin.
4. Render (RNDR)
All these computer-generated worlds need visuals, which require a lot of processing power. Render is a decentralized network that uses people's idle graphics processing units (GPUs) to create those visuals. Network participants earn tokens and Render can provide companies with state-of-the art graphics in an affordable and scalable way.
5. Wilder World (WILD)
Wilder World is a community focused 5-D platform that houses several games and NFT-based projects. Users can buy condos in Wiami -- a virtual city based on Miami -- as well as NFT cars to cruise the streets in.
It is an interesting project, but from an investor perspective, it would be nice if it had a whitepaper on its site. Plus, unlike other tokens on this list, Wilder World is not available from top U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges . Nonetheless, it's a good coin to add to your watchlist if you're interested in less-developed metaverse tokens.
Smaller metaverse tokens can be hard to buy
For U.S. investors, one difficulty if you're looking for the next big metaverse token is that a number of newer projects are not listed on major platforms. Indeed the majority of the top metaverse tokens listed on CoinMarketCap are hard to buy from centralized U.S. exchanges.
Smaller tokens carry more risk in terms of a lack of liquidity, increased price volatility, and a higher potential of project failure. Plus, if you decide to use a decentralized platform, be aware it may not offer the same protections as a centralized one.
Look before you leap into the metaverse
It's always risky to jump on a crypto trend immediately after the tokens have jumped sky high in price. There's no guarantee the prices will hold, and it is hard to know to what degree speculators have pushed the prices up.
In addition, there are hundreds of metaverse projects out there and we don't know which ones will succeed. Like the fashion or art world, these types of trends are very difficult to predict, especially if you don't use the platforms and aren't plugged into gaming and metaverse communities.
That said, Ark Invest's Cathie Wood believes metaverses will become a multi-trillion dollar industry in the future, and she's not alone. The challenge is that even if you think metaverse tokens will be big, it's still incredibly early for the industry.
Assuming metaverses do take off, we don't know what shape they will take and which ones will succeed. There's an ideological mismatch between the more centralized visions big companies like Facebook or Microsoft may have for these virtual worlds and the decentralized nature of projects like The Sandbox or Decentraland.
As always with cryptocurrency , only invest money you can afford to lose and do your own research. Look into the management team, the project's long-term prospects, and how big its community is. If you're able to use the product or actually visit the virtual world you want to invest in, so much the better.
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Emma Newbery owns The Sandbox, Decentraland, Enjin, Efinity, Ethereum, Render, and Wilder World.We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Ethereum, Meta Platforms, Inc., and Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .