4 NFT cryptocurrencies on their way to the metaverse, all of them gaining momentum

This article was written exclusively for Investing.com

  • What is an NFT?
  • NFTs and the Metaverse are hotbeds of technology
  • Decentraland (MANA)
  • (AXS) and Enjin (ENJ)
  • The Sandbox (SAND)

Cryptocurrencies are the children or evolutionary products of the long-awaited finance revolution.

Technology has changed our lives in the last decades. The way we shop, communicate, work, drive and take care of our health has evolved thanks to technological advances.

The world of finance has been slow to catch up, but the advent of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies has been lightning fast over the past decade. In fact, the and the , the top two cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, became mainstream assets last year.

In 2022, NFTs and the metaverse are two technological innovations that break new ground. Some of the more than 16,935 cryptocurrencies floating in cyberspace are geared towards the NFT market and the burgeoning metaverse that Facebook’s (NASDAQ:) Mark Zuckerberg sees as the future of his company. He is so committed to this vision that he changed the name of Facebook to Meta Platforms late last year.

What is an NFT?

An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a non-exchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain, which is a digital ledger. NFTs can be playable digital files, such as photos, videos, and audio. The owner of the NFT has the file ownership and distribution rights.

NFTs are unique digital tokens, unlike cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ether, which are fungible or exchangeable for another Bitcoin, Ether or cash. A reasonable analogy is that Bitcoin and Ether tokens are like dollars, euros, or other means of exchange, while NFTs are like works of art, fine wine, or other collectibles that are unique assets.

NFTs and the metaverse are hotbeds of technology

In early 2022, as technology evolves, NFTs and the metaverse emerge as hotbeds of innovation. The metaverse fuses virtual, augmented, and physical reality, blurring the line between human interactions online and in real life. A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds that focuses on social connections.

NFTs and the metaverse are the next technological evolutionary steps that major tech companies have started to embrace.

Those who grew up from the 90s and became computer gamers have a much greater understanding and comfort level with cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and the metaverse. But cryptocurrencies have transcended to younger generations as their incredible rise in value has attracted investors and speculators from all age groups.

NFTs represent digital ownership of a digital asset, which is a bit more difficult for baby boomers and older generations to understand. The metaverse goes one step further, as it exists in another dimension that is more science fiction than reality. However, the demand for property and other assets in the metaverse is an area that should not be neglected or dismissed as mere fashion.

As far as the metaverse and NFTs are concerned, four tokens embrace the trend towards the next step in technology.

Decentraland

Decentraland() is an open source 3D virtual world platform. Users can purchase virtual plots as NFTs on the platform through the MANA cryptocurrency.

Decentraland was released to the public in February 2020, overseen by the non-profit Decentraland Foundation. The website describes the token as the “first virtual world in history owned by its users.”

On January 20, MANA was the 32nd cryptocurrency. At $2.81 per token, MANA’s market capitalization was at the $5.12 billion level.

Description: Decentraland/USD Chart.

Description: Decentraland/USD Chart.

Source: CoinMarketCap

The chart shows that MANA tokens went on the market in September 2017 at 2.5 cents. They made a high of $5.4792 on Nov 24, 2021, and are sitting at the $2.81 level at the time of writing.

The price and position of MANA within the broader cryptocurrency market reflects the growth of NFTs and the metaverse.

Axie Infinity and Enjin

Axie Infinity (AXS) is a community of digital pets whose users can purchase creatures called Axies and use them to battle, explore, and breed other Axies. The token website explains that Axie is:

“a new kind of game, partially owned and operated by its players”.

Users earn AXS tokens by playing and using them to decide the future of the game.

AXS is the 36th cryptocurrency and stands at $72.13 per token on January 20, with a market capitalization of over $4.3 billion.

Description: Axie Infinity/USD Chart.

Description: Axie Infinity/USD Chart.

Source: CoinMarketCap

As the chart shows, AXS started trading at $0.15 per token in November 2020, hit a high of $160.36 on November 6, 2021, and is hovering around $72 at the time of writing. Like MANA, AXS reflects the growth of NFTs and the metaverse.

The Enjin (ENJ) makes it easy to use NFTs. The token website notes that the Enjin helps create:

“NFTs that can be used to grow our business, make a profit and operate, and integrate with games and apps.”

At $2.26 per token on January 20, ENJ is the 61st cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization of over $1.9 billion.

Description: Enjin/USD Chart.

Description: Enjin/USD Chart.

The ENJ began trading in November 2017 at 1.7 cents per token. The cryptocurrency hit a high of $4.6858 on Nov. 24 and is hovering around the $2.2 level at the time of writing. The ENJ is a cryptocurrency that operates as a specialist in NFT.

The Sandbox

The Sandbox () is a mobile game released in 2012. The website states:

“The sandbox is a virtual metaverse where gamers can play, build, own and monetize their virtual experiences. We empower artists, creators and gamers to build the platform they’ve always imagined, giving them the means to unleash their creativity.”

At $4.27 on January 20, SAND is the 40th cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization of $3.92 billion.

Description: Sandbox/USD Chart.

Description: Sandbox/USD Chart.

Source: CoinMarketCap

The chart highlights that SAND started trading at 5.1 cents per token in August 2020 and hit a high of $8.4022 on November 24, 2021. At $4.27 right now, SAND is another cryptocurrency embracing NFTs and the metaverse.

With nearly 17,000 tokens in the crypto asset class, MANA, AXS, ENJ, and SAND rank in the top 99.5% of the asset class by market cap, indicating that the market remains embracing NFTs and the evolution of the technological revolution towards the metaverse.

Meta Platforms, the world’s leading social media company with a market capitalization of nearly $1 trillion, has bet heavily that the metaverse is the future. Whether the technology is embraced or not, asset prices in the NFT sector and the metaverse are screaming that investors and traders need to pay attention as capital flows support this burgeoning business.

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