Please note that I am not a financial advisor. The following article is for the sole purpose of providing information on the topic discussed.
In recent months, videogames based on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and that are also somehow related to the metaverse and the Play-to-Earn model, such as Axie Infinity, Decentraland, and today’s topic, The Sandbox, have quickly become trends in the crypto industry.
So, what is The Sandbox metaverse?
In an innovative, fun, and attractive presentation, The Sandbox is a gaming blockchain platform that allows users to own, create, play, and monetize their gaming experiences as well as earn SAND – the platform’s native cryptocurrency – by owning, selling, or renting plots of land or by simply selling their ideas in the platform’s marketplace.
In this article, we’ll cover The Sandbox ecosystem and the variety of components that are making it so popular; the possibilities within this new metaverse, the utilities of its tokens, the variety of resources available for its users, and if it is halal. Let’s get started.
What is The Sandbox?
As I already mentioned, The Sandbox is a gaming platform that allows users to create their own virtual worlds, similar to the popular Minecraft and Roblox games.
This videogame has been available on iOS and Android mobile devices since 2012 – the original version was in 2D – gaining a lot of popularity among the public, reaching 40 million downloads in 2018.
However, in the same year 2018, Animoca Brands bought the rights to the game from the original company, Pixowl, to develop The Sandbox platform with Voxel-style graphics quite similar to the aforementioned games. However, Animoca made one major change to the original game:
They placed The Sandbox game on the Ethereum blockchain.
As with games like Decentraland, this feature now allows users to build their own virtual worlds and develop a digital economy within the game that can also be extended outside of the game, taking The Sandbox to a whole new level. Thanks to blockchain technology, The Sandbox players have total freedom to monetize their digital worlds through the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with all the possibilities that this entails.
The Sandbox was implemented on the Ethereum network to give it the security and strength of the world’s second-largest blockchain, which in turn creates the opportunity for its users to create games independently on its platform around the world and without a central regulatory authority.
Currently, The Sandbox has a hybrid structure that hosts the virtual world partly on centralized servers, while the processes related to tokens and other collectibles, run on a decentralized blockchain. This ensures broad freedom for developers while ensuring that players have ownership of their collectibles, characters, and other digital items at all times.
How does The Sandbox work?
The Sandbox is possible thanks to the implementation of smart contracts on the Ethereum network. This also facilitates the creation of tokens and NFTs through a series of processes and interactions very similar to what is seen in other Play-to-Earn games based on this blockchain. After that, we have three elements that are key for The Sandbox ecosystem to function properly:
1. The powerful VoxEdit 3D editor
Animoca has resorted to the use of the VoxEdit design tool; a powerful software that allows the generation of all kinds of graphics and 3D environments, as well as animations and even NFTs. These elements can then be associated with all types of polygonal content – of the Voxel type – that use blockchain technology.
The advantage of the VoxEdit editor is that users can create absolutely anything they can think of, be it people, tools for the game, monsters, or architectural structures. These objects can then be animated and converted into NFTs to be exported to The Sandbox Marketplace, allowing users to easily sell their creations.
As you can see, it is a powerful tool that is being used even by large and renowned companies in the industry, such as Atari or Square Enix.
2. The Sandbox Marketplace
In this marketplace, users can buy, sell, and exchange their designs created with VoxEdit. The Sandbox Marketplace is a decentralized marketplace that supports Ethereum’s ERC-721 and ERC-1155 tokens. In this open market, players can sell unwanted assets or those created specifically for profit, so it is possible to find thousands of different assets with all kinds of designs, which users can filter by rarity, categories, and themes.
In addition to the above, the marketplace is also available for those users who wish to explore, discover, and acquire new assets to add to their LAND tokens in the metaverse of the game – more on this shortly.
3. The Sandbox metaverse
This is without a doubt, the most active component of the gaming ecosystem. In The Sandbox metaverse, players can design, buy, and own digital assets within their virtual properties.
In addition, in “Play” mode, players can explore LAND elements – the virtual plots owned by other users – and enjoy the game experiences created by other players and interact with other people in these activities.
This is very similar to what we can see in games like Decentraland, but The Sandbox ecosystem has the added benefit of the great flexibility provided by the simple but powerful VoxEdit editor to unleash creativity without limits.
What is Sandbox crypto used for?
Although there are several tokens within the universe of The Sandbox, there are two that are essential for the operation of the platform. These would be the SAND and LAND tokens.
This is the native token within The Sandbox platform. It is an ERC-20 token that has a maximum supply of 3 billion SAND. I’m speaking about a utility token that is used to perform different types of activities and transactions within the game ecosystem, such as:
- Modify avatars
- Buy LAND tokens
- Exchange assets on the marketplace
And it even grants its holders a governance power that allows users to propose and vote on different aspects related to the future of the platform through a system based on DAO.
SAND will also offer its holders the possibility of earning additional rewards by staking their token within the platform in addition to a percentage of the profits from in-game transactions made through SAND.
Staking SAND also increases the chances of finding GEMs and CATALYSTs tokens necessary to create ASSETS tokens with a high level of rarity.
Staking on the platform will be a feature offered in the future and there is no set date on when this will happen at this time. However, staking SAND is currently possible through liquidity pools on Uniswap.
Before staking in liquidity pools, first read my blog post, 4 Types of Yield Farming and is Yield Farming Halal?
Finally, the best part is that it’s possible to get SAND simply by participating in different types of activities within the game. Although it’s also possible to buy SAND on different reputable exchanges on the Web.
LAND is the other essential part of The Sandbox. I’m talking here about parcels of virtual terrain that are what form the playing field as such. Without LAND, users wouldn’t have a place to put their VoxEdit creations and not even a place to play.
LAND is an ERC-721 type NFT token that users can purchase to build their own games or virtual environments and combine them to create ESTATES and DISTRICTS, which are nothing more than combinations of two or more portions of LAND.
The LAND token allows users to monetize their creations, either by charging other players to visit them or to participate in their games. They can also earn SAND tokens by charging for the rental of their land to host virtual events and even earn money from renting advertising space.
There is currently a total of 166,464 portions of LAND in the game’s metaverse, and some can be purchased through public offerings from time to time. However, it is also possible to buy LAND from other players using the Marketplace or specialized NFTs sites, such as OpenSea.
I already mentioned that in addition to these tokens, the game has additional tokens required for certain activities within its metaverse. They are the following:
These are NFTs that users can create using the VoxEdit tool and then upload to the Marketplace for sale. These assets can be any type of object that users wish to create, including buildings, weapons, animals, or people, each generating a unique game experience for each user and situation.
GEM and CATALYST
GEM tokens are ERC-20 tokens that serve to define and improve the attributes of ASSETS tokens and that burn as they are used.
On the other hand, CATALYST are tokens of the ERC-20 type that are also used to generate spaces in which to place GEMS. That is, they serve to create spaces to improve our ASSETS by applying various GEMS that enhance specific properties of certain ASSETS.
Learn more about GEM and CATALYST tokens here.
Is The Sandbox halal?
Is The Sandbox halal? Yes, The Sandbox game would be considered halal. The Sandbox is a platform that allows the user to build or play games as well as buy, sell, and rent assets in what is called the metaverse, and this is not seen as haram. It is how the user utilizes the platform that will be seen as either halal, haram, or makruh.
However, when it comes to playing videogames, there is still a general consensus among scholars that even though it is permissible to play and/or earn money from videogames, it is not highly encouraged as there is a concern that by someone occupying their time in regular gameplay, this may lead them to neglect the rights of Allah, others, or even their self.
In addition to this, there are certain fatwas that discuss what income is permissible or not permissible to earn from playing sports or games.
See my previous article on Axie Infinity as I discuss this in more depth in that article – Axie Infinity Overview and is Axie Infinity halal?
As for SAND crypto, scholars who generally rule that cryptocurrency is halal would also consider SAND as halal and see it as a utility token. Scholars would normally classify SAND as an asset and not a currency.
Is The Sandbox a good investment?
As has happened with many similar games, recent announcements made by Facebook – now Meta – around the metaverse, have marked a turning point in the history and price of SAND, the cryptocurrency of The Sandbox.
Before the announcement, SAND hit an all-time high of $1.15 in August 2021, after trading at $0.05 for months until the end of January 2021, when it joined the bullish trend that most cryptocurrencies were following.
Although the rise to $1.15 was impressive, it was still in its infancy compared to the price reached in November, when it soared to $3 in a matter of days. After this event, the price of the cryptocurrency has continued to rise, rising above the $8 mark, and accumulating a market capitalization of around $5B.
Right now, this all makes perfect sense as more and more people are learning about cryptocurrencies and the metaverse, which is driving a huge adoption of existing platforms. However, Meta will undoubtedly be a huge competition for The Sandbox and other similar platforms.
Until the announcement of Meta’s metaverse, Decentraland was probably The Sandbox’s biggest rival. Both are games based on the metaverse, built around a cryptocurrency, and have an economy based on NFTs. However, The Sandbox allows its users to create almost anything with its innovative 3D editing software.
Although Decentraland has many more active users at the moment and has the attention of brands like Coca-Cola, The Sandbox also has the collaboration of some notable partners like Atari and Adidas, among others.
The opening of The Sandbox is approaching
Recently, the company behind the project, Animoca Brands, published a very important announcement on the Twitter profile of The Sandbox, where they reported on the opening date of the metaverse of this promising NFT game – November 29, 2021. After this, the price of the SAND token skyrocketed, as this announcement was a motivation for investors.
This is also due to the fact that the debut of the game will bring a series of rewards to the first 5,000 users who sign up to participate in the corresponding missions.
First place will get a reward of 1,000 SAND tokens, which at the time of publishing this blog post, would be valued at around $6k, plus three more prizes in the form of unique rarity NFTs.
In addition to all of this, many people also know about the collaboration between The Sandbox and SoftBank Group – a Japanese company that works with telecommunications and the internet – with the aim of financing the game’s metaverse, a fact that has also helped drive up the price of SAND tokens.
From all the above, it is easy to deduce that The Sandbox and its SAND token will continue to rise, at least as long as the hype for the metaverse lasts. But if this is as Mark Zuckerberg says, “the future,” then this is probably a good time to invest, considering that prices are still low.
As always, never invest what you cannot afford to lose, and always do your research before investing.
The Sandbox has joined the hype of the “Play-to-Earn” games and the metaverse ecosystem. The platform offers its users the possibility to earn money while they play and interact with the great variety of possibilities offered by their metaverse.
In addition, users can also create other games and experiences without the need for constant maintenance on the platform, which would allow them to earn additional passive income.
If we take into account the large number of users who play games like Minecraft or Roblox, it is very likely that The Sandbox, with its interesting incentives, will be able to further popularize all the ideas and technologies behind blockchain, cryptos, and the like.
It looks like on the horizon of Play-to-Earn games, a bright future can be glimpsed… What do you think?
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