Top Cryptocurrencies of Metaverse

The Metaverse, the future pervasive 3D digital universe, is among the most ambitious and grand undertakings in the tech world. Its earlier prototypes are already available in the form of some blockchain-based gaming environments. There are also other projects, mostly aimed at enabling the technical foundations of the Metaverse, associated with this concept. By now, there are more than 100 crypto projects and coins related to the Metaverse and its various aspects. In this article, we will take a look at the five largest Metaverse cryptos by market cap. We will also discuss if any of these coins are worth investing in.

Top 5 of Metaverse

The popular crypto data portal lists the following cryptocurrencies as the top 5 by market cap within the Metaverse category:
Among these coins, Internet Computer (ICP) and Render (RNDR) are ambitious blockchain projects that can serve to satisfy the Metaverse’s enormous infrastructural demands. The other three coins, The Sandbox (SAND), Decentraland (MANA), and Axie Infinity (AXS), belong to the largest blockchain gaming environments.

Let’s have a quick look at each of these projects, starting with the two infrastructural platforms, ICP and RNDR.

Internet Computer (ICP)

Internet Computer (ICP) is a decentralized blockchain-based protocol that provides an alternative to centralized, corporate-owned cloud services for application deployment and hosting. Its goal is to redefine how the internet functions by replacing traditional centralized data centers with a distributed network of nodes.

This decentralized infrastructure allows developers to build and deploy applications directly on the blockchain, eliminating the need for intermediaries and improving security, scalability, and efficiency. ICP uses a network of independent data centers around the world to provide blockchain-based cloud services.

The Metaverse in its finalized form will need massive amounts of distributed bandwidth. ICP, with its concept of distributed, scalable data processing and a large network of data centers, can eventually act as one of the main infrastructural backbones for the Metaverse.

Render (RNDR)

Render, also known as Render Network, has a somewhat similar concept to ICP, but with a specific focus on processing computer rendering jobs. Using Render Network, individuals and businesses around the world can rent out their computers’ idle processing capacity to help other users process rendering tasks. By renting out their computing capacity, the users earn crypto rewards in the form of RNDR tokens.

Computer rendering is the process of creating finalized digital output in the form of video, images, or animation from raw coded data. Rendering modern, visually rich graphics and videos is a computationally intensive process. Using its decentralized computing power trading model, Render Network enables efficient processing of even the most complex rendering projects.

Rendering services provided by the platform are used extensively by game development professionals to create the advanced video and animation graphics required by modern games.

This is why Render Network might serve as a critical infrastructural project for the Metaverse. The video and graphics sophistication of the Metaverse will require a very powerful rendering platform. Render Network, at least as of today, is by far the most obvious candidate to fill that role.

The Sandbox (SAND)

The largest crypto gaming platform, as defined by the market cap of its cryptocurrency, The Sandbox is an Ethereum-based decentralized app that allows users to create and publish games without any coding required, as well as create and trade a variety of virtual items.

The Sandbox also provides an environment where users can spend their complete digital lives, living, trading, and interacting with each other via their avatars. Among the major blockchain games, The Sandbox comes the closest to the concept of a comprehensive digital life, something that the Metaverse is striving to provide eventually.

Decentraland (MANA)

Similar to The Sandbox, Decentraland provides an environment for a diverse range of digital life activities, but with a heavier emphasis on owning and trading virtual real estate. Crypto-based tokenized ownership and trade in digital real estate is at the core of the platform.

Decentraland users may buy pieces of virtual land, called parcels, using the platform’s cryptocurrency, MANA. The actual parcels owned are represented by NFTs.

Both Decentraland and The Sandbox are environments where a number of major retailers, banks, and other businesses have set up their presence.

Axie Infinity (AXS)

Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based game where players use digital creatures, called Axies, to fight battles with each other. Winners in the Axie battles earn cryptocurrency rewards. Axie Infinity is a pioneer of the play-to-earn (P2E) concept. It was the first blockchain game to rise to prominence, back in mid-2021.

Axie Infinity’s concept is distinct from The Sandbox and Decentraland. Axie Infinity is more of a typical competitive gaming environment, whereas The Sandbox and Decentraland are based less on competition and more on supporting complete digital living. If you like to devour competitors and make them beg for your forgiveness, you will like Axie Infinity more. If you are more of a relaxed type and would rather chill out on your (digital) patio, The Sandbox and Decentraland will suit your interests more.

This distinction in the overall concepts makes Axie Infinity probably less of a classical Metaverse environment compared to its two key rivals.

Should You Invest in Top Metaverse Cryptocurrencies?

With the Metaverse’s popularity and even an expectation that it will replace the internet as the world’s main digital platform, both institutional and retail investors might be asking this question. In our view, the top infrastructural cryptos of the Metaverse, ICP and RNDR, might be worth a look from an investment perspective. RNDR is positioned more solidly than ICP to gain from the Metaverse’s arrival.

While ICP is based on a more generalized concept of distributed processing, RNDR is focused on a specific critical Metaverse niche – computer rendering for visually demanding activities such as high-quality video, animation, and graphics. At the moment, there is no other notable player in the crypto space within this niche.

Furthermore, the field of computer rendering is technically complex, which creates significant barriers to the emergence of a new big player that could challenge Render Network’s absolute dominance.

As far as the gaming cryptos, SAND, MANA, and AXS, are concerned, this field is going to see major competitive pressures, with many development studios launching visually rich games both in the immediate future and when the Metaverse materializes. The insane current and future competition in the gaming industry makes the position of the three big games less certain.

Thus, if your investment portfolio needs a Metaverse-linked crypto asset, we recommend RNDR over ICP, and particularly over SAND, MANA, or AXS.