Metaverse, NFTs, Web3 and Virtual Earth in The Sandbox

The COO of The Sandbox’s Vision of the Metaverse

The metaverse is the word of the moment, but beyond it being a great opportunity to make money, there are many different ideas about what it really is. The term web3 is closely linked to various ideas of what the metaverse will be and is used to describe what many call a decentralized web. In this vision of the digital future, users themselves are, in theory, in control of their own virtual kingdom.

One man who shares this vision is Sébastien Borget, co-founder and COO of The Sandbox, a community-driven, decentralized platform that is considered one of the most advanced metaverse platforms out there to date.

Related: What is Sandbox? The metaverse game on NFT Ethereum

Sandbox launched about ten years ago as a simple mobile game with a lot of ambition. Today, it has the collaboration of celebrities, global entertainment brands, and financial industry giants, as it continues its evolution into a truly persistent virtual world. Snoop Dogg has made his online home on the platform, and new collaborations with Lionsgate and Mastercard studios have been announced this month.

So what does Borget – undoubtedly one of the pioneers of the concept – think the metaverse really is?

“For us, the metaverse is really this myriad of worlds,” he says during a webinar conversation, “that users can experience through an avatar that becomes a 3D representation of themselves.”

These avatars are the key to unlocking “all kinds of new experiences… more creative, more immersive, unlike what we’ve seen before with traditional virtual worlds, where users can already socialize… of users to really own their own identity, own their own belongings, digital assets, virtual land, houses… and be able to move that identity from one world to another without being limited.”

Avatars and NFTs

The idea of ​​identity is central to the persistent nature of virtual worlds and is a big part of what makes them different from, say, existing social media sites, video games, online chat rooms, or online courses. line. All of these “traditional” digital environments contain elements that will no doubt be present in the metaverse, such as the ability to socialize, play, and learn collaboratively. However, true metaverse platforms will bring all these elements together and allow users to carry their digital identity with them when moving between activities and environments.

“There will be millions of virtual worlds, places where users can take their avatars,” Borget continues. “The important thing is this ability to move from one to another while… keeping all the content they create in one and using it in others.”

He refers to this as “asset interoperability.” This will be achieved in The Sandbox, and possibly other metaverse platforms, through the use of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). These are blockchain-based tokens that can be assigned to assets—for example, an avatar, a virtual item of clothing, or even a virtual plot or house—to make them unique because no two NFTs are identical. .

Virtual land and jobs

Just like in the real world, the amount of terrain available in The Sandbox is limited. The virtual world is divided into thousands of plots, of which around 70% have already been sold to 21,000 owners. The smallest parcels that are available, measuring approximately 100 meters by 100 meters, currently trade for about $1,000, but their resale market value varies dramatically. Larger parcels and those near “prestigious” neighborhoods (such as Snoop’s mansion or The Walking Dead grounds) charge a premium. The most expensive land that has been sold so far reached 4.5 million dollars.

In addition to living in the metaverse and building houses in it, Borget believes that in the future we will even have jobs and earn money there, jobs that don’t yet exist in the “real world.”

“Being a player can be a job,” he tells me.

“You don’t have to be the best performing player in the world, like in eSports… where only the top one percent of players will be successful and make money.

“Here, as you play, all the content you collect in the game… as you complete missions… you earn digital content… NFTs… you can choose to keep it, use it in another game, or sell it on a market… people can get income from through their active engagement.

Decentralized digital democracy

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (OAD) are a concept that has emerged from the development of web3 ecosystems. These are groups that are governed by rules established in smart contracts and embodied in blockchains. Over time, they could form the basis of regulation and governance in online worlds, with all stakeholders – be they owners of cryptocurrencies like SAND (the Sandbox token), landowners, or simply users – having a say in how a metaverse environment is managed.

Borget says, “The goal and goal of The Sandbox is that within three to five years it will be fully decentralized, meaning players will own 100% of the land on the map… [y] we, the platform, will just be minor players, minor owners…meaning we can have the DAO in place where those interested in the value of the platform – landowners, gamers, SAND owners – can participate and engage with the key decisions that will evolve the world.”

Worlds like The Sandbox will ultimately be built and managed almost entirely by users. The platform is currently heading into what it calls “Season 3,” which it hopes will consist of more than 100 different “experiences,” most of which will be designed, developed, and managed by the community members and brands that have created it. turned into your home.

“By the end of the year, the goal is for the publication to be open… so that anyone can launch an experience,” says Borget.

“What I love is that we are making it global, diverse and culturally rich. So we’re hell-bent on bringing brands and content not just from the US, but from various regions of the world… you’ll find a French zone, Dubai, Bollywood, the K-verse [coreano]».

The future of the metaverse

It can be argued that The Sandbox, along with other truly decentralized platforms such as Decentraland and Somnium Space, is leading the way in creating virtual environments that will realize the true value of web3. It’s clear that life is becoming increasingly digital and virtual, and as time goes on, we’ll likely find ourselves spending even more time in online worlds than we do today. At the same time, these will become even more immersive, entertaining and addictive.

This undoubtedly makes many of us uneasy at the prospect of large centralized platform owners taking even more control of our lives than they already have. The alternative vision of the digital future could remedy this, although it is clear that there are still challenges to be overcome around privacy, security and inclusion.