Metaverse Weekly: The Challenge of Interoperability

One of the key challenges to a fully functioning metaverse is that of interoperability. Within platforms such as Decentraland or The Sandbox, there is coherence between that of the virtual worlds, users, and external blockchain networks. This is internal interoperability.

However, the problem here is that external interoperability between world-hosting applications is less clear. For off-chain platforms and applications, this bridge is even less visible. There have slowly been partnerships and integrations between off and on-chain applications, such as Minecraft joining forces with blockchain applications.

This is only the first step towards true metaversal interoperability. There are some key barriers to achieving interoperability for the metaverse.

They are:

  • Technology – The precise applications and computer programming solutions necessary to unite on & off-chain platforms within a single, open metaverse. Exactly what computer engineering breakthroughs are needed.
  • Economics – Aligning the appropriate economic functions & incentives that attracts users to move across worlds through the metaverse rather than staying within base applications or platforms. 
  • Persistent Connectivity – Ensuring the metaverse is always open & accessible is vital to achieving a growing user base. The metaverse must have uptime like the internet today while remaining decentralized and open so that anyone in the world can participate.

Blockers in Technology & Infrastructure

There are a number of areas, including both hardware and software, that must-see technological improvements or adoption of existing technologies that have not yet experienced widespread use in the market.

Some examples of components needing interoperability are:

  • Avatars / User Wallets
  • Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) & Hardware Components
  • Storage & Database Solutions
  • Assets (currencies, securities, etc.)

Avatars / User Wallets

In a full metaverse, it would be extremely inefficient and troublesome if users had to create a new wallet or avatar for all the different worlds that they may want to participate in. For example, say a user wanted to buy land in Decentraland while maintaining a profile through an external P2E gaming title. Having two different identities could get confusing to maintain. Now consider having to create a new avatar for every single platform in a full metaverse.

Comparatively, the internet (web2) has suffered in part from this challenge. Users engaged on multiple websites and platforms must store login information for dozens of different accounts. Solutions like Facebook, Google, and email sign-ins have assisted users with this issue, but it isn’t perfect.

Cryptocurrencies have also had this issue in the past. Each user would have to store the information for various wallets compatible with each cryptocurrency each user wants to invest in. Now, solutions like Metamask have offered cryptocurrency users the ability to store many different cryptocurrencies in a single wallet – regardless of the number of different blockchain networks that user is engaged in.

The metaverse faces this issue as well, albeit it is more closely aligned with the adoption of cryptocurrency wallet technologies. A user should be able to create a single avatar linked to their wallet of choice to transverse the metaverse space.

APIs, CPUs, & Hardware

As platforms are developed, there are many different APIs powering different metaverse projects. External APIs can be utilized by different projects for different purposes and open source projects can work, learn, & build collaboratively.

Additionally, advances in computing power and ability are necessary to run a connected metaverse space. Advances in quantum computing have made headway in this area, helping to push forward major advances in rendering speeds & processing power. Modern computers simply are not sufficient enough to carry the load of such a demanding space.

Storage & Database Solutions

One of the most important parts of the metaverse is that of data storage. Centralized databases simply will not be appropriate for the metaverse as the freedom of data is extremely vital. Therefore, decentralized data storage solutions will be a major functioning part of a true metaverse.

Solutions to global file sharing and database storage have emerged in recent years. For instance, blockchain-powered storage solutions such as Filecoin or Storj have assisted the space in utilizing decentralized storage where users can exchange surplus storage space for a fee. 

IFPS File Sharing Functionality – ResearchGate

Interoperable Assets

This aspect of the metaverse is arguably the furthest along. Assets in this circumstance would refer to cryptocurrencies, collectables, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other currencies or securities that would have value within a digital space like the metaverse. This is integral to the purchasing and trading of digital LAND within the metaverse.

NFTs and cryptocurrencies have been at the heart of decentralized virtual world hosts so far for on-chain applications. Additionally, the creation of bridges between on and off-chain assets like Germany’s breakthroughs assists in the future interoperability between blockchain applications & external platforms.

Aligning Economic Incentives

While technological interoperability is arguably the most difficult aspect of metaversal interoperability, proper meta-economics also requires a high degree of interoperability. This plays directly into the ability for digital assets to have bridging potential to external applications.

Tech giants such as Meta (Facebook) building out their own metaverse spaces could split on and off-chain users if there is no way for digital assets to be converted into usable assets for Meta. In a way, this is the barrier between blockchain and traditional financial markets today in terms of the cryptocurrency market. It is worth noting that many big tech companies are adopting principles of Web3 technology, but it is only a start.

Additionally, users are generally considered to be rational thinking and opportunistic. This is extractable from game theory. If there is no incentive to participate in external applications, then users will never migrate out of their home apps. This obviously creates competition within the market to fight for capital and user growth, but it is not all necessarily on projects.

Should users ever choose to transverse the metaverse space between projects, it must be:

  • Efficient to move between applications
  • Affordable to the user in terms of fees
  • Have an opportunity cost that incentives dynamic movement across the metaverse
Average Monthly Internet Prices by Network Technology – New America

These three points are also true for attracting actual users to the metaverse in the first place, including that of individuals and organizations. Within capitalist economies, entities are profit-seeking. If there is a reasonable expectation that those entities can join & transverse the metaverse in a monetarily productive way, they will.

Accessibility & Durability of the Metaverse

For the metaverse to work and interoperability to remain a feature, the metaverse’s base functionality must always remain accessible to all users and have unlimited uptime. These same qualities can be applied to the modern day internet.

If the internet itself was not accessible or had catastrophic issues with uptime, the digital space would never work. Neither institutions nor individuals would invest time, money, or resources into something that is unreliable or inaccessible. Problems with accessibility can and do plague the internet geographically. 

Map of global internet usage – Our World in Data

Some areas of the world – like parts of the United States – simply do not have the infrastructure required to have reliable internet access. This is something that the metaverse will also face, just at an elevated level due to the higher demand it requires in terms of infrastructure capabilities.

Map of broadband access in the US – Federal Communications Commission

Additionally, centralized ISPs provide a barrier to entry for users wishing to access the metaverse in authoritative parts of the world. Corporations, governments, and other centralized entities can’t have immediate control over access or durability of the metaverse for it to remain truly open to all. The fight for net neutrality was indicative of this for the internet despite it being repealed in 2018 and never re-implemented.

Interoperability would ensure that even when individual applications or protocols go down, users within the metaverse will still have access to all other applications, guaranteeing that the space will always have some form of functionality.

Final Analysis

A fully interoperable metaverse is still many years away. Advancements are needed in many different aspects of the metaverse, including:

  • Technology & Infrastructure
  • Economics
  • Accessibility

The largest barrier to the metaverse resides in the ability of the world to innovate and upgrade infrastructure, something that will be costly moving forward, especially for end-users. The crypto economy has helped to provide missing economic incentives, helping to fuel such a mass interest from external organizations surrounding the metaverse.

Market Analysis Report (Metaverse) – Grand View Research

In a perfect world, the metaverse will end up being an open-source, highly durable base layer of what would essentially be the three-dimensional internet. Websites and applications would come to life in a highly connected, interoperable space. 

According to Citi Financial, the metaverse economy may be worth up to $13 trillion by 2030. So, while a true metaverse is potentially years to decades away, there is a sizable amount of investment and interest happening right now to add to its progress.

Top 7 Most Popular Ethereum Metaverses

A swathe of platforms have sprung up in recent times to offer users the opportunity to play, interact and even own spaces within virtual worlds known as metaverses. With new metaverses appearing all the time, it’s useful to know which are garnering the most attention, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the biggest metaverses running on the Ethereum blockchain. We’ve ranked our choices based on all-time volume, using data from OpenSea’s virtual worlds category taken on 24 May 2022. With that out of the way, let’s take a closer look!

7. Arcade (17,931.15ETH)

We begin with a 2D metaverse, Arcade. Its stated purpose is to provide unique homes in the metaverse for existing NFT collections. The experience supports land ownership as well as using third-party NFTs as in-game avatars. The project is a spin-off from the developers of the Apes vs Mutants game, which let owners of the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club collections compete against each other using their avatars.

6. Worldwide Webb (24,338.63ETH)

Like Arcade Land before it, Worldwide Webb is a 2D experience. The platform describes itself as an interoperable MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) metaverse, claiming to have 80,000 users. The Worldwide Webb platform allows users to buy land as well as build and customise apartments upon that land. Unlike some other metaverses on this list, however, it also includes features of a play-to-earn game, with users earning NFT items and coins by playing minigames.

Thanks to its 2D nature, the experience also supports players using their NFTs as avatars via partnerships with a host of NFT collections – the most recent being The Doge Pound.

Screenshot of

5. Voxels (24,954.87ETH)

Voxels (formerly known as CryptoVoxels) is a metaverse accessible by browser that offers users the chance to explore a dense, interconnected city. New land parcels are sold on the platform’s primary market each week, with secondary sales on OpenSea. Unlike most other entries on this list, instead of just selling basic plots, Voxel parcels include buildings and are sold with street addresses like “Apartment at 3 Wright Street”.

4. Somnium Space (26,400.59ETH)

Despite the metaverse often being conceptualised as a virtual reality experience in the public imagination (just look at the likes of Ready Player One, for example), Somnium Space is the only VR metaverse on this list. That dearth of VR experiences might be because of the conflict that stems from proprietary ecosystems such as Meta’s offering rubbing up against the desire for decentralization that lies at the heart of metaverse platforms.

Nevertheless, Somnium Space achieves fourth position by enabling users to experience a virtual world much more tangibly than other entries on this list. Players are able to buy virtual land and populate it with objects they build or buy in the form of tokenised in-game items, or equally just explore land owned by others.

3. NFT Worlds (48,302.73ETH)

NFT Worlds is one of the hardest-to-grasp metaverse offerings. Describing itself as a multi-metaverse, the project actually consists of 10,000 virtual worlds, each of which is realised using Microsoft’s smash hit open-world building and survival game Minecraft. NFT Worlds is at pains to state that: “NFT Worlds is in no way associated with, endorsed by, or a partner of Minecraft, Mojang, Microsoft or any related parties”, however.

Each world can have different rules and objectives decided by the owner, from focusing on building worlds to play-to-earn games in a range of different genres. Popular worlds include the Meets Metaverse, which is focused on social networking, and first-person shooter battle arena The Mothership.

2. The Sandbox (151,630.28ETH)

Coming in second place (far ahead of the previous entries on this list in terms of sales volume) is The Sandbox. Known for its distinct voxel style, the Sandbox is potentially the most well known of the current range of metaverses, thanks to partnerships with celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, who has created an experience on The Sandbox known as the Snoopverse. The platform offers its own software for creating, rigging and animating voxel-based NFTs to be used in-world and sold on the Sandbox’s marketplace, which uses the platform’s native SAND token.

1. Decentraland (162,628.98ETH)

While The Sandbox is hot on its heels, Decentraland currently stands as the most popular metaverse by volume. Users of the platform are able to purchase plots of land on the open market, within which any kind of experience can be built. The versatility of the platform has resulted in many different approaches – from PwC buying a plot of land to act as a hub for its Web3 advisory offering to Millennium Hotels and Resorts launching a virtual hotel.

The native currency of the platform is MANA, with which you can also buy and sell land assets. The platform supports wearable NFTs which are dropped in limited-edition collections and are fully tradable by the community. And unlike some other examples, Decentraland lives up to its name by being fully decentralized and operated via a DAO – with members voting on the shape the metaverse will take going forwards.

Women in the Metaverse – Paula Marie Kilgarriff

Currently serving as an international lecturer on Web3 fashion marketing, branding and retail innovation, Paula Marie Kilgarriff has become a formidable leader in the burgeoning space. Leveraging her expertise in luxury fashion, digital technology, business development, branding, digital retail and more, you can find her in all sorts of corners right now.

As part of our ongoing series, we recently sat down with Paula to discuss the future potential of various Web3 technologies, the role of fashion as an important metaverse entry point and why Web3 is truly benefiting from the power of female leadership traits.


With 20 years of experience working in e-commerce, Paula’s first venture involved lecturing on both e-commerce and fashion. She spent a decade in China, working with various different technologies (including VR, AR and QR codes) before moving into the e-payment sphere. This included serving as the founder and CEO of The Style Workshop, where she assisted with the development and training of various luxury brands and served as a keynote speaker at a long list of panel discussions.

Paula worked with several brands working on their technology — particularly in terms of how their marketing and sales strategies would serve the field of e-commerce. Citing China as pioneers of app technology and gaming, she also explains how it was “only natural that retail would become part of entertainment and gamification.”

Paula eventually returned to her home country of Ireland, noting this time as her official entry point into the Web3 space. Citing academia, computer science and fashion industries as the three main components of her background, she notes how Web3 protocols are “a kind of natural progression of her career and academic work”. 

“I like the vibes of Web3,” she says. “I think it’s very youth culture-orientated. It’s got a lot of diversity and inclusion and we’re challenging and revisiting existing narratives.”

She continued: “We’re, you know, looking for new models and monetisation and IP models for creatives, which is also linked back to the fashion industry. And I also like real-time supply chains that have DAO mechanisms for consensus-building on what types of collections are coming through — plus the co-creation opportunity for people who are not in fashion in terms of the art and design part, but who still have an opportunity to build new fashion products and services.”

Teaching future creatives and builders

Paula also works as a guest lecturer for Master’s programmes at both the London College of Fashion and Nottingham Trent University, offering unique instruction on how she believes Web3 will change fashion and which types of protocols are most conducive to improving the industry. At the moment, she breaks down how the metaverse is now serving as a distribution sales platform for brands who are trying to dip their foot into the Web3 space through 3D modelling.

“We say NFTs are actually a natural extension of the integrated marketing communications plan. So you don’t always have your marketing team. They don’t have your metaverse activation. So it’s natural — my gang would have to have an understanding of online technology and an in-store environment. So the seamless integration between the two — whether it’s an omniverse you’re shopping in, an app, or an IRL activation — is all integrated.”

How are the advents of Web3 being received by her youngest students? “They’re very curious,” she says. “And if I use a lot of Web3 mechanisms to explain the future of education, they’re really down. They love the idea of attention tokens or attendance tokens being paid to go to college — they like to think that they can use them to influence the curriculum and the delivery format of the exams.”

In fact, Paula’s first-year students seem to be the most eager of the bunch. “They’ve got the finance cards and whatnot. The Master’s [students] are coming back from work, so they’re more interested in the metaverse as our 3D distribution and sales platforms. And there’s a great opportunity for us to service our customers in real-time, so they’ll accept it from that point of view. But my first years will be more about NFTs and all that kind of crazy stuff — because they’re coming from a gaming background.”

We also bring up the plethora of scepticism that’s surrounded the growing space, particularly within academic circles. “You’re always going to have this kind of hype stuff initially, but at the end of the day, the technology is phenomenal and very disruptive.”

“What I’ve noticed about that generation — you know, people say their attention span is a little bit limited, but it’s not really — I just think they want to understand the applied part of it. And I understand that — because if you’re coming from centralised systems and older education systems, we do condition you in a certain way based on the culture or for some reason.”

She continues: “The great thing about Web3 is the fact that you can pick and choose their stakeholders, right? So you have real-time people in those areas and those disciplines telling you about history. And so it’s such a great opportunity to learn more intensively and more specifically if that makes sense.”

Making fashion more digitally accessible

In 2022, we’ve clearly seen a newfound combination of both physical and digital assets develop within the fashion world. Top brands have begun selling their pieces as NFTs, while others have increased their visibility within popular games and metaverse-based events. 

Paula recently helped with handling metaverse event sponsorships for the successful Metaverse Fashion Week, which was recently held within the popular metaverse platform Decentraland. Working alongside Admix, she assisted brands with selling billboards and 3D wearables at the virtual event and helped them distinguish which ones were able to provide pre-universal content. “I was basically trying to qualify, or validate who would be suitable to have — or whether we’d need to create premium diversity content or not.” 

“You see, the great thing about 3D modelling and the metaverse moment is that it’s a piece of cake to make products right — particularly for coming from e-commerce platforms. But when you’re getting into like, virtual experiences and you know, the intangible nature of immersive experiences — that’s much more complex and difficult to communicate through technology.”

Paula is vocal about where improvements could have been made to the first inaugural fashion week in the metaverse (such as pointing out the pitfalls of ‘digitally twinning’ products in both the physical and digital worlds), she also stresses that it was a “great first step” for Decentraland. “I thought the brands were very, very brave, actually — and curious. I think they basically wanted to figure out: ‘Okay, let’s dip our toes into the waters.’ It was a great kind of opportunity for brands to just get familiar and comfortable with the space in terms of what we know which ad makes will have hyper-personalisation and real-time and 3D wearables.”

The future scope of metaverse fashion

From Metaverse Fashion Week to record-setting fashion NFTs, there’s no questioning that we’ve seen the idea of digital assets effectively enter mainstream consciousness within the last year. But will this concept bring more people into Web3? 

“In terms of adoption? Absolutely,” says Paula. “I think people should have the choice in the future where they’ll want to have a physical or digital item, so I definitely think so.” Moreover, she explains how she believes that digital items are “the key to a smart contract that we own if it’s a luxury good, in addition to being a key to co-create.”

To enhance the digital fashion world, we also discussed further possibilities that we may see down the road. “The metaverse is going to be a great opportunity for everybody — but particularly customers and what kind of products and services are made. And I think if you have this ‘IRL’ online activation, you have to mirror the physical and you have to merge them together. It has to be seamless. Whether they’re in a metaverse or in a store, it has to be the same.”

In regards to how we can best mirror the ideal customer experience inside a metaverse platform, Paula discusses the idea of creating a digital alternative signal into a metaverse — or building capabilities for users to redeem points within the metaverse that could also be redeemable in physical stores. “That’s what the brands want to hear,” Paula asserts. “They’re not interested in all this part — they want it all integrated inside the customer supply chain.”

The upsides of female leadership 

Given her position as a female who teaches leadership to young learners, Paula isn’t afraid to underline the upsides of female leadership traits and how she believes they are beneficial to the space. “We’re pro-life, or pro-community. It’s our job to nurture, lead and discipline men. Because female leadership traits are pro-life and they’re pro-progression.”

“With centralised systems, we’re born into cultural and social norms that no longer serve us,” she proclaims. “The thing about Web3 is that it’s not coming from a historical narrative. It’s brand new, where everybody’s invited. Everybody has a right. Black, white, green, yellow, pink. It hasn’t been defined yet. And that’s what’s beautiful about it.” 

“What do I want to say to women?” she poses. “Rock on. Do what you want. Say what you want. I do think women have this — they’re strong and without them, you can’t build strong communities.”

Achieving balance in a future metaverse

What does an ideal future metaverse look like to Paula? “I think there should be a healthy balance of centralised and decentralised metaverses,” she says. Also highlighting the value of receiving information from non-centralised sources, she mentions how “history is written by the victors, and sometimes those narratives are inaccurate.”

“With these decentralised organisations, we get first-hand knowledge about what’s going on the ground — and then they get the opportunity to tell us. It’s not coming from this privileged, centralised monarchy that no longer serves the community. So that’s what I’m most excited about [with Web3] — it gives us the chance to build correctly by the people, for the people.”

However, we also stress the importance of staying on the business curve. “We don’t [just] want to be happy about it — we also want to make money from it, we want to be clever. I just want to be a bit more clever about what information we put out there, what kind of businesses we create. That’s why women are so important. If you’re replicating certain types of technologies, it’d better be replicating human conditions. But be damn sure that there’s children, women, everybody’s representative — because you’ve got this piece of technology that’s replicating something that hasn’t been created in its true form.”

Ultimately, will Web3 technology become more ubiquitous one day? “I don’t even think we’ll talk about NFTs in the future,” Paula says plainly. “I think they’re just gonna come with the deal.”

To learn more about what Paula’s working on next, follow her on her Twitter and Instagram pages for more updates.

Metaverse Weekly: Exploring the Infinite Metaverse with Deep Technologies

With the rise of metaverse protocols such as Decentraland and The Sandbox, the cryptoeconomy has seen a tremendous surge in demand for digital land, space, & access to the metaverse.

Much of this demand has been driven by digital scarcity – whether artificial or simply from a barrier to entry for everyday individuals not having the ability to build out their own plots and worlds within the metaverse.

Take The Sandbox for example – 

Heat Map of The Sandbox – CFTE

There has been a significant demand surge for the plots that exist within the protocol that fluctuates depending on the location of that land. Higher prices for land are being minted where more individuals, brands, & organizations are choosing to be concentrated.

The Limitations of Scarce, Digital Land

For many metaverse investors, the substantial rise in metaverse land prices creates a lucrative investment opportunity. After all, the metaverse land boom has rivalled that of the real-world economic housing boom. Both single-family housing AND digital land have morphed into investments rather than commodities.

With certain pieces of digital land going for hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars, even average cryptocurrency retail investors are already forever priced out.

Much of the demand for digital land is being led by companies, organizations, and brands. This leaves out the typical individual who may be interested in acquiring property in something like The Sandbox.

Not a Coder? Not a Metaverse Builder

The other side of this problem arises through the obvious barrier to entry for creating worlds, building out properties, or sometimes even having the ability to access the metaverse entirely. As Tom Casano, founder of Deep Technologies, puts it: “You can’t have a metaverse without worlds. And you can’t have worlds without an easy way to build them.”

Tom draws comparisons between the emerging metaverse today and the rise of the internet back in the 1990s. In the early days of the internet, there was a massive barrier to entry for most normal people from ever participating in the world wide web as publishing a website required intense, in-depth knowledge of coding & computer programming.

Image credit: Daily Mail – Source

This created a massive bottleneck in both available websites as well as overall adoption. The same problem exists today with the metaverse. Scarcity of worlds and digital land is preposterous when you consider the fact that, like the internet, the metaverse itself is infinite. This is especially true when considering the exponential growth of computing power.

Image credit: Research Gate – Source

To have a sprawling metaverse, everybody needs the ability to become a builder and it needs to be as easy as creating a website is today versus creating one in the late 90s.

Powering a World of Metaverse Builders

Tom Casano’s Deep Technologies has been developing a simple solution to the digital world scarcity problem. Their thesis is simple – building worlds in the metaverse should be simple, easy, and accessible for all.

Deep Technologies has produced a VR app that allows users to do exactly this – create worlds in an infinite metaverse that can even be played with communities and explored by others. Deep Technologies was initially founded in November 2021 and has since launched a usable VR application via Meta Quest (Oculus) in March 2022.

Since the initial launch of the Deep VR app, over 1,000 unique worlds have already been created by a spread out user base –  no matter the ability level, age, or knowledgebase of the user.

Startups like Deep Technologies are helping the metaverse get to that next step in global adoption –  just as website creation solutions did to fuel a boom of internet activity leading into the 2000s. As technologies like the Deep VR app improve accessibility to building worlds in the metaverse, further innovations could see the metaverse as an even more expansive digital space than the internet itself.

Learn more about how Deep Technologies is building for the future metaverse here

Metaverse Weekly: An Overview of the Digital Real Estate Boom

The metaverse is firing on all cylinders so far in 2022, with numerous global corporations flocking to the space. A particularly valuable part of this new emerging digital economy is none other than real estate.

Land ownership inside the metaverse is becoming exceptionally popular, with some virtual land plots selling for millions of dollars. Land plots in Axie Infinity (AXS), The Sandbox (SAND), and Decentraland (MANA) have been appreciating in value considerably over the course of 2021 and 2022.

Daily Average Prices for Metaverse Land Sales – CFTE

Some organizations such as the World Economic Forum have speculated that land in the metaverse could become worthless in the future, so what virtual and what is driving high prices?

What is Virtual Land?

Virtual land is bought and traded as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The NFT records precisely who owns the land directly on the blockchain, minting ownership for everyone to be able to verify publicly.

Each piece of virtual land within a protocol like The Sandbox is a small section of the protocol represented by the NFT. This land can then be traded or sold on secondary markets.  In fact, virtual properties are highly transactable with an average of 8,000 properties changing hands every month at an average price of 3.5 ETH (~$10,000).

Virtual, purchasable land is broken down into parcels of which the number available varies between platforms. The Sandbox, for example, has just over 166,000 parcels of land presently available. Each parcel is a 96×96 meter plot.

Current Map of The Sandbox (SAND)

These parcels of land can be developed to create buildings, gaming experiences, advertisements, and other use cases that mimic real-world activities.

How Land in the Metaverse is Driving Passive Income

Purchasing and building out land in the metaverse is becoming increasingly more popular. While risky, this is comparable to developers buying and developing land in places that are speculated to have substantial future growth. The metaverse is no different.

Since the onset of the real estate boom in the metaverse, properties have gone for hundreds of thousands of dollars. As of January 2022 per the Centre for Finance, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (CFTE), virtual land sales represent $100 million of the $2 billion per month spent within the NFT market.

All Time Value Spend on Metaverse Sales – Grayscale

Individuals and companies alike are investing in metaverse land – and generating income. The valuations vary depending on location and use case. There are a few different use cases that metaverse landowners can explore.

Examples include: 

  • Becoming a landlord
  • Developing infrastructure
  • Hosting virtual events
  • Integrating advertisements
Heat Map of The Sandbox – CFTE

Land ownership gives the user the ability to explore multiple revenue streams, the most obvious being as a landlord that rents the land out to developers or other users. The idea of hosting digital events inside the metaverse is also an arising concept, just like the Travis Scott concert held entirely on Fortnite that saw 27 million users attend.


The metaverse real estate boom has showcased the increasing demand for both users and companies to secure their own parts of the arising metaverse space. While individual land parcels are still highly speculative in relation to their prices, the overall trend of institutional investment into metaverse real estate shows that the trend is real.

Exploring New Kinds of Spatiality

Throughout the course of our lives, we project who we are in various different ways — from our taste in music, movies, fashion, video games, personal possessions and of course, the spaces in which we inhabit. Our personal environments — whether they’re our studio flats, our dorm rooms or our penthouse mansions — play a part in defining our everyday identities. Even the smallest details, artefacts or shreds of information can say a lot about who we are at a particular point in time. Research has even suggested that details as minuscule as our email addresses or our online usernames can reflect some of our personality traits.

In the last 6 months, I’ve had an interesting relationship with spaces. After making the decision to move overseas at the tail end of a global pandemic, I left my long-time apartment in the Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood of Toronto, Canada and ventured across the pond to London for a new adventure. 

Others who have taken a similar path will know that moving internationally means paring down which items you can bring with you (unless you’re willing to pay exorbitant luggage fees). Several years’ worth of collected art, posters, figurines, gaming consoles, electronics and furniture items were forced into storage and left behind. Now, with only two suitcases full of essentials and small allowances, my new space in London feels a tad barren and, well… not quite like mine just yet.

By contrast, decorating virtual spaces inside metaverse platforms such as Spatial, Rec Room and Decentraland has been a new, fun take on the art of space-building — all while defying the limits (and costs) of physical parameters. This mini-experience has also brought a good question to light: will we one day attach our custom environments in the metaverse to our personal identities? Better yet, will our personal spaces be akin to what we currently know as our online profiles, taking the place of things like custom cover photos or layouts?

All answers are already pointing towards ‘yes’ — but first, let’s review some ins and outs of personalising an online space in the metaverse, what that currently looks like and which processes are needed for users to establish ownership of said spaces and the assets that can be featured within them. Also, let me place a disclaimer here: I’m by all means no digital architect, but this was still a fun experiment.

Building custom rooms in Spatial

As part of our quest for a better meeting alternative to Horizon Workrooms, I started using Spatial with two of my colleagues. For the most part, it’s been a success so far — we’ve explored ways to import images and PDFs of our company branding, collaboratively write on shared boards or sticky notes and seamlessly communicate through the built-in party chat feature.

We were also able to bring more 3D images into the space using Spatial’s ‘search’ feature, located on the main menu at the bottom of the screen. Spatial boasts a decent repository of 3D models — ranging from cute cats to Master Swords to blocky renderings of Final Fantasy VII’s much-loved protagonist.

One day, after one of our virtual meetings, I perused the various space-building options that appeared on the app’s start-up screen. The first space I decided to explore was the one that Spatial had titled “Coral’s Home”. Here, I was able to decorate my own custom room (which effectively looked like a cubicle surrounded by a proto-version of Lake Hylia) with any of the built-in models and featured items. 

Better yet, I was even able to connect to Spatial using my crypto wallet and import my NFTs into the space. All it took was a few clicks and before I knew it, one of my digital assets appeared — framed and all — as if it were mounted onto my space’s wall. Given that these are early days in Web3, I felt like this was a perfect and seamless example of the interoperability we want and need to see in future applications.

Little Frens NFT

However, as a shameless lover of hygge and IKEA catalogues, I eventually decided to build a new space using the “Mountain Lodge” template. I was able to upload images of some of my most-loved pieces of artwork — including works from sci-fi legend Syd Mead, East London duo Gilbert and George and one of my all-time favourites, The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch. Image size wasn’t an issue, either — I enlarged the triptych so that it was perfectly centred and gracefully overlooking my virtual abode.

I was also able to upload transparent 2D images into my space, as well as 3D renders I was able to source. I experimented with setting a giant Gunpla model up in my space — because, why not? One of our goals is to defy physical odds in the metaverse — and these are all things I’ll never be able to cross the Atlantic with.

In all, it felt like the experience I was offered in Spatial was reasonably customisable and fun. I especially enjoyed the option to upload my own images through the platform — whether that was JPEGs, 3D models or my NFTs.

Dorm-decking in Rec Room

Alongside my colleagues, I’ve also recently dipped my toes into the popular multiplayer VR platform Rec Room. At a first glance, Rec Room looked a bit like Spatial for kids (unlike the creepy facial recognition tool used to build avatars in Spatial, my Rec Room avatar is a cute, smiley figure that’s currently sporting a green and red superhero garb). 

But as far as experiences go, Rec Room is fantastic — with an incredible marketplace and creator’s ecosystem at its helm. It’s also well-supported — at the end of 2021, the platform closed a funding round of $145 million USD and is currently valued at a total of $3.5 billion.

Like Roblox, Minecraft and other world-building games, there are hundreds of games available for players to join and play collaboratively. However, what I mainly focused on this time around was the space-building function inside my dedicated “dorm room” — the in-game personal space that each user is granted as a virtual landing pad.

The default Dorm Room setting in Rec Room.

Users have the option to customise their dorm room, both with in-game skins and items that have been provided by other creators. All creator-supplied inventory is branded as an ‘invention’ — and as far as I’ve learned, all of it can be crafted within the game using the special Maker Pen tool. In all, various different props, materials, shapes and substances can be produced by the Maker Pen.

I’m not quite an expert in Rec Room content creation yet, so I instead opted to pick from items that were already supplied by other ‘inventors’. I didn’t want to be limited in my selection, however, so I purchased a small batch of in-game tokens and flicked through a list of dorm skins. When I landed upon the Zelda-themed dorm skin, my choice was pretty clear.

Once I was in my Zelda-themed pad, I decided to visit the ‘Store’ section in the main menu and see how I could deck out my space with some additional gear. To my delight, there were loads of other Zelda-themed items — far more than Spatial had to offer. Other Rec Room users had produced a surplus of different swords, floating fairies, posters bearing memorable quotes and other supplies.

But, my favourite function? Without question, it was the ability to not just add custom items, but also to ‘spawn’ a custom song and attach it to my space. Those (like myself) who are old enough to have experienced the MySpace era will especially appreciate this option.

Users should be mindful that despite its multi-functionality and free-to-play approach, Rec Room isn’t yet the most robust of systems. Each ‘invention’ contains a certain amount of ‘ink’ (this can be equated to its file size), which is basically synonymous with in-game bandwidth. Should too many inventions be added into one space, the system can start to lag and even crash at times. There were at least a couple of times when I had to restart the system and re-render my items.

Also, whether Rec Room will adopt Web3 technology is still yet to be seen. Currently, the game’s model enables creators to subscribe to the Rec Room Plus plan — a monthly paid membership program that enables players to earn in-game currency for selling their creations. Subscribers can cash out in-game tokens for real currency, based on a rate determined by Rec Room‘s mechanics.

Trying Decentraland’s Builder tool

Lastly, I wouldn’t be fully embracing space-building in the metaverse if I didn’t try out one of the most popular Web3 applications — Decentraland. I’d been wanting to try Decentraland’s Builder tool for some time, so I decided to see what I could explore on the growing platform.

For those who aren’t familiar, Decentraland allows users to create scenes that can be placed within virtual land parcels purchased on the Ethereum blockchain (which grants them proof of ownership). While owning virtual land isn’t required to visit or use Decentraland, it is required for users to invest, build and publish spaces on the platform so that they’re available for others to visit. Each land parcel in Decentraland is an NFT — which means that just like physical land, it is unique and cannot be forged or duplicated.

While logged into Decentraland using my crypto wallet, I ventured over to the Builder tool and began creating a scene with a small area, to start. While I wasn’t able to purchase a land parcel for my space this time around, I still decided to have some fun with the tool.

Once inside the Builder tool, users can select from a range of in-app asset packs that are categorised under different themes — such as sci-fi, fantasy, Halloween, cyberpunk and Chinese New Year. I mainly chose items from the cyberpunk pack, piecing together a small space with a glass floor, some graffitied walls and neon lights.

What I really wanted to see was how easy it would be to bring my own collectables into my space. Like Spatial‘s mechanics, it was quite simple — since I was already connected via my wallet, I had no issues with importing my NFTs into my creation. I simply had to scroll down to the bottom of the provided menu, select the ‘Collectibles’ option and voila — my NFTs were already selectable as assets.

Loner Girl NFT

It would be nice to see the building process in Decentraland be a little more streamlined (I give more points to Spatial here). In my experience, it was a tad tricky placing objects on top of other objects or situating signs and posters so that they looked a little more lifelike (for example, it took me multiple attempts to place a lamp on top of a tabletop before finally giving up). However, after seeing a spike in visitors after the highly popular Metaverse Fashion Week, I’m hopeful that we will see Decentraland’s Builder tool become more refined and easily accessible.

What will our spaces become in Web3?

In the last 15 years, we’ve created social identities through not just our physical spaces, but also our online profiles. MySpace, for instance, was a great example of early space-building — users were able to craft personalised profiles using custom HTML, an embedded music player, the liberty for layout overhauls and much more. Facebook may have introduced a more ubiquitous experience for non-tech savvy users, but it has still continued to provide options for personal flair. Functions like the cover photo and personal fields have remained ways for us to express ourselves through creative imagery and other identifiable information.

It’s exciting to imagine that in Web3, we will be able to bridge the concepts of both the physical and digital to create and further personalise our online hubs. Like in the ‘real world’, there will be several ways where we’ll be able to modify our spaces to support our thoughts and feelings — from adjusting the lighting, colours, items, patterns, sounds and functions within them.

As far as our current, Web2 online profiles go, however, these experiences have been limited — and this isn’t just due to their dimensions. When it comes to our profiles on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, we don’t own the spaces we customise — and we also lose full ownership of what we upload. Web3 technology, on the other hand, presents an opportunity for us to deck out our profiles with assets that are actually ours — bringing a whole new understanding to the concept of space-building and online identities.

Roblox is Dead, Long Live Roblox

As I do every day, this morning I made myself a coffee and sat down to trawl my Feedly feed looking for interesting things happening in the world. Usually, it’s a long list of crypto news, NFT scandals and metaverse conversations, all nestled among news pieces about new videogames. One article leapt out at me right away concerning the recent stock drop for Roblox.

On 19th November 2021 Roblox stock hit an all-time high for its short life on the markets, it sat around $134.72. At this point in the company’s history things were beginning to heat up. ‘Metaverse’, technology’s latest and greatest buzzword was being thrown around with Roblox firmly rooted in the centre as gaming’s most popular take on the futuristic concept. 

CEO David Baszucki has firmly held the view that Roblox was always a metaverse project, even if the name hadn’t reached mainstream levels. When talking to Bloomberg in November, Baszucki states “We don’t usually think of ourselves as a videogame company. That said, there are millions of creators who make amazing games and experiences on the platform.” When asked how far away the metaverse is, he follows up with “we’re actually in the middle of it right now. There are over 200 million people on Roblox every month. They have an identity, they have an avatar. They do stuff together”.

David Baszucki ©

Whenever an article about the metaverse surfaces, Roblox is guaranteed to feature, and it’s easy to see why. Over the past few months, Roblox has hosted experiences from some of the most famous brands; Nike, Gucci, Vans, and more recently, Nickelodeon. Roblox isn’t shy about partnering with various entertainment giants, whether they’re musicians like Twenty-One Pilots and Lil Was X or awards shows such as Fashion Awards or the Grammy awards.

However, over recent months the once favourable Roblox stock is seeing some struggle on the market. On 14th March 2022, the stock dropped to just $36.68, and while it has climbed a little to hover around the $50 mark in recent days, it’s still a fair way from only a few months ago. So, why is this metaverse aspiring platform starting to struggle? Well, there are several reasons.

Covid Stock

When the Roblox stock started to really pick up steam, society was reaching the tip of the downswing in Covid cases and lockdowns. The period we all spent at home with our kids was coming to an end. During those numerous lockdowns, Roblox had become a daily interaction for many children as they reached out to their friends and family, to play games together or just hang out in lieu of being able to do it in ‘real life’.

At the height of Covid-19, parents and teachers swarmed Roblox as a way to not only keep their children occupied but also educated. Lessons were conducted within Roblox experiences in an attempt to bring some normalcy to the routines of children.


Now, many (many) months since the outbreak of Covid-19, children are back in school; they can play sports together again, they’re lined up in classrooms ready to take their seats; and while Roblox still demands their attention in their free time, the days of always being online to escape a bleak reality have ended.

While children and adults are still pouring millions of hours into Roblox, it’s clear that investors began looking for a way out as soon as the market placed less importance on the platform. Then, a few months past Roblox was hit with repeated instances of controversy, surely shifting the investors’ focus once more.

Child Exploitation and Child Safety

On 4th April 2022, British communications regulator Ofcom published a report on children’s interactions online. In the report, Ofcom goes into detail about how children use their time in our constantly online world. Surveying groups of parents and children alike, Ofcom found that 18% of children aged 4-5 play games online. This stat grows to 38% for kids aged 5-7, then 69% for the 8-11 year bracket. While we can’t see a breakdown of how many of these children are playing Roblox, the above ‘200 million players’ figure gives us a confident idea that there are more than a few.

Over recent months Roblox has come under scrutiny for its lacklustre attempts at safeguarding children on the platform. There are hundreds of thousands of experiences on the Roblox platform; in 2021, 107,737 experiences reached 10k or more visits. Much like Apple’s App Store or the Steam store for PC, it’s increasingly difficult to police the individual games and the entirety of the content. This is why Roblox has sadly suffered from creators making school shooter simulations or areas which solicit sexual content destined for older users, without being properly age-gated.

There is also very little in the way of chat moderation for young users. Each experience within Roblox features a chat box allowing free communication, but of course, without a mod in every chat, it opens up the possibility that any child could be exposed to harassment, bullying or inappropriate content.

These issues recently hit the headlines after YouTube creators ‘People Make Games’ uncovered a large number of children were being put at risk within Roblox experiences or were being exploited when these children were creating their own games, items for sale, or experiences. Roblox has forever marketed itself as a safe place for children to use their creativity and develop games, but the report from ‘People Make Games’, further summed up by Eurogamer, shows that many kids aren’t being reimbursed for working on games or fly under the radar of workplace legislations.

Metaverse Scepticism and Fatigue

Roblox is highlighting, for better or worse, the pitfalls of the supposed metaverse. We’ve written extensively at gmw3 on the topic of the metaverse; it’s something that, when handled correctly, can be enticing and exciting. But for the metaverse to exist, certain aspects of technology need to come together and build a cohesive vision.

When we break down exactly how Roblox positions itself as a metaverse property, we can see certain stumbling blocks emerge. I’ve already touched on the lack of safety protocols for Roblox, but this highlights a growing problem across all metaverse platforms – without a centralised ‘leader’ overseeing platforms, aspects such as child safety, online bullying and black market sales will become rife. We must pose the question, how can we, as users, stay safe when there is nobody to answer to?

Image ©

Speaking of decentralisation, Roblox is, and always will be, overseen by the Roblox Corporation. Investors looking to Roblox to lead the way into the metaverse must, by now, be seeing that there are limits to this idea. After all, Nickelodeon, Nike and Vans would have all been subject to scrutiny from those at the top of the chain, revealing that while Roblox can be seen as metaverse-aspiring, it’s still a walled garden in which the caretakers rule the roost.

The Metaverse Shift

So, where have these investors moved to? Well, without being able to dig too deeply due to the availability of reports, it’s clear that many brands are moving full-steam into the metaverse big four, Sandbox, Cryptovoxels, Somnium Space and Decentraland on their own, or by buying up LAND parcels. LAND purchasing is rising rapidly; in 2021 LAND sales topped out at $500 million and are scheduled to double throughout 2022.

This rapid shift from Roblox to the big four metaverse projects becomes more meaningful to investors given the value of these LAND parcels and the ease with which they could be sold on. Ultimately, Roblox only offers monetisation through the item sales – bags, clothes and other wearables – where the Roblox Corporation usually takes a 30% cut from the revenue. Whereas somewhere like Decentraland offers more incentive for investors to create and monetise their LAND through sales of NFTs and non-intrusive advertising.

Let’s look at Decentraland as our key example of investment growth. Plot number X-73 x Y38 is a relatively small and unassuming parcel of LAND. The closest district is called District X; when explored there are a few small buildings on neighbouring plots, it’s just South of Vegas City. When the LAND was put up for sale initially it sold for the equivalent of $134.16 in 2017. On 3rd January 2022, this exact plot of LAND resold (due to it being an NFT) for $17,499.97. And this isn’t even near any of the big money areas, like the fashion district.

Another example would be ATARI in Sandbox, who in earlier years purchased a huge swathe of LAND for 2020 prices, which would have reached a maximum $70k floor price. They however sold 360 parcels to Republic Realm for around $4.3 million in November 2021. Investors will see this and make the jump, because experiences in Roblox, such as NIKELAND, cannot be resold or repurposed.

Is it all Downhill?

With all of this discussed, Roblox isn’t going anywhere, of course. It still has power in drawing users to the platform through its constant partnerships with big brands and its easy to play engine which runs on practically all hardware. And, it’s still a leading player in constructing what a metaverse property could look like.

Roblox key art

But there’s no doubting a strong shift from investors who once saw Roblox as a safe bet. It’s the same confidence that many parents give to the platform when letting their kids log in, it’s not misguided, but everything has changed over the past year, through social changes and investigations which hurt the mission statement of the Roblox Corporation. It is worth noting that since the People Make Games YouTube video aired, Roblox has announced a commitment to safety and protecting creators.

On top of this, while Roblox and the media as a whole, see the metaverse potential, it could be seen as lacking in comparison. The lack of decentralisation, ownership of more digital goods and the freedom of building and construction, could eventually hurt the brand as more competitors enter the fray.

The Top 5 Things We Enjoyed About Metaverse Fashion Week

Within the last week, news has been abuzz with spectators’ accounts about Decentraland’s inaugural Metaverse Fashion Week. In fact, it’s safe to say that no other digital fashion event has ever received so much industry attention, making it one for the books.

As the metaverse and NFTs are continuously becoming a regular part of our everyday vocabulary, we’re likely to see more events become digitised and show a capacity to bring both industry leaders and global communities together. Both industry leaders and the general public have now seen greater evidence of a bridging gap between digital and physical commerce.

We’ve put together a quick recap on the top 5 things we enjoyed about the very first Metaverse Fashion Week. We’ll also touch on how these highlights are setting a precursor for future events in fashion, gaming and the metaverse as a whole.

The lineup

At least 70 brands were present at this year’s Metaverse Fashion Week, with names both big and small on the list. Larger brands were able to reach larger and more diverse audiences, while smaller brands were able to see increased exposure through the digital event.

Names including Dolce and Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, Philipp Plein, Forever 21, Hugo, Selfridges and Estée Lauder all used Decentraland’s reserved land plot to sell both physical and digital products and wearables. Other, lesser-known brands such as Auroboros and Etro also made significant headlines.

Has this changed the game of fashion? Absolutely. As brands continue to pay attention to technological shifts, it appears that many more are and will continue to invest in the metaverse. Not only did MVFW offer selling opportunities for brands — attendees were also able to access further brand exposure through virtual afterparties, interviews, runway shows and performances inside Decentraland.

In all, the expansiveness of the event allowed for multiple experiences and an excellent opportunity for revenue generation. In fact, according to one survey conducted by Virtue Worldwide, 94% of global respondents reported foreseeing digital fashion becoming mainstream and one in three respondents say they already own a digital fashion item.

New ways to release clothing

Brands were able to explore new ways to sell their inventory and engage with consumers at Metaverse Fashion Week, allowing the concepts of both physical and digital wearables to converge. Through Boson Protocol’s technology, brands weren’t just able to advertise their physical pieces to consumers — they were also able to sell them as tokenised NFTs. This meant that singular assets purchased at the event combined both NFT wearables for Decentraland avatars and physical products that could be redeemed at actual storefronts.

According to Gigi Graziosi Casimiro, head of Metaverse Fashion Week: “MVFW is important because it connects many parts of a bigger engine in the fashion industry. This event allows brands to explore new possibilities for their creation and communication with customers. We are essentially building a stronger fashion community in Decentraland that allows people to express art beyond physical limitations.”

Photo by © David Esser –

In all, Metaverse Fashion Week has set an important precedent for the future of fashion consumption. As avatars and digital personas become more integrated into our everyday online activity, so will the items that fill their inventory. The concept that NFTs can come packed with underlying utilities is also likely to change our understanding of purchasing, giving both physical and digital items an experience component as well. 

Justin Banon, co-founder of Boson Protocol, has noted the importance of allowing digital and physical elements to be represented by NFTs. “What we are seeing is physical and digital items becoming ‘digiphysical’ — digital tied to physical,” he says. He refers to this new approach as “physical and digital experimental commerce.”

Easy access portal

Attendees of Metaverse Fashion Week had two option to enter the event — either using their Ethereum wallets, or as a guest. Luckily, both options were quite simple and streamlined. Unlike other metaverse-based events, the majority of attendees reported being able to enter Metaverse Fashion Week with ease.

As scepticism and cynicism still surround the concepts of blockchain technology and the metaverse — especially within the gaming community — an easy access portal was likely very crucial to MVFW’s success. And as far as we can tell, Decentraland nailed it. Given that these are early days, we’re of the opinion that not requiring every attendee to use a wallet or be crypto-savvy just yet was probably the right approach.

Overall ease of access

As the saying goes, the best things in life come for free. Unlike our vision of typical fashion weeks (which are usually only attended by the industry’s most elite figures), Metaverse Fashion Week was free for anyone across the world to access. That meant that no tickets, guest lists or money were required to attend. Also, given that it wasn’t held in a fixed, physical location, the event was also able to run around the clock — meaning that attendees from every time zone were able to jump in on the action and that the event was able to host a global community.

Not only did this approach increase the overall headcount — it was also notable in that it made fashion (namely higher-end fashion brands) more accessible to a wider user base. 

Sam Hamilton, creative director at the Decentraland Foundation, spoke about the accessibility and global scale of the event: “The Chinese community is building stuff and the Japanese community, too. What you said about not being the same as traditional fashion weeks, we are building a brand new world here and we have the chance to make things better if we can. So it’s important to follow some things that happen in the traditional world, but also push the boundaries.”

Is it possible that taking elitism out of fashion events will change how brands are able and willing to monetise? It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.

Gaming references

Okay, sure — we had a bit of a penchant for the Mario-themed house we spotted while browsing the event. While it might have been a small easter egg, we’re hoping it’s a precursor that future events of a similar nature will come packed with more incentive structures and a more gamified approach.

Metaverse Fashion Week has been a formidable trailblazer for the fashion industry — but as things still stand, it’s still the gaming industry that is leading the way into the metaverse. Even Big Tech platforms are touting gaming as the leader in our shift towards Web3. Following their acquisition of game publisher Activision Blizzard, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been quoted in a recent statement: “Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.”

With measurable real estate, an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency and spaces for multiplayer gaming, Decentraland has already solidified its efforts to make the metaverse platform a space for gamers in Web3. To further develop its approach to gameplay, the platform has also invested in a company called Decentral Games — where players can play to earn and even gain access to custom wearables. Will we see a similar concept be replicated in the next big digital event? Let’s wait and see.

Check out our walkthrough

If you didn’t get the chance, be sure to check out our video walkthrough of Metaverse Fashion week! Here, we covered more highlights and our favourite parts.

Metaverse Weekly: How Did Top Projects Do During Q1 2022?

The first quarter of the 2022 year has served largely as a cool off following the substantial expansion the cryptocurrency market saw since 2020. Many assets, including that of Decentraland (MANA), Axie Infinity (AXS), and Sandbox (SAND), declined or consolidated for much of Q1 2022.

What hasn’t stopped since the beginning of the year is development within the metaverse space. Nearly every major play-to-earn (P2E) project has seen tremendous development, expansion, or fresh investment from both in and outside the cryptoeconomy.

Here is a wrap up of what the top three leading P2E projects did over the course of Q1 2022. 

Decentraland (MANA)

The use case and ability of Decentraland has continued expanding throughout Q1 2022 with the project adding a number of new features and incentives. Decentraland’s native cryptocurrency token MANA had an overall rocky Q1 in terms of price action.

The MANA token reached an all time high of ~$5.90 USD in November 2021. Since then, MANA has declined in price over 50%. Despite the decline, MANA will begin Q2 2022 up ~175% from its price at the end of Q1 last year in 2021.

MANA Circulating Marketcap
Image credit: Messari

MANA remains a top asset within the cryptoeconomy, ending Q1 2022 as the 32nd largest project by market capitalization. In addition, MANA is the leading project for both metaverse & NFT coins.

Decentraland has announced or integrated all of the following features so far in 2022:

  • Royalties – Decentraland kicked off the 2022 new year with a major announcement that royalty payments were going to be integrated into the protocol. This implementation into the Decentraland marketplace will allow creators to substantially increase their potential earnings, incentivizing further adoption.
  • My Store – Decentraland integrated a new feature to its marketplace called My Store. This upgrade allows creators to more easily manage assets, view data, and build personal branding.
  • Transparency OS – In February 2022, Decentraland announced the arrival of a new operating software geared towards improving community decision-making called Transparency OS.. In short, this serves to provide further transparency of data between the community and DAO.

Axie Infinity (AXS)

Following the market peak in November 2021, Axie Infinity’s had continued its decline for much of Q1 2022. Since the end of February, AXS has consolidated largely around a market capitalization of $2.8 billion USD.

AXS remains down over 50% from the all time high it hit in 2021 after the cryptocurrency market entered a consistent decline in Q4 of 2021. Despite this, Axie Infinity is up a staggering ~1,200% since the end of Q1 2022. That makes Axie Infinity one of the fastest-growing projects within the cryptoeconomy overall.

AXS Circulating Marketcap
Image credit: Messari

AXS isn’t far behind MANA, ending Q1 2022 within the top 40 largest cryptocurrencies by market cap. AXS also enjoys being the leading project in the subcategory of gaming as well as the second largest metaverse project only behind Decentraland.

Axie Infinity has benefited tremendously from the impressive (and growing) list of partnerships they have, including all of the following partners:

  • Samsung
  • Ubisoft
  • HTC
  • Binance

The Sandbox (SAND)

As far as virtual worlds go, The Sandbox remains one of the most popular projects within the sector. Pretty consistently trailing just behind both Axie Infinity and Decentraland, The Sandbox’s native token SAND is still holding an impressive $4 billion USD market cap.

The SAND token peaked like much of the cryptocurrency market in Q4 2021, down a comparable ~50% off the token’s all time high. The expansion of SAND over the past year has also been impressive, outperforming Decentraland and rising nearly 400% since Q1 2021.

SAND Circulating Marketcap
Image credit: Messari

With enthusiasm for the metaverse and Web3 growing, SAND has also minted some truly impressive partnerships. Some of the most impressive partners to join with The Sandbox include the following examples:

  • Snoop Dogg
  • Adidas
  • Atari
  • The Walking Dead
  • The Smurfs
  • Hell’s Kitchen
Snoop Dogg avatars. Image credit The SandBox

A recent Q1 2022 example is the partnership between The Sandbox and SM Brand Marketing which will be utilized to construct a Play-to-Create model. This will be centred around building within the metaverse and minting collectables like NFTs.

With a growing arsenal of opportunities for users to earn income, The Sandbox continues to see an adoption rate that rivals all other projects within the metaverse space. Address growth is continuing to increase which correlates with a higher number of daily transactions within Sandbox.


GameFi and P2E projects took a massive step forward in 2021. In spite of price action declining much of the past five months, there has been zero slow down in the development and expansion of many projects. Brands are moving into the metaverse and blockchain space with every passing week. 

Outside of the big three, a watchful eye should be kept on other gaming, metaverse, and NFT projects in the sector as the sector market cap grows. Other notable projects include:

Studies have already been released in Q1 2022 that demonstrate the potential growth of the metaverse overall, with estimates suggesting that by 2026 a quarter of people will spend at least one hour within the metaverse for work, shopping, education, and so on.

JP Morgan Chase even released a detailed study on the metaverse in Q1 2022 that outlines how their organization is expecting the space to develop and expand. They even went as far to say that the metaverse will reach “$1 trillion [USD] in yearly revenues” in the coming years.

As off-chain organizations move more towards the cryptoeconomy and attempt to integrate the metaverse – like Facebook rebranding to Meta – the legitimacy of projects like Decentraland, Axie Infinity, or Sandbox should continue to grow in 2022 and seemingly beyond.

A Quick Take on Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week

This weekend, our team jumped into this year’s first Metaverse Fashion Week — a four-day event held inside popular blockchain-powered platform Decentraland. Over the course of the event, 60 brands showcased new clothing collections through a series of digital runway shows, after-parties, pop-up shops and more. Players were even given the opportunity to try on digital wearables using their avatars.

Let’s highlight what we experienced in this year’s Metaverse Fashion Week — including some pros, cons and highlights about the overall experience. We’ll also cover what the success of the event might spell for the fashion industry and future virtual events.

In a nutshell

In all, Metaverse Fashion Week was a great way for various brands to showcase new designs, experience greater exposure and explore new ways to combine both physical and digital wearables into singular purchases. 

A large host of brands, artists and designers participated in the event — with names ranging from Estée Lauder to Dolce and Gabbana to Selfridges and Forever 21. Some brands even purchased real estate within Decentraland’s ecosystem, using their space to debut their new flagship stores. 

Other brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger, showcased physical products as tokenised NFTs — meaning that users who purchased any wearables in the metaverse could also redeem corresponding physical items inside actual, real-world storefronts. This new convergence of physical and digital purchasing was enabled by the technology of Boson Protocol — a company that’s currently looking to create a new trading ecosystem for Web3 through its decentralised infrastructure.

Just like real-world fashion events, Metaverse Fashion Week was also brought to life by celebrity attendees and online performances. For example, future-savvy, electronic artist Grimes closed the virtual display of digital fashion brand Auroboros with her own DJ set — all with her avatar dressed in a custom bodysuit wearable.

To make purchases inside the event, users simply had to load their Ethereum wallets. However, the event was free for all to attend — with those not coming equipped with a wallet still able to attend as a guest.

Some of the good and bad

Those who reported attending Metaverse Fashion Week have claimed that connecting their wallets was generally easy and seamless. Each area was also visually appealing and engaging — with digital wearables, promotional visuals and other displays programmatically inserted into each space.

One of the biggest caveats reported by several attendees was the lack of proper graphics support. We’re not the only ones who experienced regular glitching and lagging throughout our time inside the event — with the display sometimes bugging out each time we switched rooms or locations. With that being said, however, better motion tracking, network advances and improvements in latency should allow us to see refinements made in other metaverse events down the road.

Also, due to the surplus of levels and obstacles inside the event spaces (such as stairs, lifts and ramps), we also noted the potential for gamification that the creators of MVFW missed the mark on a little. Seeing fashion brands explore new ways to offer products has been exciting — but it would also be nice to see Decentraland provide players with better incentive structures in future events of a similar nature.

Is this the start of a metaverse event boom?

Whether Metaverse Fashion Week was easy to traverse or not, one thing is clear: that it will likely be the first of many community events inside the metaverse, let alone inside the fashion world. Unlike the case with real-life fashion weeks, planning an event inside of a digital ecosystem has enabled a new way for anyone to attend — regardless of their status, association or location.

When commenting on making Decentraland a more inclusive and accessible platform, Sam Hamilton, Decentraland Foundation’s creative director, has aptly described it as a “virtual social world for anyone, anywhere.” Moreover, he’s commented on MVFW’s potential as a game-changer for the fashion universe, claiming that it has “levelled up the playing field for the world of fashion and decreased the limitations.” 

As was the case in the early days of Web1 and Web2, it will take some time for user experiences to improve in Web3. However, the potential for more accessible, profitable and innovative opportunities has surely been illuminated by the model of Metaverse Fashion Week — and if they haven’t already, now is a great time for brands to start paying better attention to what they can do in the metaverse.

Check out our walkthrough video

If you didn’t make it to this year’s Metaverse Fashion Week, we put together this video covering our walkthrough inside the event. Check it out here:

For more updates on future Web3 and gaming events, be sure to keep reading gmw3.