The Sandbox is the largest virtual world in terms of transaction volumes, with 65,000 transactions in virtual land totalling $350 million in 2021. This is 3 times the amounts on Decentraland, the second largest one (21,000 transactions and $110 million).
It is a virtual land composed of 166,464 parcels of 96x96m, representing a virtual world of 40km x 40km, where participants can play games and participate in virtual experiences.
Despite being a virtual world, by design the Sandbox shares many features of the real world:
- Physical constraints such as gravity
- Scarcity of land
- Scarcity of assets
Because of the choice to limit the amount of lands and assets, prices are mainly determined by supply and demand in the secondary market, and have grown considerably from an average of $100 per land in January 2021 to $15,000 in December 2021, with a clear acceleration in Q4 2021 – when the Sandbox Alpha was released .
Although prices are high, the utility of real estate in the Sandbox is not clear yet at this stage, since consumer adoption of the Sandbox is still early, and land benefits are still hypothetical. T
Therefore, most transactions are either long-term investments (with the prospective that Sandbox will become a dominant Metaverse) or speculation (with rapid buying and selling of land). Very few are made to effectively use the land, either to create virtual buildings, games or other experiences.
The transactions between November 2021 and January 2022 show the following results:
- 8,000 lands traded per month
- Average transaction price of 3.5 Ethereum (ETH), equivalent to $13,000
- Single lands traded as high as 60 ETH ($200,000
Overall, this virtual real estate market represents $100m per month, which by any metrics is a high number but should also be taken within the wider context of monthly NFT transactions now exceeding $2bn.
Whether this trend continues or stops is anyone’s guess – after all there are more macro factors at play – but the change in consumer behaviours and the increased familiarity with digital assets has clearly started, and the next few years will likely see these developments continue at an accelerated pace.
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