The concepts of metaverse, GameFi and play-to-earn (P2E) have been key developments this past quarter, with companies such as The Sandbox leading the way in this sector of the digital asset economy. The Sandbox is one of the most notable blockchain gaming virtual worlds by far, with its native token $SAND ranking 2nd in terms of market cap after Axie Infinity’s $AXS.
The Sandbox has seen meteoric growth over the past year, having raised $93M during their Series B funding round, achieving 50+ partnerships with the biggest names inside and outside the blockchain space, and launching their Alpha Season 2 just last month. The gaming platform strives for true decentralization, offering users genuine digital ownership, monetization capabilities and interoperability. Many have begun to recognize its profound value, with prominent names such as HSBC, Snoop Dogg, CryptoKitties and Atari having partnered with The Sandbox just this past year.
The Sandbox launched back in 2011 by developer/publisher company Pixowl, and was best known for their mobile hits: The Sandbox (2011) and The Sandbox Evolution (2016). 2018 was when Pixowl decided to bring its gaming IP and community of creators to the blockchain, with hopes of giving back to the creator community through decentralization.
In short, The Sandbox is a unique metaverse which allows gamers to build, own, and monetize their experiences in a collaborative manner. Its goal is to disrupt existing gamemakers like Minecraft, through providing creators true digital ownership over their assets as NFTs, and the ability to earn rewards for their participation in and contribution to the ecosystem. Since its entrance to the Ethereum blockchain in 2018, The Sandbox now stands as one of the largest representatives of GameFi, working around a P2E model.
As a user-generated content ecosystem, The Sandbox functions through three main integrated products:
With these products, players are able to build their own digital assets, upload them to The Sandbox marketplace, and drag-and-drop their creations to create game experiences with The Game Maker. The Sandbox also hosts a Game Maker Fund which provides support to players in creating high quality interactive content and game production.
There are two main tokens that help ensure the circular economy of The Sandbox platform and its different types of users: $SAND and LAND. $SAND is an ERC-20 token, acting as the native utility token of the whole gaming platform. It offers a variety of use-cases such as a medium of exchange (spent to play games, buy equipment, customize characters, or rewarded to creators and players), a governance token (holders to participate in governance decisions) and for staking. LAND on the other hand is an ERC-721 token, used to represent physical lands within the Sandbox metaverse. They are sold as NFTs and can be customized by owners through populating it with games, assets or interactive experiences.
As a pioneer of metaverse and NFT custody solutions, Hex Trust has also purchased a Sandbox LAND Estate in the Web3 zone, as our first steps towards entering the metaverse. We have recently integrated custody support for LAND in Hex Safe, allowing institutional investors and high net worth individuals the ability to safely store their LAND assets. We are also creating services to buy and sell LAND, and innovating financing solutions such as leasing LAND and ‘virtual mortgages’.
In 2021, The Sandbox officially released their game 1.0 with new updates, and are working everyday to bring new versions to better equip their ecosystem. They have also released two Alpha Seasons, where players were able to experiment and explore different virtual experiences created within The Sandbox. In March 2022, The Sandbox launched their Alpha Season 2, offering 35+ different virtual worlds for players to experience– several of these experiences were created in partnership with big names such as Snoop Dogg, Club XYZ, Atari, and Care Bears. The season recorded a total of 325K Alpha Hub visitors, 16.5M quests completed, 10M $SAND distributed, and more. They will continue on to release their Alpha Season 3 soon, as well as their game platform with over 5000 game experiences in 2023.
Amongst others, one of the great things about blockchain technology is the provision of true ownership, allowing greater access to ones’ assets without the need for centralized intermediaries. And this is exactly the reason behind The Sandbox’s disruption to mainstream gaming – by combining blockchain technology with the gaming market, the platform counteracts centralized ownership and control of user-generated content, which typically come with limited creator rights and ownership. By using NFTs, The Sandbox offers creators true digital ownership, whilst also offering the benefits of security and immutability, trading and cross-chain interoperability.
The Sandbox roadmap shows promising commitment to decentralization, with big things coming up such as plans to launch their DAO along with staking and voting mechanisms, virtual concerts, a mobile version platform, and more. Innovation doesn’t stop in the blockchain space, and The Sandbox has been setting the pace in the metaverse and GameFi sector.
All in all, The Sandbox shows great potential in accelerating blockchain adoption by offering value to the billions of gamers worldwide, and providing true support for creators within the space. Hex Trust is excited to be a part of this journey as the trusted infrastructure provider underpinning the metaversal future of the digital asset economy.