My Degen Metaverse Altcoin Picks
The Metaverse isn’t coming — it’s already here. Even if you didn’t tune into Mark Zuckerberg’s cringeworthy video disquisition on the future of human interaction, which culminated with the rebranding of Facebook to Big Brother — uhm I mean Meta, the term Metaverse has been in high demand of late.
Leaders in technology, entertainment and fashion have all rushed to stake their claim in it. Just yesterday I read that TIME and Galaxy Digital have partnered to “demystify the next immersive digital frontier, the Metaverse, through a first-of-its-kind partnership” — whatever that means.
If Mike Novogratz, CEO and Founder of Galaxy Digital, is involved then we’d better pay attention. I have written on him numerous times, suffice to say that he is a shrewd operator and accordingly gets a blank cheque as far as I am concerned. The partnership commences with the launch of a weekly newsletter ‘Into the Metaverse’ . Definitly check it out — not exactly the Metaverse that we are all waiting for but it is a good start.
Today we will hop on the FOMO train and do a deep dive into the degen dungeon to learn more about some of the more interesting Metaverse projects that are built on the blockchain. To be sure I have certainly moved far off course from my initial interest in Bitcoin and its properties of ‘sound money,’ or using fancy-pants taxonomy, ‘sanum pecuniam.’
Call it evolution or perhaps degeneration — whichever you prefer, but I am slightly past the notion that Bitcoin is the one and only Sheriff in town. I have done my dues and now it is time to dive into the exciting opportunities that the blockchain revolution has to offer.
Don’t get me wrong — Bitcoin is still the king of cryptocurrencies and as such it rules supreme in a category of its own — mazel tov, God bless you! Put simply, it is hard money you can’t f*ck with. There should be no debate. However, to think that the Metaverse will be solely built on Bitcoin is an exercise in futility.
Back to issue at hand — the Metaverse. Before we degen into our Metacoin picks, let’s dig into the taxonomy of the Metaverse.
Who is building the Metaverse?
The first camp of contenders includes the powers dominated by closed platforms and Big Tech companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Google. These companies have profited immensely from cornering their respective markets — and they obviously want a piece of the Metaverse.
Let’s ignore these platforms for a minute. Jamie Burk who is founder and CEO of Outlier Ventures rightly contends that…
…with time, an open Metaverse built on shared open source protocols, open infrastructure, and a single unifying (yet open) financial system will erode, or ‘eat,’ and potentially eventually replace closed platforms such as Facebook due to powerful network effects.
Check out Outlier Ventures’ Introducing The Open Metaverse OS for a mindblowing discussion on this issue.
This naturally leads us to a second camp of Metaverse contenders which includes the gaming companies that have already created their own thriving virtual worlds. At this point in time it is fair to say that video games are the closest things we have to singular Metaverses right now.
So let’s take a peek at some of the large cap players in the Metaverse realm.
Description: Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based game that is inspired by the massively popular Pokémon game series. Players buy, breed, and pit monsters called Axies against each other to win in-game currency — called small love potions — that can be exchanged for cash. This business model is known as play-to-earn, where players earn crypto rewards for playing a game.
Each Axie is a non-fungible token (NFT), a unique collectible that can be bought or sold across exchanges outside of the game. To initiate battles, players must own at least three Axies, the cheapest of which are selling for around $200. The most expensive monster was sold in 2020 for 300 ether, then worth about $130,000.
As at 20/11/2021 Axie Infinity’s 1 year Return on investment (ROI) of 29433.5%* is quite impressive.
Now this video really impressed me. Nifty entrepreneurs / hustlers are already on it. This appears to be a commercial Axie breeding operation of sorts.
Description: Decentraland is a 3D virtual blockchain-based universe that allows users to buy plots of lands, customize them, and interact with other players in the Metaverse. Anybody can access Decentraland right now, and explore their virtual world.
Decentraland is the only project on the market that has a true virtual explorable Metaverse. Interestingly, the most recent announcement when it comes to Decentraland, is their partnership with the Government of Barbados, establishing the world’s first metaverse embassy. Say what???
Welcoming a government of a nation to the Metaverse is a first in the crypto world. Establishing an official embassy in the Metaverse is sure to bring attention to Decentraland, and cryptocurrency in general.
As at 20/11/2021 Decentraland’s 1 year ROI is a modest 5177.2%.
Description: The Sandbox is an Ethereum-based blockchain project that has gained tremendous attention for its ties to the Metaverse. On The Sandbox platform, users can create their own virtual worlds, interact with others, and create digital assets like non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The Sandbox ecosystem is popular among NFT creators and players that build, share and monetize their games on the platform. The platform’s native token SAND, saw its price rally earlier this week.
Sandbox recently announced the launch of its metaverse after completing four years of development. The platform has secured partnerships with Crypto Kitties, Sheep, Atari and Shaun to build play-to-earn games on Sandbox’s Metaverse.
The launch of Sandbox Alpha is scheduled for November 29, it is a 3-week long event. Players can participate in Sandbox’s play-to-earn games through the Alpha Pass, an NFT ticket that grants access to the exclusive launch event.
Snoop Dog has also joined the Sandbox party it seems.
As at 20/11/2021 the Sandbox’s 1 year ROI is a modest 11605.4%.
Of course, there are many other Metaverse tokens to sink your teeth into. In fact, Cingecko has a list of the top Metaverse coins by market capitalization. Plenty of ammunition to get lost in the rabbit hole.
Need more goodies? No problem, Fomocraft got you covered. Here is a list of quality mid cap gems that could warrant some more DYOR(ing). These tokens are still in the beginning stages of building out their virtual worlds. Surely, there’s potential upside as more users join these communities.
But where to find some real alpha? In small cap Metaverse plays, of course— get one of those right and mazel tov!
The Block Research has an excellent report to get you started on your blockchain-based gaming journey so be sure to check it out.
Metaverse Trends Today
While the fully realized version of the Metaverse is years away, several trends today shed light on how it is emerging. The Block Research, for example, examines the attendance at eSports competitions and virtual gatherings as a way of quantifying its rise.
The Block Research concludes that the massive crowds that the League of Legends draws for its World Championships demonstrate just how mainstream digitally native events have already become. Likewise, large gatherings in fully digital environments with shared experiences and interactions represent some of the most apparent Metaverse-like events today.
For example, virtual concerts have drawn massive crowds and delivered highly immersive experiences. In April 2020, American rapper Travis Scott drew a crowd of over 12 million (~100x the size of the largest NFL stadium) to a virtual concert hosted in Fortnite.
So what are we to make of all this?
Generating income while playing a game sounds like a utopia for most of us. However, thanks to the play-to-earn movement, that scenario is not far from reality.
Play-to-earn games empower people by democratizing the ownership and monetization of the time and capital that players invest in games. Shifting the socioeconomics of entire regions is something that is not seen everyday. And the impact goes deeper when understanding the role blockchain games are playing.
Put simply, the opportunity generated by these games should not be overlooked. Especially in emerging economies, where the financial impact is magnified.
Think about it this way: What happens when the masses in the emerging economies realize they can generate income while playing a game?
Let’s keep it simple and use simple stats:
About 9.2% of the world, or 689 million people, live in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 a day, according to the World Bank. Now let’s add Axie Infinity into the mix. According to an article every time a user sells an Axie on an NFT marketplace they can earn an average of $270. Traders play 50 to 80 days to recover their initial investment of $800, and then they can expect to earn anywhere between $10 to $15 a day by playing the game.
Mic drop — enough said! If you cannot see the opportunity then I cannot help you.
So let’s briefly move away from blockchain-based gaming and consider some other Metaverse gems that are worth a look.
Ladies and gentlemen look no further than the Render Token — distributed GPU rendering on the blockchain. In short,the Render Network is the leading provider of decentralized GPU based rendering solutions, revolutionizing the digital creation process. Founded in 2016 by Jules Urbach, CEO of OTOY, Render is the next step in his dream of the open Metaverse.
The Render Token is the hottest ticket in town it seems. Watch this important episode of the All-In Podcast where world’s most astute billionaire investors were bantering about Solana and in particular the Render Token — they were NOT discussing Bitcoin or Ethereum, no Sir.
What is surprising (or not) is Chamath Palihapitiya’s deep technical acumen of the Render Token. So there you go, the cat is out the box! Chamath Palihapitiya — tech billionaire, Golden State Warriors co-owner, and the founder and CEO of Social Capital, is all in on the open Metaverse.
Still not convinced, watch this episode of the Crypto Banter Podcast where crypto heavyweights Bill Barhydt, Vinny Lingham, and Ran Neuner are all horny for the Render Token. * I conveniently excluded the dude with the beard because I didn’t enjoy his persona one bit.
Render’s numbers certainly confirm the community’s enthusiasm. As at 21/11/2021 the Render Token has a modest 1 year ROI of 7244.4%.
More gains to come? I believe in the short to medium term it has definitely upside. It is not yet been listed by the major exchanges so once Binance or Coinbase pick them up more liquidity is heading Render’s way. Long term the sky’s the limit. I believe Render is going to change the world but don’t take my word for it — start by reading the white paper and see for yourself!
The Metaverse will also require internet-native currency. Probably some sort of stablecoin. The narrative is simple: A decentralized economy requires decentralized money that governments can’t f*ck with. Period!
I am also extremely bullish on Terra UST winning the stablecoin race. The thesis is simple: Once U.S. authorities regulate fiat-backed stablecoins and slap red tape onto their usage, we will see a flight into decentralized stablecoins. Currently, the value of the top 3 fiat-backed stablecoins is +/- $120 billion USD. Who is going to eat their lunch?
I have hypotesized in my previous post that the restriction or their limitation of fiat-backed stablecoins by government regulators could pose a significant opportunity to the Terra (LUNA) ecosystem.
Jose Macedo from Delphi Digital supports this narrative. In fact, he has written an in-depth thread about it all and probably explains it much more eloquently than I could ever do. Be sure to check it out here. Read it once, read it twice, Bob’s your uncle!
Please read my Deep Dive into Terra (LUNA) for a more nuanced discussion on this Metaverse play.
Finally, let’s consider Venture Capital’s Introducing The Open Metaverse OS Paper and their description of the anatomy of the Metaverse.
In short, this diagram depicts the anatomy of any given instance of the Metaverse as a platform at its various levels of the stack.
How is this important?
I have previously argued that Outlier Ventures have essentially given us the blueprint of the open Metaverse with which we can place strategic bets on its various levels of the stack.
Projects such as Cheqd, Boson Protocol, CUDOS, Haven Protocol, The Graph, just to name a few, are all worthy of a look — so be sure to DYOR on that.
All fascinating projects in their own right. I am falling deep down into the rabbit hole — please help me!
It is time to summarize — my degen Metavere altcoin picks are as follows:
Pick up a couple of large and medium cap blockchain-based gaming tokens. The growth opportunitie of this space can no longer be ignored. Also throw a few small cap tokens into the shopping basket — consider them a nice little lottery ticket. Load up on the Render Token before it gets listed by the major exchanges — goes without saying but be quick! Luna is the internet-native currency bet. And lastly, sink your teeth into the blueprint of the open Metaverse — there might be some gems lurking.
You are welcome — thank me later!
Happy Metaverse’ing ya’ll.
Frei Bier / Twitter: @FreiBIER13
DISCLAIMER: My writings are merely a reflection of my learning journey and my attempt to compartmentalize the cryptoverse. I am learning out loud so feel free to correct me or disagree with me. This is not investment advice but my hope is that you find value in some of my links and ideas.