Now that we’re a few months into 2022, one thing is clear: The metaverse will be this year’s defining market trend. According to co-founder and COO Sebastien Borget, The Sandbox (CCC:SAND-USD) is one of the names in this space investors should be watching closest.
As the metaverse develops, it’s poised to play an increasingly significant role in both stock and cryptocurrency markets. Some analysts believe metaverse stocks will experience the same type of growth electric vehicle (EV) plays saw in 2021. Big Tech is also already working hard to provide widespread access to sleek, affordable virtual reality (VR) technology. So where does The Sandbox come in?
The Sandbox is a virtual world based on the blockchain. In it, users are able to create and build digital assets in game form, which can then be bought and sold. The SAND crypto is also the platform’s official token.
Borget has big plans for the year ahead. A veteran of the crypto and gaming spaces, he sees the digital platform and its underlying token playing a pivotal role in metaverse adoption. The virtual world Borget and his team are building has the power to help both consumers and creators take advantage of a market-defining trend — and profit while they do. Research from Bloomberg Intelligence suggests the metaverse could ultimately be worth $800 billion.
For many investors, assets like the SAND crypto are one of the best ways in.
Building Cyber Sandcastles: Life in The Sandbox
With over four years of experience in blockchain development and 11 years in mobile gaming, Sebastien Borget has helped grow several startups, including game studio Pixowl, which Animoca Brands acquired in 2018. Borget told InvestorPlace in an exclusive interview that, with a big year ahead, The Sandbox will be his next startup success story.
According to Borget, SAND’s mission has always been to “establish the ecosystem of a blockchain-based virtual world where players can build, truly own and monetize their content and access fun, social, immersive and culturally rich experiences.” He sees this as a logical step forward for an economy increasingly driven by the metaverse.
Industry experts have noted that SAND has particularly strong potential among metaverse plays. The token’s co-founder doesn’t believe that trend will go away in 2022, either. As Borget sees it, The Sandbox is just getting started.
“Our gaming DNA also makes for more fun, engaging and at the end of the day more user-friendly experiences. Rather than leaving users by themselves wandering and wondering what to do, we assign them clean and precise quests with a crescendo in difficulty.”
This digital world has grown to include virtual venues like concerts, art expos, museums and social hubs — all experienced by users via avatars. The COO says the sales of cryptos that designate virtual LAND have gone well, too, with “near-instant sellouts and strong demand on secondary markets.” In this case, virtual LAND refers to metaverse real estate that can be used for building anything the owner chooses. Ownership is recorded on the blockchain.
The benefits of the SAND crypto extend beyond entertainment, too. The platform also “encourages content creation,” allowing fans and coders alike to “participate in revenue sharing.”
Of course, the venture has not been without its challenges. Still, Borget emphasizes that The Sandbox is looking to the future, including through taking steps to reduce SAND’s environmental impact. Additionally, while one challenge has been consumers’ hesitancy to embrace the metaverse as a whole, Borget is confident The Sandbox is nearing a breakthrough.
“The best thing we can do to broaden the appeal of the metaverse is to create experiences that resonate with users. The metaverse should be fun to explore, full of new things to discover. Like most gaming platforms and social networks, the metaverse is only as good as those experiences.”
That school of thought is guiding the SAND team as they work toward increasing metaverse adoption. What’s more, Borget believes widespread adoption will require user-friendly experiences for creators, too. The team is focused on building tools for creators and game designers coming to the metaverse for exactly that reason. This includes groups like Hackatao, a team of artists with a significant social media following. “As more creators develop their skills in the metaverse, these new experiences will accelerate adoption,” Borget says.
The Road to the Metaverse for SAND Crypto
How is The Sandbox’s quest for metaverse adoption affecting the SAND crypto? Well, although the token is up significantly from its initial coin offering (ICO) price, it’s still down significantly from its all-time high above $8. However, as metaverse adoption continues, a future rebound is likely. Although bearish crypto markets have presented difficult conditions in early 2022, investors should remain optimistic about SAND’s potential. The metaverse is growing quickly — and The Sandbox is scaling as it does.
Despite a somewhat slow start, The Sandbox now has more than 200 brand partners on board and expects to see more in the future. Borget attributes this growth to the fact that, as metaverse adoption has increased, the value that The Sandbox creates has become clear to more and more companies. For instance, The Sandbox recently partnered with banking institution HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) to provide virtual land. Other companies like JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Samsung have invested in virtual real estate, with metaverse land sales set to double in 2022.
Borget also says his team will be “welcoming new brands and expanding experiences” moving forward this year. To achieve this, The Sandbox has invested in a $50 million metaverse accelerator program. This should help recruit entrepreneurs from around the world.
Oh the Places the Metaverse Will Go
Sebastien Borget is excited about what the coming year means for The Sandbox. The COO says that metaverse adoption is “part of a new paradigm shift.”
“Web3 applications like The Sandbox are now being designed to put users first. This empowers players to have more control of the assets that make up the game, its economy, and eventually its governance.”
For both Sandbox users and creators, the road ahead looks promising. As Borget says, “The blockchain part happens behind the scenes, powering the play-to-earn potential to earn revenue while having fun.” That should be incentive enough to watch SAND carefully moving forward.
On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not hold any position (either directly or indirectly) in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.