Insert Coin to Play: Top Metaverse Cryptocurrencies in 2022

Insert Coin to Play: Top Metaverse Cryptocurrencies in 2022

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. Some of these coins might very well go to zero, but others could end up making you more money than God in the metaverse.

Insert Coin to Play: Top Metaverse Cryptocurrencies in 2022
Darry Port

Published Feb 24, 2022Updated Feb 25, 2022

Crypto

Crypto

Technology

Technology

Gaming

Gaming

In This Article

Past Year

The metaverse is what you get when you mash together theme parks and the internet. Stay with me here. 

Similar to a theme park, the metaverse will have virtual attractions where users can socialize, shop, game, work and all-around enjoy themselves. But in keeping with the internet’s openness, the metaverse will consist of many interconnected worlds where no single entity has full control over the system. 

But what kind of tools and platforms are going to power these decentralized experiences? And where do cryptocurrencies fit into the metaverse?

Jon Radoff, the author of the Building the Metaverse blog, has created a 7-layer model that showcases all the sub-sectors and industries where cryptocurrency and other tech will produce value in the metaverse.  

Here’s everything you need to know about metaverse cryptocurrencies, from what these coins and tokens are used for to which metaverse projects are worth investing in.

What is a metaverse cryptocurrency?

The metaverse will be made possible by tools like virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), high-speed internet, and especially cryptocurrencies and NFTs. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) represent the virtual items you can own in the metaverse, like your avatar, clothing, real estate, and artwork, and you can make and buy them on NFT marketplaces like OpenSea.

opensea
OpenSea

NFTs

Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, fulfill the role of money within each metaverse’s virtual economy and can be bought, sold, and traded on crypto exchanges like Kraken.

kraken
Kraken

Crypto

As you can see, NFTs are the primary investment vehicles of the metaverse. But with all the surrounding hype, metaverse cryptos have seen sky-high price appreciation too. As of February 2022, metaverse cryptocurrencies have a combined market cap of $24.8 billion—up 396% since May of last year—according to CoinMarketCap. This growth was, in large part, due to Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement in October that Facebook (now Meta) was pivoting to the metaverse. 

In the following month, the metaverse sector nearly tripled in size from $13 billion to $37 billion and saw hundreds of new cryptos joining left and right. Microsoft and Nvidia jumping on the bandwagon certainly helped, too.

But this begs the question, which metaverse cryptos should you buy to capitalize on this megatrend? 

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Top metaverse cryptocurrencies to buy in 2022

Cryptocurrencies have taken a recent nosedive due to ongoing macroeconomic issues. The good news is that right now you can get in on these metaverse projects at low prices compared to their all-time highs. 

Let’s peel back Jon Radoff’s 7 layers of the metaverse and identify leading projects in each subsector. But just so you know, some projects fit into multiple categories. And since it’s still early days for the metaverse, some categories have little to no mature projects.

Layer 1 – Experience

This layer is all about activities that get us immersed in the metaverse. But Radoff believes this immersion goes beyond 2D and 3D virtual environments into stories, art and community in general. Here are some of the top projects across different categories of experiences:

  • Virtual worlds: Decentraland (MANA), The Sandbox (SAND)
  • Video games: Axie Infinity (AXS), Illuvium (ILV), Gala (GALA)
  • Social media: Decentralized Social (DESO), Mask Network (MASK)
  • Video and music streaming: Versasity (VRA), Audius (AUDIO)
  • Events and sports: Get Protocol (GET), Chiliz (CHZ)

Layer 2 – Discovery 

The discovery layer is how people get introduced to the experiences mentioned above. Discovery is broadly divided into inbound, where people actively seek out experiences, and outbound, where experiences are promoted to users.

superrare
SuperRare

NFTs

Tools of the trade include:

  • Web browsers and search engines: Basic Attention Token (BAT), Presearch (PRE)
  • App stores and marketplaces: Ultra (UOS), SuperRare (RARE), DappRadar (RADAR)
  • Advertising protocols: AdShares (ADS), Wabi (WABI)

Layer 3 – Creator Economy

The metaverse isn’t going to be a passive environment where we only enjoy content created by record labels or movie and game studios.

rarible
Rarible

NFTs

Just like user-generated content has come to dominate social media, all metaverse participants craft virtual experiences using:

  • NFT and Avatar makers: Enjin (ENJ), Rarible (RARI), Metahero (HERO)
  • Social tokens: Rally (RLY), Mint Club (MINT)
  • Developer SDKs and APIs: Cosmos (ATOM), The Graph (GRT)

Layer 4 – Spatial Computing

Radoff defines spatial computing as software that enables us to manipulate 3D virtual spaces and augment the real world, including

  • 3D engines and rendering: Somnium Space Cubes (CUBE), Render Token (RNDR)
  • Geospatial mapping: Hyperion (HYN)
  • Internet of Things (IoT): VeChain (VET), Helium (HNT), IOTA (MIOTA)

Layer 5 – Decentralization

The internet is arguably the most successful implementation of decentralization in history. 

This decentralization was especially powerful back in the day because it gave every internet user to do and build what they wanted with it.

Unfortunately, most internet applications today are controlled by a handful of organizations who tell us what we can and can’t do online. This, my young Padawan, is why we have to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself in the metaverse.

The leading projects giving us back control over our money, data and creations in the metaverse include:

  • Store of value: Bitcoin (BTC), Terra (LUNA)
  • Smart contracts: Ethereum (ETH), Polygon (MATIC), Solana (SOL)
  • Oracles: Chainlink (LINK), API3 (API3)
  • Identity: Ontology (ONT), Civic (CVC)
  • Stablecoins: TerraUSD (UST), Dai (DAI)

cryptocom
Crypto.com

3.5

Crypto

Layer 6 – Human Interface

To enter the metaverse, you’re going to need immersive technologies like VR headsets, AR glasses, hand controls, surround sound and omnidirectional treadmills. 

As you can see, these are all hardware devices. And most crypto projects only address software needs. This is the one layer I’m sure traditional companies like Meta, HTC and Sony will end up dominating. 

One interesting project that’s tackling both the hardware and software side of things is Metahero (HERO). In short, Metahero bridges the physical and virtual world by enabling users to 3D scan people and objects and turn them into NFTs. 

This is made possible through their 3D metascanner, which is a chamber with high-resolution cameras on every side that capture images in perfect synchronization. Metahero has already installed a 4K chamber in Doha, Quarar and plans to set up more in major cities around the world.

Layer 7 – Infrastructure 

Finally, the infrastructure layer includes technologies that connect our devices to the internet and deliver content. This is another hardware problem, for the most part, requiring 5G and other wireless networks, faster microchips and larger data centers.

But in this case, there are many blockchain projects addressing the need for more connectivity and computing resources, like:

  • Peer-to-peer internet: Elastos (ELA)
  • Storage: Filecoin (FIL), Arweave (AR)
  • Computing power: Golem (GOL)

Should you buy metaverse cryptocurrencies?

It all depends on your risk tolerance and how in-tune you are with this sector. The metaverse is still in its infancy, meaning that it’s going to take anywhere from 3 to 10 years for it to realize its promise. During this time, new projects can come along and steal market share from today’s top players. 

We’ve even got trillion-dollar tech giants like Microsoft trying to muscle their way into this space. All that to say, don’t place all your faith into any one project this early on. Better to diversify among a few coins and tokens that have an edge over other cryptos and traditional companies. This could include better content and events, more users and partnerships, higher performance or decentralization, lower costs, and so on. 

At the end of the day though, the best metaverse crypto for you is the one that gives you access to your favorite virtual world.

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