The Sandbox: Metaverse ecosystem briefly explained
The Sandbox is the decentralized gaming virtual world, a subsidiary of one of the top blockchain game developers, Animoca Brands. The metaverse works as a user-generated content ecosystem, allowing all sorts of creators to join and build the world together. It also utilizes several tokens for securing a circular economy between all user types interacting with the platform: creators, curators, players, and land owners.
One of the largest virtual worlds has expanded far beyond gaming. It has reached the following industries: real estate and house-related, music, concerts and streaming, fashion and apparel, art and museums, professional interactions, shopping, social life and dating, automotive, and sports.
In recent years, The Sandbox has raised nearly $400 million in funding. So, what is driving the rapidly-growing metaverse, and how do celebrities and creators enter it?
- Technical infrastructure
- Core products for gaming experiences and the production of User Generated Content (UGC)
- Tokens that are driving the economy in The Sandbox
- Fiat payment gateway in The Sandbox
- Creators and creations
The Sandbox is built on the Ethereum blockchain. In the Sandbox metaverse, players can build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences using the platform’s utility token, SAND. The platform’s architecture is composed of several components, as the company’s whitepaper explains:
“In terms of blockchain integration, we have a traditionally backend running on the cloud (currently using AWS) to support our web frontend. An S3 bucket is used to store the asset of the artist before they get minted.”
The most valuable benefits of The Sandbox’s infrastructure are security, digital ownership, and interoperability.
Core products for gaming experiences and the production of User Generated Content (UGC)
Three main products define The Sandbox’s functionality.
VoxEdit is a user-friendly software that allows users to create, rig, and animate voxel-based NFTs.
To create a game experience, The Sandbox users need ASSETS which are voxel models made by artists for The Sandbox using VoxEdit. Each ASSET is a UGC uploaded on the blockchain used as an NFT, and users can sell them on The Sandbox’s marketplace. The models can be used in-game or traded and can be anything: tools, avatars, decorative items.
“Once an UGC asset is minted, our backend releases the ASSET on IPFS so that it becomes public. Our smart contract records the hash of an ASSET so that the owner of the ASSET will always be able to prove ownership of not only the number recorded on the blockchain (which many projects in the blockchain gaming space stop there) but also the voxel model itself as well as the various render,” The Sandbox explains.
Marketplace is a place where users can upload, share, and sell their VoxEdit-NFT creations.
NFTs are uploaded to decentralized storage or IPFS (peer-to-peer distribution InterPlanetary File System) network based on blockchain, proving ownership and object uniqueness. Creations then become NFT assets that can be sold to buyers on The Sandbox’s marketplace.
First, the NFTs are uploaded into an IPFS network for decentralized storage and then registered onto the blockchain to prove ownership. Once this is accomplished, creations become ASSETS that can be sold by making an initial sale offer on the marketplace where potential buyers can purchase them.
Game Maker is a toolbox that enables players to craft their own games without any coding experience.
It is an essential creator tool for an enclosed economy that allows anyone to build 3D games for free, relying on four tokens: SAND, LAND, ASSETS, and GAME. The other two tokens, GEM and CATALYST, are for NFT construction on VoxEdit. Users can also monetize the games they created by adding play-to-earn features.
Tokens that are driving the economy in The Sandbox
As mentioned earlier, The Sandbox is a decentralized NFT gaming metaverse based on the Ethereum blockchain. The Sandbox utilizes six tokens in total. Four are used to construct an enclosed economy among users—SAND, LAND, ASSET, and GAME, while the remaining two are used by VoxEdit when constructing assets—GEMS and CATALYSTs.
The platform’s native token, SAND, is used for all transactions and interactions using the ERC-20 standard for the following purposes:
- Accessing the platform,
- Governance (DAO),
- Free capture model.
Inside the virtual world, a LAND token represents a digital piece of real estate where users can create gaming and other experiences using Game Maker and ASSETs created with VoxEdit. Each LAND uses the ERC-721 and is non-fungible.
An ERC-1155 NFT (ASSET) is made by VoxEdit users and is available to trade and purchase in the marketplace. While LAND tokens represent real estate, these assets can be vehicles, animals, structures, and other items. Users have ownership rights to the ASSETS they create and can monetize them.
A GAME is an interactive experience developed by creators using the Game Maker, resulting in a GAME NFT based on the ERC-1155 standard. GAME tokens require a LAND token.
Fiat payment gateway in The Sandbox
In November 2021, The Sandbox announced that it would incorporate Request Finance’s crypto-fiat invoicing tool, which is a blockchain-based financial services application. Its web app supports more than 40 cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and nine fiat currencies. Payments are made in crypto, but invoices can be settled in USD or EUR.
Today, Request manages the entire platform’s extensive crypto-fiat invoicing, payroll, and bookkeeping functions, along with all payments made in SAND.
In June, Mastercard announced a partnership with The Sandbox to facilitate buying NFTs inside the marketplace. Following this change, users will be able to purchase digital collectibles with their credit cards without having to buy cryptocurrency first.
Creators and creations
The Sandbox advertises itself as the open metaverse that welcomes everyone. The ecosystem invites brands, agencies, studios, and independent creators with different goals and visions.
Creators in The Sandbox include digital artists, asset designers, animators, diorama designers, independent game designers, and game design studios, just to name a few. The metaverse is open to receiving more creators who want to contribute to building the virtual world. The Sandbox also offers collaborations with professional Web3 studios to simplify creating content in the metaverse.
More than 200 well-known brands are already integrated into The Sandbox space, including Adidas, Shaun the Sheep, South China Morning Post, Avenged Sevenfold, Roller Coaster Tycoon World, Atari, Care Bears, Blond:ish, Coin Market Cap, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Binance, Square Enix, CyberKongz, and Gucci Vault.
Celebrities and brands using The Sandbox
Now, let’s have a look at some of the celebrities and companies using this metaverse:
- Paris Hilton is one of the most active celebrities in the metaverse. Recently, the socialite has joined The Sandbox with her Malibu Mansion to provide unique metaverse experiences. Hilton’s 11:11 Media marketing agency signed the partnership. However, Hilton is far from the only famous person entering the metaverse.
- Snoop Dogg is another top celebrity-metaverse advocate, so the creation of his own metaverse called Snoopverse was no surprise. He also launched 10,000 metaverse avatars designed by himself and crafted by The Sandbox’s voxel artists. The rapper collaborated with the multi-disciplinary studio Miinded to launch the NFTs and create his metaverse identity.
- The Walking Dead has also entered the metaverse. To make this possible, the Game Maker toolkit partnered with Skybound Entertainment, The Walking Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman’s company.
- Music industry stars Richie Hawtin (Plastikman) and deadmau5 have created a gaming venture, Pixelnyx. They used it to purchase LAND in The Sandbox and thus ensured the metaverse presence of the two electronic artists.
- Blue animation characters, the Smurfs, brought their Smurf Village to The Sandbox through IMPS. In fact, the official licensor of the Smurfs has simplified the download of more than 175 million digital games.
- Very recently, chef Gordon Ramsay’s award-winning reality show Hell’s Kitchen entered The Sandbox through a partnership with ITV Studios, the creator, producer, and distributor of programs.
The Sandbox seems to be the kind of metaverse that doesn’t see limits and will continuously have upcoming projects. It’s undoubtedly one of the leading gaming-virtual worlds that aims to resemble the real world but with more fun. In recent months, we’ve seen a true influx of new projects and brands joining the metaverse, and they show no sign of stopping. Even in spite of the crypto winter, the platform is flourishing, with every funding and partnership announcement proving this.
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