We’ve seen an ever-growing number of companies joining the metaverse in a multitude of ways. Take for example tech giant Microsoft which recently acquired Activision Blizzard for $68.7bn so that they can expand their products into the metaverse. In recent news, McDonald’s has announced that they would be opening a virtual store in the metaverse. This came with several patents of which included “virtual food and beverage products” and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Its online store would also tout the ability to deliver food to a customer’s actual home. The fast-food brand has also gone a step further and filed for patents that include entertainment services and events including the likes “online actual and virtual concerts”.
The craze does not stop there as high fashion brands such as Gucci have expressed their interest in joining the metaverse. Gucci announced that it had bought an undisclosed amount of virtual land on the Ethereum based blockchain game known as The Sandbox and will create experiences there for gamers that are inspired by its “Gucci Vault” platform. Sebastian Borget, COO and co-founder of The sandbox also remarked “For a new generation of players, virtual fashion is as important as real-life fashion”.
As more and more companies swarm to participate in what many view as the future of gaming and social experiences, platforms such as The Sandbox and Decentraland often are mentioned alongside these big moves. However, not everybody understands how these platforms work and how they can get involved in this next big social movement.
One important aspect to note about such platforms is that the aim is to become decentralized. This is another big term that is being thrown about when it comes to the metaverse and what this means is that the code for these platforms is not being run on centralized servers that are controlled by a single entity. Decentraland, amongst many other crypto projects, function in a similar fashion. These platforms make use of something known as a Decentralized Autonomous Organization or DAO for short and through the use of this, is able
to become self-governing. It achieves this self-governance through its users who hold the platforms respective cryptocurrency token and thus would be able to vote on proposed changes to the platform.
A potential reason why The Sandbox and Decentraland have been in the spotlight is due to users being able to purchase parcels of land on the platform which means that users actually own a virtual space. Decentraland offers 90,601 parcels of land where some are untradeable community owned parcels while The Sandbox offers 166,464 plots of land and can be separated into estates where the land is owned by one person and districts where the land is owned by two or more people.
At the time of writing, a main difference between the two platforms that are worth noting is that Decentraland functions through a DAO and is the older of the two platforms. Meanwhile, The Sandbox is currently being run by a centralized entity but has plans to be run via a DAO in the near future. By comparison, the Sandbox also appears to have better graphics.