Play. Create. Own. Govern. Earn. Welcome to the Metaverse! These are the first words spoken by the virtual world creators – The Sandbox.
Now we understand that it may sound like we are speaking another language but fear not, the blog writers here at ALVA PC are going to make sure that you readers understand every part of this post because we believe a revolution is upon us, and every gamer out there deserves to be a part of this.
So, let’s start with the basics. Who is Sandbox and what is the Metaverse?
Before we begin to explore what the Sandbox is and what they are bringing to the gaming industry, it will be better to start by explaining what Bitcoin and Ethereum is as the latter is where the sandbox was created, and we cannot possibly talk about cryptocurrency without talking about Bitcoin.
From Bitcoin to Ethereum
Bitcoin uses a global network of computers that maintain a shared ledger called a blockchain that keeps track of who owns bitcoin. Once blockchain technology was introduced to the world, people realized that blockchains could be used to keep track of anything of value. In 2013, a 19 year old named Vitalik Buterin introduced the Ethereum white paper, which proposed an open source platform that would let programmers build blockchain applications that could facilitate the exchange of money, content, property, shares or anything of value. Much like with Satoshi Nakamoto’s paper, Buterin’s was met with widespread excitement from software developers around the world who began building toward the vision Buterin laid out.
Much like Bitcoin, Ethereum isn’t owned or controlled by any one person. Unlike Bitcoin, whose creator remains anonymous, Ethereum has a leader in Vitalik Buterin. While Buterin doesn’t control Ethereum in the way that a CEO does, his word carries tremendous weight in dictating the direction of the project – something that is considered a strength or a weakness, depending on who you ask.
The basic function that programs built on Ethereum perform are called smart contracts. Smart contracts are digital agreements that execute automatically based on real world data. An easy way to think of them is an “If-then statement.” IF condition A exists, THEN perform function B.
Let’s say for example Grandma wants to make sure she never forgets to give Little Billy birthday money each year. She could write a smart contract that says IF it’s Little Billy’s birthday, THEN pay him $10 from Grandma’s account. Once this contract is broadcast to the Ethereum network, it will execute automatically each year on Little Billy’s birthday.
Smart contracts have applications far beyond improving the reliability and efficiency of Grandmothers around the world. Another simple application of a smart contract is for rental payments: IF date = 1st of the month, THEN pay landlord rent amount. Processes that currently involve manual interactions between two parties can now be automated and the value can be moved in real time over the blockchain rather than settling days later as with traditional banking.
A Real World Example
Ethereum and smart contracts are a big deal because they have the ability to usher in what’s been dubbed the “smart economy” – one in which slow manual processes prone to human error and deceit are replaced with automated processes that are completely transparent and trustworthy. A real world example that typifies the new “smart economy” is a project being run by a French insurance company called AXA.
AXA offers a flight insurance product that pays out a policy holder in the event that a flight is delayed by two hours or more. It currently has a product in trial that will pay out insurance claims using smart contracts and the Ethereum blockchain. The smart contract is simple: IF flight is over two hours late, THEN pay policyholder. The smart contract is connected to a database that monitors flight times. If the database shows that the flight is over two hours late, the smart contract is triggered and the policyholder is paid automatically over the blockchain.
Without the smart contract, the policyholder would have to file a claim and wait for the insurance company’s claims department to process it, which could take anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks. With the smart contract, neither the insurance company nor the policyholder has to do anything. This also creates trust between the two parties because there are no grey areas – the customer can review the smart contract prior to purchasing the policy and feel comfortable that he will receive his claim in the event of a delay.
Ethereum vs Ether
As stated in the intro, Ethereum is a platform for building blockchain applications using smart contracts. What you may have just purchased on Coinbase is called Ether, which is the cryptocurrency that fuels the Ethereum network.
Ether functions more like a digital commodity than a digital currency. Just like you need gasoline to fuel your car, you need Ether to run applications on the Ethereum blockchain. In the Grandmother example cited above, Grandma would have to purchase small amounts of Ether to fuel her smart contract that pays Little Billy his birthday money.
The Ethereum blockchain functions in the same way as the Bitcoin blockchain: a network of computers run software that validates transactions through majority consensus. The people running these computers are called miners. Bitcoin miners are compensated for their resources by being paid in Bitcoin. Ethereum miners are compensated in Ether. On Little Billy’s birthday, Grandma’s ether transaction fee will go to whichever miner adds the block containing Grandma’s transaction to the blockchain. That miner will also receive new Ether in the process.
The same supply/demand economics that apply to commodities like oil and gas also apply to Ether. Oil is valuable because it powers many of the things we use in our everyday life – it heats our homes and fuels our engines. The more people and enterprises that rely on Ethereum based applications, the higher the demand will be for Ether which will increase its value. As with all cryptocurrencies, there’s plenty of speculation baked into the price – speculation that the demand for Ether will increase in the future. Since Ether is valuable, exchangeable and transferable, certain merchants are also starting to accept it as a currency.
dApps – Decentralized Apps
Applications that run smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain are called “dApps,” or decentralized apps. Just as any app developer can build apps on top of Apple’s IOS operating system, developers can build on top of Ethereum’s blockchain infrastructure. To the end user of a dApp, it might not look and feel any different than the apps you use today. It’s the underlying blockchain infrastructure that make them different.
Since dApps function on top of the blockchain, they can be used to transfer value peer-to-peer. To return to our Grandmother example, there could be a dApp that Granny can download that lets her schedule Little Billy’s birthday payments without having to code the smart contract herself. dApps are also completely open sourced so other people can access the code and build on top of them. Someone could take the code to the birthday payment dApp and add the ability for Grandma to add a note that says, “Happy Birthday Billy!” Running dApps on the blockchain also offers added security benefits. Since the transactions are distributed and encrypted across the Ethereum blockchain, there is no central place for a hacker to breach and gain access to all of the world’s Grandmother to grandson birthday payment data.
Launched in 2011, The Sandbox is a virtual world where gamers can build, own and monetize their gaming experiences on the Ethereum blockchain. Pixowl co-founder/CEO Arthur Madrid and COO Sebastien Borget are the main driving forces behind The Sandbox, which is best known for its mobile games The Sandbox (2011) and The Sandbox Evolution (2016). To date, the games have racked up a total of over 40 million downloads on iOS and Android.
What Is The Sandbox?
A virtual world that’s driven by its community, The Sandbox allows creators to design, share and sell virtual world assets. The Sandbox is a gaming platform built on the Ethereum network, the leading blockchain platform for decentralized projects. The Sandbox metaverse attempts to change the dynamics of the gaming market by rewarding creators of user-generated content for the value they produce.
Players in The Sandbox can purchase and trade resources as plots of land and create custom game experiences, making them available for others to use. A free-to-play online game, The Sandbox offers a system of special tokens that runs the entire ecosystem. These tokens can be earned while playing the game.
How The Sandbox Works
The Sandbox features a circular economy between different types of users, including players, creators, curators and landowners. SAND is the token used for interactions/transactions, whereas LAND represents digital real estate. Each unit of LAND is a non-fungible token (NFT) registered on the public Ethereum blockchain (ERC721). Players can buy LAND to purchase other assets in the game.
The Sandbox also has ASSETs, which are tokens created by players who build and assemble user-generated content (UGC). These virtual tokens can be traded on a marketplace with SAND and incorporated into LAND. ASSETs use the ERC1155 standard and serve as creative elements in The Sandbox Game Maker.
The Sandbox draws its key features from the Ethereum blockchain: immutability, true ownership, interoperability and ease of monetization. Once artists’ creations are uploaded, they’re registered on the blockchain and cannot be altered by anyone, including members of The Sandbox team. Creators have full ownership of the assets through their blockchain wallets.
Ethereum also helps with new monetization mechanisms by rewarding creators without using a middleman. In terms of interoperability, Ethereum gives tokens from The Sandbox compatibility with other Ethereum-based platforms. By facilitating communication between different decentralized networks without any intermediaries, The Sandbox achieves true decentralization.
Voxel Editor is a type of software used to build 3D voxel models, allowing users to create and animate models of animals, tools, humans and more. Square 3D pixels called voxels form building blocks that can be manipulated using VoxEdit to produce beautiful works. Once completed, these works can be exported from VoxEdit into The Sandbox marketplace as NFT game ASSETs.
The Sandbox Game Maker allows users to build 3D games for free. Thanks to built-in visual scripting tools, no coding experience or knowledge is required, so you’ll be able to create your own game even if you’re a beginner.
The Sandbox’s NFT marketplace lets users upload, publish and sell NFT creations made on VoxEdit. These creations are first uploaded into an IPFS network with decentralized storage, then registered onto the blockchain as proof of ownership. Once registration has been completed, the creations become ASSETs that can be traded by making an initial sale offer on The Sandbox marketplace, where potential buyers can purchase them.
What Is SAND?
SAND is The Sandbox ecosystem’s native token. It follows the ERC20 standard. Publishers, gamers and developers in The Sandbox ecosystem use SAND as the main currency of transaction. This Ethereum-powered utility can be transferred an unlimited number of times between users for P2P transactions, such as purchasing or selling LAND and ASSETs.
Apart from the SAND coin, The Sandbox also provides a LAND token which proves players’ ownership of digital land. ASSETs also include items created by members of the community.
As SAND is relatively scarce, with its supply limited to three billion units, its value could increase over time.
How to Use SAND Crypto
Listed below are some of the uses of SAND crypto:
- Users or gamers need SAND to play various games.
- It’s a currency to carry out transactions within The Sandbox ecosystem. Users can purchase services and assets to trade or pay with: for instance, they can purchase equipment or customize avatars.
- Without SAND, players cannot inherit LAND and ASSETs, two of the most valuable elements on the game platform.
- SAND provides governance rights to its owners as a utility token. Users who have SAND in their wallets can propose changes to the platform and vote on modifications suggested by other SAND holders. SAND also helps users delegate their voting rights to others if they choose.
- SAND can be used for staking, which helps users to earn more SAND coins. With every transaction, 2.5% is automatically allocated to the staking pool to reward all users who stake their tokens. Another 2.5% is given to the Sandbox Foundation, the body that oversees the development of The Sandbox platform.
- Like any other cryptocurrency, SAND can be used as a medium of exchange.
Metaverse Alpha to launch Nov. 29
The Sandbox is opening part of its metaverse to players for the first time via a multi-week play-to-earn (P2E) Alpha event.
But only a handful of lucky players will get to enjoy the full experience.
The Sandbox’s virtual gaming world enables users to monetize their time spent in the metaverse via a play-to-earn model. Players can purchase land and create nonfungible tokens (NFT) within the game and earn the Sandbox token (SAND) by completing various quests. They can also stake the token.
According to a Wednesday announcement from the firm, the event will start on Nov. 29 at 1 pm UTC and will run until Dec. 20. A select group of just 5,000 users will have the chance to earn up to 1,000 SAND (worth around $3,500 at current prices) and three exclusive NFTs via time spent across 18 experiences developed by The Sandbox teams.
The three exclusive NFTs will only be available during the event. They will depict a medieval-style gate, a blue-and-black dragon and a longsword, all of which are usable in The Sandbox metaverse.
The Alpha Pass is an NFT ticket that grants full access to the event to 5,000 individuals. One thousand are up for grabs in a raffle for Sandbox Landowners, and 2,250 more will be given out to Sandbox account holders via daily social contests over a three-week period. These golden tickets will also be on sale on OpenSea’s secondary market between Nov. 29 and Dec. 19.
Players without the pass will be able to access three experiences and the Alpha Hub, a multiplayer gaming mode that features a range of locations and quests, but they will not be eligible for P2E rewards.
According to data from OpenSea, the floor price for Sandbox NFTs sits at around 1.019 Ether (ETH) worth $4,284 at the time of writing. Total trade volume stands at 39,700 ETH ($165.3 million) since late 2019.
At the start of this month, The Sandbox closed a $93-million Series B funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The firm stated that the project has been in development for four years and will launch its metaverse in “phased stages” moving forward. The funding will reportedly go toward scaling The Sandbox via developing new games and live experiences and seeking out additional partnerships with popular brands and intellectual properties.
We do not know about you but ALVA PC is definitely excited for what is in store for the whole gaming industry and cannot wait to get our own hands stuck in the digital side of things. Game on!