Academy takes a dive into seven metaverse projects to watch, from launchpads to GameFi.
If you haven’t yet heard of the metaverse (and we find that hard to believe), now is the perfect time to begin catching up.
Arguably the successor to the internet as we know it, the metaverse could be poised to present a huge range of opportunities to those that get in early — similar to the dot-com boom of the ’90s.
Ranging from play-to-earn games to decentralized three-dimensional worlds, cross-platform events and experiences, digital avatars and identities and a whole lot more, the metaverse could be poised to reinvent the way we go about our daily lives.
But it’s still in its very earliest stages of development, and the first wave of projects have only just begun to deliver on the concept of a blockchain-powered metaverse and working prototypes and beta platforms.
As a growing array of projects gradually unravel the full potential of the metaverse and hopefully deliver its unique benefits to the masses, at least a handful will go on to become the Facebooks, Fortnites and Unreal Engines of the metaverse.
Here, we take a look at some of the most promising candidates for 2022 and beyond.
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The platform is very similar to Decentraland in that the Solice metaverse will comprise a fixed number of LAND parcels, which are NFTs that can be developed, used and monetized by their owners.
The platform will include a wide variety of features that arguably make it one of the most expansive metaverse projects currently being built. Briefly, these include:
- Blockchain-based digital pets: NFT-based digital critters that follow their owners around the Solice metaverse and unlock improved yields and new features.
- Quest-based gameplay: Allowing users to earn a fraction of the SLC token supply for completing quests in the metaverse.
- Dungeon gates: These are magical portals that randomly spawn throughout the metaverse and transport players to void dungeons where they can complete challenges and games to earn rewards.
- Crafting system: After obtaining the correct ingredients and materials by scouring the metaverse (or purchasing them), users can craft potentially rare/valuable/useful NFT assets.
- Solice marketplace: This is a web-based platform used for exchanging Solice-based assets in 3D VR, including plots of land, pets, avatars, buildings, raw materials and more.
The Solice landscape will be accessible both inside and outside of virtual reality, but users will get the best experience when using a high-end VR headset.
Solice conducted its initial DEX offering (IDO) for the SLC token on Solanium and recently listed on Huobi as well as several Solana-based DEXs.
According to the official roadmap, the soft launch of version 1.1 of the platform is scheduled for Q1 2022 along with other major features, including token staking and multi-player options.
XANA is an upcoming Ethereum layer-2 platform that is designed to power the future of the metaverse through a wide range of custom-built technologies.
The platform allows brands, businesses and individuals to create their own custom 3D environments and services within its virtual landscape. Like most metaverses, this landscape is divided into individual land plots — in this case, these are formed of a number of 1x1 grids (50m x 50m in-game area). The largest of these plots can be up to 4x4 units (200m x 200m).
These plots are NFT-based and can be freely sold, traded or leased to other users. In total, just 150,000 plots will be made available, which users will be able to obtain in various ways.
XANA also features comprehensive avatar customization options and gives brands and creators the opportunity to create exclusive avatars for their users as a potential NFT drop or monetization route.
XANA's second-layer solution will be bridged to several major blockchains, including Binance Smart Chain, Solana, Terra and Polygon, ensuring users on the most popular platforms will be able to easily access its technology.
The platform is somewhat similar to Decentraland, but differs in that it also includes both AR and VR support, a no-code builder and a proprietary low-cost layer two solution to maximize accessibility.
The first GameFi title to use Xana's technology is already in development. It's known as NFT Duel and is an NFT-based trading card game reminiscent of Yu-Gi-Oh!
As per the official XANA roadmap, the platform is scheduled to launch its cross-platform public alpha, world builder, blockchain mainnet, and genesis land sale in Q1 2022.
GameRich is an upcoming metaverse-centric launchpad and product ecosystem that looks to make gaining exposure to early-stage and promising metaverse projects a simpler and safer task.
The platform allows users to earn a yield from the rapidly growing metaverse ecosystem through a variety of investment products, including:
- Using NFTs to farm metaverse tokens/assets;
- Investing in initial metaverse offering (IMOs);
- Delegate NFTs to guilds to earn passive income.
GameRich’s launchpad platform will support a variety of fundraising models, which allow metaverse, blockchain gaming and other high-end projects to raise capital through one or more different methods to cater to different risk appetites. These include:
- Venture bond (low risk);
- Convertible NFT offering (relatively low risk);
- Initial game offering (relatively high risk);
- Leveraged token offering (high risk).
This solution aims to provide opportunities for all participants — irrespective of their risk appetite and preferred asset classes.
Like many metaverse projects, GameRich also has a major overlap with the blockchain gaming sector. The platform will offer a variety of tools and services including an automated DeFi yield aggregator, an NFT inventory and marketplace aggregator, and a game launchpad.
One of GameRich’s other major features is the Metaverse Bank. This is a suite of tools and services blockchain game players and investors can use to maximize their returns and minimize barriers to entry. This includes helping users deploy their NFTs to a game, securely delegate their NFTs to other players for a passive yield, or simply store their NFTs as part of their collection.
GameRich expects to have completed its first IGOs in Q1 2022, whereas the alpha version of the Metaverse Bank is currently scheduled for Q2 2022. The platform's native utility token ($RICH) will be launched as both a BEP-20 (Binance Smart Chain) and Terra native token. The minting/listing date isn’t yet publicly available.
The metaverse is set to become an incredibly large and diverse space, filled with opportunities (and risks).
Some projects are building solutions that allow creators and builders to create their own independent metaverses, while others are building the projects with metaverse-centric elements, such as decentralized governance, 3D worlds, incentivized engagement, NFTs and digital identity.
Like most other niches, it is highly likely that the metaverse will eventually become saturated with a staggering array of projects, most of which will fail, while others will go on to achieve meteoric growth and success.
MetaVPad sits at the intersection between new metaverse projects and investors, by providing a platform where users can gain exposure to a range of hand-selected metaverse projects — without needing to do all of the research that usually comes with identifying promising new opportunities.
MetaVPad conducted its token generation event in December 2021 and the staking platform is currently up and running. It’s currently scheduled to complete its first metaverse IDO on January 20, 2020.
The platform is primarily focused on the metaverse and aims to become a key piece of infrastructure that metaverse builders use to power their digital landscapes. Nosana will leverage the spare capacity of its network participants to provide builders with cheaper and more accessible cloud computing for their applications — reducing or potentially eliminating their reliance on big tech.
Nosana leverages the Solana blockchain and uses the NOS token to fuel an open marketplace for shared computing power. Eventually, Nosana hopes to enable an open metaverse where the computations used to power a wide range of metaverse-based experiences — such as NPC interactions, procedurally generated environments, file encryption and more — are securely computed by the same users that leverage these technologies.
Nosana will allow users to earn NOS tokens by providing their unused computing capacity to its network, which is then used to power promising projects building in the metaverse. The platform aims to make this as simple as possible by providing a simple application that can be run on a range of devices — such as a home computer, smartphone or Raspberry Pi.
Nosana is currently several months away from its mainnet launch, but the platform is scheduled to launch its incentivized testnet shortly after its public sale. Users will also be able to get their hands on NOS tokens by becoming a node operator — tasked with running pipelines, verifying code and protecting the network from false nodes.
The first implementation of Nosana’s technology will be rolled out under a product known as “Project Galactica,” and there are hints that Nosana has further related solutions on the horizon — including a full-fledged DAO.
Each metaverse will be completely customizable and will feature its own unique token economy and decentralized governance system, allowing the creators and participants to tailor its design to their needs, while providing a flexible framework for growth, community incentives and future upgrades.
Bit.Country is designed to offer a non-technical framework used to build custom metaverses. It also provides a robust API that developers can use to build powerful games and smart contract-based experiences for their metaverse.
The platform is built on the Substrate platform and provides a democratic, incentivized and economical framework for building 3D worlds, games and experiences. Each metaverse has its own fixed number of land blocks, which can be further subdivided into land units.
Bit.Country hasn’t yet completed its token generation event and the platform isn’t yet live.
Nonetheless, the team behind Bit.Country has released a rather long video demo, which details the main principles and technologies behind the platform along with some of its potential use cases.
The platform recently won the 14th Kusama parachain slot after more than 25,000 stakeholders locked up $100 million to support its parachain bid. The Kusama version of the Bit.Country token will be known as NEER (for Pioneer), whereas the Polkadot version will trade under the ticker NUUM (for Continuum).
If you’re a fan of traditional and new-generation fighting games, MetaFighter could be one worth watching.
MetaFighter looks to provide players with pulse-quickening arcade-style fighting action backed by a metaverse with friendly (and perhaps not so friendly) wagers that let players put their money where their mouth is — and earn income from their talents.
Fighting games have always been seen as the ultimate test of gaming skill. Only RTS (real time strategy) and tactical FPS (first-person shooter) have the same kudos within the gaming community at large as an ultimate expression of player skill. The technical precision, concentration and learning required to be the best at these games has forged a passionate, loyal and hitherto unrewarded community that knows talent when they see it.
MetaFighter will leverage the unique capabilities of blockchain technology to unlock an array of play-to-earn opportunities for users, helping players earn rewards for progressing through the game and defeating their opponents.
The game is centered around fighters that are both willingly and unwillingly drawn from disparate timelines and now need to duke it out for the chance to be labeled “the greatest of every time.”
Billed as a next-generation 3D arcade fighter, the game taps into the gaming community’s ardent fire and lets them earn ongoing rewards for their grind. The fighters within the game are NFTs that can be leveled, evolved and traded within the game’s in-house marketplace. Players can rent these characters to newer players to earn rewards and can even create their stable of fighters to help stand a better chance at success.
NFT Arenas used to host bouts will be dotted over a large metaverse map that players can travel to and showcase their skills. These arenas will be player-owned, operated and potentially branded assets, allowing individuals, brands and firms to monetize part of the MetaFighter map.