Published: 14 Dec 2021
What is The Sandbox?
The Sandbox is a community-driven virtual world on the Ethereum blockchain. Within the Sandbox, designers and artists can create, share, and monetise gaming experiences and NFTs. The platform provides a number of gaming experiences with a similar format and style to Minecraft, a popular video game developed by Mojang Studios. Anyone can enter the virtual world of Sandbox, create an avatar, play, and chat with others.
LAND, Sandbox’s virtual real estate, can be developed upon by its owners in a number of ways. For example, some users can create games for other users to play, while others might build virtual dioramas or art galleries to sell their art NFTs. Other monetisation opportunities include hosting events, renting their LAND to others, selling Ad space, and more. In addition, LANDs are an essential key that allows users to be involved in the governance of the Sandbox metaverse. LAND owners will be the voice of the Sandbox, meaning they will be involved in governing and determining the platform’s future via a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO).
Each LAND in The Sandbox’s metaverse is a unique, non-fungible ERC-721 token on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning it’s unique and cannot be duplicated or forged. There are only 166,464 LANDs in the Sandbox metaverse, making them a finite resource. A group of adjacent LANDs could be merged to form an ESTATE, so owners can have a more extensive area to develop upon.
History of The Sandbox
The Sandbox was founded in 2011 by Arthur Madrid and Sébastien Borget. Both have now become the company’s CEO and COO, respectively. The project was initially started on mobile platforms, which to date have gathered over 40 million global installs. After creating mobile games, they took the opportunity to develop a 3D multiplayer platform using blockchain technology in 2017. This game was created to offer a virtual world where players can own, build, and own their gaming experiences. Within this game, players are free to choose the activity they want to experience. The aim is to bring blockchain into mainstream gaming, attracting both crypto and non-crypto game enthusiasts. In 2018, The Sandbox was acquired by a Hong Kong-based software company, Animoca Brands.
Following the development of this blockchain-based game, The Sandbox has built the ground to establish the Players and Creators 100% Ownership Economy with LANDS and NFTs. The team held an initial coin offering (ICO) in August 2020 and managed to raise 3.4 million USD from strategic investors to fund the development of The Sandbox. Since then, the platform has received various investments and notable partnerships.
The Alpha launch of The Sandbox metaverse occurred on 29 November 2021, after four years of development.
Types of Property in The Sandbox
Types of property users can buy in The Sandbox include:
A LAND is a non-fungible ERC-721 token on the Ethereum blockchain. A single 1X1 plot of LAND in the Sandbox is 96 in width, 96 metres in length, and 128 metres in height (1 metre is equivalent to 32X32X32 voxels). This digital piece of real estate can be used for anything. Once a user owns LAND, they can populate it with ASSETs and games. Landowners are also permitted to get involved in the governance of the Sandbox Metaverse. There are two types of LANDs in The Sandbox metaverse: regular and premium.
Compared to regular LANDs, premium LANDs offer a lot more benefits for their owners. One of the main benefits is that premium LANDs are surrounded by significant partners or social hubs. This means that these LANDs will experience higher traffic from players and have more potential monetisation opportunities. Having more traffic also means that more players will see any ads that have been placed on billboards on premium LANDs. Additionally, premium LANDs come with exclusive, limited-time ASSETs. Since these ASSETs are limited and rare, they are likely to become highly desirable by game designers, players, and collectors.
A group of 1X1 adjacent LANDs can be merged together into an ESTATE. Users can buy individual LANDs that are adjacent to each other and then merge the LANDs themselves to create an ESTATE. Alternatively, ESTATEs can also be purchased readily assembled.
ESTATEs comes in four sizes: Small (3X3 – 9 LANDs per parcel), Medium (6X6, 36 LANDs per parcel), Large (12X12, 144 LANDs per parcel), and X-Large 24X24 (576 LANDs per parcel). Users can split their ESTATEs into smaller sizes or into individual 1X1 LANDs.
ASSETs are voxel assets in The Sandbox. These voxel assets are entities designed to provide content experiences to the users, such as games developed on LANDs. ASSETs can also be collected, traded, and monetised. These ASSETs are converted into NFTs based on the ERC-1155 smart contract when uploaded to The Sandbox’s marketplace. There are different categories of ASSETs. These include:
- Entities are NFTs that will bring an experience within The Sandbox to life. They will populate a world or game with non-playable characters (NPCs), such as people and animals.
- Wearables are items that will change the look of users’ avatars. Users can mix and match the wearables to give their avatars more personality and fashion style. Wearables include shirts, shoes, and accessories.
- Equipment is NFT that users can use in order to help them complete game objectives. These may include a shield, a helmet, a sword, a pair of gloves, and more.
- Art is NFT that serves as visual decor to make games and experiences more aesthetically pleasing. These can include statues, framed artwork, landmarks, sounds, and so on.
- Blocks or environmental blocks change the appearance of a world. Some examples of blocks are sand, mud, and water. Users who want to create a more unique world on their LANDs can create unique blocks, such as sparkly lavas, pink water, and more.
GEMs and CATALYSTs
GEMs are an ERC-20 utility token defining your ASSET’s attributes. They are burnt on usage. One single GEM will provide 25 attribute points to an ASSET. With the help of CATALYSTs, users can socket up to 4 GEMs, which will create up to 100 attribute points. There are five main types of GEMs, including Power Gem, Speed Gem, Defence Gem, Magic Gem, and Luck Gem.
CATALYSTs are also ERC-20 utility tokens that are burnt on usage. They define your ASSET’s scarcity and tier. CATALYST has four different tiers: Common, Rare, Epic, and LEgendary. The higher the tier, the more powerful and scarce the ASSET will be.
Native Tokens Used in The Sandbox
The Sandbox has three native tokens: SAND tokens, LAND tokens, and ASSET tokens.
SAND tokens, or $SAND, is an ERC-20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain. It’s the currency and the primary utility token of the Sandbox’s ecosystem. Therefore, $SAND is used to facilitate any transactions that are part of the gameplay, such as purchasing LAND from The Sandbox’s marketplace, interacting with user-generated content. In addition, $SAND is also required for users to participate in the governance of the metaverse. This means that owning $SAND gives users voting rights to improve the platform.
LAND tokens are digital plots of land where users can create digital experiences, such as games or art galleries. Each LAND token is a non-fungible ERC-721.
ASSET tokens are NFTs that represent in-game items, such as equipment and wearables. Users can trade them in The Sandbox’s marketplace.
Top 3 Reasons to Invest in The Sandbox
- The first successful platform to apply blockchain to the gaming industry – In the past, there have been various attempts to apply blockchain to gaming. However, The Sandbox is possibly the first one to actually succeed at it. The gaming industry is a massive global market. Thus, making The Sandbox a good investment.
- The Sandbox is fully controlled by users – Since the SAND token is a governance asset, users of The Sandbox environment have voting rights to make crucial decisions regarding the platform’s development. Thus, The Sandbox is likely to expand and evolve organically faster than centralised gaming environments.
- Notable partnerships – The Sandbox has secured more than 60 partnerships to develop content on the platform. These include partnerships with brands like Shaun the Sheep and Smurfs, game companies like ATARI, investors like Square Enix, dApp game studios like Dapper Labs, and even celebrities like Snoop Dogg.