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Review Of The Popular SandBox Cryptocurrency (SAND)

Surely many of our readers have played (or are playing) Minecraft, building their own cozy worlds from blocks. Who has not dreamed of getting a real reward for their locations, in which so much effort and time has been invested? The Sandbox, a blockchain-based game project, offers something like this with the native SAND token. What is it, how it works and what are the prospects for this coin?

What is SAND?

SAND is a functional game platform token for gamers and creators of Sandbox game content. Technically, it is an ERC-20 token that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Despite the similarity to the regular in-game currency, SAND performs several functions at once:

  • Voting rights – SAND holders can vote on important decisions on the platform.
  • Content creation and exchange – tokens are required to use the creator tools, as well as to purchase objects, locations and other content.
  • Liquidity mining – token holders can stake them in the Sandbox pool and get a reward as a fee share. 
  • Access to games – SAND tokens are also required to use content created by other authors and to play in locations created by other players. 

The coin is traded on a real exchange and can be purchased with stablecoins and notable cryptocurrencies. In fact, it is the heart and soul of the Sandbox economic model that links the creation, sharing, and gaming experience together. With the SAND token, developers and ordinary gamers can make money doing what they love. 

Sandbox Features

Technicals aside, Sandbox is a cross between a game, a game engine and a content sharing platform (like Steem). It may well become both a prototype for the next generation game format and a decentralized version of game platforms. Sandbox offers 3 products:

  • VoxEdit – a 3D editor that allows creating and animating objects with voxel graphics. With the help of the editor, users can construct buildings, avatars, vehicles and any other items to furnish their location. 
  • Game Maker – a set of tools in a convenient shell with which one can create full-fledged game levels with scripts at a location. The creators offer a set of ready-made templates and allow creating own scripts. 
  • Marketplace – a store where you can buy and sell objects, locations, avatars, and even test games from other developers. 

At the same time, the marketplace uses 3 types of fungible and non-fungible tokens at once:

  • SAND – the actual internal currency with which all items available on the marketplace can be bought and sold;
  • ASSETS – game objects and items that are technically non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for which the creator retains the copyright for life, and which also enable to import objects from Minecraft. The items in the store are shown below:
  • LAND – land plots on which objects and items are placed and which are transformed into full-fledged game levels. The plot can be bought, sold or leased. Technically, these are also NFTs and the current plot map looks like this:

ERC-721 and ERC-1155 NFTs are used to write land and objects to the blockchain. However, it should be noted that a full-fledged ASSETS exchange is currently not available on the platform (they can be added, but not yet sold), and LAND tokens have only recently become available for purchase. These details are expected to be fixed in the near future. 

Background & Team

The Sandbox’s official website gives no information about the project developers, founders or team. Instead, it is modestly reported to be a “community driven” platform. From the modest information provided as part of IEO in 2020, it was possible to find out that the founders of Sandbox are:

  • Arthur Madrid – currently holds the post of the general director of the project;
  • Sebastien Borget – CEO. 

Overall, the team employs more than 40 people, a complete list of which will take up a lot of space on this page:

As for the platform’s partners, among the most famous are Atari, Crypto Kitties and Shaun the Sheep:

The general public first learned about the project after the announcement of the IEO launch via Binance Launcpad in August 2020. Earlier, the founders also received private investment. The platform’s functionality was launched after IEO in December 2020, although not all functions have been implemented so far.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a single cute interview in which the founders told inspiring stories that made them launch Sandbox. Obviously, the project’s key ideas are:

  • Providing a P2P gaming experience;
  • Preserving the players’ copyright to objects created by them;
  • Building a blockchain-based gaming universe.

Blockchain games are not new to today’s audience, but Sandbox is a cross between a game and a playground where players can create, set rules and share content. 

Mining Opportunity

SAND are ERC-20 tokens that are native coins of the gaming platform, so the transfer value for SAND is not as great as for payment systems and traditional mining mechanisms do not work here. There is no information on the mining of new tokens. This means that Sandbox actually used a full pre-mining of 3 billion native tokens and distributed them according to the following scheme: 

Only about 675 million tokens (22%) of the total supply are currently in circulation. Apparently, as demand grows, the team will issue new SANDs to the market, with the exception of coins reserved for own needs. 

However, there are 2 options for ordinary users – either to mine or to earn several SANDs for themselves:

  • Content generation – LAND and ASSET NFTs can be exchanged on the platform for native SAND tokens. SAND can also be earned through plot lease and through other players as they play your game;
  • Staking – users can simply freeze their tokens to add liquidity to the platform, thus receiving a reward. MetaMask or Trust Wallet wallets can be integrated for staking.

However, staking does not generate new SAND tokens. Stakers receive a part of the fee charged as a reward – Sandbox takes 5% of the total amount of transactions, with half of the commission going to the Sandbox fund and another half being distributed among stakers. Therefore, staking profitability depends directly on the volume of transactions, i.e. on the Sandbox’s popularity. 

Pros and Cons of the Project

Sandbox is a rather specific project that propels blockchain in a new direction – gaming, so it is quite difficult to assess its strengths and weaknesses. However, we will try to identify the main pros and cons based on the economic structure, technical characteristics and roadmap. The key benefits of Sandbox are as follows:

  • Original idea – it does not even consist in using blockchain to decentralize the gaming industry, rather in building a whole gaming universe based on Ethereum. Functioning tokens are not so much assets as rights to receive and provide gaming experience. 
  • NFTs – non-fungible tokens are a new trend in the industry and Sandbox has found a worthy use for them. With them, each plot and game object in the virtual world turns into a unique and full-fledged property that can generate income for its holders. 
  • Products offered – Game Maker and VoxEdit, of course, are not suitable for creating AAA projects, but these tools can be a good start for novice mod-makers or game designers, who will not only get the opportunity to improve their skills, but also immediately monetize their work. 

The main disadvantages are:

  • Economic restrictions – although the SAND token is listed on some exchanges, it is not a full-fledged cryptocurrency or even a digital asset. Essentially, it only links together the Sandbox ecosystem and allows playing games. That is, it only has a slightly greater value than the in-game token of any MMO. 
  • Narrow target audience – this disadvantage follows from the previous one. Since the rights and opportunities provided to SAND holders narrow down to the creation and use of game content, the token is only of interest to gamers and game developers. Naturally, traders can speculate on a change in rate, but this requires a broader trading ecosystem.
  • Decentralization – since the developers used pre-mining, the question of SAND transaction processing on the platform remains open. There is no information so far on what kind of authentication algorithm will be used and how the platform will incentivize the processing nodes. It seems the recording of transfers to the blockchain is provided centrally. 

Only time will tell how popular Sandbox will become among gamers, novice developers and game designers. The project is still very young (it has been working for only 3 months already) and its functionality has not yet been fully disclosed. The full implementation of the roadmap is scheduled for 2023, and only closer to this time the platform will reveal its potential, strengths and weaknesses. 

SAND Price Prediction

As of this writing, the SAND token is trading at $0.21, which is 10 cents lower than its peak price in mid-February, but 15 cents more than the post-IEO price. In general, the coin strongly correlates with the general market trend:

We can probably expect the growth of SAND in the near future, as the project has now opened sale of LAND tokens. This means that game developers can buy game plots to generate own content and sell it, and since the sale and lease of LAND and the provision of game experience are carried out using SAND tokens, their value may increase. 

Plans also call for adding multiplayer in 2021, which will turn SandBox into a full-fledged MMO and diversify the gaming experience, which may also increase the demand for SAND. Generally, the price prediction for this coin depends on the implementation of the roadmap and the value of SandBox among gamers and game developers. It is difficult to make even a med-term prediction for SAND, let alone a long-term one, which will most likely be associated with the general market trend. 

Conclusion

SandBox is an extraordinary project demonstrating that blockchain applications are not limited to the financial sector or supply chains. In terms of format, it is a cross between an MMO and a game content marketplace like Steem, where players can not only exchange things, objects and locations, but also create their own ones.

The platform uses ERC-721 and ERC-1155 NFTs to designate sections of the game space and game objects, thus guaranteeing the creator’s copyright protection. But the most valuable thing is SAND, the ERC-20 token, which links together objects, locations, gaming experience and players themselves. All content exchange on SandBox takes place only with the use of SAND.

However, the platform and the SAND token are of interest primarily to gamers and target this audience. The platform has not yet fully implemented all the promised functionality, and the SAND ecosystem is only confined to the platform and one exchange. However, investors looking for a promising startup should definitely pay attention to SandBox due to the fact that it entered the world through IEO and is still very young.

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