In computer programming language, a “sandbox” is a testing environment where software developers can safely explore new code. This comes from the idea that a playground’s sandbox is a contained place where opportunities are only limited by creativity. The game was built in the spirit of both meanings.
Like Decentraland, another popular metaverse, The Sandbox was one of the first blockchain metaverses to boast widespread recognition. Its digital world consists of discrete plots of land, represented by non-fungible tokens (NFTs) called LAND, which users can buy and sell, and on top of which they can craft gaming experiences and even host events.
The metaverse’s economy of is based on the trading of virtual real estate and user-made NFTs (like avatars, buildings, and art) on the open marketplace. Users can also monetize their LAND by building experiences for other players to visit, creating a unique play-to-earn (P2E) structure.
All transactions in the metaverse are facilitated by the native SAND token, which serves as the digital world’s currency.
THE SANDBOX ESSENTIALS
- The Sandbox is a blockchain-based metaverse that grew from a traditional 2D mobile game into a 3D world where users can own digital real estate in the form of NFTs called LAND.
- Using The Sandbox’s creative tools, players can design unique tokenized ASSETs for the game to use in experiences hosted on their LANDs and trade on the marketplace.
- SAND is the native token and primary currency of The Sandbox. Using the token as currency, players can buy and sell LANDs and ASSETs on the marketplace and pay—or be rewarded for—interacting with in-game experiences.
How was The Sandbox developed?
The Sandbox was not designed as a blockchain project from the beginning. Rather, it was ported from the traditional mobile phone gaming space, where it was a two dimensional pixel-art world builder game.
Originally, The Sandbox was launched on iOS by the game developer Pixowl in 2012, led by co-founders Arthur Madrid and Sebastien Borget. They continued to build the game for many years, taking it through a second iteration called The Sandbox Evolution in 2016. This sequel enabled users to build bigger worlds and introduced the concept of an economy using its own in-game currency.
In 2018, Pixowl was acquired by Animoca Brands, a software development company that has been instrumental in the beginnings of blockchain-powered and NFT-based gaming. That same year, it was announced that The Sandbox would be developed into a three dimensional, multiplayer game focused on world-building and hosted on the blockchain.
Over the next three years, the developers redesigned the game’s interface and began to sell LAND NFTs to raise money for the project. The price of SAND skyrocketed along with other metaverse project coins in October 2021, and in November, the first play-to-earn event was hosted in the metaverse.
Throughout its history, The Sandbox has drawn financial support from many sources, including a $93 million funding round in November 2021 and LAND deals with large brands such as Adidas and Atari.
How does The Sandbox work?
The virtual world was originally hosted on the Ethereum blockchain—using its immutable record to grant players true ownership of both land and assets in the game in the form of NFTs. In fact, the NFTs that players can own are called LANDs and ASSETs.
In 2022, the developers announced it would move the ecosystem to the Polygon sidechain, a layer-2 solution for Ethereum, with the aim of reducing transaction fees and making for a more efficient gameplay experience.
The Sandbox’s NFTs
LANDs are parcels of digital real estate represented by ERC-721 non-fungible tokens (NFTs). There are 166,464 LANDs in the Sandbox world, of which 10% are held by the development team to hold special events and 16% are reserved for partners of the project and special rewards.
All other LANDs are available to the public, with each one measuring 96 meters x 96 meters. Multiple LANDs can be put together to form an ESTATE. LAND and ESTATE can be bought and sold on its dedicated marketplace. Users can build experiences on their LANDs for other players to visit, and any revenue generated by these experiences is collected by the LAND owner.
Premium LANDs can be found in strategic locations on the map, and they have the potential benefit of seeing more traffic over time.
ASSETs are ERC-1155 tokens, which can either be unique (non-fungible) or interchangeable (fungible). These can fall into many categories, such as equipment or wearables for use by digital avatars, art, or interactive entities in its world.
Any user can create ASSETs using the tools provided by the team. ASSETs can also be bought on the marketplace and then equipped to a player’s avatar. ERC-20 tokens called GEMs and CATALYSTs can be burned by users, imbuing the ASSETs they create with certain attributes and rarity scores.
The Sandbox provides a couple of tools to help their users build out their metaverse experience:
- Game Maker: A toolbox players can use to develop in-game experiences on their LAND.
- VoxEdit: Software that allows users to create and animate their three dimensional ASSETs.
Using these tools, Atari announced it was partnering with The Sandbox to bring some of its classic titles to the metaverse. Snoop Dogg has also worked with the team to design wearable gear and NFT passes to a virtual concert. In early 2022, he even released a song with references to The Sandbox!
How is the SAND token used?
SAND was designed as an ERC-20 (fungible) token that acts like any other currency. The token can be used to buy LANDs and ASSETs on the marketplace and pay for experiences built by other users in the metaverse. Players who design games on their LANDs can also generate revenue that is paid to them in the form of SAND.
There is a maximum supply of 3 billion SAND tokens. Of the available SAND, 25% of tokens are kept by the company reserve, nearly 30% was allocated by the development team and advisors, 33% was sold to investors in various fundraising sales, and 12% was reserved for the foundation. SAND tokens allocated to investors through the private sale, team, and advisors were locked with a five-year vesting schedule.
How to buy SAND
You can buy the Sandbox coin on Bitstamp. Sign up for a Bitstamp account and start trading SAND today!
Disclosure: Bitstamp is licensed to engage in virtual currency business activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services.