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Around 16,000 people buy virtual plots of land in Sandbox metaverse: Co-founder

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Around 16,000 people have bought plots of virtual land in a new blockchain-linked video game, Sandbox cofounder and COO Sebastien Borget told Al Arabiya English.

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The Sandbox, a virtual metaverse world that allows users to create and play games within a game, launched an early Alpha version on Monday.

At the time of writing, the most affordable plot of land for sale on NFT marketplace Openseas had an asking price of $15,179.

A digital currency associated with Sandbox, linked to the Ethereum blockchain, quadrupled in price in the two weeks running up to the launch. It hit a peak of $8.40 and is currently worth around $7.08.

Borget said that the number of people who own the SAND currency ballooned from around 500,000 at the beginning of the month to around 900,000 currently.

“It’s a very exciting time,” he told Al Arabiya English.

The platform has a host of name-brand backers including sportswear company Adidas, gaming giant Atari, and rapper Snoop Dogg.

It was also funded in part by the SoftBank Vision Fund, which was co-created by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF).

A virtual world in the Sandbox.
A virtual world in the Sandbox.

What is the Sandbox?

The Sandbox is essentially a platform for game designers and artists to earn money through their digital wares.

“We think the opportunity of virtual real estate, digital land is it is much more interesting than the real physical, real estate because of how fast you can develop your business, your experience on top of it,” Borget said.

Landowners can customize their plots in a variety of ways. Some will create games for other users to play, others are expected to build virtual art galleries in hopes of selling NFTs.

“We’re aiming to make this world fully decentralized over the next two to three years, allowing users to participate and bring value to this world; To govern it and own it,” the co-founder added.

Anyone can enter the Sandbox world, create an avatar, play, and chat with other users.

A select 5,000 people who hold the ‘Alpha pass’ – currently selling for around $10,000 on NFT marketplace Openseas – can participate in play-to-earn activities and be rewarded SAND tokens.

The project is still in its “very early” stages according to Borget, with a wider array of functions expected to rollout to users in the coming months.

The possibilities are seemingly endless. With NFT technology allowing users to directly monetize digital assets for the first time, Borget envisions that an entire economy will blossom within the Sandbox.

“There’s wide range of new job opportunities to this virtual economy and Sandbox makes those possible in its open metaverse by having land as one of its key assets that users can own.”

The Sandbox is currently only available for Windows, although Borget said a Mac version is expected in early 2022.

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