Why Metaverse Tokens Are Getting Hammered in Crypto’s Market Sell-Off

While the future of metaverse and gaming tokens looks bright, there’s little real adoption in the present, according to one analyst.

AccessTimeIconDec 6, 2021 at 8:22 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. UTC

Metaverse and gaming-related tokens have suffered steep losses during a time when the broader crypto market is fighting through a weekend sell-off.

Decentraland (MANA), the top-ranking metaverse asset according to the cryptocurrency analysis firm Messari, is down 25% in the last seven days. MANA reached a market capitalization of $10 billion on Nov. 25 but now sits at $6.63 billion.

MANA’s drop is followed closely by AXS, one of the tokens in the leading play-to-earn game Axie Infinity, which is down 23% in the last seven days. The AXS market cap is currently $6.21 billion but reached a high of $9.77 billion on Nov. 7, according to CoinMarketCap.

“It is no surprise that gaming/metaverse tokens got hit the hardest after the recent hype,” said Lucas Outumuro, head of research at IntoTheBlock. Outumuro said that these tokens are extremely speculative bets, which is evidenced by the high concentration of short-term traders.

He said this previously occurred with shiba inu (SHIB), the self-proclaimed “dogecoin killer,” which had a high concentration of short-term traders too – a strong indication of coins riding hype cycles.

Research from IntoTheBlock shows that metaverse tokens such as MANA have a high percentage of holders that bought within the past 30 days (32%), while such traders make up less than 10% for both BTC and ETH at the moment.

Outpacing broader sell-off

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is down 15% in the last seven days. Bitcoin experienced a crash on Saturday, which saw the price fall as low as $42,400 on some exchanges.

SAND, the native cryptocurrency of the blockchain-based virtual world The Sandbox, is down 25% in the last seven days, mirroring MANA’s dip over the same time span.

Matthew Dibb, Stack Funds’ chief operating officer and co-founder, said that while the future of metaverse and gaming tokens looks bright, there is very little real adoption in the present.

“Most of the price appreciation was made up of future expected value rather than present valuation metrics,” said Dibb. “Adding fuel to the fire, there have been some large unlocks of early investors that have chosen to liquidate since the crash.”

Index Coop’s Metaverse Index, which tracks crypto assets and protocols building out virtual worlds, is down 8.7% on the day.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.