Metaverse Tokens Outperforming Bitcoin in January

Decentraland’s MANA has surged 145% for the month, while The Sandbox’s SAND is up over 90%.

AccessTimeIconJan 31, 2023 at 5:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 31, 2023 at 11:40 p.m. UTC

Metaverse-related tokens have started the year hot, outperforming bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market value, by large margins.

Decentraland’s MANA, which is the native token of the metaverse project, has gained about 145% in January. Decentraland’s price uptick has largely followed its announcement of a number of new features mid-month, although the platform’s user figures haven’t increased significantly.

GALA, MANA, indexes (CoinDesk)
GALA, MANA, indexes (CoinDesk)

January’s market surge has seen a number of smaller tokens outshine the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Bitcoin has risen 40% for the month, ether by 32% and BNB by 32%. Decentraland’s market cap sits at $1.3 billion while bitcoin’s is $446 billion.

Yield Guild Games’s YGG has gained 92% in price. YGG is a gaming guild that invests in the play-to-earn world and provides on-ramps for users. It has a $57 million market cap.

Sheraz Ahmed, managing partner at blockchain consultancy STORM Partners, said the metaverse-related token upswing is partly because “the business potential of such tokens is now much clearer than it was a year ago, which in contrast to certain altcoins is not the case.”

The Sandbox’s SAND token has rallied by 91% ahead of its token unlock in mid-February. Play-to-earn game Axie Infinity’s token AXS also gained around 75% on the month and has a token unlock in April.

“It’s clear that Investors have a growing interest in Web3 virtual worlds, Ahmed said. "A new report from McKinsey & Co. says spending in the metaverse could reach a total of $5 trillion by 2030, showing everyone wants a slice."

The metaverse-related token total market cap is currently around $8.5 billion, less than 1% of the total crypto market capitalization, which is now almost $1.1 trillion, Ahmed said, adding: “Therefore, there is plenty of room for growth.”


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Lyllah Ledesma

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