Decentraland Vs. Sandbox Debate: Which Metaverse Will Dominate?

    Switch places in a matter of seconds. Attend different types of meetings back to back. Change your clothes as many times as you could possibly dream of per day.  Party in as many clubs as you want in one night. You can even do all that while drinking your favorite cup of tea. Welcome to the metaverse. Frankly speaking, the metaverse is probably the closest to teleporting we got. Everyone all over the world is triggered to test out the limitless opportunity offered by the virtual world. You probably see two metaverses pinned head-to-head all the time. Someone crowned them dominant in the virtual realm. The ultimate debate then is: Decentraland vs Sandbox, which metaverse will dominate?

    Read along to figure out what the buzz is behind the Decentraland Vs Sandbox competition.  Also, you will get insights into what these platforms offer. Who knows, after reading you may create an avatar version of yourself and embark on exploring the metaverse.

    What Is A Metaverse?

    Understanding the metaverse is not as hard as everyone makes it. People usually say it’s the same situation to describe the metaverse to people as it was to explain the internet when it first came out. I beg to disagree. The metaverse is just an upgrade to the internet we now know. It’s just a more immersive virtual experience. Think of it like every app you use could potentially become a metaverse.

    For example, instead of having a zoom meeting via webcam, you can have this meeting in the metaverse. It’s usually set in a simulation of your choosing, a garden, an office, or whatever u want. Pick an avatar of yourself and start communicating with the person in front of you. It’s kind of like a game, but somehow reality. Yes, you can call someone and say everything you want to them easily. But that’s the thing about the metaverse. It gives u more. The closest sense of being physically present with a faraway person. 

    If you want to dig deeper into the charm of the metaverse, we have this guide prepared for you.

    What Are Decentraland And Sandbox All About? 

    Decentraland scene

    Both Decentraland and Sandbox are browser-based metaverses that allow users worldwide to create and share experiences. Through these platforms, you can communicate with whoever you want online, own and sell land, participate in a digital economy, build your own marketplace, create your own environment, develop your own games, attend virtual social events, and more.

    To have a better understanding of why everyone compares these two platforms, let us try to create an analogy. Decentraland and Sandbox are similar to comparing Facebook and Instagram. On both social media platforms you can share stories, post status, find reels, and perform all sorts of communications. They are almost identical, yet you notice how one doesn’t erase the other. Sometimes we use both platforms. Other times each platform has its own user fanbase. Believe it or not, it’s almost the exact same scenario with Decentraland and Sandbox. 

    The architectural formula of Decentraland and Sandbox is indeed much different than that of Instagram and Facebook. However, It’s still really simple to understand. In our universe Earth, we have countries, cities, neighborhoods, districts, roads, plazas, and parcels of land. Decentraland and Sandbox are alternate universes also made up of parcels of land. Instead of calling them alternate universes, “metaverse” is the given name.

    To participate in those metaverses you need to own land. On your land, you can do and build anything. For example, you can create a game, build your own home, host social events, and whatever else you think of. It is an exact simulation of our real life. Flashback to the Sims game, where you live a complete alternate life, virtually. Except in the metaverse, it’s not only virtual, it can also be rewarding in real life. We will get to this in-depth as you read on.

    the sandbox vibe

    Historical Scoop: Who Came first?

    It’s inevitable to overlook the “Who’s first” question when it comes to the face-off in Decentraland vs Sandbox. It’s safe to say that Decentraland was the first metaverse of this nature on the Blockchain. It has an edge over Sandbox by simply being older. You know how the saying goes, older by a day wiser by a year.

    Decentraland was founded by Esteban Ordano and Ariel Meilich in 2015. The Decentraland Foundation is the organization behind the development of the Decentraland software. It also holds intellectual property rights and maintains the Decentraland website. The team held an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in 2017 and raised 86,206 ETH (about $26 million at the time) to fund the development of Decentraland. Decentraland was officially released to the public in January 2020

    The Sandbox was originally a mobile game released on May 15, 2012. This mobile game was developed by game studio Pixowl. The 2012 mobile game was titled The Sandbox because it provided users with tools to create their own nonlinear gameplay, commonly known as a sandbox mode. The Sandbox brand was then acquired by Animoca Brand in 2018.  Using the same brand as the previous mobile game, Animoca Brands then started the development of The Sandbox metaverse we know today. In 2019, The Sandbox raised $2.01 million dollars in cash and crypto to fund the development of The Sandbox. In November 2021 SoftBank led another $93 million dollar investment for The Sandbox. The Sandbox Alpha metaverse was finally launched on November 29, 2021. 

    Decentraland Vs Sandbox: Side-by-side Comparison 

    Graphic Style          

    Before we dive into anything, we should cover the most obvious difference between Decentraland and The Sandbox. What’s the first thing you notice about those two? The graphic styles. It’s true those two platforms work in a very similar way. However, the voxel-based design of the universe in Sandbox is distinct from that smooth refined look Decentraland has. 

    Sandbox is what you would get if Roblox and Minecraft had a child. This metaverse rocks the old-school 8-bit pixelated vibe but in a three-dimensional sense. On the other hand, Decentraland is, without a doubt, the offspring of Second Life and Sims. Here it’s not a matter of just preference anymore, both Decentraland and the Sandbox are focusing on grabbing you by nostalgia. I think this is what makes users drawn to try out both universes. 

    decentraland vibe

    sandbox scene

    Name Origins

    Decentraland’s name comes from its entirely decentralized nature. Especially the DAO governs and manages it instead of the foundation that created Decentraland. The Sandbox comes from the idea of the children’s sandbox in a playground. Despite being confined in a square, sand is the fuel to the occupant’s imagination. This is where the concept of building your own game comes from. 

    Branding these metaverses tells a lot about their aim. Just by understanding the name origins, you get the vibe that Decentraland is like a community and Sandbox is a creating universe.

    Metaverse Accessibility

    First of all both metaverses store all transactions on the blockchain. That’s how your NFTs — land, your avatar, your name — are permanently linked to your wallet. No one can take them away from you. You have guaranteed ownership in this virtual world. Even if they shut down one day.

    It is pretty much the same process you go through to access both Decentraland and The Sandbox. Both Metaverses are browser-based platforms. Therefore, you can access them from any browser such as Google. Whether it is Decentraland or The Sandbox you want to start playing, you have to first create an account, come up with a nickname, and make an avatar version of yourself – or your dream self. Then you are all set to go. This is kinda common with any game or platform you want to access on the web. 

    Since both platforms exist on the blockchain, they require you to connect your metamask. In other words, your cryptowallet. The only difference between the Decentraland account creation page and that of the Sandbox is the ways you can sign-up. Decentraland gives you the option to view the metaverse as a guest or participate through connecting your metamask. The Sandbox gives various options such as using your email and social media platforms. However, this does not mean that it does not require you to create a metamask and connect your wallet.

    What’s a metamask you wonder? It’s just like your real wallet. Instead, it holds and receives cryptocurrency. Won’t leave you hanging, check out our guide on metamask’s importance and creation!


    Avatar Creation

    decentraland avatars

    sandbox avatars

    When getting started in Decentraland, registering an avatar costs 100 MANA along with the gas fees that come with the Ethereum transaction. Users can also design their own avatar wearables. And if you like you can buy and sell avatars to other users, including your connected friends. The platform accommodates artists that wish to broadcast their Metaverse experiences with live streams, video and audio capabilities, and text and voice chats.

    In the Sandbox, all characters and avatars are free to create. Users can make and use their own wearables which then become tradable (buy/sell) with other Metaverse gamers. For those that enjoy streaming their gaming, Sandbox is highly accommodating with live video stream options, audio availability for fire jams, as well as an animated gif, text, and voice chat options.

    Tokens and NFTs

    Each metaverse utilizes its own tokens. These tokens can be in the form of cryptocurrency or NFTs. This is basically the money-making tool in any metaverse. Therefore, it is crucial to understand its value and interest.

    Decentraland has three types of tokens: MANA, WEAR, and LAND


    mana token

    A native token of the platform in compliance with ERC-20 standards. The MANA coin can work as payment for different avatars, wearables, products, and names on the Decentraland marketplace. Holders of MANA operate as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). In brief, this entitles players to become decision-makers in the metaverse’s future. Decentraland’s currency is MANA, a native ERC-20 token with a limited supply. Every time some purchases an NFT (non-fungible token), the platform burns a percentage of its MANA supply.


    A non-fungible token (NFT) that follows ERC-721 standards. It is used to define the ownership of land parcels representing digital real estate. Users burn MANA to acquire LAND token. To make it clear, MANA is a cryptocurrency that facilitates the purchase of LAND NFT.


    sand token

    The Sandbox has four types of Tokens: SAND, ASSETS, GAMES, and LAND. However, this metaverse kinda keeps it simple. It focuses on its native token SAND for most of its operations. SAND is an ERC-20-based token. It enables users to buy and sell land and assets created in-game.

    The market cap of MANA is $ 1.33 B, while the market cap of SAND is $ 1.31 B. That’s really close, so it’s hard to tell which metaverse is dominant.

    Land Purchase

    Scarcity is one of the fundamental drivers of the value of LAND in Decentraland. Just like in the real world, space is finite, which makes owning real estate in this metaverse potentially valuable. 

    • Decentraland has 90,601 parcels of land: 
      • 43,689 private LAND parcels
      • 33,886 district LAND 
      • 9,438 roads 
      • 3,588 plazas. 
    • If you own and connect adjacent parcels of LAND on the map, it becomes an Estate. This move allows the owner to build higher.
    • Each LAND parcel is 16m x 16m square spaces
    • The developers of Decentraland own the common spaces, plazas, and roads. Therefore, these cannot be bought or sold by users. 
    • The cheapest parcel of LAND on the Decentraland Marketplace sold for 3,785 MANA (around $8000).
    • Virtual real estate on Decentraland is only purchased on the MANA marketplace.

    decentraland map

    It’s the same concept of scarcity in Sandbox as well. 

    • The Sandbox has a total of 166,464 LANDs. 
      • 16,704 LANDs (10%) held by The Sandbox to hold special events. 
      • 25,920 LANDs (16%) held in a reserve and distributed to partners, creators, and gamers as rewards. 
      • Only 123,840 LANDs (74%)  available for users.
    •  31,581 parcels of LAND are available for purchase on the secondary market, OpenSea. 
    • Sandbox lands can be grouped into estates (owned by one person) or districts (owned by 2 or more people). 
    • A LAND has a width of 96 meters and a length of 96 meters. It’s a perfect square.
    • The lowest price for a piece of LAND is 1.648 ETH (approximately $4,773 USD). 
    • Sandbox’s real estate is more open than Decentraland’s as virtual land is available on OpenSea.

    sandbox mappppp-min


    in the Decentraland vs Sandbox whirlwind, obviously, there are those who take sides. Support and backing are one of the things that generate trust and authority among users.

    Decentraland’s financial backing comes in at $25 million with many supportive partnerships pushing the platform forward. The South Korean Government, Samsung, and firms like Digital Currency Group, FBG Capital, and CoinFund. Also, crypto/NFT monoliths Polygon and Cyberpunk have all vouched support for the platform.

    Sandbox has secured backing worth $95 million. Most of it has come from SoftBank, which is a Japanese multinational firm that focuses on investment management. But the project has also received funding from Uber and Slack. Of course, we can’t neglect Anomica Brands being the main adopter of Sandbox.


    Decentraland is run by a Decentralized Autonomous Organization. Meaning that there is not one single entity that governs this metaverse’s decisions. Decentraland also has a blog to keep you posted with the latest updates. It’s also good to note that Decentraland allows peer-to-peer communications. This way it’s impossible for a centralized server to hear what you are talking about in the Decentraland metaverse.

    The Sandbox is run by its CEO Arthur Madrid and COO Sébastien Borget. Therefore it’s not really run by a DAO. However, it has a more detailed and concrete plan for the future than its competitor Decentraland. This kind of benefit comes from the fact that Sandbox is run by a centralized authority that has experience in the gaming industry rather than a DAO. This platform also has a blog focused on sandbox updates.

    Apparently, the general public favors the concept of a DAO. Probably this is why Sandbox is working on creating The Sandbox DAO in the near future. If the Decentraland vs Sandbox debate was an election campaign, Decentraland kinda has the upper hand when it comes to representing the voice of the people.

    Future and Upcoming Updates

    Decentraland and Sandbox are working really hard on improvements. The future holds for both metaverses lots of updates. Here’s the scoop you need to know:

    Decentraland Roadmap Brief:

    decentraland future

    • A new Desktop client for Windows, Linux, and Mac.
    • Research collaboration on an experimental VR Client for the Decentraland Protocol 
    • A mobile app is in the early prototyping stages.
    • Improvements to Decentraland’s voice chat system. 
    • Improvements will aim to lower the barrier and friction between decisions made in the DAO and their effect on running code.
    • More options to personalize your Avatar
    • New events & activities. The most notable is an incubation program to onboard more curators from the community. 
    • You can check Decentraland’s in-depth manifesto here.


    Sandbox Roadmap Brief:

    sandbox future

    • Decentralization and a DAO. Holders of SAND and LAND owners will govern the DAO once it launches. 
    • LAND owners will see a progressive opening of the metaverse. Especially if they have built high-quality experiences. 
    • Launch of virtual concerts with Deadmau5 and Richie Hawtin. 
    • Release of the Walking Dead game
    • Launch of a mobile version of the sandbox metaverse
    • Games will be available on consoles, such as PlayStation and Xbox 
    • Vox Edit will undergo major updates.
    • The Sandbox aims at having over 5000 available games by 2023


    If we go back to our Facebook and Instagram analogy. There are other social media applications out there such as Snapchat, Twitter, and more. Similarly, it seems like Decentraland and Sandbox won’t stay on the high pedestal for long. Soon the catchphrase “Decentraland vs Sandbox” won’t hold up. Other decentralized metaverses have risen to the surface, such as The Otherside, Somnium Space, and Enjin.

    the otherside metaverse

    Rumor has it The Otherside may just wipe the hype over Decentraland and Sandbox off the face of the earth. I don’t know about the whole wipe-out thing but The Otherside will definitely be the greatest competitor for both Decentraland and The Sandbox. Why? Oh, nothing much just the creators of this metaverse are Animoca Brands – which btw kinda own The Sandbox- and Yuga Labs, the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection. It’s no surprise The Otherside Trailer is the overdose of hype we have all been craving. Be prepared to read articles titled ” Decentraland vs Sandbox vs The Otherside “.

    What is the Main Difference Between Decentraland and Sandbox?

    Decentraland is viewed as a chill virtual social hub. It is mainly known for its meeting spaces, plazas, live NFT sales, galleries, and NFT drop parties. For example, Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest fine and decorative art brokers, has an NFT gallery in Decentraland’s Voltaire Art District. Sandbox is more like an action-packed universe with a wide variety of cool game options. For example The Sandbox partners with well-known game brands. Games such as The Sims 4, Minecraft, and GTA to mention a few.

    Let me phrase the question analogically. What is the main difference between Facebook and Instagram? It confuses your head, doesn’t it? Mainly because each platform has its own audience, despite both of them offering almost the same identical services. The difference between Decentraland and Sandbox lies in the palm of your hands. The phrase Decentraland Vs Sandbox doesn’t have to be a competition. Replace “versus” with “and”, you will have a friendly combo. As different as Decentraland AND Sandbox are, both metaverses offer the user a unique experience. It’s totally normal for these two to co-exist naturally without butting heads.

    Disclaimer alert. Never be too lazy to do your own fair amount of research before investing in MANA or SAND tokens. Just because we talked these metaverses up, doesn’t mean we are inviting you to jump all in on a hype craze! Also, it’s okay if you’re into them both. We get it.


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