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The short version

  • The Sandbox is a metaverse-style online game that allows players to create their own assets, similar to a traditional sandbox game (like Second Life or Minecraft).
  • Players can export their created items and land into NFTs which can either be purchased in the Sandbox Marketplace or an NFT market.
  • The Sandbox's in-game currency, SAND, is also a cryptocurrency that can be traded on a centralized or decentralized exchange.
  • The Sandbox and SAND are not just useful for players — investors have started speculating about the value of this new cryptocurrency outside of the game.

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What is the sandbox?

The Sandbox is an online game connected to the Ethereum blockchain. The name refers to ‘sandbox games’, a type of immersive video game that allows users to build items, landscapes and worlds through user-generated content (UGC). If you’ve ever played Second Life or Minecraft back in the day, you’ll find that it’s a similar gaming experience. However, the blockchain brings a new economy to The Sandbox that didn’t exist before digital currencies.

How does the sandbox work?

In order to play, you’ll need to download their game application to your preferred Windows or Mac device and log in. Inside the game, users play as their own characters. They are given options to build and interact with your world just as they would with most other sandbox games — but with one crucial difference.

screengrab of user in Sandbox metaverse
Sandbox metaverse

Players in The Sandbox can export their creations – including playable items, buildings, decorations and in-game land – into NFTs and sell their items (called ASSETS) in the marketplace through blockchain technology and smart contracts.

Within the game, users buy and sell their NFT game ASSETS using their in-game currency, SAND. SAND is also a cryptocurrency that is traded on a number of different crypto exchanges (more on this later). In fact, to even log into the game for the first time, you must create an account or connect an existing Web3 wallet, like Metamask or Brave Wallet.

If you’ve ever played Second Life or Minecraft back in the day, you’ll find that it’s a similar gaming experience. However, the blockchain brings a new economy to The Sandbox that didn’t exist before digital currencies.

LAND, the in-game real estate, is also listed as an NFT at OpenSea. Other in-game assets trade in a dedicated Sandbox Marketplace. As of this writing, the floor price for a parcel of LAND costs a hefty 1.7 ETH price tag, or about $4,800.

More: How to buy and sell NFTs

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What is SAND cryptocurrency?

SAND is the digital currency tied into The Sandbox metaverse. SAND is an ERC-20 cryptocurrency token, which means it exists as a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. The easiest way to start buying SAND to play in the game is with an external Ethereum wallet.

The value of SAND currency offered a colossal return to many early investors, but there’s no guarantee it will return to peak levels.

SAND currently ranks as a top 50 currency, according to CoinMarketCap listings.

SAND is widely available through many cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet providers. If you have an Ethereum-compatible external wallet, you should be able to use it with SAND as well, but make sure it’s supported before transferring SAND to the wallet address.

SAND also works on the Polygon network through a bridge, which allows you to use a version of sand called mSAND. This is a more complex process but offers some benefits for transaction speed, cost and the ability to stake their tokens in The Sandbox.

Where to buy and sell SAND

If you want to invest in SAND but care less about playing the game, you can use any cryptocurrency exchange or wallet to do so. For easy purchases, a centralized exchange like Crypto.com might make the most sense. For in-game use, you’ll want to use a Web3 wallet like MetaMask.

SAND cryptocurrency exchanges

When investing with a centralized exchange, the currency stays in your cryptocurrency account with the exchange as a custodian. These are some well-known centralized exchanges where you can buy, sell and trade SAND.

SAND decentralized exchanges

A decentralized exchange allows you to buy and sell using a wallet you control completely without an exchange account. You can connect to a decentralized exchange to buy SAND with ether or any other supported currency (most likely Ethereum-based).

Uniswap is the primary decentralized exchange for SAND. You may find it supported elsewhere, but Uniswap has the highest volume, so you’ll probably get the best deal there. You can also buy from a centralized exchange and transfer it to your wallet, though gas (a type of transaction fee imposed by Ethereum miners) and exchange fees may apply.

More: Decentralized vs. centralized exchanged: Which is right for you?

How to use SAND crypto in the sandbox

To use SAND cryptocurrency, you’ll need to download and install The Sandbox game. With a fast internet connection, you can download the game in less than five minutes, though it can take longer with slower internet.

Once downloaded and installed, you can create an account and sign in. The best way to do so for cryptocurrency enthusiasts is with a Web3 wallet, like MetaMask or Coinbase. You can also create an account and wallet with one of their partner third-party providers. You'll only need your email address or social media account.

When logged in, you should be able to see your connected account balances. You can also view any in-game land or assets you own as NFTs. You can also buy and sell additional assets and land through any supported marketplace, including the official marketplace from The Sandbox.

The bottom line

The value of SAND currency offered a colossal return to many early investors, but there’s no guarantee it will return to peak levels. While there’s a good chance SAND will become more valuable in the future, as it’s scarce and actively used in the game, it could also fall to zero.

Looking for other blockchain-based games? You might also enjoy the horse racing game ZedRun, real estate game Upland, animal breeding and fighting game Axie Infinity, or fantasy battle game Splinterlands.

If you’re considering an investment in SAND, it’s essential to understand how it works and the market dynamics that influence SAND prices. If you think it’s going up in the future, SAND could be a good fit for your crypto portfolio. However, it could also fall to zero, so invest with caution.

More on the Metaverse:

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Eric Rosenberg Freelance Contributor

Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel and technology writer in Ventura, California. He is a former bank manager and corporate finance and accounting professional who left his day job in 2016 to take his online side hustle full time.


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