Metaverse experiences like Decentraland, The Sandbox, and many others are evolving into places for business, commerce, networking, and marketing. While blockchain metaverses are fairly new, tech-savvy entrepreneurs have started running revenue-generating businesses in these virtual environments.
As these virtual environments allow users to custodian their in-game assets through their crypto wallets, a dynamic economy of goods and services emerges in the metaverse. This allows players to engage in activities that allow them to earn cryptocurrency, build brands, and trade with others – the possibilities are almost endless.
Interested in making money in the Metaverse? Read on for our guide detailing various methods players use to earn cryptocurrency, start a business, and build a career in the metaverse.
How to make money in the Metaverse?
Create digital models
Market your talent
Create video content or stream
Play to Earn Games
1. Sell NFTs
Metaverse entrepreneurs sell digital objects like artwork, clothing, and 3D models in virtual worlds like Decentraland and The Sandbox. In case you are unfamiliar with the term, NFTs are digital assets that are “imprinted” onto the blockchain. This means that an NFT artwork is not stored on your computer or a company's server, but actually lives on the blockchain and is stored in an individual's private wallet address.
Well-known NFT projects include two-dimensional collectible images such as Cryptopunks or Bored Ape Yacht Club. But NFTs can take many different forms, particularly in the metaverse. For example, in Decentraland, each garment created by users is an NFT that can be bought, sold, and transferred between private wallets.
Some users have produced entire NFT clothing lines for sale in Decentraland, and bigger brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Balenciaga and Ralph Lauren are also reportedly releasing their own wearable collections.
Wearable helmet, vest, shoes and pants by MetaParty
2. Create digital models
If you are skilled in 3D modeling and want to build metaverse structures, you may be able to design your creations and sell them to other players.
Land in the Metaverse is fast becoming a hot commodity. As of January 2022, the cheapest properties in Decentraland cost around £12,000. Prime spots and locations can be in the millions. Just like in real life, owning land in the metaverse is considered a valuable asset. Owning land offers an opportunity to host events, sponsor projects and show your creativity.
While Decentraland and The Sandbox have builders that allow players to create simple structures, it's also possible to independently design a 3D model and install it on a plot. However, you must own land before you can place your models or structures in the metaverse. If you are an experienced designer, it is possible that someone will hire you to design a structure to be placed on their land.
CoinText interviewed 3D modeler and Decentraland builder IAmJudasJudas, who offered the following advice on how to get paid to build Metaverse structures:
“I started building for free. Learning skills and being creative and just having fun building simple things. I worked for free to develop my experience, grew my portfolio and my notoriety was reward enough as I really had nothing to offer but enthusiasm.
One free build led to the next, which eventually led to people offering me real money to build things. I was and still am grateful for all the opportunities that come my way.”
100Rainbows Academy designed by IAmJudasJudas
3. Market your talent
Perhaps the most exciting part of the metaverse is how people apply their talents, abilities, and skills to metaverses like Decentraland. If you're an artist, musician, or even a stand-up comedian, you can make money by performing at Metaverse events.
Philadelphia stand-up comedian Mike Salvi has been known to perform at events in Decentraland. Salvi recently announced that he is opening his own stand-up comedy club in the Metaverse called The Comedy Verse.
High profile musicians have also performed at the Metaverse. Superstar DJ Dillon Francis played a set at the opening night of Decentraland's Atari Casino in April 2021. Hip-hop legend and cultural icon Snoop Dogg partners with The Sandbox, hosting virtual concerts.
But you don't have to be a star to perform in the metaverse! In Decentraland there is a strong appetite for artists of all levels to perform at events and parties. Event-based companies like MetaParty employ a variety of artists, including hip-hop artists, comedians, musicians, and more.
We asked MetaParty co-founder Rezinator how he built a successful events company in the metaverse:
“I started hosting events in Decentraland in March 2021 and met a lot of great people with great ideas. Myself and two friends started a community called MetaParty in June. We now offer free participation in interactive events within the MetaVerse five days a week. MetaParty has several NFT wearables in the market and is now generating revenue from our 3,000 strong community that buys these NFT wearables.”
4. Create video content or streams
Decentraland and The Sandbox have some dedicated players who stream their experiences on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Some have successfully monetized their content by featuring sponsors and creating videos for brands within the metaverse.
While Decentraland is still nascent and seen as niche interest, successful streamers in other popular games can earn between £2,000 and £4,000 a month through Twitch's affiliate program. That amount may not seem likely for Metaverse experiences in the short term, but it shows that it's possible to make a living as a streamer and content creator.
Two popular streamers in Decentraland are Peanutbutta and KevinonEarth. They stream on YouTube or Twitch. By streaming experiences in the Metaverse, you can communicate with interested audiences in the Metaverse and build a following within them.
Video content creation could also open up the possibility of freelance video production for companies or brands looking to produce Metaverse content. Check out the following video from Argentina-based streamer Tobik, which talks about other ways to make money in the metaverse.
5. Play to Earn Games
If you are willing to take a risk to make some money in the Metaverse, Decentraland offers a number of casinos where you can play real MANA at virtual blackjack and poker. These games are developed and maintained by Decentral Games, a major player in the play-to-earn space where users can win crypto through gambling or other games.
Upon full release, The Sandbox promises to host a series of play-to-earn games that will encourage users to earn crypto rewards. While the variety of Metaverse experiences that offer monetary incentives isn't huge, it's still in its infancy, and these are becoming a popular alternative to more traditional forms of gaming. If you want to make real money playing video games, is the infrastructure already in place? In emerging markets like the Philippines and Venezuela, people can already make more money playing games like Axie Infinity than low-income positions in hospitality, cleaning, and retail.
Axie Infinity is a popular Metaverse game in the play-to-earn category. It is similar to Pokémon in that players possess virtual creatures called Axies that can be battled and traded. Users can make money by buying and selling Axies while also earning cryptocurrency through player vs. player battles. While most experienced players are able to make a living playing Axie Infinity and other similar play-to-earn games, it is also possible to trade earned NFTs and earn even more. Consider that an Axie sold for a staggering £620,000, and it's easy to see why people are flocking to these burgeoning crypto-based gaming ecosystems.
And there you have it: five ways to make money in the metaverse, and there will no doubt be more to come as the space grows and develops. See you in the metaverse, Entrepreneurs!
Axies for sale on OpenSea
Bonus: Buy and trade Metaverse coins
Speculating on Metaverse coins like $MANA, $SAND, and $AXS is a popular way to monetize these new virtual environments.
Since Facebook's Metaverse announcement in October 2021, Metaverse coins have seen an upsurge in price and popularity. While no one can say for sure if this trend will continue in the future, given the rush to claim land in metaverse, these coins could be a lucrative investment.
MANA tokens power Decentraland while representing the cost of land and wearables. It is used as a currency on the Decentraland marketplace. As the price of MANA increases, so does the cost of land and wearables.
SAND is a utility token required to make in-game purchases in The Sandbox. Because The Sandbox allows users to create play-to-earn games, SAND is used for payouts when players receive rewards. Like other Metaverse coins, SAND received a lot of attention in late 2021.
AXS is the native token for the Axie Infinity play-to-earn game. It is used to pay out staking rewards and rewards earned from battles against other players. Users deploying their AXS can participate in community governance votes and make decisions about the future development of the project.
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