In early October 2022, an article sparked controversy: two of the most popular and best-rated metaverses would be empty. The figures in the article are disputed by companies, but the fact remains that the virtual worlds remain very empty for the time being.
How many users are there in Decentraland? The question seems simple and the answer should be. However, it has rocked the crypto sphere since October 7, 2022 and the publication of an article by Coindesk stating that there were only 38 active users in the Decentraland metaverse and 522 in that of The Sandbox.
Launched in 2015, Decentraland is a metaverse where players can buy all kinds of items, attend concerts or play in casinos. As for The Sandbox, it is a metaverse specialized in video games, where players can create their own platforms. These are the best-known metaverses to Meta’s — that is, if these numbers are particularly astounding.
Since the article was published, these numbers have been hotly debated, both by fans of Decentraland or The Sandbox and by the companies themselves. However, one question remains: who uses the metaverses after the collected record amounts?
Several thousand users per day
The Coindesk article was fast fact checked by the client concerned: Decentraland. On Twitter, clarified the metavers that the calculation method used by Coindesk skews the results. ” Some sites only counted a certain type of transactions and counted them as unique users, which is inaccurate. »
According to data from Decentraland, there would have been an average of 7,039 unique visitors per day in the first week of October 2022. As for The Sandbox, Cryptoast recalls that Sébastien Borget, creator of the metaverse, estimated in July that there were between 20,000 and 30,000 unique daily users during special events. However, this figure has to be viewed in retrospect, firstly because it concerns special occasions and secondly because it dates from July.
These two numbers are much higher than Coindesk’s, which relied on DappRadar data for its article. The difference can be explained by the methodology applied: DappRadar only counts as active users people who use their crypto wallet with the smart contract from the platform. Specifically, the site only counted users who bought or paid for NFTs on the platform with their cryptocurrency. An approach that therefore does not take into account people logging into the metaverse without making a purchase – a real problem.
The metaverse is still not the expected phenomenon
But even if the numbers used by the Coindesk article are not correct, the observation remains the same: there are very few users in the metaverses. Even if we take the highest traffic figures, the metaverse remains completely empty compared to other social networks. As a reminder, Facebook, which is in full decline, is used by 26.9 million people in France every day. However, Decentraland is valued at over a billion dollars, as is The Sandbox, and the two universes have attracted prestigious investors.
Above all, in both worlds, plots of land offered for sale in the form of NFTs have been picked up at astronomical prices: Carrefour bought land in The Sandbox in February 2022 for EUR 300,000, and an area of 565m2 sold for $2.4 million in Decentraland . For an average of just 7,000 players a day, was it really a reasonable investment?
The metaverse craze really kicked off in October 2021, when Facebook officially changed its name to Meta and announced its grand virtual world plan. Today, a year later, we can see that despite the announcement effects, business purchases and a certain curiosity of Internet users, the metaverse is still not the expected phenomenon. Not to mention that virtual worlds are already experiencing serious moderation issues and virtual reality headsets are still very expensive, making metaverses inaccessible to many.
Now that the craze has faded, we can only wait and hope for an end to NFT price speculation in the metaverse and an improvement in moderation. However, the question still remains unanswered: will there ever really be enough users to make the metaverse the successor to the Internet?