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Author Image Robbie King

Robbie King

Nov 22 2022

SAND vs MANA: Which Coin Is Better?

SAND vs MANA represented by a white Lego figure  and a dark Lego figure about to fight each other.
Categories: Cryptocurrency, Metaverse.
There are two metaverse affiliated coins that lead the sector. SAND is The Sandbox’s native coin. It’s used for purchasing virtual land within The Sandbox, and financing the experiences that Sandbox users create. MANA performs the same function within Decentraland. Many people hold one or both to fuel their metaverse exploration. But many will purchase MANA or SAND purely as an investment.
In this blog, we’ll cover the major differences between these cryptocurrencies. It should also be noted that they possess a great many similarities. Both give owners the resources to create and design their own virtual worlds within their respective metaverses. Both allow you to monetize what you create. And both are fungible ERC-20 tokens with a fixed supply.
Please note, VerseProp is by no means offering cryptocurrency investment advice here. That said, we can offer you a clear breakdown of the key pros and cons found in the SAND or MANA coins.

MANA has been going for longer

Although The Sandbox was technically released in 2012, it’s only been a functioning metaverse – with its respective SAND coin – since the end of 2021. Meanwhile, Decentraland has nearly two extra years on The Sandbox, having launched in Feb 2020. This first-mover advantage makes the MANA token more established and in many people’s eyes, a little safer than SAND. This is a big contributor to our next point.


MANA has reached a bigger market cap

According to CoinMarketCap, MANA’s peak was around $9.5 billion. SAND’s peak was around $6.9 billion. Granted, a big market cap doesn’t necessarily equate to huge gains. But it can be a reason to feel like you’ve made a safe investment. Bitcoin is typically considered the safest bet in a sea of wild crypto possibilities.  And much of that is due to its popularity and large market cap.
Of course, it should be noted that right now both MANA and SAND’s market caps are a shadow of their former selves. They’re also pretty similar, both hovering around the 800/900 million mark.

There’s (arguably) more potential in buying SAND right now

This is possibly the most significant point in the SAND vs MANA debate if you’re ready to buy, hold, and wait. What The Sandbox metaverse lacks in active years, it more than makes up for in
bold plans
. From its mobile and console versions to the many more partnerships it has both now and in the pipeline, there’s every reason to suggest that the value of SAND is yet to be fully realized.


MANA gives you the ability to vote as part of a DAO

This point is more relevant to the avid metaverse participator than the pure investor but it’s still something worth noting. Essentially MANA gives you more power over the direction that Decentraland takes than SAND gives you over The Sandbox’s direction.
MANA lets you vote as part of its decentralized autonomous organization and lets you participate in the ultimate form of democracy by voting on whatever needs to be voted on. Yes, holding SAND lets you participate in community governance. But in The Sandbox, your vote doesn’t have the same kind of power.
We’ll have to see how this one plays out. A fully decentralized autonomous organization in The Sandbox could change everything. However, given the strong leadership of The Sandbox and its clear roadmap, there’s every reason to suggest that The Sandbox DAO still wouldn’t have the same amount of influence as Decentraland’s.

SAND will be greener

Decentraland is currently taking advantage of the Polygon network as a side chain to Ethereum for processing MANA transactions. This makes for a) cheaper gas fees and b) less energy consumption. The Sandbox has also partnered with Polygon, only this partnership goes one step further.
The Sandbox’s full migration to a Polygon NFT layer 2 solution means that The Sandbox will use 100 times less energy and ultimately be more scalable in the long run. The environmental hurdle is an issue for many a cryptocurrency - we’re looking your way Bitcoin. So the solution that SAND has found could be reflected in its value sooner or later.

MANA is deflationary

When a user purchases LAND using MANA, the MANA tokens are burnt, i.e., they’re taken out of circulation. This reduces the amount of MANA in circulation and keeps the price down. SAND has no such mechanism and is not deflationary.


Final thoughts

The final call on how successful these two coins are will be made, at least in part, by the trajectory of the Metaverse as a whole. Or more specifically, how Meta’s (Facebook’s) metaverse plays out.
What if the world wants a 100% decentralized alternative to Zuckerberg land? In this case, Decentraland and MANA have the advantage. But what if the masses never give a hoot about decentralization? And The Sandbox makes some kind of partnership with Meta to become a household name?
The Sandbox could go from strength to strength and nail its roadmap leaving Decentraland in the dust. Or a hoard of whales and big VC money could descend on Decentraland, take advantage of the DAO and its voting power, turning Decentraland into a super corporate and even more desirable piece of ad space.
This blog and our
blog on The Sandbox vs Decentraland
may have given you some bright ideas. Failing that though, the only way the SAND vs MANA debate can be met sensibly as an investor right now is by holding both coins, watching the crypto markets, and keeping an eye on the metaverse platforms.
A trustworthy exchange can help you out with those first two. And regarding the latter, VerseProp is your go-to resource for metaverse related information.
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