A cryptocurrency known as SAND which was relatively unknown until a month ago has been soaring in value.
The token, which comes from metaverse platform The Sandbox, is currently valued at just over $5.50 – a 40 per cent jump in just 24 hours.
Its price is almost eight times higher than it was a month ago, when it was stuck at around $0.75.
But what exactly is SAND and why is it suddenly surging? Here is everything you need to know.
What is SAND?
SAND is The Sandbox’s token. The Sandbox is a blockchain-based virtual world developed by Pixowl, which allows people to create and explore universes.
It was originally a mobile and PC game, but was acquired by Animoca Brands in August 2018 to be brought to the blockchain.
It has some similarities with Minecraft in that players use resources such as water, soil, lightning, lava, sand, glass to build, and can interact with others.
Players will encounter tasks, such as making a certain material using other resources. They can also save and upload their worlds to a public gallery.
Coin Market Cap says: “By combining the powers of decentralised autonomous organisations (DAO) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), The Sandbox creates a decentralised platform for a thriving gaming community.”
Why is its price soaring?
SAND had a dramatic price jump at the end of October, which coincided exactly with Facebook announcing it was changing the name of its overarching company to Meta.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg also made a number of comments about the metaverse – a digital universe that allows humans to interact as avatars, letting people work, shop, learn and play in virtual reality spaces without being physically together.
He told Facebook’s annual conference: “Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.”
One of the world’s most powerful companies putting so much stock into the concept of the metaverse piqued interest in platforms like The Sandbox and Decentraland.
What could happen next?
Investment site The Motley Fool is bullish about SAND’s long-term prospects.
It wrote yesterday: “Investors seeking cryptocurrencies with tremendous momentum and the potential for portfolio-altering returns are looking for options such as SAND. It currently has a market capitalisation of ‘only’ $4bn. However, this is also a quickly ascending cryptocurrency, having broken the top 50 list in terms of cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation today.
“Given the outsize interest around the metaverse space, and the implications that blockchain-based metaverse games could have in this environment, this is a cryptocurrency that investors appear to be ready to jump on.”
However, it also comes with significant risk, particularly being a lesser-known coin.
Should I invest in cryptocurrency?
People invest at their own risk and cryptocurrencies are not regulated by British financial authorities.
All crypto investments are risky, but smaller coins and meme coins like Shiba Inu are particularly volatile, and you should be prepared to lose everything you invest.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned in January: “Investing in cryptoassets, or investments and lending linked to them, generally involves taking very high risks with investors’ money.
“If consumers invest in these types of product, they should be prepared to lose all their money.”
Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at asset management firm Hargreaves Lansdown, previously explained the risks to i.
She said: “On top of being extremely volatile, most cryptocurrencies are unregulated, which not only adds another layer of uncertainty but also means that investors have little or no protection against fraud.”