Are there really only 38 players in the Decentraland metaverse?

An article created controversy in early October 2022: Two of the most popular and best valued metaverses would be empty. The figures in the article are disputed by companies, but the fact is that the virtual worlds remain very empty at the moment.

How many users are there in Decentraland? The question seems simple and the answer should be. However, it has excited the cryptosphere since October 7, 2022 and the publication of an article by Coindesk that stated that there were only 38 active users in the metaverse of Decentraland and 522 in Sandkassens.

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 with Metas – that is, if these numbers are particularly astounding.

Since the article appeared, these numbers have been hotly debated, whether by fans of Decentraland or The Sandbox, or by the companies themselves. However, one question remains: Who is actually using the metaverse after the record amounts collected?

Who uses the metaverse? // Source: Canva

Several thousand users per day

The Coindesk article was quick fact-checked by the rector in question: Decentraland. On Twitter, metaverse clarified that the calculation method used by Coindesk skewed the results. ” Some sites counted only 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. Regarding The Sandbox, Cryptoast recalls that Sébastien Borget, the creator of the metaverse, estimated in July that there were between 20,000 and 30,000 unique daily users during special events. This figure should nevertheless be taken with hindsight, firstly because it concerns special occasions and secondly because it dates from July.

These two figures are much higher than those put forward by Coindesk, which relied on DappRadar data for its article. The difference can be explained by the method used: DappRadar only counts as active users who use their crypto wallet with smart contract of the platform. Specifically, the site only counted users who bought NFTs on the platform or paid for something with their cryptocurrency. An approach that therefore doesn’t take into account people logging into the metaverse without making a purchase – a real problem.

Decentraland would only have 7,000 active users per day // Source: Decentraland
Decentraland would only have 7,000 active users per day // Source: Decentraland

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 metaverse. Even with the highest traffic numbers, 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 more than a billion dollars, as is The Sandbox, and the two universes have attracted prestigious investors.

Above all, in both worlds, plots of land put up for sale in the form of NFTs have been snapped up at astronomical prices: Carrefour bought land in The Sandbox in February 2022 for 300,000 euros and an area of ​​565m2 s sold for 2.4 million dollars in Decentraland. For an average of only 7,000 players per day, was it really a reasonable investment?

The Metaverse craze started in earnest 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 advertising effects, corporate acquisitions and some curiosity on the part of Internet users, the metaverse is still not the phenomenon expected. Not to mention the fact that virtual worlds are already experiencing serious moderation issues and that virtual reality headsets are still very expensive, making the metaverse inaccessible to many.

Now that the fad 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 remains unanswered: will there really be enough users one day to make the metaverse the successor to the Internet?


Metaverse // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

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