is the contention about the number of users justified?

A recent article widely shared in the crypto space questioned the number of active users of Metaverse projects like Decentraland or The Sandbox. The figures in the article are disputed by companies, but the fact is that the virtual world is still very empty at the moment.

Decentraland quickly responds with official figures

Our colleagues at CoinDesk published an incriminating article on the metaverse over the weekend, arguing that two major projects, Decentraland and The Sandbox, have negligible active user numbers. Which has sparked outrage among affected communities who have been trying to clean up in recent days.

The article uses data from dAppRadar to list 38 active users on Decentraland. That is, the number of wallet addresses that interact with the project’s smart contract. But according to Decentraland, the data is wrong because only certain transactions are taken into account.

Since the publication of this article, these figures have been hotly debated, either by fans of Decentraland or The Sandbox or by the company itself.

The Decentraland Twitter account details the number of monthly active users (56,697) and the number of users interacting daily with various smart contracts: 1,074. According to Decentraland data, in the first week of October 2022 there were an average of 7,039 unique visitors per day.

The project also recalled that in September 161 events had been organized by the community and 148 proposals had been made within the DAO. The DCL Metrics site tends to confirm these numbers with 7,039 unique visitors per day for a week.

According to Decentraland, the Coindesk article contains erroneous data that was not properly verified by the newspaper. Metaverse clarified on Twitter that Coindesk’s calculation method skews the result: “Some sites only count one type of transaction and count them as unique users, which is inaccurate.”

Launched in 2015, Decentraland is a virtual world where players can buy various things, attend concerts or play in casinos. As for The Sandbox, it is a metaverse dedicated to video games where players can create their own platform. These are the most famous metaverses, which is why these numbers are striking.

Two calculation methods

The CoinDesk article reports that The Sandbox, on the other hand, only has 522 daily active users. Cryptoast recalls that the creator of Metaverse, Sébastien Borget, estimated in July that there were between 20,000 and 30,000 unique users per day during certain special events. However, this figure must be taken into account in due course, firstly because it deals with special occasions and secondly because it originates from July.

In any case, the figures announced by the platforms are much higher than those presented by Coindesk, which relied on data from DappRadar in the article. The difference is explained by the method used: DappRadar only considers users who use their crypto wallet and the platform’s smart contracts as active users.

Specifically, the site only counts users who have bought NFTs on the platform or paid for something with their cryptocurrency. This approach therefore does not account for people who connect to the metaverse without purchasing.

But while the Coindesk article uses disputed data, the observation remains the same: there are very few users in the metaverse. Even with the highest traffic numbers, the metaverse is still completely empty compared to other social networks.

As a reminder, Facebook, in total decline, is used every day by 26.9 million people in France. Decentraland is worth over $1 billion and, like The Sandbox, both of these areas have attracted high-profile investors.

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