What is The Sandbox (SAND)? Unveiling a world where imagination meets blockchain magic

In the realm of blockchain gaming, The Sandbox emerges as an enchanting metaverse, adding a touch of magic to the world of play and creation. Evolving from mobile gaming sensations like The Sandbox (2011) and The Sandbox Evolution (2016), the platform made a leap to blockchain-based gaming in 2018, aiming to disrupt giants like Minecraft and Roblox. Here, gamers have absolute ownership over their in-game assets through non-fungible tokens (NFTs), transforming regular gameplay into a play-to-earn experience.

In this guide, we embark on a journey through the vibrant landscape of The Sandbox, where imagination meets blockchain magic and ownership is a reality. Discover its innovative features, its diverse array of tokens, and the magic that unfolds within its virtual confines.

What is The Sandbox (SAND)?

The Sandbox is a decentralized virtual gaming world that empowers global artists, storytellers, and game makers to create, publish, own, and monetize their content. With millions of creators in its ecosystem, The Sandbox aspires to set the gold standard in world-building games. Moreover, the platform envisions a decentralized future where players own 100% of SAND and LAND tokens within five years of its launch.

Pixowl, the creative force behind The Sandbox, began its journey in 2012 with a 2D pixel art game. By mid-2018, Pixowl merged with Animoca Brands, resulting in the birth of a 3D virtual world on the blockchain in 2020. The mission? To empower global creators through blockchain technology and establish The Sandbox as the epitome of user-generated content (UGC) and play-to-earn adventures.

Along its journey, The Sandbox has achieved significant milestones, including a $93 million funding round led by SoftBank in 2021 and partnerships with renowned names like Atari, CryptoKitties, The Walking Dead, and Snoop Dogg.

How does The Sandbox work?

Originally hosted on the Ethereum blockchain, The Sandbox promises players true ownership of their digital land and assets, all secured as NFTs. In 2022, The Sandbox migrated its smart contracts to the layer-2 Polygon blockchain for quicker and greener transactions and reduced gas fees.

Here are some key features of The Sandbox:

Key features

  • VoxEdit: VoxEdit is a user-friendly voxel editor that enables the creation of 3D objects, from characters and animals to landscapes and tools. These creations, known as Assets, are the building blocks of The Sandbox.

  • Marketplace: The Sandbox Marketplace is where creators upload, publish, and sell their voxel creations. Creations are first uploaded into an IPFS network to provide decentralized storage and then registered onto the blockchain to prove ownership. To create an Experience or game, players can purchase Assets from the Marketplace.

  • Game Maker: The magic unfolds within the Game Maker, where users bring their creations to life, turning static visions into dynamic and captivating experiences. From action-packed adventures to serene art galleries, the possibilities are endless. Thanks to accessible visual scripting tools, no coding background is required.

Types of tokens in The Sandbox ecosystem

Within The Sandbox metaverse, a diverse array of crypto tokens comes into play, each serving a unique use case. At the core of this ecosystem lie two pillars — SAND and LAND — forming the foundation for a unified economic system. Complementing this duo are four essential tokens known collectively as Play & Create tokens: Avatars, Assets, Catalysts, and Experiences.

  • SAND: SAND, an ERC-20 token, is The Sandbox’s main utility token and medium of exchange. It's a ticket to governance, staking, platform access, and navigating the metaverse economy.

  • LAND: LAND tokens, following the ERC-721 standard, serve as virtual real estate in The Sandbox, allowing users to populate these digital territories with games created through the Game Maker and Assets designed using VoxEdit. All LAND owners can launch and monetize Experiences such as their own games or live events, earn holder rewards, access exclusive staking benefits, build communities, participate in governance through a DAO, act as virtual real estate agents, and many more. LAND can be purchased from The Sandbox Marketplace or secondary NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible.

  • Avatars: Avatars are ERC-721 tokens that represent playable voxel Assets, available for purchase from The Sandbox Marketplace or the dedicated Avatar page. These digital characters have customizable appearances and stats, alongside hundreds of gaming animations and emotes for an interactive and sociable experience.

  • Assets: Assets encompass 3D interactive content and equipment for Avatars. Assets can be minted as ERC-1155 tokens, becoming tradable NFTs that owners can buy, sell, and trade within the metaverse. For creators who create and use Assets within their own games or Experiences, there is no need to mint the Asset.

  • Catalysts: Catalysts, functioning as ERC-1155 NFTs, are burned during Asset minting, determining the Asset’s rarity and consequently enhancing its value as an NFT. Catalyst rarity correlates with the number of Attribute Points available towards equipment Assets, directly impacting their value. There are five tiers of Catalysts: Legendary (most scarce), Epic, Rare, Uncommon, and Common (least scarce). Importantly, creators have the flexibility to employ Assets in their own Experiences without the need to mint them as NFTs.

  • Experiences: Experiences are interactive content players can engage with on The Sandbox platform. They contain the physical terrain, objects, and the logic that brings the environment to life, all of which are stored in the cloud by The Sandbox. Avatars are used to interact within these Experiences. Although an Experience isn't classified as an NFT, it belongs to its creator and can be transferred to others, along with its Assets, directly from a user's account inventory.

The Sandbox team

The Sandbox was co-founded by Arthur Madrid, serving as the company's CEO, and Sébastien Borget, who holds the position of COO. Madrid’s strategic insights and entrepreneurial drive guide the company's growth, while Borget’s gaming industry experience ensures smooth operations.

The Sandbox operates as a global entity, drawing strength from a highly diverse team spread across various continents. Offices in Paris, Buenos Aires, Maldonado, London, Seoul, and Hamburg strategically connect to vibrant gaming communities.

The Sandbox Foundation

The Sandbox Foundation provides diverse incentives to fuel the growth of its gaming platform. It allocates funds, grants, and programs to engage skilled community members and game developers, encouraging them to contribute quality content while earning rewards.

Programs like the Creator Fund (or Artist Fund) target Asset creators, recognizing skills in design or voxel art. The Game Maker Fund focuses on game and diorama designers with proven expertise, while the Ambassador Program builds a community of supportive and knowledgeable members rewarded for contributions, from answering questions to sharing official Sandbox news on social media.

The Sandbox’s native utility token: SAND

SAND tokens are The Sandbox's primary utility token, enabling seamless transactions and interactions within the metaverse. It’s an ERC-20 cryptocurrency with a capped supply of 3 billion tokens, strategically distributed to fuel various aspects of The Sandbox ecosystem: 12% for the Binance launchpad sale, 17.18% for seed sale, 4% for strategic sale, 12% for the Foundation, 19% for the team, 10% for advisors, and 25.82% for the company reserve.

Users can use SAND to purchase Avatars, Assets, and LAND, unlocking vibrant gaming experiences within The Sandbox. Each SAND transaction incurs a 5% fee, divided evenly between the Foundation Fund and the Staking Pool.

Beyond transactions, SAND serves as a governance token. Holders wield the power to shape The Sandbox's future through a DAO structure. Whether casting direct votes or delegating decisions, SAND holders influence critical aspects from Foundation grant allocations to steering the platform's roadmap.

Staking SAND tokens

In February 2022, The Sandbox introduced gasless staking to Polygon through Biconomy. This program caters to both newcomers and experienced stakers, ensuring weekly rewards for those who provide liquidity.

Apart from initial fees that arise from bridging SAND from the Ethereum network to the Polygon network, the staking process on Polygon operates without gas fees — provided participants haven't exhausted their monthly quota of gasless transactions. This ensures a cost-effective staking experience, making it a compelling opportunity.

Note that The Sandbox has discontinued the staking program on the Ethereum blockchain. To continue participating in The Sandbox’s staking programs on Polygon, users may use The Sandbox Bridge to transfer SAND tokens from Ethereum to Polygon.

The final word

The Sandbox isn't just a virtual space; it can be a canvas for imagination, a stage for creators, and a playground for the future. The journey, from pixelated dreams to decentralized realities, has been marked by numerous milestones, partnerships, and an unwavering commitment to empowering global creators. As the platform unfolds its next chapters, users can anticipate a host of novel features and functionalities that will redefine the landscape of blockchain gaming.

This article may cover content on products that are not available in your region. It is provided for general informational purposes only, no responsibility or liability is accepted for any errors of fact or omission expressed herein. It represents the personal views of the author(s) and it does not represent the views of OKX. It is not intended to provide advice of any kind, including but not limited to: (i) investment advice or an investment recommendation; (ii) an offer or solicitation to buy, sell, or hold digital assets, or (iii) financial, accounting, legal, or tax advice. Digital asset holdings, including stablecoins and NFTs, involve a high degree of risk, can fluctuate greatly, and can even become worthless. You should carefully consider whether trading or holding digital assets is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. Please consult your legal/tax/investment professional for questions about your specific circumstances. OKX Web3 features, including OKX Web3 Wallet and OKX NFT Marketplace, are subject to separate terms of service at www.okx.com.
© 2023 OKX. This article may be reproduced or distributed in its entirety, or excerpts of 100 words or less of this article may be used, provided such use is non-commercial. Any reproduction or distribution of the entire article must also prominently state:"This article is © 2023 OKX and is used with permission." Permitted excerpts must cite to the name of the article and include attribution, for example "Article Name, [author name if applicable], © 2023 OKX." No derivative works or other uses of this article are permitted.
Related articles
View more
View more