An initial interpretation of DappRadar numbers on Oct. 11 reported extremely low engagement numbers for Decentraland, one of Web3’s most-hyped metaverses. The numbers shocked the community, as the platform has a current market evaluation of $1.2 billion.
Shortly after the initial report broke, both DappRadar and Decentraland verified that the published number of less than 40 unique active wallets (UAW) was not an accurate representation of activity on the network. According to DappRadar’s tracker at the time of writing, UAW is just over 600.
A DappRadar report following the incident revealed that blockchain games and metaverse projects raised a cumulative $1.3 billion in the third fiscal quarter.
However, if user engagement is low, what keeps investors coming back for more of the metaverse?
Cointelegraph spoke with Decentraland, DappRadar and prominent metaverse investor Animoca Brands to better understand what it is about the metaverse that keeps investors coming back.
Robert Hoogendoorn, the head of content at DappRadar, highlighted that despite the plummet in both crypto token prices and trading volume in United States dollars for metaverse land, the actual number of trades only dropped by 11%.
“This shows there’s still strong demand,” he says. Hoogendoorn also reiterated that participation in the metaverse goes far beyond just logging in. It is also decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) activity and development teams leveraging each other’s open-source software:
“It’s not a one-way stream from business to consumer, but a web of entangled stakeholders, builders, creators, users, investors, organizers and so on.”
Sam Hamilton, the creative director of the Decentraland Foundation, said it is obvious that the space is still young. He continued to say that it “might be shocking” but numbers aren’t stopping anyone from joining in this creative climate.
Hamilton understands that many dismiss the metaverse as nothing more than “pointless entertainment,” but in reality, developers are creating something much larger:
“When you spend your days building something as massive and impactful as the metaverse, it becomes very hard to be short-sighted and merely care about numbers.”
Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, said negative responses to important technological shifts are nothing new but expects to see them shift as the technology itself ripens.
Siu stressed that from an operational perspective, the decentralized metaverse is a better business model which is easier to both obtain capital and offer cool opportunities to consumers.
However, from a user perspective, he said it is even more important because products and services offer empowerment as never before. Nonfungible ownership presents new benefits from digital goods and data to “give users a stake and a voice in the products and services that they use.”
“Blockchain is not simply a technological change but also one that enables socio-political change.”
Siu is previously quoted saying that he believes GameFi will be the onboarding point for users into the metaverse.
While some on crypto Twitter questioned the value of the metaverse, developers and investors have shown no hesitation in building out a digital universe. New tools and events are constantly being deployed to make the metaverse a more tangible experience.