Ethereum blockchain-based metaverse projects Decentraland and the Sandbox have hit back at reports suggesting low daily user activity on platforms, arguing a “misinformed” metric was used to measure each of the platforms’ daily active users (DAU).
The controversy appears to have come from data originating from DappRadar, with observers suggesting the Decentraland metaverse sees 30 DAU despite having over $1.2 billion in market cap.
Decentraland ( $MANA ) has 30 Daily Active Users— SHAKE (@0x_shake) October 6, 2022
and a $1.2 Billion Market Cap pic.twitter.com/u4MBNsWvwk
However, Decentraland said in an Oct. 8 tweet that “some websites are tracking only specific smart contract transactions but reporting them as daily active users […] which is inaccurate.”
Sandbox CEO Arthur Madrid tweeted on Oct. 10 that “on chain transactions does not mean Users” and that nonfungible token (NFT) owners “invest in an asset that will grow in value over time based Utilities.”
In its tweet, Decentraland said “better data” can be found at DCL Metrics, a data aggregator custom-built for Decentraland, which measures DAUs by the number of “people who login and then move out of a parcel.”
This distinction is significant, as Decentraland’s September data shows 56,700 Monthly Active Users but only 1,074, or 1.89% of those users actually interacted with Decentraland’s smart contracts.
Let's have a look at some of September's data:— Decentraland (@decentraland) October 7, 2022
1,074 Users interacting with smart contracts
1,732 minted Emotes
6,315 sold Wearables
300 Creators received royalties
161 created Community Events
148 DAO Proposals
Similarly, Sandbox refuted data suggesting its platform has a low number of DAUs, stating on Twitter that it has 201,000 Monthly Active Users.
Related: Metaverse promises: Future of Web3 or just a market gimmick?
But, while this shows blockchain data should never be interpreted without context, it appears as though user experience and engagement are the biggest cause for concern, according to a recent Reddit thread.
The thread saw one poster refer to Decentraland as “Desertedland,” while another poster said the popular metaverse game had become a “ghost town.”
The controversy comes as even the most legitimate metaverse projects face unprecedented pressures in the current bear market — which has caused a steep drop in token prices.
Decentraland (MANA) is currently priced at $0.65, down 88.8% from its all-time high (ATH) of $5.85 with a market cap of $1.43 billion.
Meanwhile, Sandbox (SAND) is priced at $0.78, down 90.6% from its ATH of $8.40, with a market cap of $2.36 billion. Both MANA and SAND are down more than 5% over the last 24 hours.