Metaverse Crypto Sector Bounces Hard, Outperforms DeFi

Major projects including decentraland and enjincoin are leading a metaverse renaissance across crypto markets over the year so far

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A. Solano/Shutterstock.com modified by Blockworks

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Metaverse crypto projects are enjoying a healthy surge this year, easily outstripping the decentralized finance (DeFi) segment.

Tokens tied to metaverse and gaming projects Enjincoin, Axie Infinity, Decentraland, The Sandbox, STEPN and Apecoin have all soared over a 30-day and year-to-date basis.

Overall, crypto’s metaverse sector is up 105% year-to-date as of 8pm, ET and 62% over the last 30 days, according to Index Coop’s Metaverse Index (MVI).

“Investors are becoming increasingly interested in Web3 games and platforms that they believe can take a fair slice of the games market,” Simon Kertonegoro, CEO of MyMetaverse told Blockworks.

The success of a single Web3 game or platform will be great for both industries but even more so for investors holding the right tokens, he said.

Metaverse crypto projects are easily outstripping DeFi assets year to date

Decentraland’s MANA is leading the pack — up 150% this year while its 30-day performance is equally as impressive, gaining 90%.

For scale, bitcoin (BTC) is up 39% year to date and around 30% over the last 30 days, while ether (ETH) is at 38% and 25%, respectively.

  • Enjincoin (ENJ) has more than doubled since 2023 kicked off, as the token attempts to claw back a 90% drop from its November 2021 peak.
  • The Sandbox’s SAND has also doubled this year alongside Web3 lifestyle project STEPN’s GMT.
  • Axie Infinity’s AXS and Yuga Labs’ apecoin (APE) have returned less, up 48% and 73% over the same period, respectively.

Blockworks Research analyst Sam Martin said while there was no one catalyst to explain recent performances, metaverse tokens were due for a bounce. The current move is a mean reversion to the upside.

“Metaverse-related tokens reached peak euphoria at the end of 2021 when Facebook rebranded to Meta,” Martin said. “In hindsight, it is now clear that the market priced in far too much growth in relation to the crypto niche’s underlying fundamentals.”

By comparison, DeFi assets such as uniswap (UNI), aave (AAVE), pancakeswap (CAKE), curve (CRV), thorchain (RUNE) and synthetix (SNX) are averaging around 42% returns over the last 30-days and 63% in 2023.

Nasdaq-listed index DEFX, which tracks the performance of prominent DeFI cryptocurrencies, is up 58% year to date.

Zooming out to one year shows metaverse tokens have had it rough

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