Facebook, owner of Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Oculus, has rebranded its parent company, calling it "Meta." The name is a nod to Facebook's pursuits in the "metaverse," a popular subject in the cryptocurrency world. Facebook's rebranding brought renewed attention to a few popular metaverse crypto projects, led by Decentraland (MANA).
Facebook calls Meta "a place where we’ll play and connect in 3D". The "metaverse" is a term originally coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel, Snow Crash. Today, the term is used to describe a vast, virtual world in which real people, represented by avatars, can interact socially, play games, and do business together. Crypto enthusiasts believe non-fungible tokens (NFTs) integrate naturally into the metaverse because they allow for anonymous yet provable ownership of digital characters, land, items, and assets. NFT gamers imagine a world in which items and characters from one gaming platform can be used in others. These linked games, social settings, stores, and workplaces make up the modern conception of the metaverse.
Metaverse crypto projects have swelled in response to Facebook's rebrand, including:
- Decentraland (MANA), a virtual world that runs on crypto, increased in market cap roughly 350% since the announcement
- The Sandbox (SAND), a crypto metaverse, rose nearly 150%
- Star Atlas (ATLAS), a space exploration metaverse game, rose roughly 125%
- Axie Infinity (AXS), the most popular crypto game, is up roughly 15%
Facebook’s (NASDAQ: FB) market cap rose about 5% since the announcement, after sliding roughly 10% in the midst of increased pressure from the US government.