Saturday, May 27, 2023


Apple is scheduled to release its highly-anticipated mixed-reality headset in the coming weeks, a development that some believe could breathe fresh life into the metaverse industry.

In January, the native tokens of blockchain-based metaverse projects Decentraland (MANA) and Sandbox (SAND) witnessed significant surges in price, due partly to swirling rumors about Apple’s venture into mixed reality.

This trend was pointed out in a May 15 tweet from independent developer Udi Wertheimer, who in a backhanded comment to the absurdity of influencer-driven memecoins, spoke of the upcoming release as a potential driver of metaverse token prices.

In conversation with Cointelegraph, eToro market analyst Josh Gilbert believes the new headset will set  the markets ablaze, owing in large part to Apple’s proven ability to deliver high-quality, market-shifting products, stating:

“When Apple does it, they usually do it right.”

That being said, the analyst cast some doubts that the launch of the new headset will be the “crucial moment” that would revive metaverse-related cryptocurrencies.

It’s also worth mentioning that while many crypto market participants immediately correlate the concept of virtual reality with “metaverse tokens,” Decentraland is still in the process of building out its VR capabilities and The Sandbox previously told Cointelegraph it has “no immediate or future plans” to build out VR.

Speaking to this point, Gilbert, like many others notes that a fully immersive metaverse experience is probably still a “long way off” especially when looking at the gap between the initial launch of the iPhone and the availability of apps that fully realized the hardware’s potential.

In his view, the performance of metaverse tokens like MANA and Sandbox’s SAND token will be more dependent on the widespread uptake of the metaverse amongst everyday users.

“The bottom line is that we are still very early in the metaverse world, and their performance will rely heavily on the popularity of the Metaverse in the future.

The metaverse and the cryptocurrencies associated with it, including MANA and SAND exploded in popularity during the 2021 crypto bull run as a myriad of projects — backed by seemingly bottomless war chests of venture capital — promised to create groundbreaking immersive virtual worlds for users.

Related: Epic CEO mocks ‘metaverse is dead’ notion — 600M coming to the ‘wake’

Unfortunately, for many of those companies, including Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta which has burned $13.7 billion on research and development in 2022, they have yet to see broad-scale adoption among everyday users.

All-time price chart of Sandbox (SAND) token. Source: CoinGecko.

The prices of MANA and SAND are respectively down 92% and 94% from their all-time highs at the time of writing, both of which were reached on November 25, 2021, according to data from CoinGecko.

According to a report from Apple product soothsayer Mark Gurhman, the California-based tech giant’s new headset is set to launch on June 5, marking the first major product release since the Apple Watch in 2015.

Concept render of Apple’s rumored mixed reality headset. Source: Antonio De Rosa

AI Eye: Make 500% from ChatGPT stock tips? Bard leans left, $100M AI memecoin