According to DappRadar, Decentraland, a $1.2 billion Metaverse project, has only 38 active daily users.
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You might wonder what’s happening in the metaverse right now. One data point implies that users might not be coming back every day when looking at two of the biggest companies with valuations of over $1 billion. Decentraland, an Ethereum-based virtual environment, had 38 “active users” in the previous day, compared to competitor The Sandbox’s 522 “active users,” according to data aggregate DappRadar.
It’s significant to note that DappRadar defines an active user as any interaction a certain wallet address has with the platform’s smart contract. For instance, login into The Sandbox or Decentraland to spend SAND or MANA, the respective native utility tokens for each platform, is regarded as a “active use.”
Because of this, DappRadar’s compilation of daily “active users” does not include users who merely log in to a metaverse platform to engage with others or who short visit for an occasion, like a virtual fashion week. Additionally, it can imply that fewer transactions—such as the purchase or sale of a non-fungible token (NFT)—take place on these platforms than there are users.
DappRadar reports that there were 675 daily “active users” on Decentraland, which is a record high. This amount was higher for The Sandbox, at roughly 4,503.
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Sam Hamilton, Creative Director of Decentraland, challenged DappRadar’s methodology for calculating the platform’s daily “active users.” The platform has 8,000 users on average each day, he told CoinDesk, adding that only those that engage with our contracts are tracked by DappRadar. However, he did not define what constitutes a “active use” against a more passive interaction. He stated that although attendance at Decentraland peaked in March, the amount of “tourists and spectators” has subsequently declined. “We are finding the core community of people returning every day is growing.”
Hamilton claims that a dashboard created by the Decentraland community may be used to more precisely measure the platform’s user base. The study examines several time intervals between 7, 14, 30, and 90 days and measures “unique visits per day.” The portal saw 6,999 “unique visitors per day” on average from October 3 to 9. The same data tool counts the number of “parcels visited per day” and “marathon users,” who are those who spend the greatest time online, according to its definition.
After this article’s publication, Decentraland tweeted that in September, “1,074 users interacted with smart contracts.” The Decentraland Foundation defines a “active user” as “those who login and then move out of a parcel,” and it also recorded 56,697 “monthly active users.” It added that “there might be discrepancies between DCL Metrics and Foundation data.”
Additionally, The Sandbox challenged DappRadar’s stats for calculating daily platform active users. According to CEO and co-founder Arthur Madrid, DappRadar’s statistic solely takes into account user transactions or a primary NFT sale and excludes other relevant types of involvement. He added that The Sandbox assesses active users by taking into account a variety of criteria, such as retention and usage over time.
“An ‘active user’ is a user that connects over a period of time,” he explained. “A daily ‘active user’ is someone that connects at least once a day.”
“Imagine you only track the number of people paying for something at a cashier at a shopping mall,” he said. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of passerbys.”
In a subsequent tweet, Madrid clarified that counting on-chain transactions does not accurately reflect the platform’s user base.
An inquiry about whether DappRadar’s analytics more properly reflect daily active users on Decentraland and The Sandbox was not answered.
It’s important to note that The Sandbox and Decentraland both have significant valuations. Decentraland and The Sandbox each have market capitalization of about $1.3 billion, according to Messari data.
Some believe that it may take some time before the metaverse gains enough traction to cause businesses to change their names to reflect the idea.
When metaverse platforms function as intended, Sasha Fleyshman, portfolio manager at the digital asset investing firm Arca, told CoinDesk, users would find them to be far more useful.
“Anyone telling you that there’s a metaverse today that has worked is lying through their teeth,” said Fleyshman.