What is The Sandbox and How does it work?

The Sandbox, a groundbreaking metaverse that empowers users to create, play, and earn in a vibrant virtual universe.

Aug 27, 2023 - 17:49
Oct 19, 2023 - 12:32
What is The Sandbox and How does it work?
Reading time - 10 min

In the digital transformation era, the metaverse concept is gaining significant traction. Among the many emerging metaverses, The Sandbox stands out as a prominent player. The Sandbox is a blockchain-based virtual world that allows users to create, build, buy, and sell digital assets as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). In this article, we will explore the world of The Sandbox, its unique features, and the potential it holds for the future of digital interaction.

What is The Sandbox?

The Sandbox is a virtual metaverse that offers a decentralized platform for a user-generated content ecosystem. In this digital universe, players can create, own, and monetize their gaming experiences on the Ethereum blockchain using SAND, the platform's utility token. The Sandbox is one of the few live metaverses based on the blockchain that is accessible to the public.

Initially, it started as a game-builder simulator available on Steam. However, in 2018, Animoca Brands, a tech giant within the blockchain industry, took over the title, moved it to the blockchain, and built a gigantic metaverse where users can leverage the developing technology to mint virtual assets.

The Sandbox quickly rose to the ranks with its incredible in-game offerings, which enabled like-minded people to come together to create exciting products and monetize them through tokenization. The economy of the metaverse is dependent on $SAND, the utility, and the governance token within the metaverse used for trading goods in The Sandbox marketplace.

The Sandbox: A Closer Look at the Features

Decentralized Governance: One of the most significant advantages of The Sandbox is its decentralized governance. SAND owners can control the policies and run the metaverse through decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). There's no centralized authority that could influence the policies; instead, users govern the metaverse themselves and have complete ownership over their digital assets.

Play-to-Earn Model: The Sandbox offers lucrative earnings for its players. There are various play-to-earn (P2E) aspects within the metaverse that allow everyone to earn lucrative awards by engaging with the gameplay. Similarly, trading the assets created within the metaverse is another lucrative method of turning a profit since the minted assets are under the complete ownership of the users.

Cross-Platform Interoperability: Another prominent aspect of The Sandbox is its support for cross-platform interoperability. This feature would enable the users to utilize the blockchain technology to use their assets in other applications based on the blockchain system. While the system will need some time to mature, in the future, players will be able to shift and move around their owned virtual assets with other metaverses and P2E games.

Earning Opportunities in The Sandbox: The Sandbox is an immersive metaverse that offers countless lucrative opportunities for its players to make some profit. From flipping the land to trading unique assets on the marketplace, there are tons of opportunities for enthusiasts to make a living by investing their time in The Sandbox Universe.

Creating Voxel ASSETs: The Voxel software provided to the users within the metaverse enables them to develop sophisticated 3D elements and mint them into ASSET NFTs. All the ASSETs made using the Voxel software can be sold on the marketplace to turn a profit.

Monetize Experiences on LAND: Landowners can utilize the opportunity to deploy game experiences on their parcels and charge other players through entry fees and microtransactions. This concept allows artists to make their ideas possible and opens up alleyways for them to earn monetary gains through their imaginative projects.

Renting Out LAND: The Sandbox is equipped with peer-to-peer trading, which allows land owners to lease their land parcels to other users and charge them rent in any way they desire. Renting out your owned land parcels and estates could be highly lucrative.

The Sandbox: Tools for Creation and Trade

The Sandbox offers tools that allow users to create, trade, and monetize their virtual experiences and assets. These tools include the Voxel Editor, the Marketplace, and the Game Maker.

Voxel Editor: The Voxel Editor is a 3D modeling tool provided by The Sandbox that allows users to create and animate unique voxel assets. Voxel assets are 3D models made up of small cubes, or "voxels," that can be used to build complex structures, characters, and environments in The Sandbox.

The Voxel Editor is user-friendly and accessible, making it easy for anyone to start creating voxel assets, regardless of their experience level with 3D modeling. Using the Voxel Editor, users can create anything from simple shapes to complex, animated characters. Once created, these assets can be minted as NFTs and sold or traded on The Sandbox's Marketplace.

The Marketplace: The Sandbox's Marketplace is a decentralized platform where users can buy, sell, and trade assets and LAND parcels. The Marketplace is powered by the SAND token, which is used for all transactions within The Sandbox ecosystem.

On the Marketplace, users can browse a wide variety of assets, from simple voxel models to complex, animated characters and environments. Each asset is unique and is represented by an NFT, ensuring its scarcity and value. Users can also buy and sell LAND parcels on the Marketplace, which are pieces of digital real estate within The Sandbox metaverse where users can build and monetize their virtual experiences.

Game Maker: The Game Maker is a powerful tool that allows users to create interactive, multiplayer games and experiences in The Sandbox. With Game Maker, users can place assets, design environments, and create gameplay mechanics without needing any coding skills.

The Game Maker uses a visual scripting system, making it easy for anyone to start creating games. Users can drag and drop assets into their LAND parcels, design the layout of their game, and set up interactions and gameplay mechanics using a simple visual interface.

Once a game is created, it can be published to The Sandbox Metaverse and monetized. Users can charge other players to play their games, sell in-game items, or earn revenue from advertisements.

The Sandbox 2023 Roadmap Summary:

2022 was a remarkable year for The Sandbox, with significant partnership growth, global expansion, and community involvement. Here are the key highlights and the vision for 2023:

  • 2022 Achievements:
    1. The number of partners in The Sandbox ecosystem doubled, resulting in over 700 partners globally.
    2. The Sandbox launched its Partners Program, assisting 300+ agencies and studios worldwide.
    3. Over $12M was allocated to the Game Maker Fund, supporting 100+ independent studios.
    4. The Sandbox's creator tools were localized in 10 languages, enhancing global accessibility.
    5. Seven LAND sales were initiated, including three regional neighborhoods.
    6. New offices were opened in five countries, emphasizing The Sandbox's global presence.
  • 2023 Vision:
    1. The Sandbox aims to further support its Partners Ecosystem by launching a Partners resources HUB and a Partners Directory.
    2. The Game Marker V0.8 will be introduced, offering more immersive experiences for builders and expanding tool localization.
    3. New content series will be launched to inspire brands and IPs to join The Sandbox. Additionally, new vertical and regional LAND Sales will be introduced.
    4. The onboarding process for agencies and studios will be revamped.
    5. The Sandbox plans to hire more talent globally, with 70+ open positions and three dedicated to the Partners Program.
  • Community Growth:
    1. Over 300 agencies and studios are now introducing brands to The Sandbox, a fourfold increase from the previous year.
    2. Content remains a driving force, with diverse builders from 20+ countries contributing to the ecosystem.
    3. 400+ brands have joined The Sandbox, adopting the web3 culture and leveraging it to engage with their audiences in innovative ways.

Understanding The Sandbox Tokens

The Sandbox employs a unique token system to facilitate transactions and interactions within its ecosystem. These tokens include SAND, LAND, and ASSET. Each of these tokens serves a specific purpose and plays a crucial role in the functioning of The Sandbox metaverse.


SAND is the native utility token of The Sandbox. It is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, and it powers the entire ecosystem of The Sandbox. SAND has several uses:

  • Medium of Exchange: SAND is the primary currency for transactions within The Sandbox. Users can buy and sell assets, LAND, and other items using SAND.
  • Governance: SAND holders can participate in governance decisions of The Sandbox. They can vote on proposals and influence the future development of the platform.
  • Staking: Users can stake their SAND tokens to earn rewards. Staking SAND also allows users to earn additional tokens and gain access to exclusive content.
  • Access to Games: Some games or experiences in The Sandbox may require SAND to play.


LAND in The Sandbox refers to the digital real estate within the metaverse. Each LAND is a unique, non-fungible token (NFT) on the Ethereum blockchain. Owning a LAND gives users a piece of the metaverse where they can create and monetize virtual experiences. Here are some key aspects of LAND:

  • Creation Space: Users can build games, experiences, or virtual environments on their LAND using The Sandbox's creation tools.
  • Monetization: LAND owners can monetize their virtual experiences in various ways, such as charging other players to access their games or selling in-game items.
  • Scarcity: The Sandbox has a limited supply of LAND, which ensures its scarcity and potential value. The Sandbox map consists of 166,464 LAND parcels in total.

Preview of the Sandbox Map


ASSET refers to the digital assets that users create in The Sandbox using the platform's Voxel Editor. These assets can be anything from characters, items, or even entire scenes. Each ASSET is an ERC-1155 token on the Ethereum blockchain, representing a unique or semi-unique item in The Sandbox. Here's what you need to know about ASSETs:

  • Creation: Users can create ASSETs using The Sandbox's Voxel Editor. These ASSETs can then be minted as NFTs.
  • Trade and Ownership: ASSETs can be bought, sold, and traded on The Sandbox's Marketplace. When a user purchases an ASSET, they gain ownership of a unique digital item.
  • Use in Games: ASSETs can be used within games and experiences in The Sandbox. For example, a user could create a unique character ASSET and use it to play various games within the metaverse.

In conclusion, The Sandbox's token system of SAND, LAND, and ASSET forms the backbone of its virtual economy. These tokens enable users to create, trade, and monetize their virtual experiences, making The Sandbox a vibrant and dynamic metaverse.

Gems and Catalysts

In addition to SAND, LAND, and ASSET tokens, The Sandbox also utilizes Gems and Catalysts to add another layer of complexity and utility to the platform. These elements are used to define the attributes and rarity of ASSETs in the metaverse.


Gems are tokens used in The Sandbox to enhance the attributes of ASSETs. They are ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain and are used in conjunction with Catalysts to upgrade ASSETs. There are five types of Gems in The Sandbox, each representing a different attribute:

  • Power: Power Gems increase the power attribute of an ASSET. This could mean physical strength, magical power, or any other form of 'power' depending on the context of the game or experience.
  • Defense: Defense Gems enhance the defense attribute of an ASSET. This could mean the ability to withstand attacks, endure harsh conditions, or resist specific effects.
  • Speed: Speed Gems boost the speed attribute of an ASSET. This could influence how quickly an ASSET can move, react, or perform actions.
  • Magic: Magic Gems increase the magic attribute of an ASSET. This could affect an ASSET's ability to perform magical actions or resist magical effects.
  • Luck: Luck Gems enhance the luck attribute of an ASSET. This could influence the likelihood of positive random events happening to the ASSET.


Catalysts are another type of token used in The Sandbox to define the rarity and upgrade capacity of ASSETs. They are ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain and are used together with Gems to upgrade ASSETs. There are four types of Catalysts in The Sandbox, each representing a different level of rarity:

  • Common: Common Catalysts can add up to two Gem sockets to an ASSET.
  • Rare: Rare Catalysts can add up to three Gem sockets to an ASSET.
  • Epic: Epic Catalysts can add up to four Gem sockets to an ASSET.
  • Legendary: Legendary Catalysts can add up to five Gem sockets to an ASSET.

When a user applies a Catalyst to an ASSET, they can then insert Gems into the available sockets to enhance the ASSET's attributes. The type of Catalyst used determines the maximum number of Gems that can be added and, therefore, the potential attribute enhancements that the ASSET can receive.

In conclusion, Gems and Catalysts in The Sandbox add depth to the platform's virtual economy and gameplay. They allow users to customize and enhance their ASSETs, adding another layer of interactivity and engagement to the metaverse. Whether you're looking to create a powerful character, a fortified structure, or a swift vehicle, Gems, and Catalysts provide the tools to make your vision a reality in The Sandbox.

Token Distribution 

The SAND token, introduced in August 2020 as an ERC-20 cryptocurrency, underwent various fundraising events to achieve its goal of $3 million by August 14. During the Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) on Binance Launchpad, 360 million tokens were sold at a price of $0.008. Before the public sale, a private seed round in November 2019 raised $3.21 million by selling tokens at a rate of $0.0072 per SAND. Additionally, a strategic sale in July 2020 offered the token at an average price of $0.005. The project further secured $93 million in a Series B funding round in November 2021.

The distribution of SAND tokens was carefully structured as follows:

  1. Binance Launchpad Sale: 12%
  2. Private Seed Sale: 17.18%
  3. Private Strategic Sale: 4%
  4. Foundation: 12%
  5. Team: 19%
  6. Advisors: 10%
  7. Company Reserve: 25.82%

The total supply of SAND tokens is capped at 3 billion, and this cap is expected to be reached by February 2025 once the entire supply becomes unvested.

In conclusion, The Sandbox is a revolutionary metaverse redefining the territory of gaming and virtual experience. By combining blockchain technology, user-generated content, and play-to-earn mechanics, it empowers creators, gamers, and investors alike. The native tokens SAND, LAND, and ASSET provide users with actual ownership and monetization opportunities. Gems and Catalysts add depth to the virtual economy, enhancing creativity and rewarding contributions. As The Sandbox expands globally, its vision of a user-driven metaverse gains momentum, promising limitless possibilities for a future where reality and imagination merge seamlessly. 

Philip Bohmer Philip is a seasoned journalist that brings clarity to the complex world of cryptocurrencies through his articulate and insightful articles. His passion for blockchain technology fuels his writing, making him a trusted voice in the rapidly evolving digital currency landscape.