Recap of AMA Co-hosted by LBank and Sandbox

Date: 08/04/2021
Time: 19:00 UTC+8
Venue: LBank YouTube Channel Live Stream
Guest: Sebastien Borget(Co-founder & COO of Sandbox)
Host: Eric He| CEO of LBank

Part 1. Introduction

The Sandbox first announced the introduction of the blockchain ecosystem in 2018, while it became famous in two popular works “The Sandbox” and “The Sandbox Evolution”. Could you please introduce your project, The Sandbox, for us?

Sebastien/ Sandbox

Hello, my name is Sébastien Borget, I am the COO, co-founder of The Sandbox (http://sandbox.game). I am also the president of the Blockchain Game Alliance, a non-profit organization with 150+ members from the blockchain & gaming industry. I am an advocate for #NFTs & blockchain in games. Nice to meet you all!

Let me do a quick intro The Sandbox. Here’s a Teaser first: https://youtu.be/oi1mis3DGZE

The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences in the Ethereum blockchain using NFTs and $SAND, the platform’s utility token.

It was first announced in August 2018 in Shanghai at ChinaJoy conference, where I was main speaker on stage. This new 3D version is a sequel of our existing mobile game The Sandbox Evolution which has had over 40M installs in total on iOS and Android

We are combining user-generated content (UGC) with NFTs, enabling anyone to make its own NFTs using VoxEdit (our 3D Editor). Then you can own, trade and monetize these NFTs as you want.You can get an overview of NFTs made by Creators here: https://www.sandbox.game/en/shop/

In the coming year, our experienced and dedicated team will build an unique way to play in a virtual world where you can play, create, collect, earn, govern, and own anything in the game.

Enter a virtual world where you can build, own and monetize games, next to gaming giants Atari, Square Enix and more!

The Sandbox metaverse invites players and creators to
- Make NFTs with VoxEdit #Voxels
- Sell and Trade them on our #Marketplace
- Create fun games with our #GameMaker
- Play, Stake & Earn $SAND #Crypto
- Play & Create with huge IPs and Brands

We are thrilled to see the demand for $SAND and also want to confirm our long term vision on buliding a gaming metaverse. We have great achievements, fantastic team, partners, ips and more. You’ll learn more about it today!
Whitepaper: http://www.sandbox.game/The_Sandbox_Whitepaper_2020.pdf
Litepaper/One Pager: http://www.sandbox.game/The_Sandbox_One_Pager_2020.pdf

Part 2. Questions from LBankers

Q1:

The user ecological economy of The Sandbox is mainly composed of three different types of tokens: “SAND”, “LAND” and “ASSET”. Could you please introduce the application scenarios and usage methods of these three tokens?

A1:

$SAND will enable players to create, play, own, govern, trade and earn within The Sandbox virtual world gaming platform. It is the ERC-20 token that will be used all across The Sandbox metaverse.

$SAND tokens have the following utility on The Sandbox platform

1/ Medium of exchange: Players can potentially collect SAND through gameplay, and subsequently spend $SAND to play games, purchase equipment, or customize Avatar characters. Creators can spend SAND to acquire ASSETS and LAND. Artists can spend SAND to upload ASSETS to the Marketplace and buy GEMs for defining item rarity.

2/ Governance: $SAND allows holders to participate in governance decisions. SAND owners can vote themselves or delegate voting rights to other players of their choice.

3/ Staking: Users can stake $SAND tokens to earn rewards, as well as GEMs and CATALYSTs for ASSETS creation.

Our LAND token is a piece of digitale real estate within The Sandbox metaverse. There is a limited number of LANDS, 166,464 in total, each with a unique location. Players can own, create and publish game experiences on their LAND. The game can be accessed through a virtual map where the locations of LANDs and proximity to larger Estates and key positions will play a role in the gameplay, economy and visibility of games. LAND is a primary way to access monetization on the platform. The Sandbox endeavors to build an ecosystem where interests are aligned between all the users — players, creators, land owners, curators, $SAND investors, etc. — who contribute to it. You can read more about our LAND token via this article: https://bit.ly/3jheRmg

We already completed our LAND presale round 4.3, that was set in mid-November and was the largest ever and was announced on @sandboxnews.

Q2:

The concept of NFT has been very popular during recent months. What development do you think the NFT ecosystem will have in the future? Do you think that the NFT+DEFI type projects will be the main development direction of NFT in the future?

A2:

There are several aspects of DeFi in The Sandbox.

The tokens collected by the players are ERC-20 and can be exchanged as valuable resources between the different types of users (hence a circular economy). There are many ways in which users can monetize their time on the platform

- Selling ASSETS: Users can create and sell ASSETS as NFTs on the marketplace
- Owning a LAND: Buy a LAND in one of the LAND sales. Players can then either rent them or populate them with content to increase the LAND’s value.
- Building Games on the Game Maker: Creators can build and monetize games using the Game Maker on the LANDs that are owned by players.
- Playing and participating in the game: In the Game, not only can creators profit from their creations, players can play-to-earn by collecting resources, rewards, and tokens.

We launched the SAND LIquidity Mining Rewards program and are giving 1,500,000 SAND per month distributed as Yield Rewards to the users providing liquidity to the pool
https://uniswap.info/pair/0x3dd49f67E9d5Bc4C5E6634b3F70BfD9dc1b6BD74

Currently we have over $5M SAND/ETH in the pool, multiplied x10 from 1 month ago
Our community has been amazing and we are grateful and want to reward them for their contribution to the growth and success of the sandbox, through their contribution

You can learn more about our SAND/ETH liquidity mining pool here
http://staking.sandbox.game
https://medium.com/sandbox-game/introducing-sand-liquidity-mining-b56e99fe2261

In Phase 1, we launched our SAND Liquidity Mining program with 1,500,000 SAND fixed amount per month distributed in Rewards

In Phase 2 3 4, we have introduced Yield multipliers based on LAND NFTs ownership.

Q3:

What do you think of other projects with NFT concepts, such as Enjin, Decentraland, and Cocos? Does The Sandbox currently have plans to cooperate with other NFT projects?

A3:

We think it is great to have many decentralized virtual worlds and even we share similarities, each one has its own specificities. The Sandbox is more focused on building a gaming virtual world, where players can socialize in lobbies or play adventure/mmo rpg like type of games, with quests, fights, killing enemies, collecting items and rewards etc

We have been for 9 years already in the video game industry! The Sandbox project has been around since 2012 on mobile platforms and has gathered more than 40 million global installs on mobile.

Also, NFTs allow interoperability and users have the ability to use their NFTs across these multiple platforms. This is the beauty of the metaverse

If I may summarize The Sandbox, it would be
- Make NFTs with VoxEdit #Voxels
- Sell and Trade them on our #Marketplace
- Create fun games with our #GameMaker
- Play, Stake & Earn $SAND #Crypto

We think the the future for UGC games is 100% owned by players #NFTs
The community of players, creators, artists, land owners, $SAND holders are all stakeholders and they are directly being rewarded for their contribution to the growth of The Sandbox ecosystem. Their interests and our interests are aligned, and we are always thinking users-first. This is a very community-driven approach

To date, The Sandbox team has secured over 60 partnerships from major brands such as Atari, Care Bears and Shaun the Sheep and award-winning mobile game studios. Partnerships include top decentralized games such as MyCryptoHeroes, Axie Infinity, and industry partners such as Matic, MakerDao, Klaytn, OpenSea, Bitski, Dapp.com, and DappRadar.

Some of these partners will recreate games from their renowned IPs such as ATARI with their games Roller Coaster Tycoon, Asteroids and Pong that will populate several ESTATEs across the metaverse they will also create a theme-park like universe based on a variety of their game titles.

Shaun the Sheep will build a new version of their Mossy Bottom Farm as well faithful renditions of the Cryptokitties identity.

Others will create unique ecosystem that our communities could bond over like Sandbox Networks the second largest MCN company in Korea, racing games (Battle Racers, Axie Infinity), or simply work towards improving decentralized exchanges together (MakerDAO, Metamask, Matic, OpenSea, DMarket, Opera, Gitcoin or Status.)

And….. last but not least we can also count on partners like Square Enix (with their valuable portfolio of IP, including: FINAL FANTASY, DRAGON QUEST, TOMB RAIDER and many others) that participated in an investment round into The Sandbox last year.

We’ve also new major partnerships ongoing, yet to be announced. These will be Entertainment Brands (think Hollywood Movies) and big Gaming studios.

Part 3. Questions from Eric He, the CEO of LBank

Q4:

Okay. So I think the biggest problem of blockchain games is that its playability is not very strong compared to the traditional games, which has millions of users. In China, for instance, we have an estimated of 8,800 million people that have played games, but just a few of them have played NFT games actually. I think probably because it’s actually very technical and most of the NFT games are not so fun as the traditional video games. So I wonder whether Sandbox has made any efforts in improving the level of playability of the games?

A4:

It’s a very interesting question and definitely over the past 3 years, we already noticed like a great set of improvements in terms of the usability and accessibility to the NFT. First of all, one of the reason why NFT are getting so popular of this is how simple it is to understand compared to crypto currencies. Technically, it’s a digital asset. And what you see, essentially, the digital representation, the visualization of the digital asset is essentially what will drive on your decision to purchase an NFT. So that’s why sports moments, crypto arts etc. are popular now, attracting collectors. It’s easy to decide and say, yes, I like what I’m seeing, I wanna buy it. I can already predict how I’m going to use it if it’s a game item.

If it’s a land and if it’s a real estate, I can also project quite easily what I can do on it because I’m already familiar with the concept of real estate in the real world, like I can buy an empty land to build a business on top of it generating revenue; and I can buy a house renting some of the rooms or apartment rented generating revenue as well. Crypto currency is harder, typically to have this — hah~ I like this token, standly understand and you have to dig into the whitepaper, check community, take the team background, a lot of research comes into play to make a more informed decision. So it’s less of like a passion but more like a brain type of decision.

Second thing like how to access and it is a lot of facilitating elements including from the wallet solution where now you can create what it just was an email or like a social web to point all log in Facebook, Twitter or Google. You don’t have to wonder any more about the complexity of Metamask to be able to access and store and exchange NFT. How you can make payments like this. A lot of block chain project that have also started to accept fiat payment for users to be able to purchase an NFT straight with the credit card and then use them on the different market places. That’s proven to be an efficient strategy since we’re seeing more and more, a growth of the users on certain games like sharia.

However, in Sandbox, our approach is still like since we’re promoting the adoption of Sand, we wanna we keep a little friction on how people can engage with Sand for the first time, because we believe that friction and I say it’s a little friction, it’s not like huge friction. It’s also needed for people to really understand what it means to own an NFT. Why is it different? What is that thing that I’m storing that element? I’m purchasing with something different. All of that is part of the knowledge that you acquire. Once you acquire the knowledge, you also realize the potential, the benefit and be more actively engaged in the community.

So if it’s too, the simplicity sometimes of the NFT the abstraction, the removal of the notion that it’s on the block chain, it makes that there’s no difference with the traditional digital content in a way. And so people tend to all forget that they truly own those assets. They behaved the same way. So that’s, I think being want to go at Sandbox. We’ve been successful at so far like in terms of like the side of our community more than 200,000 members, Twitter 100,000 followers, Discord so 40,000 and Telegram 25,000. And Number of landowners 5,600 land on unique learners which make us the largest most decentralized own virtual land among all the decentralized lands. Number of content on our market plays at our NFT as well and so on like we have been over the past 3 years bringing more users to the block chain, more IP and brand to the block chain for a partnership. So it’s been really exciting that a gaming theatre like sandbox as the potential to drive more and more users to adopt the technology, learn about the benefit of the technology, embrace the idea and become engaged in the community and enjoy the benefit of sense on the platform and enjoy becoming an NFT creator and a NFT user as well.

Q5:

Okay, cool. I totally agree with what you just said. I think there are two kinds of bars when it comes to play NFT games. First of all, I think it’s about usability like what you just said, players need to know how to use wallet and they also need to have a basic knowledge of cryptocurrency. The second bar is, I think , the cognition bar. They don’t understand what NFT is and they don’t know what the value of this NFT product. They don’t have a clear cognition of this. But apart from the two bars I mentioned, NFT is actually has the natural advantage to be combined with the games because we have incentives, the tokens. We can see that the tokens of Sand in the past half years has delivered a great performance in the second market. I wonder that how your team to operate this project to achieve such a success and what’s the product and value logic behind?

A5:

Though well I think like the value of a token comes from like the adoption, the utility, and the demand behind. So those are fundamentals that drive why a token would increase or not in value and that the sandbox I think we have done a good job at delivering on our promises like launching the different products like the box edit or the game maker, the market place in better.

We have done values land sales that you some token most rating the unity of the token and all of them have always been sold out within seconds to minutes. We brought down we brought in major IPs and partners to make their NFT for the first time and enable the users to build their own games, adventures and stories with those NFTs.

The community sees like which projects have been building for a long time have been already delivering at the great community. I have tokens that can be corelated to something some digital value, while other products that don’t. Typically, Sand is progressively. It was not done in in a day or week or month; It took us a year to build the team, to build the product. We took months to list progressively into more and more exchange around the world, facilitating the access to sand token to users in every country, including now in the U.S., in Korea, in China, in the rest of the world. And also to show that Sand as a gaming if you’re interested in gaming, but you don’t really know which project to particularly invest into or follow. If we’re interesting and NFT, but you don’t know also sun makes an interesting value proposition for both gaming and NFT tokens. Because the world is there, you can see the content, you can try the tool, you can see the community, you can see how active users are creating content with those tools. So it’s appealing like you feel like there’s always something going on in sandbox and that’s essentially the beauty of user generated content is always something going on and it’s a great match for the value proposition.

Q6:

Very cool, in China we always says that i see it because i believe in it, which means that blockchain is actually changing so fast that we can only believe in it first and then go back to understand it.

That is what Sandbox is doing as you just said. We have to tell the user what we want to do but it cannot be done in a second. It takes time and efforts to fulfill our promise to the users.

That’s why sandbox has such a good performance. What I am curious about is how you gonna plan for the future in the NFT field?

A6:

Absolutely. The plan is still very in line with what we’ve been doing. The original vision that we started 3 years ago where creating the tools to empower the creators to create games, publish games on their land, monetize games, and gate and return the users behind. So it’s not just about making a game and launching it. It’s also about how do you keep that game updated relevant with activities. So people come back in it and you can create a loyal audience. And that’s all the different systems that we’re putting in place.

Additionally true to the original vision, we’re going to work on how to make sandbox progressively more decentralized to within the next 2 to 3 years, 100% of the land are owned by users, 100% of the Sand are owned by the users as well. And essentially, it will be governed, it’s a better word that’s going to be governed by the users themselves.

Part 4. Questions from Twitter followers

Q7:

Do you think NTF is a bubble? What happens to the this project after the bubble bursts? What are your forecasts for the NFT market?

A7:

I think like indeed there are always for every project user have to be careful like what is it concretely that they are investing in terms of token? What is the utility? What’s the product behind? In fact, that’s young project of being able to raise or of like token evaluation that maybe not correlated with some strong fundamental is not a good sign. However, that shouldn’t remove like that. I was in a large amount of project i’ve been dealing for years. They’ve been established. There are strong communities around it and community really is the key aspect. Everyone should look at first. And if you look at NFT as well mentioning art, sport collectible have been recently rising over the past 2 months, but gamer land is still very under valued in my opinion. Why?

We’re just scratching the surface here like the potential utility and use case for those NFT there are roughly speaking 2.5 billion gamers out there. Whereas there still just millions of users who enter the NFT space. It’s still such a wide gap. It’s not even a single 1% of the potential market size that discovered about NFT. Not all of the NFT will receive the same value. Some probably like 30% of the energy will concentrate 70% of the value and then it will be a long tail. You just have to lose research the project and the NFT with good utility, great use case. That makes sense over a long term like if you just get it because and you forget it and then you forget the next day about that NFT, it’s probably not a good sign.

Q8:

I wonder if you have noticed but there is this news that a Japanese AV actress announced she would issue her own NFT product. How do you think of this?

A8:

Well, I was not aware of the news. So I need to check it in details. What does that mean to convert the product into anNFT if she’s just turning into a digital copy of the product, owning your own limited edition of it. Yes, cool. Maybe you received of the physical and the digital. Yeah, cool maybe. But what’s the real value for your fan, for your community behind like what does it mean for this Japanese actress to have an NFT.

If I brought a picture like what does it mean for brand of celebrity to our presence in the mid hours in the future of the virtual world in mid hours with an NFT, I think it should go beyond that. It should be for focused on like offering to their community, to their fan ways for them to connect closer to the people they are fond of, to get exclusive content, to participate in activities like through the ownership of that NFT maybe they can get access to exclusive event, virtual concert, premier in the virtual world. They can continue receiving exclusive content over time, so it creates a unique relationship that only is the owner of that NFT would be receiving. There’s no one solution fits all because every artist as specific every brand, every celebrity as topics that are closer to their hearts, closer to the earth of the community that specialized into and they should really think like what does it mean for me to engage into this new medium with your platform. That is NFT. Because I do believe NFT is an actual platform of its own. It’s like the NFT and the materials are like the the social media, the Twitter, the Tik Tok of the best. I need that sense.

You don’t just do a one time thing when you enter a social media account, when you launch yourself on the Weibo, WeChat, et cetera. You think of a full strategy and what do you want to offer as exclusive content? How you want to reply to the user, how you’re going to build a plan for the next month and years to come. I think like they should approach it the same way with NFT. You don’t just do a one quick thing and that’s done. Just to say you did it, you did it with a long term vision like imagine your strategy for the next 10 years with an NFT.

Q9:

Thank you so much for answering some unrelated questions. I think NFT can be used to solve many practical problems. In the last meeting, we talked about block chain and we say that in 2017, about 4 years ago, a lot of people were just fabricating stories rather then solving problems. But now we’re really solving problems. I would like to know how do you think about the future of NFT? What’s the biggest flaw it has right now? What’s kind of problems is it supposed to solve? And specifically, how is Sandbox gonna to solve these problems?

A9:

There are many challenges as usual like launching a virtual world to everyone. It’s a challenge you don’t want it to be 20. You want to focus on the first like if you launch a place in a new world or even like a shopping mall and half of the stores are open, there’s nobody that comes. It’s a boring experience. You’re not going to come back the next day even if someone tells you one shop has opened, so it’s important to not miss your launch, make sure you have the great content, the great activities. Things that we’ll drive people back into it.

Other challenges is definitely related to by the scalability of the layer one and how we facilitate transaction, making sure that it can accomodate to the next million of users without recreating your whole technology from scratch. So it’s important. Keep that in mind, not sacrifice the usability, not sacrifice everything you build for the sake of the new chain that being better tested at that same level of scale or doesn’t offer yet the same equivalent in terms of user experience or missing some of the features you need. In comparison, those are important factors to consider as well.

I would say there will be more challenges along the road that we think of in advance. It’s part also of like what makes us as a team. And in general, some of the project being able to grow and be resilient over time like we’ve been through the difficult time in 2018 and 2019 when it was not yet the NFT high. As you say, we hope we’ll still be there continuing to build on boarding more users, more creators, more gamers in2021, 2022, and the years further along following with the capacity to follow on our plans.

Q10:

Okay, one thing you just said and I also agree on is about the scalability and the performance of the chain. Most of the NFT projects are based on the Ethereum. What do you think is the future of Ethereum in terms of the scalability and also in terms of the layer two?

A10:

That’s a great question. It’s one of the point I was alluding to. And I wanted to mention like essentially Ethereum is the block chain that has the largest developers community as of now the largest two sets. So you don’t need to reinvent everything. Smart contracts already you can build standards like we did. We’ve been building on the Ethereum for now 3 years, it’s operational. You can use and interact with it. Now, if 02.0 is coming, it’s coming sooner than expected. It does great benefits that are interesting. And this is already great because all of the ropers should be able to benefit from it in a more or less similar manner.

In the meantime, there are solutions. Bridges typically, they are layer two solutions that offer more or less of certain features set that are important to look at in case of smart contract capability ,NFT capability and a few other things. But overall they are doing already a great job with some of products running alive. So that’s that’s really good to know.

There are older chains where NFT are growing as well. So that’s fantastic. Because it means that new project can come, they don’t necessarily need to be all concentrated on one block chain like NFT’s on Flow, NFTs on Wax and NFTs on Binance smart chain, yes, many. It show that the success of the Dapp does not rely on anymore on the success of the network or protocol behind. And like users are attracted first by the value of the game to the eye, the value of the NFTs, the phone. That’s all great science. All I’m saying like in 2021, the picture is a little bit different than it used to be a few years ago. But overall, as a team that builds a product, once you choose the technology, you usually try to stick to it because you’re going to invest for many years in development for that.

Q11:

We’ve seen that sandbox has tried many things. It has tried, like you said, the Binance Smart Chain. But apart from it, we know that there are many other chains like Solana, Heco, and Flow. Does sandbox have any plans about deploying project on these pre-mentioned public chains?

A11:

As I mentioned, like it’s really interesting to see like the cards of different in 2021, there are NFT is appearing into multiple of those chains. We’ve been looking more carefully at which feature set up being supported or not. All the block chain are ready to adopt yet all the whole set that we’ve developed at sandbox, which rely on pretty complex smart contract, typically for supporting users and rated content NFTs.

The one approach that we found and could be working really well is the notion of bridges to the faculty for users to move their asset from Ethereum layer one to other chains and be able that enjoy older benefits. They’re like swapping, Ethereum, et cetera. That’s, I think more immediate value proposition for everyone. That can be a middle ground solution for the users without having the project move entirely to a new chain, which would mean a lot of engineering work before we move instead of building all the features of the platform. Overall we look at very many change, but we care for as well as what features the support.

Q12:

Well, due to limited time, we have one last question today, also from one of our Twitter followers. As the recent debate and hype about NFT is all focused on artworks, or game like Sandbox, he wanna ask you is there any other application or utility of NFTs?

A12:

As I mentioned, NFT can be any sort of digital asset class. They can represent like domaines. They can represent art, collectibles, virtual lands, a variable fashion, tokenized assets, can be like wine, luxury, cars, real world properties. The idea is like this. Really no limitation what they can be used for. And I think the more people are using interacting with NFT and by understanding the benefit, the more use case we’re going to see as well. That makes the space really exciting.

Eric He/LBank

At last, thank you so much, Sebastian. And we are very thankful and grateful that you would love to be interviewed by LBank.

Sebastien/ Sandbox

Thank you very much! I hope that you enjoy learning more about Sandbox!

— — END of AMA — —

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