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Metaverse Reborn With BTC? Sandbox Owner Animoca Brands “Comes to Bitcoin”

Last Updated 34 seconds ago
James Morales
Last Updated 34 seconds ago
By James Morales
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • Animoca Brands and an alliance of Web3 developers are backing a new Bitcoin metaverse platform called OPAL.
  • OPAL will a new Runes token BLIF to facilitate economic activity.
  • Early projects are focused on gaming but the OPAL lite paper describes a more expansive range of potential applications.

Although Web3 gaming can be found across the cryptoverse, with Ethereum, Polygon, Solana and other blockchains supporting dozens of games each, the field isn’t typically associated with Bitcoin. 

But now, Animoca Brands , owner of the Sandbox metaverse, has embarked on a mission to build a whole new GameFi ecosystem on Bitcoin. This move could see a reemergence of metaverse technology on a blockchain not normally associated with that kind of thing. 

Animoxa and Web3 Gaming Embrace Bitcoin Runes

Blockchain games developers have traditionally gravitated toward platforms like Solana and Immutable X that can support huge volumes of in-game economic activity without incurring excessive gas fees. 

In contrast, Bitcoin token standards have traditionally been far too expensive to use at any real scale. 

With the recently launched Runes protocol, however, minting fungible tokens is now considerably cheaper than it was previously. 

Taking advantage of the new standard, Animoca and other Web3 brands intend to create a decentralized platform for gaming, entertainment, commerce and more powered by a new Runes token: BLIF.

Big Plans For BLIF

BLIF will be the native crypto for something called the OPAL protocol. This new platform is designed “to transcend traditional boundaries and scale the economic potential of the metaverse to rival world economies.”

What the project’s website describes is essentially a Bitcoin Layer 2 that integrates Ordinals NFTs and uses BLIF as its native token. But without a technical white paper,  it is difficult to discern how the protocol will work in concrete terms.

What is clear, however, is that Animoca Brands and its OPAL collaborators have ambitions to reshape the metaverse concept.

Not Just Gaming

Early promotional materials for the new platform emphasize open-world games like Life Beyond. But OPAL’s lite paper describes a much more expansive ecosystem.

Hinting at Bitcoin’s appeal as a hedge against inflation in many countries, the paper states that BLIF “is more than a currency”.

It adds: “It’s a gateway to a multitude of services and experiences, specifically tailored to empower users in emerging economies.”

The paper goes on to describe a hypothetical virtual marketplace powered by OPAL that uses BLIF to facilitate trade. In this scenario, it argues that merchants would gain access to a global customer base and sophisticated Metaverse sales platform. At the same time, they could shelter from the high inflation that affects many emerging economies.

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