- Mason Versluis browses the web for new projects that have the potential to go mainstream.
- He bought HBAR, XRP, and QNT before they all spiked more than 600%.
- Now, he’s betting on metaverse-linked cryptos because he says that’s the obvious new wave.
Mason Versluis, who goes by Crypto Mason on TikTok, began investing in crypto in 2017. Since then, he’s spent his time browsing the web for new projects that have the potential to go mainstream.
He bought hedera (HBAR), which could prove to be an ethereum competitor, when it was at $0.03. It has since gone up by about 1,200%. He bought ripple’s xrp at $0.17, and it’s since up 600%. And he bought the ethereum-based quant (QNT) at $28, which is up about 864%, according to screenshots of the transactions Insider viewed.
In the past five months, Versluis has had his eyes on cryptos tied to the metaverse, a sort of digital universe that allows people to interact in virtual worlds. And he said his interest had nothing to do with Facebook’s big metaverse splash and rebrand to Meta. What sparked his attention was a tweet about someone selling a virtual property in one of these digital worlds for $913,000.
Like blockchains, there are numerous metaverses, each operating slightly differently. And like cellphone games and video games, each metaverse looks and works differently. In one, you could purchase virtual real estate and build on your land. In another, you could slay dragons.
“It’s an online virtual world that you can exist in just like you exist in the physical world,” Versluis said. “You can meet other people. You can play games. You can shop.”
While Facebook’s announcement prompted the spike in mainstream interest around metaverses, the company and its highly centralized platform isn’t exactly favored by the crypto community, Versluis said.
“There’s, like, an adoption curve to these things. So Facebook’s awareness blast is the first step to mass adoption,” Versluis said.
People will be able to hop onto different metaverses they prefer. Some metaverses may even have interoperability, allowing users to merge two platforms, he added.
But whether you’re a gamer or not, the opportunities for investors in the metaverse are as diverse as in the crypto space. And Versluis said it was not something to be overlooked.
“They should be looking at this like the obvious new wave because if a trillion-dollar company like Facebook is taking a step that big, it’s very clear where the world is headed,” Versluis said. “So as an investor, you should be trying to capitalize on this new wave.”
Some of these metaverses are effectively built on well-known blockchains like ethereum. But they have their own tokens people can use as a native currency within the game. This means the value of a metaverse’s token can skyrocket if the virtual world gets popular enough.
Since many of these projects are in their early stages and don’t have mass adoption, investing remains highly risky and highly volatile. That’s why Versluis is sticking to projects that he’s seeing momentum in and those that have partnerships with big companies.
“The money being pumped in might be temporary because it has been a lot, so naturally things are going to correct,” Versluis said. “But in the long term, this is going to explode. I can say with personally 100% confidence that this is the future.”
In an interview with Insider, he shared the five cryptos he’s betting on that are tied to the metaverse.
The first pick is Decentraland, which uses the token mana. The piece of digital land that sold for almost $913,000 was built within this ecosystem. And it’s one of the leading metaverses built on ethereum.
Decentraland is quite the opposite of Facebook’s metaverse because it’s run by the community, not a centralized company, Versluis said.
Within this digital world, you can shop in a marketplace, play games, and buy and build plots of land. And yes, you’ll need mana to transact. Mana was last trading at $2.74, according to CoinMarketCap, up about 1,042% year to date.
The next project is Metahero, which uses the hero token. This project isn’t building another metaverse but the hardware required to merge our world with the digital. Its key product is a large scanner that scans people and objects and creates a version of them for the digital world.
“So what they’re doing is trying to build the largest database, and this is going to help us continue to merge the physical and digital world. It’s essentially like a physical portal,” Versluis said.
Hero was last trading at $0.16, according to CoinMarketCap, up 2,062% year to date.
The next project is The Sandbox, a leading contender for the metaverse that’s ethereum-based. Its token is sand. According to its website, you can “play, create, own, and govern a virtual metaverse” that’s created by the community or its players.
Rather than holding this crypto, Versluis told Insider he had been trading it because he hadn’t done enough in-depth research to determine whether this would be a longer-term hold.
As of Wednesday, sand was last trading around $3, according to CoinMarketCap, but it’s up a whopping 8,233% year to date.
Steve Ehrlich, the CEO of Voyager Digital, also recently told Insider that “there’s definitely still further room to grow” in both Decentraland and Sandbox because of the metaverse opportunity.
The next contender Versluis is invested in is Hedera, which isn’t a metaverse or a blockchain but a hashgraph. Its crypto is hbar. He’s picked this project because it has a metaverse project being built on it known as Vccess, another metaverse that uses nonfungible tokens, rather than crypto.
Hedera’s platform is enterprise-driven, and its governing council includes global organizations such as Boeing, IBM, and Google. It’s not the favorite among the crypto community because of its lack of decentralized features relative to blockchains. But for traditional investors who are more familiar with stocks than blockchains, this may be a bit closer to home.
As of Wednesday, hbar was trading at $0.39, up 1,119% year to date.
Finally, Versluis said not to forget about ether because its blockchain hosts the two biggest metaverse contenders, Decentraland and The Sandbox.