In the not-so-distant future, metaverses will contain complex living, breathing metropolises full of booming economies and plenty of full-time job opportunities, both formal and informal; it will most likely take us at least a few years to get to this point.

Metaverse-Busy-City Cryptocurrency
The metaverse will eventually host bustling realistic-looking cities and thriving economies.

The vision of the metaverse is to eventually have a single massive overarching metaverse linking many smaller metaverses. This idea is comparable to having many different websites linked across a single internet. Ideally, people will eventually be able to seamlessly transfer their avatars and possessions between different metaverses, like traveling to and from different neighborhoods within a city.

Although different metaverses are currently isolated and disconnected, the vision is for them to eventually become linked and integrated.

However, in these early stages, as of now we have only a handful of rudimentary metaverses that are completely cut off from one another. Today, most of these early metaverses resemble massively multiplayer online (MMO) games with slightly outdated graphics.

Even though they are still in their infancies, there are already various different opportunities to make money from within some of these primordial metaverses. These metaverses are either already open to everyone, or are set to be publically released in 2022. Some of these metaverses saw astounding amounts of money poured into them throughout 2021, as well as massive returns on investments within a few short months.

Throughout the next few years, thousands of different careers and opportunities to make money will sprout up in the metaverse, but even now there are already different methods of earning income within the budding metaverses already in existence.

Here are 8 possible methods of making real money from the metaverse as of now (January 2022):

1) Investing in the Cryptocurrency of a Specific Metaverse

If you believe that a country is about to go through an economic boom and a period of rapid development, then you may want to buy some of that country’s currency. It’s the same principle in the metaverse, except with exponentially increased volatility.

These are the 10 biggest metaverse cryptocurrencies as of January 2022, based on market cap. See a full list of the top metaverse tokens and coins here.

Metaverses have their own economies, and most of these economies are powered by cryptocurrencies.

If a metaverse were only powered by a digital currency (which is not based on a blockchain) rather than by a cryptocurrency (which is based on a blockchain), then users of that metaverse would basically just be trusting the company that built that metaverse to hold onto their money for them. This would majorly deter people from investing any large amount of money into that particular metaverse. On the other hand, when a metaverse’s economy is powered by a cryptocurrency, no central authority can ever withhold people’s money or “take the keys and run”.

2021 saw an exponential increase in the value of most major metaverse cryptocurrencies, cumulating with a parabolic jump when Facebook rebranded itself as “Meta”.

MANA (currently the largest metaverse cryptocurrency by market cap) to USD in the last year and a half.

2) Investing in the Metaverse Index

“Metaverse Index” (MVI)

Similar to how the S&P 500 and Dow Jones capture trends in the US stock market, the metaverse also has an index that captures trends among different metaverse cryptocurrencies.

As of now, “Metaverse Index” (MVI) is made up of 15 different metaverse-related tokens (cryptocurrencies).

However, about 60% of MVI is currently allocated only between ILV (Illuvium), SAND (The Sandbox), MANA (Decentraland) and AXS (Axie Infinity). MVI is also a token (a cryptocurrency) in and of itself.

Tokens in the Metaverse Index
MVI is 60% made up of ILV, SAND, MANA and AXS.

Investing in the metaverse index is a less volatile and less risky way of investing in the metaverse. It may be a better option for people who don’t want to put all of their eggs into one basket by investing in only one particular metaverse.

3) Buying or Creating NFTs and Then Selling Them for a Profit

NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) make up much of the content inside of metaverses. NFTs in a metaverse can be anything from avatars, clothes/accessories for avatars, items/weapons for games, pets, vehicles, decorations, furniture, art, music, videos entire buildings or even plots of land.

Most clothing items (“wearables”) in Decentraland are NFTs.

Metaverses typically have marketplaces where anybody can buy or sell different NFTs using the cryptocurrency of that particular metaverse. As a metaverse increases in popularity and value, it’s likely that many NFTs used in that metaverse will also increase in value.

Anybody can sell NFT clothing items (“wearables”) on the Decentraland marketplace.

One possibility for making money is to buy an NFT and sit on it for a period of time before selling it, hopefully for a profit. As well, people can sometimes earn NFTs by playing games or completing tasks in a metaverse. Another method is to invest your time in developing and creating your own NFTs for a metaverse, and then sell them at that metaverse’s marketplace.

The Sandbox contains an editor (“VoxEdit“) that makes it extremely simple to create NFTs out of 3D pixels (“voxels“), and then upload these NFTs for sale to The Sandbox’s marketplace.

The Sandbox metaverse advertises that once it fully launches in 2022, anybody will be able to sell voxel NFTs on their marketplace. However, as of now (prerelease), only people hired by (people who have signed a contract with) The Sandbox are able to sell NFTS on The Sandbox marketplace.

As graphics and network technology improve, NFTs in the metaverse will begin to look more and more lifelike.

Selling NFT Art at Exhibitions

Various different types of galleries already exist in different metaverses.

As of now, the most common type of NFT is a digital work of art as a 2D image (usually a JPEG). Within metaverses, people can showcase and sell their NFT images in virtual art galleries and auction houses.

The 277-year-old Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest art brokers, opened up an auction house in the Decentraland metaverse in 2021, where they auction off NFTs.

Again, you could either buy, sit on and then sell NFT digital art for (hopefully) a profit, or create and sell your own. The value of most NFTs exploded throughout 2021. Many people believe that in a few years’ time, NFTs will continue to appreciate in value.

NFT floor price chart
NFTs saw an unprecedented explosion in popularity and value during 2021.

For more information about NFT images as digital art, check out this article here: What Are NFTs and Why Are People Spending Millions of Dollars on Them?

4) Play-to-Earn Games

There’s been a recent trend among metaverse games to reward cryptocurrency or NFTs to people who accomplish tasks, win against other players or get the highest scores. There are a variety of different current and up-and-coming “play-to-earn” games promising players economic returns in exchange for their time and attention.

However, the reality is, rather than offering “money for time“, you’ll find that most of these games are actually only offering “money for money” when you cut through the complexities of their systems and economies. Almost all play-to-earn games require an initial purchase (usually of an NFT) in order to begin earning, as well as future purchases in order to earn more. Therefore, It’s more accurate to look at play-to-earn games as investments, rather than as free money.

As well, as of now, most popular play-to-earn games are fairly small, 2D and linear; they’re not exactly what you’d call metaverses.

As of now, most play-to-earn games are small fairly basic-looking 2D games.
Clockwise from top left: “Town Star”, “Splinterlands”, “Thetan Arena” and “Gods Unchained”.

However, in the future, different types of smaller play-to-earn games will likely be widespread as games embedded within an overarching metaverse (making that metaverse a “play-to-earn metaverse”). A way to look at it is like a large arcade building (the overarching metaverse) being full of a plethora of different types of games (the smaller play-to-earn games) where you can earn real money (cryptocurrency) or prizes (NFTs) (that you could then sell for real money).

Still, play-to-earn games can already be a decent way to make money now if you choose the right game, are willing to spend some money first, are skillful enough and have time to commit.

As of now, there are a variety of different games rapidly in development to take advantage of this new trend, a trend that was primarily sparked by the famous play-to-earn game, “Axie Infinity“.

Axie Infinity

As a case study, Axie Infinity is probably the most successful play-to-earn game to date. In order to play this game, you first need to purchase 3 NFTs (digital creatures called “Axies”). Around Axie Infinity’s peak in 2021, people were paying over $1,000 for 3 of them.

The creatures (“Axies”) in Axie Infinity are actually NFTs that can be bought and sold for hundreds of dollars each. You must buy 3 of them before you can begin playing Axie Infinity.

After that, through investing their time and skill, players can earn cryptocurrency by battling their Axies and completing other tasks. They can also breed their Axies to earn more NFTs (the baby Axies). In 2021, many people were making over $400 a month (some a lot more) from playing this game for a few hours a day.

Axie Infinity particularly caught on in the Philippines, where hundreds of thousands of people were earning more from playing Axie Infinity than they were through their jobs in real life. Many people in Southeast Asia have even been using play-to-earn games’ wallets as replacements for actual bank accounts.

During mid-2021, many people in the Philippines were earning considerably more money playing Axie Infinity than they were at their actual jobs.

If you want to invest money in Axie Infinity, but not time, another option is to buy the Axies (NFTs) and then rent them out to other players (“scholars”) who will spend a few hours a day playing the game for you in exchange for a percent of the profits.


Although Axie Infinity broke ground in the play-to-earn world, 2022 is set to see the release of dozens of other anticipated games with play-to-earn structures and economies, some with more modern-looking graphics and metaverse-esque 3D worlds.

5) Buying or Creating Monetized Games or Experiences

In many metaverses, it is possible to create games that other users can play. Alternatively, you could just buy a game that someone else created. There are then ways to monetize these games that you own.

For years, people have been creating games inside of Roblox, a platform (often described as one of the first basic metaverses) that allows users to easily and simply design games, without requiring advanced coding knowledge. Within these games, game owners can sell items, upgrades or clothing for avatars. Transactions are done using Robux (a digital currency) that can then be sold for real money.

People can use “Roblox Studio” to create games for Roblox that can be monetized.
Roblox-Developer-Income-Chart
Roblox has exploded in popularity since COVID-19 first began. As a result, the amount of money flowing through Roblox to game creators has also increased dramatically.

Relatedly, The Sandbox metaverse contains a “Game Maker” that allows users to easily create their own games. Game creators then have the option of charging other people a fee to play their games. No coding knowledge is required for this.

However, to monetize a game in The Sandbox you will need to own or rent some land where you can deploy your game. Another option is to make a game and then just sell the entire game to another person.

People can use The Sandbox Game Maker to create a game. If they own or rent a piece of land, they can then charge other users a fee to access their game.

As more and more complex metaverses come to fruition, expect to see continue to see this theme of populating metaverses with user-created games and content.

6) Freelance Work Creating or Constructing Metaverse Assets for Others

The metaverse is full of people who want to own personalized and unique digital possessions (and avatars), yet they don’t want to spend the time (or they don’t know how to) create these things themselves. If you invest a bit of time learning how to create items in the metaverse, then people are willing to pay for this service.

Developers can often find freelance work creating avatars and items for The Sandbox on Fiverr.com.
Voxel art for The Sandbox is incredibly easy to learn how to create; it only takes a few hours to learn.

People may want to hire out a freelancer to create avatars, digital clothes, items, or even entire games within a metaverse. As well, metaverse “landowners” may look to freelancers to “constructbuildings on their properties.

Developers can often find freelance work creating avatars and items for Decentraland on Fiverr.com.
Constructing items for Decentraland requires more skill and knowledge.

A Metaverse “Architect”/”Construction Worker”

Metaverses are full of “land” that people can own. Individuals and companies that own this land usually want to build things on their land, whether just for pride or for monetization. These structures could be anything from houses, stores, malls, galleries, museums, casinos, venues, company branches, theme parks or whatever else.

Many landowners may want to hire “architects”/”construction workers” to create unique buildings on their land for them.

Just like individuals and businesses hire freelancers to design websites on the traditional internet, people often hire freelancers (“architects”/”construction workers”) to create buildings in the metaverse.

Developers can often find freelance work constructing buildings for the metaverse on Fiverr.com.

7) Purchasing Real Estate Inside of a Metaverse

This is the most expensive option for investing in the metaverse, yet opens up doors to a multitude of avenues of generating income, including passive income.

When buying virtual real estate, the first and most important thing to do is to carefully research and select a metaverse that you believe will have a prosperous future. When buying real estate in the real world, you’d want to choose a country, city and neighborhood that you believe will see an abundance of development and an increase in value; generally, the quicker the better. The same concepts apply when choosing a metaverse.

As of now, the two most valuable and popular metaverses with purchasable real estate are Decentraland and The Sandbox. Just a year ago, you could buy a small piece of land in each of these metaverses for under $1,000. Now, the cheapest land you can buy is currently over $10,000. Late 2021 witnessed people selling pieces of land for profits of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. There have even been a few sales in the millions too.

This is a real estate map of The Sandbox. Each square represents a plot of “LAND” (an NFT). LAND around Snoop Dogg (left) is currently selling for especially high prices.

When you buy land in either Decentraland or The Sandbox. The land is actually an NFT stored on the Ethereum blockchain. As a piece of land is an NFT, each piece is completely unique (like real land) and cannot be duplicated or stolen. As well, you actually own the land, nobody else does; the company who created the metaverse doesn’t own any NFT (including land) that you’ve purchased.

Another option is to research and check out other up-and-coming metaverses that have more affordable land prices. It’s possible that a year from now the land prices in newer metaverses may increase exponentially, just like the land prices in Decentraland and The Sandbox did.

Making Money off of Your Real Estate

Both the size and location (whether or not it’s in a popular high-traffic area) of your real estate are going to contribute to how much income you’ll be able to earn from the following avenues:

1) Sell the Land for (Hopefully) a Profit at a Later Date

People who bought real estate in Decentraland or The Sandbox a year ago are almost 1,000% richer now than they were then. Just like land in the real world, land in a metaverse will appreciate in value if the entire metaverse also appreciates in value.

Furthermore, popular locations (such as Snoop Dogg’s mansion in The Sandbox) being constructed in the vicinity of your land could cause the value of your land to skyrocket.

The land surrounding Snoop Dogg’s mansion in The Sandbox has especially exploded in value.

2) Build a Store and Sell Things

Metaverse-Shop-Decentraland

You could build an actual “physical store” that sells products or services that exist in the real world (similar to an e-commerce website). Alternatively (or in addition), your store could sell NFTs that only exist in that metaverse. Finally, your store could not even sell products, but could just be there as a landmark to promote brand awareness for people that pass by; perhaps it could also include a link to a website.

Your store could sell your own products and services, or your store could act as an intermediary retailer, selling somebody else’s products and services.

From small mom-and-pop shops to large world-famous companies, many different brands are starting to develop a presence in the metaverse.

3) Build an Art Gallery and Host Exhibitions

An NFT art gallery in Decentraland.

After building an art gallery, you could charge NFT artists to showcase their works of art in your gallery. You could host large exhibitions in your gallery and market these exhibitions across the metaverse to try and boost attendance; this could also be a service that you charge for. The more well-known your gallery becomes, the more people will pay to host their art there.

4) Build a Venue and Host Events

You could charge to host concerts, shows, festivals or events on your property if you construct a suitable venue such as a bar, nightclub, stage, concert hall or conference center. Again, the more well-known your venue becomes, the more you’ll be able to charge bands, speakers and businesses to rent out your venue.

5) Build or Buy a Monetized Game or Experience for Your Land

Your land could host monetized games, the types of which would vary based on which metaverse you are in.

In The Sandbox, the user-created games are adventure-style platforming games involving swords and monsters, slightly resembling Minecraft.

The Sandbox

In other metaverses, you could potentially create or buy traditional-style games such as billiards, golf, board games, darts etc, that you could then monetize.

Decentraland

As metaverses become more complex and advanced, they’ll allow people to get creative and build unique types of games/experiences, whether a rollercoaster, a safari with animals, a climbing wall, a replica of a famous landmark in the real world or whatever else you can think of and build. Keep in mind, that most metaverses will eventually be experienced primarily through Virtual Reality (VR) headsets with touch controllers (or VR gloves).

6) Advertise on Your Land or Buildings

Depending on what you have constructed on your land already, people could pay you to put up banners, posters, billboards, large 3D objects or whatever else to advertise their products or services. These advertisements could be for products and services that exist only in the real world, exist only in the metaverse or exist in both the real world and the metaverse (like Nike). Owners of land in high-traffic areas in popular metaverses will be able to charge a premium.

7) Rent Your Land Out

You could rent your land, or portions of your land, to others. They could then construct something on that land to make a profit using one of the methods above.

Alternatively, you could first construct the buildings, and then rent the buildings out to others long-term. This could also include homes where people could “live” and show off their NFTs. Furthermore, you could even build a “mall” of sorts and rent out space within the mall to a variety of different sellers.

Axie Infinity has a store in a mall in Decentraland.

Buy Traditional Stocks of Companies Who Will Be Heavily Involved in Building and Developing the Metaverse

Various tech giants are currently charging headlong into the metaverse, putting billions of dollars worth of money, resources and employees toward building and developing the metaverse. If the metaverse blows up (in a good way) as everyone anticipates, then their stocks are going to soar.

It could be worthwhile to take some time to research which companies are likely to be involved in, and profit from, developing the metaverse.

Check out this article for information about 5 different companies who are likely to emerge as leaders in developing and building the metaverse: 5 Long-Term Metaverse Stocks to Get In Early On in 2022


As metaverses grow and eventually become linked together, the possibilities to earn income will also increase. From freelance work to entrepreneurship to full-time employment, there will likely be similar types of jobs in the metaverse as there are in the real world:

Potential Types of Jobs We Could See Inside the Metaverse in the Near Future

  • Real Estate Agents
  • Stock Brokers (including for cryptocurrencies)
  • Customer Service Representatives (inside of companies’ metaverse buildings)
  • Sales Clerks (inside of stores)
  • Event Managers
  • Casino Managers (Decentraland actually already has a few of these)
  • Museum Managers
  • Gallery Managers
  • Tour Guides
  • Teachers & Tutors
  • Architects“/”Construction Workers” (3D Digital Designers)
  • Fashion Designers” (3D Digital Designers)
  • Artists who Create Objects, Vehicles, Games & Experiences (3D Digital Designers)
  • Police” and “Judicial Workers” (like Moderators and Facebook’s Community Standards Team)

Metaverses and their economies are still budding, but as they begin to take shape, the amount of money flowing into and within metaverses will be world-changing. Crypto goliath Grayscale predicts that the metaverse will become a “$1 trillion annual revenue market opportunity“.

Major companies are starting to spend money on investing in the metaverse.

It will be a few years before the world’s leading tech companies fully develop their own mainstream metaverses and economies. Furthermore, once they do, it will most likely be something that uplifts all metaverses and the idea of the metaverse in general, just like Facebook’s rebranding to “Meta” benefitted almost all current metaverses financially.

Rather than wait for that though, there are already metaverses in existence now that offer multiple different opportunities for earning income; these “original” metaverses and their economies are expeditiously expanding every day.


What do you think? Do you know of any other methods to earn income from, or profit from, any of the current (or coming soon) metaverses? Let’s hear it in the comments.

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