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The Sandbox

Last Updated: September 20, 2023

The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences using non-fungible tokens(NFTs) and $SAND, the platform’s utility token. Players can create digital assets in the form of NFTs, upload them to the marketplace, and integrate into games with The Sandbox Game Maker. The Sandbox virtual world is made up of LAND – digital pieces of real estate – in The Sandbox metaverse that players can buy to build experiences on top of.


The Sandbox project was initially started in 2012 on mobile platforms which to date have gathered more than 40 million global installs on mobile devices. In January 2018, The Sandbox project started developing a new version of the game – a 3D, multiplayer platform using blockchain technology (Ethereum) to offer a virtual world where players can build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences.

The Sandbox aims to bring blockchain into mainstream gaming, attracting both crypto and non-crypto game enthusiasts by offering the advantages of true-ownership, digital scarcity, monetization capabilities, and interoperability across games.


The Sandbox platform currently runs exclusively on Ethereum, which is used to record the ownership of tokens and allow owners to transfer, sell, or use them without restrictions. IPFS is used to store all related information of ASSETS, and ensures that this information cannot be changed without the permission from respective owners.The ERC-20 standard is used for the SAND, GEM, and CATALYST tokens, while ERC-1155 and ERC-721 standards are used for the storage and trading of LAND and ASSETS.

The Sandbox gaming environment will be divided into 5 types of tokens:

  • SAND – the in-game currency used across The Sandbox ecosystem
  • LANDS – worlds in which players play that are created by the community
  • ASSETS – voxel models created by players and traded in the marketplace)
  • GEMS – burnt to give attributes to ASSETS. GEMS are ERC20 tokens.
  • CATALYSTS – burnt to mint ASSETS. Depending on their power, they allow users to associate a certain number of GEMS to an ASSET. CATALYSTS are ERC20 tokens

The Sandbox platform architecture is composed of several components. In terms of blockchain integration, The Sandbox uses a traditional backend running on the cloud (currently using AWS) to support its web frontend. An S3 bucket is used to store the asset of the artist before they get minted. While The Sandbox currently guarantees the privacy of an artist’s work (to protect their work from being copied prior to minting), the team envisions that later systems will prevent even The Sandbox from viewing an artist’s work pre-minting.

Once a UGC asset is minted, The Sandbox backend releases the ASSET on IPFS so that it becomes publicly tradeable. The Sandbox smart contract records the hash of every ASSET so that the owner of the ASSET will always be able to prove ownership of not only the number recorded on the blockchain (which many projects in the blockchain gaming space stop there) but also the voxel model and various renders.

The overall Sandbox architecture and respective components are as follows:

  • Creators can create ASSETS with VoxEdit, and upload those ASSETS through the browser
  • Metamask – a web3 provider – acts as an intermediary between the users and Ethereum
  • A browser in which the user will interact with the smart contracts and our server
  • The smart contracts running on the blockchain
  • The Sandbox server currently hosted on AWS
  • The backend is being developed with Node.js, which manages the creation of an asset on S3, generating a Hash ID for that ASSET, which is sent back to the frontend so it can begin the transaction using the smart contract.
  • Finally, once a transaction is confirmed The Sandbox releases the asset on the IPFS network. ensuring that future owners will always be able to prove that what graphical representation they hold is indeed the original one.


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