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Decentraland: An Overview

Jun 25, 2022

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Contents:

 

What Is Decentraland?

 

Decentraland is a 3D, browser-based application that allows users worldwide to create and share experiences, communicate with one another online, own and sell land, and participate in a wholly digital economy, all within a seamless virtual world. The platform's name comes from the fact that it is entirely decentralized and is managed and governed by its DAO instead of the foundation that created it.

 

At launch in 2017, plots of land sold for around $20. By its latest peak in early 2022, the floor price for land was just under $13,000. It is typically regarded as a pioneer in its niche and one of the top decentralized metaverses.

 

Disclaimer: Nothing you find on this page or anywhere else on our website should be considered financial advice. We may own assets in any metaverse mentioned below. We do not recommend buying or selling assets described here. Please do your own research and fully examine the risks associated with owning digital assets before investing.  

 

 

Who Created Decentraland?

 

Decentraland has been in development since 2015. The concept and platform were developed by Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano. Both Meilich and Ordano’s respective experiences prior to launching the project include work for large tech companies including Google and various blockchain organizations.   

 

In 2020, Meilich went on to found Big Time studios, a leading web3 game developer. 

 

How to Access Decentraland

 

To access Decentraland, users will start by connecting a crypto wallet to their account. If you’ve never set up a wallet before, we put together an easy-to-follow guide to get you started with one of the most popular options: MetaMask.

 

Once you have your wallet set up and connected to your browser, either follow the prompts on Decentraland’s homepage to connect or follow any hyperlinks linking to specific experiences --. you’ll come across more as you follow the Decentraland community.

 

Once you’ve loaded in, you can personalize your avatar and interact with the world as you wish. 

 

To get started customizing your avatar:

  • Click the circle with your headshot in it in the top right corner of the screen while in the world. 
  • Click “backpack” at the top of the screen and you can navigate between different types of default clothing and gear to customize the look of your avatar.

 

If you receive NFT wearables for your character at the wallet address you’ve created, you’ll see those appear in the backpack whenever you are in Decentraland.

 


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Land in Decentraland

 

Land in Decentraland is a non-fungible digital asset (NFT) maintained in an Ethereum smart contract. Each LAND token includes a record of its owner, its coordinates, and a reference to the content description file, which describes and encodes all experiences associated with that plot of land.

 

There are 90,601 total plots of land, broken down into private parcels, districts, roads, and plazas, similar to the mechanics of The Sandbox. Parcels in Decentraland can be purchased on supported NFT marketplaces like OpenSea.

 

PRIVATE PARCELS

 

These can be bought and sold, and are all the standard size: 16m x 16m, or 52ft x 52ft. Height is restricted by certain limitations. 

 

Two or more parcels can be combined into an estate, which greatly expands the possibilities for content creation.  

 

Roads

 

Roads were originally designed as transportation networks, however users typically rely on teleportation to move between areas.  

 

Plazas

 

Plazas, like roads, are not for sale and represent public areas meant to engage and educate users. There are nine plazas, each owned by the Decentraland Foundation and are built to serve as welcoming introductory spaces for newcomers as well as respawn zones.

 

What Drives Land Value

 

Decentraland was designed with a few key land value factors in mind.   

 

Location

 

Location was originally intended to be a main value factor for private parcels. The closer a plot is to a road or plaza, the higher expected foot traffic should be. 

 

In theory, being adjacent to a road should increase the potential for land holders near central hubs to profit off experiences built on their land, as they would be readily visible for users passing through. However, the frequent use of teleportation greatly diminishes the impact of location as a value driver.  

 

Size

 

Generally speaking, more space means more freedom to build content and flesh out experiences. While there can be exceptions, larger estates will have more opportunity for value creation than small parcels, as they have a wider range of possibilities for the content they can build on their land.  

 

Scarcity

 

There is a fixed supply of plots available to hold, so if demand for land grows as time goes on, prices will be driven up accordingly. The only scenario in which total land supply can increase is through a vote by Decentrland’s DAO.

 

Each lot exists within the same virtual world and is identified by its specific x,y coordinates. As users continue to develop these areas, they can become entire districts full of original content discoverable and explorable by other users.

 

What Is There To Do In Decentraland?

 

Decentraland is filled with points of interest and live events to explore.

 

Everyrealm has purchased and developed an entire fashion district in Decentraland. This space, Metajuku, provides a space for users to visit, view, and buy from several third-party retailers.  It includes virtual storefronts by DressX, J.P. Morgan, and more.

 

We also host Secret Coords, a recurring dance party featuring well-known DJs and performers. Sign up for our email list at the link above to get a reminder for the next event!

 

You can own in-game assets with your wallet via purchasing them on the marketplace or as airdrops by participating in events and playing games in Decentraland. Currently, two tokens govern transactions within the virtual world: LAND and MANA. 

 

With MANA, users can purchase land, wearables, or even digital art from NFT art shows. When a user purchases a parcel of land with MANA, that user receives a LAND token containing the coordinates and details of the virtual real estate. 

 

As more brands enter the metaverse, Decentraland will likely include more interesting destinations and events.

 

How Does MANA Work?

 

MANA is the cryptocurrency that powers Decentraland’s economy. According to CoinMarketCap, there are 1.84 billion MANA tokens in circulation with a fully diluted market cap of just under $2.5 billion USD as of May 22, 2022.

 

MANA is the 35th largest cryptocurrency by market cap as of May 2022. The token complies with the ERC20 standard, meaning it is fully compatible with the Ethereum blockchain.  

 

Completing transactions in Decentraland is only possible using MANA tokens. Users can visit various shops within the Decentraland metaverse to purchase clothing and other items in a dynamic marketplace.   

 

Furthermore, these tokens also give users governance rights over the platform itself. By logging into Decentraland’s governance site, MANA-owners can read and vote on current proposals for changes to be made to the virtual world. 

 

They can also view previously enacted requests and submit new ones.  

 

These coins are available for purchase and sale using fiat currency or other currencies at online crypto exchanges. Once users purchase MANA, the tokens can be stored using a wallet like MetaMask or kept on an exchange like Gemini.

 

The Decentraland economy also features a marketplace and editor to allow users to build their own scenes. Once players have purchased LAND tokens using MANA cryptocurrencies, they can sell them to other players.

 

What Does the Future Hold for MANA?

 

We highly recommend that you do your own research and understand the risks before purchasing MANA or other associate NFTs or tokens listed in this post. Nothing in this post should be considered to be financial advice.  

 

Currently, the value of a single MANA coin sits around $1.11 at the time of writing, but MANA can fluctuate wildly from week-to-week. MANA is a high-risk asset and is subject to extreme volatility as is the norm in the cryptocurrency markets.

 

If the platform continues to gain traction and more users enter into the virtual world, the value of the MANA cryptocurrency is expected to grow accordingly. 

 

Key Links:

Discord | Medium | Twitter | Github | Reddit

 

Want to Become an Expert in the Metaverse?

Decentraland is just one of several different platforms spearheading developments in the decentralized metaverse. Become an expert in this exciting new space by joining the upcoming cohort of Realm Academy.

 

Realm Academy is a 3-week online course built to give you the skills, knowledge, and community to launch your career in the metaverse. Join a network of like-minded peers and begin your journey in this emerging industry.
 


 

DISCLAIMER

 

THE VIEWS AND OPINIONS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DO NOT CONSTITUTE FINANCIAL, INVESTMENT, OR OTHER ADVICE.