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What Is Decentraland (MANA)?
Decentraland is a 3D virtual reality platform where users can create and monetize content and applications. Decentraland is based on the Ethereum blockchain and aims to establish a network owned by its users and provides an immersive experience. The platform is a shared metaverse where users can purchase virtual plots of land. A metaverse is a shared virtual world where users can socialize, interact, learn, and play. In simpler words, Decentraland is a decentralized world where users can explore LAND owned by users, experience scenes and structures, trade virtual assets, and connect.
Today, as people spend more time in virtual worlds for work and leisure, the big centralized organizations manage the network rules and content flow. The creators and developers, in return, are paid very little. To solve this, Decentraland provides a decentralized infrastructure where users can gather, share content, and play games and also where the creators can derive the full value of their efforts. On the platform, advertisers can display their brands, artists can set up virtual galleries for their digital art, and much more.
In Decentraland, the space that a user interacts with is known as LAND. According to the whitepaper, LAND is a finite and transferable 3D virtual space that is a non-fungible digital asset (NFT) that users can purchase and is permanently owned by them. The LAND owners can choose to do whatever they like on their portion of LAND, like creating dynamic scenes, applications, and games. As per the official website, each plot of LAND is an ERC-721 token and is of size 52 feet by 52 feet (16 meters by 16 meters). The total number of plots is capped at 90,601 and can be bought using MANA tokens.
MANA token is the in-game currency of Decentraland and also serves as the platform’s cryptocurrency. MANA is an ERC-20 token that lets users purchase or trade LAND and pay for goods and services in the virtual world. The token can be used to purchase estates, avatars, wearables, and unique names through the Decentraland Marketplace. Decentraland offers a comprehensive marketplace that is the go-to place to trade and manage all the on-chain assets.
Talking about the game play, every user needs to create an avatar to enter into the virtual world. Avatars can be personalized; users can change body type, shoes, accessories, and much more. There are many things to do in the virtual world, like interacting with other players, visiting casino districts, listening to music, enjoying parties with other players, or just roaming. Creators have built Decentraland with the help of scenes that are displayed one next to another. A scene here is an experience and is a little world in itself where the players can walk from one scene to the other.
As per the whitepaper, the Decentraland protocol is based on a three-layered architecture:
- Consensus Layer: This tracks the LAND ownership through an Ethereum smart contract.
- Land Content Layer: This uses a decentralized distribution system to download the assets.
- Real-Time Layer: This provides peer-to-peer connections between the users to interact.
Who Are the Founders Of Decentraland?
Decentraland was co-founded by Ariel Meilich and Esteban Ordano — both of whom have stepped down from major positions at the project, but still work alongside Decentraland as advisors.
Ariel Meilich previously held the role of project lead at Decentraland between 2017 and 2020, and is a serial entrepreneur that has founded several other startups, including an online translation agency and a CRM platform. He also worked as an analyst at Charles River Ventures, a prominent Silicon Valley venture fund.
On the other hand, Esteban Ordano is Decentraland’s former tech lead and has a long and varied history in the cryptocurrency space working as a software engineer at BitPay, Inc., an advisor to Matic Network and briefly operated his own smart contract development firm known as Smart Contract Solutions.
Esteban is also credited with co-founding Zeppelin Solutions, an established blockchain technology infrastructure company.
Although Ariel and Estaban are no longer leading the project, the development of Decentraland is still ongoing, with efforts being directed by the recently established Decentraland Foundation.
Primary Features Of Decentraland
- Decentraland is an essential part of the metaverse – The metaverse is a currently-hidden and fast-growing space that could change how we interact with the world around us. Decentraland is the “first-ever virtual world owned by its users” and hence, is an area of great promise going forward.
- LAND sells for millions of dollars – LAND has been bought on Decentraland in multi-million dollar sales highlighting the potential value of owning such virtual assets. Decentraland’s token, MANA, gives the world many attributes similar to a free market economy, making it a place where users provide real utility to each other in exchange for real money.
- Decentraland has institutional backers – Grayscale, a prominent name in the cryptocurrency asset management space, launched its Decentraland Trust, giving more credibility to the platform than it had ever had before. It has now gone mainstream and is attracting significant institutional investments.
How Does Decentraland Work?
The Decentraland project (MANA) aims to create a virtual shared space owned by its inhabitants and controlled by no one else. Unlike traditional social media platforms, on Decentraland, you’ll own your digital content. That means that if you create an avatar on Decentraland, you can sell it or give it away to another user.
It is a decentralized platform built using blockchain technology, which allows for the creation of augmented reality lands where users can buy, trade, or rent plots of land. Digital assets, like land, are stored as NFTs (non-fungible tokens) on the Ethereum blockchain.
As a decentralized virtual reality platform, Decentraland lets its users create their own VR worlds, monetize content, and even earn Decentraland tokens by hosting other users in their VR world.
Decentraland runs its own blockchain, called Ethereum Aland, and allows users to make custom transactions on the blockchain. It is unique in that content ownership is completely secure and censorship-resistant—no one can change or censor content inside Decentraland because it’s built on a peer-to-peer network with strong cryptography.
Here are some things you can do in Decentraland: It’s a place to date, buy or sell goods, and use crypto to enter a VR world where you can vote on how the world is built.
Decentraland drives new kinds of real-world value creation beyond money and markets, like sharing online spaces in VR with your friends and being able to interact with them there in new ways.
Decentraland has many layered components built using Ethereum smart contracts.
The consensus layer maintains a ledger that tracks the ownership of land parcels. Each parcel of LAND has a unique coordinate in the virtual world, an owner and a reference to a description file representing the content within the parcel.
The content layer controls what happens within each parcel, and includes various files required to render them:
- Content Files – referencing all static audio and visuals
- Script Files – defining the placement and behavior of the referenced content
- Interaction Definition – peer-to-peer interactions such as gesturing, voice chat, and messaging.
Finally, the real-time layer facilitates social interactions within Decentraland through user avatars, including voice chat and messaging.
Marketplace And Builder
Outside of the gaming environment, the Decentraland team has released a marketplace along with a drag-and-drop editor users can access to build scenes.
The marketplace enables participants to manage and exchange LAND tokens, priced in MANA. Owners can use the marketplace to transact or transfer parcels and other in-game items such as wearables and unique names.
Of note, all transactions are settled between Ethereum wallets, and therefore are verified by Ethereum’s network and logged on its blockchain.
Decentraland’s builder tools authorize owners to curate a unique experience within their LAND parcels. Interactive scenes are designed through its editing tool, where developers can access customization libraries and payment implementations.
This white paper presents a detailed explanation of the original philosophical motivations behind the Decentraland project, along with a rigorous discussion of the proposed technical and economic approaches to building Decentraland. Please keep in mind that the Decentraland project is continually evolving, and some of the approaches outlined in the white paper have been modified.
How Many Decentraland (MANA) Coins Are There In Circulation?
As of January 2021, just north of 1.49 billion MANA tokens were in circulation. This is equivalent to around 68% of the current total supply of 2.19 billion MANA.
The original total supply was set at 2.8 billion MANA, but has been reduced as more than 600 million MANA have been burned as a result of LAND auctions.
There is also a range of further burn mechanisms in place to further reduce the circulating supply of MANA, including a 2.5% MANA burn on Decentraland marketplace transactions.
MANA was originally designed to inflate at 8 percent in the first year, decreasing gradually over time to reduce the rate of inflation. But inflation is currently disabled. As per the Decentraland glossary, there are no plans to initiate this inflation “until necessary”.
In total, 40% of the MANA supply was sold during the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO). In addition, 20% was reserved to incentivize the community, 20% went to the development team and other early contributors, and the remaining 20% was held by Decentraland. Project lead tokens are no longer vested.
Pros & Cons of Decentraland Coin
- MANA is the native token of one of the largest metaverse projects currently in development
- Decentraland witnessed one of the most significant LAND sales in history valued at $913,000, showing immense credibility
- MANA has provided great returns to investors – more than 5300% year to date with no end to the bull run in sight
- Experts believe that MANA is undervalued at its current price.
- You can convert MANA to INR directly on the CoinSwitch app!
- The platform is still in the early development phase and is not error-free yet.
- Cryptocurrencies are not regulated
What Can You Use MANA for?
At the moment, MANA is used for purchasing LAND for community parcels or via the Genesis City auction. In the future, MANA will be used to buy LAND, either directly from Decentraland or other users (as it is transferable), as well as making in-world purchases of digital services and goods. The usefulness of MANA will grow as the LAND within Decentraland is developed, creating an entire virtual world.
Decentraland began in June 2015 at what they call the “Stone Age,” when the land was modeled in the form of a simple grid and pixels were allocated to users via a proof–of–work algorithm similar to Bitcoin. By March 2017, the project entered the “Bronze Age,” with land modeled in 3-D space, a torrent and Blockchain full node, and features like the Unity Browser and World Editor. The Mana Contribution Period took place between Aug. 17 and 26, 2017. Those who bought MANA, the ERC20 token, were able to claim pieces of LAND, then interact with other MANA owners. Now, in Q4 of 2017, the Terraform Event is ongoing, which is the first chance for users to claim land, as is the Beta launch for the “Iron Age.”
In the future, the Iron Age will add multiplayer support, along with live chat and avatars. It will allow for scripting and custom items on owned land. Finally, the “Silicon Age” will be the full-fledged 3-D world with complete VR support and the ability to customize the laws of physics. At this point, Decentraland will live within the blockchain.
What Sets Decentraland Apart From Other VR Platforms?
The biggest difference between Decentraland and existing VR platforms is ownership: instead of a single corporation, users own Decentraland. The team behind the platform believes that public virtual worlds need to be ruled with open standards, so no central organization imposes their agenda.
In addition to being owned by the users, Decentraland allows these users to completely control their land content. They also get to keep all of their proceeds earned from the value generated by other users. This is unlike other systems where the central organization that runs the platform takes a cut. Without a central organization, there is no group to take that portion of your earnings. All of this is possible via Decentraland’s use of the blockchain technology, which proves ownership and cannot be forged.
3 Reasons to Buy Decentraland
Currently a top-25 cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Decentraland has garnered a tremendous amount of attention from investors of late.
Built on the Ethereum network, Decentraland is powered by its native token MANA. As the official token of the Decentraland game, investors look to the value of MANA as representative of the value created on this network. Those looking for exposure to the growth in blockchain-powered games in the metaverse will like how this token is positioned.
Indeed, Decentraland remains one of the hottest games — and tokens — in the market. Over the past three months, Decentraland has been a five-bagger for investors. Zooming out over the longer term, Decentraland has been one of the best-performing tokens over the past year, providing investors with returns of more than 5,300% as of the end of November.
1. Decentraland is a metaverse game
It’s an obvious catalyst to point out: Decentraland is a leading metaverse game. For those intrigued by what the future could hold for the metaverse, investing in a blockchain-based game could provide about as much aggressive exposure as investors could ask for. This is a nascent, fast-growing space, and the growth potential of the blockchain powering the future of virtual reality has many investors excited.
It should be noted that Decentraland is currently the largest metaverse-related cryptocurrency. Ranked 23rd in terms of market capitalization, Decentraland remains the go-to investment for many long-term believers in this sector.
One of the reasons for this is Decentraland’s positioning as the “first-ever virtual world owned by its users,” per its website. Investors appear to be putting a premium on Decentraland’s first-mover status. That said, other high-flying metaverse games are popping up, providing competition for Decentraland — and options for investors.
Decentraland has largely paved the way in creating a virtual world where users can go to work, shop, and engage with friends. Given the amount of investment set to flow into the metaverse from institutional investors and corporations such as Meta Platforms, this is a growth area investors rightly want exposure to
2. A free-market economy based on its native token
Fundamentally, Decentraland is a game. It is a multiplayer online world where anyone can interact within the space Decentraland’s users have created. While very interesting, this doesn’t necessarily highlight the value for owners of Decentraland’s token, MANA.
However, taking a broader view of the implications of virtual land ownership within the metaverse, one can see that there’s a lot of potential value to be had in owning a piece of the metaverse. High-profile multimillion-dollar sales of land on Decentraland have highlighted the value investors see in getting in on the ground floor of what could be the next real estate rush.
Artists are creating galleries and selling their non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and artwork virtually. Brands are setting up virtual real estate shops on Decentraland. Those looking for a marketplace to “see” buyers and sellers of NFTs face to face (via avatars, of course) have a way to do so. And virtual conferences are taking place on Decentraland, as are concerts.
This new-age free-market economy is certainly something to see. Decentraland is among the leading metaverse spaces for users to engage, providing real utility and the exchange of real money. Accordingly, those bullish on the future of digital commerce will want to check out Decentraland.
3. Decentraland is attracting large institutional investors
Back in February, Grayscale launched its Decentraland Trust. This move was largely heralded as an “exotic” move, given that Grayscale has mainly focused on prominent large-cap cryptocurrencies with its funds.
That said, Decentraland has become a prominent large-cap cryptocurrency in its own right as a top-25 cryptocurrency.
When large institutional investors see value in a given token, retail investors take notice. As if Decentraland needed more catalysts, the potential for additional capital to flow into metaverse-themed cryptocurrencies furthers the argument that MANA is a token with strong fundamental support.
Simply put, Decentraland has gone mainstream. Large transactions are taking place on the platform, and big money is entering this space. For those looking for a metaverse cryptocurrency that’s here to stay, Decentraland is certainly making a strong case as the leading platform in this regard.
Decentraland (MANA) is a virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain. It allows users to create, experience, and monetize content and applications. It’s based on the metaverse concept from Neal Stephenson’s book Snow Crash.
Is Decentraland (MANA) A Good Investment?
As Decentraland is among the most popular virtual reality platforms that record huge volumes and sales, many crypto experts believe that MANA is a good investment when compared to other DeFi coins, and some mainstream cryptocurrencies. Despite all the ups and downs in MANA’s trading history, analysts think Decentraland’s price could grow further in the long term.
One of the factors that will influence investing in MANA in 2021 is the continuation of the platform to see extensive usage. On Wednesday, 9th June 2021, it was reported that Blockchain protocol Boson Pays Record $704,000 For Decentraland Plot to Create a Virtual Mall. Boson is known in the space for the provision of decentralized infrastructure via its blockchain protocol. The primary purpose of this is to allow users of the Decentraland Community to exchange virtual and real-world products.
Players of Decentraland’s browser-based game can purchase digital assets and exchange them for physical goods and services through the retail space. What’s more, the creation of the virtual mall will allow some of the world’s best-known brands to sell their products in the virtual retail space. A great example can be attributed to buying sneakers as a non-fungible token (NFT) and exchanging the NFT for a physical representation of the purchased sneaker. Through Decentraland, Boson hopes to attract more users.
This means that in the long term, thousands of products can be purchased with MANA on Decentraland. This would add up to the 1,497 transaction counts MANA has been involved on 5th of July worth $3.36 million. With liquidity flowing through the platform, MANA could become the biggest winner and bring more returns to traders and investors.
Experts believes MANA is a good investment in the short term. According to the experts, MANA could soar to $3 in early 2022 if it continues to see huge adoption. As per the forecast of Crypto News Land, investing in Decentraland can be considered a good investment.