As all things “metaverse” continue to dominate headlines, the virtual world has established itself as front and centre of mainstream media. Decentraland provides a virtual world where users can buy, sell and trade unique assets and engage in interactive apps and peer-to-peer communication alongside in-world payments. The world of Decentraland has seen impressive growth, and it’s about time you learnt about it.
At its core, Decentraland is a virtual reality platform that allows users to create, experience, and monetize in-house content and applications. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, Decentraland utilizes two main tokens on the platform, LAND and MANA.
LAND arenon-fungible (NFT) tokens that provide ownership rights to the digital real estate (land parcels) while MANA is the in-house currency that facilitates the sale of LAND and other goods and services available on the platform, like customising one's avatar, for instance. MANA also allows holders to vote on policy updates, subsidies for new developments, and land auctions.
Decentraland was designed to provide users access to ”new artistic medium, business opportunity, or source of entertainment.” The virtual space is made up of 90,601 individual land parcels, each measuring 16m x 16m (256 square meters), and assigned to particular co-ordinates in its “metaverse”. Each space is assigned to a LAND NFT which records the ownership.
LAND owners can then develop the land as they please, with several marked districts varying in size and theme. Holders can then lease out the land or provide paid experiences through the creation of animation and interactions experienced on their particular virtual real estate.
Decentraland was created by the Decentraland Foundation, founded by Esteban Ordano and Ariel Meilich in 2015, and holds the intellectual property rights as well as maintaining the platform. Before launching, the foundation, which still holds 20% of the total MANA supply, created a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) allowing the users to make governance decisions.
In 2017 the project underwent a successful ICO, raising the equivalent of $26 million at the time. These funds were used to drive future operations.
The core function of the Decentraland network is to track ownership of land parcels, while users engaging in the platform are required to hold MANA in order to participate.
Through a system of smart contracts each land parcel is tracked on the consensus layer, with each parcel’s own coordinates, owner, and a reference to the content within the parcel.
The content layer then holds the specifics for each parcel, including the all static audio and visuals, the placement and behavior of items, as well as P2P interactions such as gesturing, voice chat, and messaging. There is then a real-time layer that facilitates all the social interactions of the user avatars.
Decentraland also hosts a marketplace where users can create scenes and wearables and manage and exchange LAND tokens, priced in MANA.
MANA is the governance and in-house currency for the Decentraland ecosystem. With a total supply of of 2.19 billion MANA, roughly 600 million MANA have been burned in LAND transactions bringing the previous total supply down substantially.
MANA facilitates the platform’s aim of providing a customizable and shared virtual reality space that connects users around the world.
If you’d like to join the metaverse and become a part of the Decentraland virtual community, you can simply buy MANA directly from your Tap account. As part of a string of newly supported cryptocurrencies, MANA is now available for trade on the Tap app, allowing users to buy, sell and spend MANA as they please.