Decentraland is an open-source protocol enabling the creation of a virtual reality world. This is a P2P network based on the Ethereum platform that uses the hashing algorithm SHA-256. Decentraland ecosystem is designed for the development and hosting of virtual reality assets on the virtual land acquired by the members of the community. The project was launched in 2015 by the company headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
MANA is a utility token in Decentraland that is needed for the purchase of land and interaction with other users of the platform. MANA is not a mineable cryptocurrency, but it can be acquired via token sales and on exchanges. Decentraland also uses ERC-721 LAND tokens received by the users after spending MANA on the purchase of LAND.
The target market of Decentraland
Though the global virtual reality market size has reached only 10 Billion US dollars at the moment of writing, the experts are sure of its incredible potential. Decentraland wants to participate in the growth of the immersive virtual reality world. Relying on the success of virtual worlds that have created their own internal economies (World of Warcraft, EVE online, etc.), the company brought revolutionary ideas on how communities and publishers should engage online. The users are the owners of their online assets while virtual worlds present the ecosystem that plays a big part in human life. It alleviates numerous social interactions every day changing reality.
The platform is decentralized and the world is recorded on the Ethereum blockchain. All content that is created by members of the community is recorded in the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). As this is not something working from a centralized server, the structure is permanent and no DOS-attack can harm it. It can’t be shut down due to the whims of some entity (a company, or a person), so it’s pretty safe in this respect.
The platform offers a set of tools for developers enabling assembling and visualization of content. Users employ them to create content and applications while having full control over their ownership rights. They can sell their assets on a special market within the system.
Decentraland presents infrastructure supporting a shared virtual world called a metaverse. It includes a decentralized ledger for land ownership – a protocol, which describes the content of each land parcel. Users can refer to the decentralized ledger for proof of ownership. Besides, it’s possible to create attractions on the land and monetize them to earn cryptocurrency.
Users can’t buy an unlimited amount of land. It’s not allowed to own the land more than 33x33 feet of virtual space at the time of writing. It’s also worth mentioning that there is no limitation to the height of constructions built on the land. It’s possible to arrange neighborhoods or thematic cities in this virtual reality.
In order to maintain the value of its tokens on sustainable levels, the project burns them after every purchase of land to reduce the amount of circulating supply and thus increase the demand. MANA is an ERC-20 token that is burnt after being used on the purchase of land so that the user could acquire non-fungible ERC-721 LAND tokens.
There are over 50 themed districts in Decentraland such as shopping districts, a forest, an amusement park, a festival venue, a cyberpunk city, a museum, a university, etc. Cultural and entertainment property makes the infrastructure of the virtual space versatile. There is a map with all the places of interest to explore.
The virtual society has a strong social basis. The land is contiguous in Decentraland, so its owners have to cooperate with each other. The landowners form the community, working actively together. Adjacent geography creates the imitation of a real world where people can travel and explore the territories either walking or flying across a metaverse.
The company is planning to invest 5 million USD in blockchain gaming startups. Therefore, it launched the Genesis Content Program enabling the gaming developers to submit proposals for "blockchain games" and “interactive experiences” built on this platform with the native MANA tokens used for games’ monetization.
To build a blockchain game in Decentraland, developers have to control the land first. Games are hosted on the virtual pieces of property, which means that they have to fit within the boundaries of a given parcel. The room for games is also available and it’s located outside of the virtual city. But the developers will still have to buy the land parcels for hosting and running the games.
Decentraland’s ICO details
Decentraland ICO was launched in August 2017 and ended in less than 24 hours having raised 25 million USD.
MANA received listings on numerous exchanges and continues to develop. One can purchase MANA on Coinbase, Bittrex, Binance and 30+ other platforms at the moment of writing.
As Decentraland MANA is an ERC-20 token, any wallet suitable for ETH is good for storing it such as MyEtherWallet, Metamask, etc. For higher security, hardware wallets Ledger Nano S and Trezor are good options, too.
40% of tokens were sold to contributors during the token sale. 20% were reserved for content creators and platform developers. 20% of tokens are allocated to the development team and early investors, while the remaining 20% is kept by the Decentraland foundation.
The founders of the company are Esteban Ordano (CTO) and Ari Meilich. Both have huge experience in the blockchain industry. Prior to Decentraland, they have launched Streamium, which is a blockchain video streaming platform. Esteban Ordano is a co-founder at Smart Contract Solutions. Ari Meilich is a co-founder at Benchrise. He also works as a market research analyst at CRV.
The website also lists the board of 5 advisors with extensive experience in blockchain and 2p2 networks.
A high-profile partnership with HTC was announced in February 2019. MANA surged by almost 40% after HTC announced the support for its wallet and dApp on the new Exodus 1 blockchain phone.
Decentraland also partners with RNDR that makes the process of rendering and streaming intricate virtual work easier. RNDR enables the distribution and processing of complicated render jobs on a peer-to-peer network.