Updated: Dec 20, 2019
Decentraland is an ethereum-based, open-source, interactive, and virtual reality blockchain platform where users can purchase and build virtual land. The platform offers the option to monetize virtual reality applications that guarantees complete ownership rights to users, by keeping a permanent record. MANA is Decentraland’s native ERC-20 cryptocurrency token.
This guide will talk about the purpose for which, Decentraland is designed, the team behind it, the way it works and various uses and applications.
What Is Decentraland Designed For?
Decentraland is an all-immersive virtual universe game, similar to Skyrim and Fallout. The game is built on a three-dimensional interface, which is a step ahead of the regular two-dimensional screen. Decentraland is the logical or experimental step before creating a full-blown AI-based gaming world in real-life, such as the notable Westworld.
The game is fairly unique in the blockchain world, with no direct or immediate competitors. While there are other platforms, such as Sansar and High Fidelity that provide spaces to users to create and sell virtual real estate and reality experiences, none of these are blockchain-based.
Who Is the Team Behind Decentraland?
The Decentraland team is led by Esteban Ordano (Tech Lead) and Ari Meilich (Project Lead). Ordano has previously worked with Bitpay as a software engineer. He is also the founder of Smart Contract Solutions, Inc. Both Ordano and Meilich have worked together in creating Stremium and Bitcore.
Decentraland has been around since 2015 when the team created a simple, pixelated grid which allocated pixels to users through a proof-of-work algorithm. Over the years, the team has gained some noteworthy partnerships with district0x, Aragon, and imToken to reach where they are now.
How Does Decentraland Work?
Decentraland protocol consists of three layers – consensus, land content, and real-time. The consensus layer tracks ownership of land through Ethereum smart contracts. The land content layer is a decentralized distribution system, which provides the content in the virtual world. The real-time layer is the user interface layer, which provides peer-to-peer connections for different users to interact with one another.
The team uses A-Frame to build the virtual reality platform. Users are required to first create a model in SketchUp and/or Blender to build their world and then import it onto the platform.
LAND is the space that users interact with on Decentraland. These are non-fungible digital assets, which are purchased in the game. Users are free to do whatever they want, once they own their plot of LAND. It can be used to create games, applications, gambling services, or even dynamic 3D scenes.
You don’t even have to stop there. You can use LAND-based services around multiple purposes, such as education, professional development, and tourism. However, these ancillary purposes are not the primary focus of the game.
What are Current and Future Applications of Decentraland?
MANA is solely used to purchase plots of LAND in Decentraland, as well as, pay for in-world goods and services. For instance, MANA can be used to purchase avatars and other collectible items. They can also be used towards registry and other cool stuff on Decentraland.
It is important to understand that MANA is a utility token and is not a mineable currency. However, it can be purchased on exchanges and bought on token sales. Over 1.05 billion MANA, out of a total supply of 2.64 billion MANA coins, is in circulation currently. Decentraland burns the MANA tokens used to purchase LAND, which effectively brings down the tokens in circulation.
Decentraland has a strong advisory board, including Luis Cuende (Aragon’s project lead), Jake Brukhman (CoinFund founder), and Xiaolai Li (INBlockchain founder) who are all experts in blockchain and p2p networks. This has helped Decentraland gain a trustworthy footing in the blockchain world.
For a cryptocurrency that was launched just a while back and is still in its developmental stages, Decentraland has managed to climb the rank pretty quickly. The cryptocurrency is only expected to appreciate in the future, as more and more gamers embrace the technology.
The platform may seem like a video game that is waiting to happen, but, it is far more than that. The sophisticated blockchain allows 3D experiences that make it interesting. However, more than anything the platform offers a way to purchase virtual land in a safe, secure and trustworthy environment by using Ethereum Smart Contracts.
The individual prices of MANA token may be low today, but this is only going to get higher by having a positive psychological impact on the volatile crypto market, looking for some quick gains.