Decentraland is a groundbreaking virtual reality platform built on the Ethereum blockchain.
This immersive metaverse aims to establish a decentralized, user-owned network for creating, monetizing, and sharing content and applications.
In this beginner’s guide, we’ll explore the fundamentals of Decentraland and its native cryptocurrency, MANA.
What is Decentraland?
Decentraland is a 3D virtual reality platform where users can create, monetize, and interact with content and applications.
This user-owned network allows individuals to buy and trade virtual land while exploring, socializing, and gaming within the digital realm.
Decentraland has evolved to include interactive applications, in-world transactions, and peer-to-peer communication for its users.
Two types of tokens govern operations within Decentraland:
- LAND: A non-fungible token (NFT) representing ownership of digital real estate, divided into parcels.
- MANA: A cryptocurrency required for purchasing LAND and virtual goods and services within Decentraland.
Decentraland’s smart contracts, written on the Ethereum blockchain, enable MANA holders to vote on policy changes, land auctions, and funding for new projects.
The Decentraland platform is built on a three-layered architecture:
- Consensus Layer: Tracks LAND ownership through Ethereum smart contracts.
- Land Content Layer: Utilizes a decentralized distribution system for downloading assets.
- Real-Time Layer: Facilitates peer-to-peer connections between users for interaction.
Source: Mana’s Whitepaper
This structure allows Decentraland to operate as a shared virtual world, providing an immersive experience for its users.
LAND and MANA Tokens
In Decentraland, the virtual space users interact with is called LAND.
LAND is a finite, transferable 3D virtual space represented by non-fungible digital assets (NFTs) that users can purchase and own permanently.
LAND owners can create dynamic scenes, applications, and games within their virtual property.
MANA is the in-game currency and native cryptocurrency of Decentraland.
As an ERC-20 token, it allows users to purchase or trade LAND and pay for virtual goods and services within the platform.
The Decentraland Marketplace offers a comprehensive platform for trading and managing on-chain assets, including estates, avatars, wearables, and unique names.
How to Enter Decentraland
To enter the virtual world of Decentraland, users must first create a personalized avatar.
Once inside, there is a wealth of activities to enjoy, such as interacting with other players, visiting casino districts, listening to music, attending parties, or simply exploring the environment.
Decentraland’s creators have built the platform using interconnected scenes, allowing users to seamlessly move between different experiences.
Marketplace and Builder
Decentraland features a marketplace and a user-friendly drag-and-drop builder tool for crafting scenes and experiences within the virtual world.
The marketplace enables users to manage and trade LAND tokens, as well as other in-game items like wearables and unique names, all priced in MANA.
Transactions are settled between Ethereum wallets and verified by Ethereum’s network, with the data stored on its blockchain.
The builder tool allows LAND owners to create personalized experiences within their virtual property. With a library of customization options and payment integrations, developers can construct interactive scenes for users to enjoy in Decentraland.
Decentraland’s Governance and History
Decentraland was founded in 2015 by Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano. The project held an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in August 2017, raising $24 million. The platform launched its closed beta version in 2019 and opened to the public in February 2020.
New MANA tokens are created through mining on the Ethereum blockchain, which uses a proof-of-work consensus mechanism.
Decentraland’s DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) uses an off-chain voting system, allowing MANA and LAND token holders to participate in governance and propose changes to the platform’s smart contracts.
Why is MANA Valuable?
MANA’s value lies in its integral role within Decentraland.
As the platform’s native cryptocurrency, it facilitates transactions and allows users to participate in the governance of the platform.
As the user base grows and more MANA tokens are used to purchase LAND and other assets, the overall supply of MANA tokens may become increasingly deflationary. This could potentially impact the value of the token as demand for it rises alongside the growth of Decentraland.
Additionally, by holding MANA, users can customize their avatars, interact with other players, and explore Decentraland’s virtual world.
Owning MANA also grants users the ability to vote on policy changes, LAND auctions, and incentives aimed at improving the platform. These factors contribute to the perceived value of MANA tokens and their utility within the Decentraland ecosystem.
Decentraland offers an innovative platform for users to explore a shared, decentralized virtual world.
By leveraging the power of blockchain technology, Decentraland creates an environment where users can own and develop digital real estate, engage with others, and have a say in the platform’s governance.
The MANA token, as the native currency of Decentraland, plays a crucial role in driving transactions and facilitating user participation within the metaverse.
As the popularity of virtual worlds and decentralized platforms continues to grow, Decentraland and its MANA token hold the potential to become increasingly valuable to users and investors alike.
For those interested in learning more about Decentraland and staying up-to-date on its developments, consider following their blog or joining the community on social media.
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