Powered by Ethereum, Decentraland (MANA) is a metaverse platform. Anyone with a Decentraland account can create and sell their own custom content and apps.
What is Decentraland?
Decentraland is a virtual world where users can stake a claim on a piece of land using the blockchain. Users have complete autonomy over how they wish to utilize their virtual properties. The creation of 3D scenes, video games, and digital billboards are all potential applications.
Decentraland takes advantage of the growing interest in virtual worlds (or “metaverses”) in the blockchain industry. The NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain that represent ownership of land in Decentraland can be used to make in-world purchases of digital goods and services. According to the project, users can lose themselves in a navigable 3D world without being restricted by the watchful eye of any one authority figure.
How Decentraland works?
There are three tiers in Decentraland:
- A shared database of land and its contents’ ownership information.
- A layer of downloadable land content accessible via a distributed network.
- The ability to interact with other users in real time.
To track who owns a piece of digital real estate, smart contracts on the Ethereum network store data like the parcel’s (x, y) coordinates, the owner’s name and email, and a link to the content description file that encodes the land’s intended use.
Decentraland’s fungible ERC-20 token, MANA, can be used to buy the non-fungible LAND tokens. In order to acquire LAND, MANA must be spent by being burned.
Decentraland’s content distribution layer uses a distributed storage system to store and serve the data needed to render the metaverse. A file containing the rendered parcel’s content is referenced in each rendered parcel. This data is kept on distributed file-sharing networks like BitTorrent.
Since new user-created content is always being added, Decentraland’s high degree of decentralization makes it a truly user-owned metaverse.
In addition, the real-time layer allows for inter-user communication. Connections between individuals in the same social group are what make social interaction possible. For instance, users can’t move between properties unless landowners supply the necessary servers for that purpose.
Users’ interactions with one another are central to the Decentraland metaverse. Users interact with one another through voice chat and text messages while interacting with their customized avatars.
Decentralized identity systems are also used in Decentraland to add a layer of ownership to in-world possessions. One service that facilitates user identification with human-readable names is Ethereum Name Service (ENS).
Last but not least, Decentraland has a thriving digital economy. The value of a piece of land varies depending on how close it is to other centers of interest. Because of these variations in proximity and foot traffic, parcels trade at varying prices on secondary markets like OpenSea. To fill the network with content and increase its utility, the Decentraland Foundation hosts contests to create art, games, and applications.
The Decentraland scripting language can be used to build a wide range of software, including games, gambling apps, and interactive 3D environments. Because of the scripting language’s adaptability, it can be used for a wide variety of purposes, from making objects to loading textures to manipulating game physics to processing payments.
Since its inception in 2015, Decentraland has been one of the earliest metaverse projects. This was well before any metaverse hype emerged. In addition, its high degree of decentralization ensures that it will last for a very long time. While most metaverses restrict users from making any changes to the environment, Decentraland is one of the few that allows users complete control.
Decentraland distinguishes itself as a “social metaverse,” as opposed to the “virtual advertising only” focus of many others. For instance, in the future, groups that currently congregate in online forums or social media may start doing so in Decentraland as well. This has the potential to give rise to new types of applications and virtual industries, such as training and education or travel.
The Tokenomics of Decentraland
In Decentraland, MANA is used for both basic functionality and voting. Only 1.85 billion MANA out of a maximum 2.193 billion are currently in circulation. More and more MANA is wasted on the purchase of land. There is a 2.5% MANA token burn on all marketplace transactions in Decentraland.
Here is how tokens are distributed:
- Community incentives: 20%
- ICO: 40%
- Development team and contributors: 20%
- Decentraland allocation: 20%