Hello Crypto Fam! I’m Kris with exodus and in this article, we take a closer look at Decentraland, the virtual world sensation that is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Were going to cover benefits of blockchain-based land ownership, the decentralized native currency, and some of the more interesting real-world use cases for Decentraland. Let’s first go back to the beginning. Ok, maybe not that far back. OK, that’s much better.
Decentraland development started back in 2015 with a 2D proof-of-concept, cleverly named the Stone Age. The project has come a long way since then and in February 2020 it officially launched for the public. So, let’s see what this virtual world has to offer today and answer the question: What is Decentraland? Decentraland is a fully decentralized, 3D virtual world where people can own and develop their virtual land or they can wander around and interact with what other users have created, as well as other people that are exploring Decentraland at the same time. The landscape can include anything from static 3D scenery to interactive objects, buildings, art, games or massive events that attract thousands of users. So while Decentraland isn’t necessarily a revolutionary product.
If we dig a bit deeper and you can see how Decentraland brings a new paradigm to the virtual world. The world of Decentraland is divided into small fragments, called Parcels. Each Parcel is 16m by 16m or for those not on the metric system, 52ft by 52 ft, and it is the smallest piece of land you can own. However, if you own several parcels next to each other you can combine them to create an Estate.
Who doesn’t want that? Furthermore, some large areas are allocated a specific theme and thus create a District. Genesis Plaza is the most notable example. Sitting at the centre of the map, it’s a beautiful virtual plaza where you can learn more about Decentraland, its history, how to navigate it and what places are all the craze at any given moment. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
As I was saying, the land is divided into parcels. Each parcel is represented by x and y coordinates on the map and by a LAND token on the Ethereum blockchain. LAND is an ERC721 token, which means its non-fungible, or what we would call an “NFT” for Non-Fungible Token. It’s scarce and it is a collectable.
In other words, each LAND token is unique and cannot be replicated or exchanged with another. It holds the information of the land location in Decentraland, the x and y coordinate, along with the decentralized servers run by the community, holding the content needed to render it in 3D graphics for everyone to enjoy. And that’s the beauty of Decentraland, and what distinguishes it from other centralized digital worlds.
In these, the world is controlled by a single entity, who can change the rules as they desire or censor you, or ban you. Or they could even go out of business, in which case you lose everything you’ve built. But with Decentraland, the world belongs to the community. And that goes one step further. Decentraland is governed by a DAO, a Decentralized Autonomous Organisation. And because it’s decentralized, it means that everyone in the community can participate and vote on the proposals they want to adopt or reject.
They also control the important smart contracts, the Estate contract, the Wearables, and the Marketplace. Oh, yeah! There are fancy wearables which you can buy, you guessed it, at the Decentraland Marketplace. Even if you’ve never heard of Decentraland, you’ve probably seen MANA if you looked into the Crypto market cap. Its the native token that fuels the economy of the central and ecosystem. MANA was introduced back in August 2017 through an ICO that gathered a little over $26 million dollars and its circulation started a few months later.
In January 2018 it saw its all-time high, reaching 18 cents, And that means the price is not at it’s ATH anymore. Now trading at around 5 cents. Still, that’s more than 100% increase over the ICO price As the native currency of the virtual world, it’s what you need if you want to buy LAND in Decentraland.
In December 2017, early adopters were given the chance to purchase LAND in an auction, called the Terraform Event. Nowadays, you can buy LAND in the Marketplace, where some of these early adopters have put their land up for sale.
And like in real real-estate location is key. You can expect to pay a much higher price for an Estate that’s close to a hub that sees much traffic, like Genesis Plaza, and the larger the Estate is, of course. In fact, back in 2018, such an Estate was sold for $800,000 dollars! Besides LAND, though, at the Marketplace, you can also buy fancy wearables that the community has created to dress up your Avatar. Because, although your Avatar doesn’t come into the world naked, let’s face it, fashioning a unique wearable that no one else has, is half the fun.
The other half is, of course, building up your land through the visual Builder tool, or the SDK (Standard Development Kit), if you’re programmable inclined, participating in the world, and interacting with other users through the built-in chat tool. Or inviting your friends for a virtual drink to your virtual house that’s called Mia case, a clever name you bought at the Marketplace.
The possibilities are endless! If you don’t have any MANA but are already excited and want to dive in Decentraland, worry not! You can buy MANA in Exodus by exchanging other cryptocurrency assets. Exodus is a cryptocurrency wallet for your desktop or mobile device.
Home to more than 100 cryptocurrency wallets and other crypto apps, you can safely store, send, receive, and exchange your crypto assets with Exodus. Click the link above to start using Exodus today! So, how do you immerse yourself in Decentraland gameplay? All you need is a browser, with Chrome or Firefox being the ones officially supported, running on a Windows or macOS computer.
And although that’s all you need to visit Decentraland, in order to experience the world to its fullest, or buy your LAND and other collectables on the Marketplace, you’ll also need an Ethereum wallet, like Metamask or Mist, loaded with some MANA and ETH.
You can spend MANA in the world too, to access additional content while rewarding its creators, and you’ll need the ETH to pay for the transaction fees. And once in, what does the Decentraland gameplay feel like? Well, the world is VAST, it’s transferable and it’s certainly colourful. You can walk around with your mouse and arrow keys, enter buildings and interact with objects. Or you can open the map and quickly jump to any location that piques your interest.
You can visit clubs, museums, casinos, parks, see digital art, take a ride in a Ferris wheel or listen to music. Or the sound of birds chirping. Or play games. But, the truth is the world feels kinda lonely. The main reason is that Decentraland is in its infancy and only about 500 people log in each day.
Furthermore, these people might be logged in different servers, called Realms, which are also run by the community on a P2P protocol. This means that even though you might be in the same place with other users, you may not be able to see them because they are connected to a different server than you.
The best way to socialize with other users is probably by attending one of the many virtual events that happen in Decentraland. And you can find all of them in the link below. What do you think? Is virtual real-estate the future?
And is Decentraland going to be the leader in this developing new market, a world on its own, buzzing with millions of Avatars? Are you a MANA holder, hoping it will moon if this happens? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Read More: An Investigation into Ethereum