Exploring the Metaverse Decentraland
By Pranay Singh Bayas
People are constantly spending time in virtual worlds, both for fun and work. This is most common in platforms like the web and mobile phones. A traversable 3D world, on the other hand, offers an immersive element as well as accessibility to additional content. Decentraland is one such platform that supports creating a shared virtual environment, commonly known as a metaverse. A decentralized ledger for owning land, a protocol for specifying the content of each parcel of land, and a P2P network enabling user interactions make up the system. Let’s go into Decentraland in detail.
Welcome to Decentraland
The Ethereum blockchain powers Decentraland, a decentralized virtual reality ecosystem. Users may build, monetize and experience apps and content on the Decentraland platform. The community owns the LAND in Decentraland, providing them complete authority over their projects. LAND refers to Decentraland’s finite, 3D virtual space that can be explored. It is separated into parcels having cartesian coordinates (x,y). Members of the community own these parcels, and they are acquired using MANA — Cryptocurrency token by Decentraland.
Decentraland is completely decentralized virtual environment where users can buy and sell digital real estate, artwork, and NFTs. Users may build virtual casinos, art galleries, concert halls, and theme parks and charge other users to visit them. In February 2020, the virtual world was made available to the general public, and since then, it has become one of the best Metaverse projects built in the Crypto Space.
Decentraland is a platform for content producers, enterprises, and individuals seeking a new business opportunity, creative channel, or source of entertainment. It is very simple to play in Decentraland. As a guest user, you can explore the space by visiting its website in a browser, but your experience will be limited. To enjoy all of Decentraland’s benefits fully, you will need a cryptocurrency wallet. Once you enter the virtual land, you can travel and explore wherever you want or go to a specific location using the map. You can visit virtual clubs, go to NFT art shows, play games, and much more. All of this will be done through your Avatars. Your avatar helps people recognize you, and you can personalize it in several ways to make it unique.
Understanding the Economy: MANA and LAND
MANA and LAND are the two types of tokens that regulate activities in the Decentraland. Let’s take a closer look at these.
MANA is an ERC-20 token, a fungible token made with Ethereum smart contracts. It is a crucial component of Decentraland’s virtual environment and is used to conduct transactions within the ecosystem and engage in software maintenance. MANA is used to purchase a variety of wearables, avatars, and other items from the Marketplace. Furthermore, to obtain LAND tokens, MANA must be burned. It is now trading around USD 0.78 and can be bought, sold, or traded on several exchange platforms. MANA holders can also turn their MANA into wrapped MANA (wMANA).
LAND is an NFT that defines the ownership of land parcels, which represent digital real estate. It is based on the ERC721 protocol. Decentraland comprises 90,601 LAND parcels measuring 16m × 16m or 52ft x 52ft. Each parcel is an NFT and is identified by the coordinate system. Parcels are available for purchase on OpenSea. The scarcity of LAND, on which apps are developed, generates hubs that draw in more users, generating money for content providers. LAND owners can use LAND to host apps such as gaming and advertising, among other things. You can charge an admission fee for every application you develop. You can also sell or rent LAND to users who want to build.
Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano came up with the idea for Decentraland in 2015. Ariel Meilich is a serial entrepreneur who formerly served as project head at Decentraland. Esteban Ordano, on the other hand, was Decentraland’s former tech head and has also worked as a software engineer in the crypto industry.
Decentraland is different from other metaverses as a central authority does not govern it. Instead, the users who own LAND and MANA govern it via the Decentraland DAO. DAO is the acronym for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. The Decentraland DAO holds the majority of Decentraland’s smart contracts and assets (LAND Contract, Wearables, Estates Contract, etc.). Decentraland is the first virtual environment that is entirely decentralized. Giving control to the users who build and play in this virtual realm was always a part of the original plan. Through the DAO, you have control over the policies that determine the functioning of the verse. Policy revisions, future LAND auctions, and whatever else the community considers important will be proposed and voted on by the community users.
The layered components of Decentraland are constructed using Ethereum smart contracts. There are three layers to the Decentraland protocol:
- The Consensus layer.
- The Content layer.
- The Real-time layer.
During the pandemic that confined people to their homes, Decentraland provided a way for individuals to meet friends, buy art, visit galleries, and more — all without leaving their homes. Decentraland has expanded by leaps and bounds since it first opened to the public. Sotheby’s, an auction house, constructed a digital copy of its New Bond Street gallery in Decentraland as a virtual gallery to present digital art. Sotheby’s arrival into metaverse indicates that NFTs and metaverses are the future. Furthermore, Republic Realm, a digital real estate investment entity, paid $913,228 for 259 parcels of Decentraland that it hopes to develop into a virtual retail area called Metajuku.
If Decentraland comes with more exciting collaborations and takes the lead in the market, MANA’s price will rise as well, resulting in a more significant return on investment for investors.