Coin Review — Decentraland

Hello, this is the script from my Youtube video about Dentraland. Hope you enjoy reading, and if you want to watch it instead, then click the link:

What is Decentraland?

Decentraland is a shared virtual world. It allows people using the platform to connect and interact with each other, create content, and play games.

As with other virtual worlds, Decentraland has a virtual economy, in which people can engage in a myriad of in-world economic transactions and monetise the content and applications that they build. However unlike other virtual worlds such as Second Life or the sims, it is not controlled by a central organisation or individual. And the money inside it, is real. Well, depending on your view of cryptocurrency as a legitimate currency that is.

Decentraland software runs on Ethereum, and states its aims is to incentivise its global network of users to operate a shared virtual world. Sounds like The Matrix right? Well to be honest I think its inevitable. Online, people can be whoever they want to be. On one hand you have an increasingly decadent society, and in the Matrix peoples desires and fantasies can spiral out of control without any consequences. On the other hand, those living desperately poor or mundane lives, can look to online platforms to fulfil their desires of having things greater than themselves. Ever seen the movie Ready Player One? And as ‘The Matrix’ becomes increasingly indistinguishable from real life, who’s to say people won’t want to just stay in it?

Within Decentraland, users are able to buy and sell digital real estate, and other assets, while exploring, interacting and playing games within this virtual world. Over time, the platform has evolved to implement interactive apps, in-world payments and peer-to-peer communication for users.

In summary, 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, it does bring a new paradigm to the virtual world.

Ok — So its a game. What does this have to do with crypto?

Well, it’s not just a platform to allow users to play games. There are in fact two different types of tokens that govern operations in Decentraland and which users can acquire and trade in. The first is LAND, which in Decentraland is a non-fungible token or NFT, used to define the ownership of land parcels representing digital real estate. The second is MANA — A cryptocurrency that allows users to carry out the purchase of LAND, and other virtual goods and services inside of Decentraland.

Who created it?

The Decentraland Foundation is the organisation that is behind the development of the Decentraland software. The foundation was founded by Esteban Ordano and Ariel Meilich in 2015.

The Decentraland team initially held its coin offering in 2017, and was able to raise 86,206 ether, which was equivalent to approximately $26 million at the time. The Foundation continues to retain 20% of the initial MANA token supply, and it holds the intellectual property rights to the brand. It also maintains the Decentraland website.

So its’ not decentralised?

Slow down and take a deep breath! Prior to launching the launch of the Decentraland platform, the foundation launched a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), which handed over the management of the project and its future, to its users. If this isn’t decentralised enough, the founding team have also made claims that the private keyd that control Decentraland’s smart contract has been destroyed.

Whats the point of the platform?

In their whitepaper, the Decentraland team stated that “the development of large proprietary platforms, such as Facebook, have allowed hundreds of millions of users to gather, interact, share content, and play games. Their network effect helped cultivate vast online communities and gaming companies. These platforms, controlled by centralized organizations, manage the network’s rules and content flow, while extracting significant revenue from the communities and content creators who drive traffic to the platforms. Decentraland aims to establish a network that allows its content creators to own and capture the full value of their contributions.

Interesting — how does it work?

Decentraland is constructed to allow users to track real estate parcels, which are defined by LAND tokens. The software utilises the Ethereum blockchain in order for it to track ownership of the digital land within the platform.

And whilst we are on that point, how long before real world land is tracked by blockchain digital tokens?

For a user to be able to engage with the Decentraland ecosystem, the user is required to hold its MANA tokens within an Ethereum wallet.

Decentraland has a number of multi-layered component parts that are all built using Ethereum smart contracts. The consensus layer maintains a ledger that tracks the ownership of land parcels. Within it, each parcel of LAND has a unique coordinate in the virtual world, an owner and a reference to a description file representing the content within the parcel.

I can own land?

Yes — well, virtual land. The world of Decentraland is divided into small fragments, called Parcels. Each Parcel is 16m by 16m, and it’s the smallest piece of land you can own. However, if you own several parcels next to each other you can combine them to create larger blocks or estates. some areas of Decentraland are allocated a specific theme and therefore create a District, such as Genesis Plaza, which is 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.

Each parcel of land is defined by x and y coordinates on the map and by a LAND token on the Ethereum blockchain. LAND is an ERC721 token, which means it’s non-fungible, or what we would call an “NFT” for Non-Fungible Token. It is both scarce and collectible, and each LAND token is unique and cannot be replicated or exchanged with another.

What about the currency?

MANA is the name of the digital asset token that is used to pay for goods and services within Decentraland. It’s also built on Ethereum, and is built in accordance with the ERC20 standard for tokens. MANA can be bought and sold for fiat currency or other digital currencies, and like other cryptos, MANA can be stored in a crypto wallet. The total supply of MANA tokens is fixed at 2.6 billion MANA.

It 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 MANA saw its all-time high, reaching 18 cents. As the native currency of the virtual world, it’s what you need if you want to buy LAND in Decentraland.

Besides LAND, though, at the Marketplace you can also buy fancy wearables that the community

has created to dress up your Avatar. If you don’t have any MANA but are already excited and want to dive in Decentraland, then don’t worry, you can buy MANA in your favoured crypto wallet by exchanging other cryptocurrency assets. Exchanges such as Binance, or Uniswap all support it.

Whats the best way to start?

We would suggest that the best way to start on Decentraland is to socialize with other users by attending one of the many virtual events that are held. Otherwise, Decentraland can feel a bit, sparse. That is not a critique, and the platform is still in its infancy with only about 500 people logging in each day — spread over a number of servers, called Realms. But given the relatively small number of daily users, we think that events are the way to go if you want to start experiencing Decentraland.

You’ll need an Ethereum wallet, I suggest using Metamask, and a Chrome web browser to load into Decentraland, after that, the world is quite literally your playground.

Well ladies and gentlemen, that brings us to the end of todays video. I hope that you found this review of Decentraland, and the MANA coin, to be both helpful. 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? I would be really interested to find out what you think about the platform and of course, if you have any questions that I haven’t answered, or simply want to share your thoughts, then please do let me know in the comments section down below.

A gentle reminder, that if you haven’t already, please do like and subscribe to the channel. That would really help and be appreciated. Thanks for watching, I will see you in the next one!

Tech entrepreneur, music producer and DJ. Founder of PYRO音乐, an early adopter of blockchain technologies and a mining enthusiast. Living in Shanghai!