What is Decentraland & MANA?

Welcome to Decentraland: A virtual metaverse owned by its users

I have to admit, when I first heard about Decentraland, I immediately thought of Dwight from the Office. In one episode, another character Jim is concerned about Dwight because he joined a website called “Second Life”. Within Second Life, Dwight had created a whole other version of himself, and from what I can tell, this same kind of potential exists within Decentraland. Decentraland an Etherum-based blockchain virtual reality platform that is completely owned and controlled by its users. If you’ve heard people talking about the “metaverse” or saying “welcome to the metaverse” this is what they are talking about, regardless of whether or not Facebook changes its name to Meta, for crypto true believers, this is the promised land.

What is Decentraland?

For most people over the age of 25, you won’t be able to understand what Decentraland actually is until you throw out the play book. In other words, it isn’t like anything we’ve seen before. Decentraland was developed in 2015 by Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano and started out as a simple, pixelated grid. It eventually evolved into an Ethereum based, 3-D virtual project where users can purchase, build, and sell virtual goods within a virtual ecosystem.

What can you do in Decentraland?

There are a lot of amazing things to do in Decentraland. Users can buy real estate and clothing, play games, and even buy or sell artwork (NFTs). Sotheby’s even opened up an online art museum in Decentraland. In March 2021, a casino was opened up inside of Decentraland. According to Coindesk, “Real-life hosts now work the floor at Decentral Games’ Tominoya Casino, helping newcomers to this crypto house of chance try their hand at digital roulette, blackjack and slots.” These virtual casino workers are then paid in dai(DAI). The platform also includes interactive apps, in world payment, and user to user chat for members.

Decentraland Casino, one of the many amazing places to visit in Decentraland.

Create Your Own Wearables

Within Decentraland, users can create different scenes, artwork, and even their own unique challenges for other users to complete. Using the building tool, experienced users can even make their own social games and applications. The most popular items within this world though seem to be NFTs and “wearables.”

A closer look at Decentraland’s wearable builder. Users can choose wearables that are already available within Decentraland, or they can choose to design their own clothing for their avatar.

Native Currencies of Decentraland

The two main native currencies within Decentraland are Mana and Land. According to Coinrivet, “LAND is represented as NFT tokens used in certifying land ownership – the ownership of the virtual real estate in the Decentraland’s virtual world, for example. MANA token, on the other hand, is a cryptocurrency used in facilitating transactions such as the purchase of land.” Buying virtual real estate is becoming a popular asset class and is creating new opportunities for wealth. I think that Decentraland is opening our eyes to a future we never could have imagined 10 years ago. 

MANA is available for purchase on Coinbase.


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