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What is Decentraland?

What is Decentraland?

The Decentraland metaverse project dates back almost 7 years and is still developing. Cooperation with states and the world's leading brands brings the virtual world to a new level for all its participants.

Full name of the company: Decentraland Foundation

Foundation date: 2015

Founder: Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano (Argentina)

Capitalization: more than $2.73 billion

Project features

Decentraland is a decentralized virtual reality platform where all space is divided into land plots. The platform itself is a metaverse where all participants can create, use, and monetize content. All Decentraland virtual real estate objects and user names are NFT (non-exchangeable tokens) that are available for purchase. The settlement cryptocurrency is MANA, created on the Ethereum blockchain. You can buy NFTs through the OpenSea Marketplace or in the Decentraland metaverse.

Users of the virtual space fill it with content, create artifacts and interactive objects. All of these objects are presented as NFTs. Decentraland can host seminars, exhibitions, concerts, fashion shows, festivals, trainings, advertise products, goods, and services, and inform about upcoming events, promotions, and news.

The Decentraland metaverse is managed through a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), thus implementing a collective management model.

All changes and innovations are implemented through voting, and the discussion procedures themselves are conducted via smart contracts. MANA and LAND token holders can vote and initiate any decisions.

Each landowner has 2,000 thousand votes, and MANA coin holders have the right to manage the DAO, but it requires converting assets into wMANA tokens. One coin is equivalent to one vote.

The platform's Whitepaper presents different scenarios for the development of virtual space to expand gameplay options. Users can use such tools in the metaverse:

  • The Builder is a browser-based editor for creating and editing the contents of a virtual world by dragging and dropping objects;
  • Decetraland SDK is a set of solutions that allows you to implement interactive scenes and custom elements.

Libraries can be used to expand interactive content, for example, property owners can create mini-games and earn money with them.

Decentraland land plots form a common virtual world, which has an area of 300x300 objects. Each plot corresponds to a non-fungible LAND token.

There are 92598 plots of land with an area of 256 square meters (or 16x16 m2) each. Coordinates designate the object itself (x;y), and the owner of the area decides about the content placement.

The metaverse has thematic districts, and the concept of the virtual world itself makes it possible to unite like-minded people in communities of interest.

Each district has its own features to offer, so today, the most popular Decentraland communities are:

  • Aetheria is the largest district, consisting of 8,000 land plots featuring cyberpunk-style real estate and facilities;
  • Vegas City is the second-largest district with 6,000 plots of land, with the community interested in gambling (casinos, stores, nightclubs);
  • Dragon City is a district with a balanced blend of Western and Eastern culture, mostly composed of properties built in different architectural styles;
  • Fashion Street is a trendy district with many brand-name boutiques and stores. All visitors can browse the range of products and buy the items they like.

Each district features a voting system, which approves the internal rules of interaction and the principles of territorial development. There are even limitations on construction on their own territories.

Landowners can choose the style of architecture and independently distribute the resulting profits. However, the entire district budget is distributed through the DAO.

MANA and LAND tokens are the coins of the Decentraland virtual world, each offering different features.

LAND is an NFT of the ERC-721 standard, defining the ownership of land plots (each property is digital real estate). In other words, it is the land area with the specified coordinates, and the asset owner can manage the real estate.

If one owner owns two or more LAND plots, he or she is entitled to receive an Estate (real estate) token.

MANA is an internal cryptocurrency of the ERC-20 standard, for which you can buy LAND tokens (land), game items, and any goods and services in the metaverse. It is also used to construct buildings and participate in the platform's management.

Decentraland structure - the meta-universe consists of several levels represented by consensus, content, and real-time. Consensus is in charge of tracking virtual property rights, including information on land and property owners. The coordinates are stored in a blockchain. Content is a decentralized system for storing data (static elements, textures, audio recordings, element descriptions, etc.). Real-time is the level at which users interact with each other and with the Decentraland virtual world. All data is downloaded in real-time.


2015 – Argentine developers Esteban Ordano and Ari Meilich created the Decentraland Foundation, which launched the Decentraland metaverse project. This is the first pixel map version where each user was granted pixels into possession using the Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm. All user-distributed points were color-coded and synchronized with metadata for subsequent identification.

2016 – 3D graphics technology was introduced to create the digital world of Decentraland.

2017 – ICO was held, during which the project raised 86,206 ETH (the equivalent of $24 million). The funds were used for the development of the metaverse. Developers launched a beta version of Decentraland, while virtual land plots were sold to users for $20.

2018 – along with Animoca Brands, the project conducted a round of mutual investment through an exchange of shares and MANA tokens worth $500,000 each. Investors for Decentraland included CoibFund, Digital Currency Group, FBG Capital, Hashed, and Kenetic Capital.

2019 – in-game communication and interactive applications appeared in the metaverse.

2020 – developers presented the final version of Decentraland, and South Korean company Samsung started to support the metaverse in its Samsung Blockchain Wallet application.

2021 – the most attractive land plots were estimated at $100,000 or more. Decentraland partnered with Atari, which owned certain land in the metaverse, in order to build Atari casinos.

Playboy magazine announced a virtual art gallery in the virtual space Decentraland, thus celebrating its first NFT collection.

The Coca-Cola Company sold unique NFTs to Decentraland and made $576,000 for the deal.

In mid-summer, London-based auction house Sotheby's created a digital replica of its New Bond Street headquarters in the metaverse so it could use the facility as a virtual digital art gallery.

New York-based Republic Realm bought 259 land plots in Decentraland for $913,200. Those lands were transformed into a Metajuku shopping district in the style of Tokyo's real-life Harajuku district.

Decentraland hosted the four-day Metaverse festival in the fall, the first music event of its kind in the metaverse, featuring performances by AlunaGeorge, Deadmau5, Alison Vanderland, Paris Hilton.

At the end of the year, Barbados signed an agreement with Decentraland to buy a plot of land where the country's embassy would operate within the virtual reality. This is the first case of such cooperation between a state and the metaverse.

Developers added support for the Polygon network so that users can release and move assets.

2022 – Decentraland will host the first wedding attended by a court rep, the bride and groom's witnesses, and 2,000 guests. The wedding was played by American couple Ryan and Candice Hurley from Arizona, in real life they have been married for more than 14 years. The virtual agreement signed by the newlyweds identified the bride and groom, and the marriage certificate was issued in NFT form.

Another event in the metaverse is the fight between MMA fighters Khabib Nurmagomedov and Max Holloway. Nurmagomedov defeated his virtual reality opponent in the first round with 98 punches. In real life, both fighters used the Oculus Rift headset to implement the planned event in the metaverse.

Estee Lauder Corporation joined the collaboration with Decentraland, where the Fashion Week was held. In virtual reality, the brand presented its new product, Advanced Night Repair serum, in a digital model format. Everyone could enter it and get a free wearable NFT. According to the head of the corporation Stephanie de La Favery, the event was a turning point to show the effective interaction with customers in the metaverse.

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