Decentraland is a virtual decentralized platform, powered by the Ethereum blockchain, allowing users to create, experience and monetize their content and applications.
The platform is owned and created by its users and was developed to provide a platform to support the creation of 3-dimensional virtual worlds by purchasing land via the Ethereum blockchain. The Ethereum blockchain creates an immutable record of ownership once land has been purchased and no one can restrict the virtual worlds created.
Land is broken into a parcel that can be purchased, each parcel equivalent to 10m x 10m or 33ft x 33ft. Users can use MANA to buy any empty land parcel as well as to buy goods and services from other users.
Land is described as a non-fungible digital asset maintained in an Ethereum smart contract. Land is divided into parcels that are identified by Cartesian coordinates (x and y). Parcels are permanently owned by members of the community and are purchased using MANA, which is Decentraland’s cryptocurrency token.
Land owners have complete control over their land, allowing the creation of unique experiences that can include interactive games or applications such as going to the casino, watching live music, starting a business, test driving a car, visiting an underwater resort and much more, all within a 360-degree, decentralized virtual world.
Some parcels of land are further organized into themed communities, or Districts. This allows the creation of shared spaces with that have common interests and uses.
In addition to having full control of land owned, land owners are also able to keep all the proceeds from the value they generate from other users.
In order to achieve value, land is scarce to ensure that it is not abandoned that would result in poor user experience. To ensure that the value of land parcels remains stable, the amount of land in Decentraland corresponds to the fixed, total amount of MANA.
Once a virtual world has been created, details of the Land content are also verified and stored on Decentraland’s Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum smart contracts validates modifications made by the owner of the land. The actual content within Decentraland is hosted and served to users via Decentraland’s own content server.
Land owners are able to control how certain content on a land parcel is serviced to other users within the Decentraland platform. For example, land owners can make 3D models, images, video our sound content only visible or audible to a user after payment has been made or users have fulfilled some other requirement set out by the land owner.
Decentraland was created by Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano, with the first development milestone being achieved in 2015. The total number of MANA is capped at 2,805,886,393. There is a future yearly inflation of 224,470,811 MANA, which has yet to be enabled.
At the time of creation of Decentraland, each parcel of land was sold for 1,000 MANA. In the secondary market, the value of land has seen a significant rise.
Some distinct differences and characteristics of the Decentraland Platform include:
- The content that makes up Decentraland is stored and distributed via a decentralized network, while ownership and transactions are validated on the Ethereum blockchain.
- There are a finite number of MANA tokens, though there is an inflation option that would need to be enabled.
- Content creators are able to generate MANA income by charging for access to content.