What is Decentraland? An A-Z Expert Guide Into the Metaverse

Decentraland is a blockchain-based digital universe that allows users to create, explore and experience real-world life situations in virtual space. 

In Decentraland, you can visualize yourself living in a virtual universe containing customized digital items, real estate parcels, and lands where you can smoothly move from one place to another while socializing in real-time with hundreds of others in the same place as you. 

This Decentraland guide covers the following topics:

How Does Decentraland Really Work?

decentraland second land auction

(Decentraland Visualized)

Decentraland metaverse is a three-dimensional (3D) virtual world where users can interact with each other using specialized avatars that represent unique ownership or brand to provide digital solutions. The platform has a vast map that contains 90,601 single plots of virtual land, and each of the plots consists of 16×16 meter squares. 

Presently, there are 39 developed districts in this virtual world, including Aetheria, also called Cyberpunk, Vegas City, and Dragon City. Each district is better known for its unique theme and there’s certainly something for everyone. 

Decentraland allows users to socialize within these districts, play games, attend events of different types, concerts, gamble at the casino, play poker, and mini-golf, become an estate investor, and participate in politics among others. 

With the thousands of creators and developers on this platform, the possibilities of things you can do are endless. You just have to find your spot and establish your brand. 

However, to access Decentraland metaverse and explore the applications within its ecosystem, users need to first purchase MANA, its ERC-20 governance token which can be used to buy LAND and pay for goods and services on the platform. 

MANA is used in Decentraland’s marketplace where users can trade in-house assets like estates, avatars, wearables, and unique domain names. MANA can be purchased directly from the platform or from centralized exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and Crypto.com. 

To use the marketplace, users are mandated to pay a fee of 2.5% worth of the selling item in MANA which is later destroyed to reduce its supply. 

This means that the amount of MANA burned depends on the activities in the marketplace. 

Speaking of purchasing properties, the land parcels on Decentraland are represented by its ERC-721 token known as LAND. 

LAND is an Ethereum-based non-fungible token (NFT) that represents ownership of parcels (land) in the virtual reality world. The digital asset is designed to keep records of content and references that describe applications that can be built on the land parcel. 

The token allows holders to build and host content such as games and other collectibles for others to explore. Although both LAND and MANA operate differently, they work together to secure the ecosystem. 

The Decentraland DAO

Decentraland is also run by the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), which enables token holders to vote directly on principles within the metaverse.

The governing protocol also has its own MANA treasury to fund its decisions and operations. This means that no one can be president or even a district mayor of the platform but you can suggest policies, upgrades, or make a reasonable proposal to improve the virtual world. 

To become a part of the DAO, users must convert their tokens (MANA) into a wrapped MANA (wMANA) before delegating it to the DAO. Each of the locked tokens represents one vote proposal, meaning the higher the tokens committed, the better the chance of winning the vote. 

Unlike MANA, LAND is not required to be locked up in DAO before being used to cast a vote. Each LAND contains 2000 votes and can easily be converted into a single Estate token. 

Is Decentraland a Metaverse?

Yes. Decentraland is one of the popular metaverse platforms built on the Ethereum blockchain that is free to play by everyone. The metaverse sector has a reputable user base and is still growing as more projects continue to dive into the Web3 ecosystem.

As a metaverse project, Decentraland has become a chosen destination for most game lovers and content creators. It hosted about 300,000 active monthly users at the end of 2021. 

Since the Decentraland launch date in February 2020 by software developers Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano, many businesses have secured a place in the digital universe to provide their offerings to their online audience. 

Earlier this year, the popular American technology company Samsung launched a digital version of its Samsung 837 physical store located in Manhattan, New York, on Decentraland. The new online store, dubbed Samsung 837X, marked the company’s first entrance into the world of virtual reality with plans to explore other opportunities. 

Samsung’s store will offer digital experiences through its Connectivity Theater, Sustainability Forest, and musical events at the Customization Stage. This is where all the games, product introductions, and live performances will be hosted. 

In 2021, sporting goods powerhouse Adidas also bought LAND in Decentraland where it plans to list branded content, experiences, and items for purchase.

Although the company has yet to disclose its full plans for the metaverse store, it describes it as an open world with immense possibilities of things to come and where users would be rewarded for their original ideas and content. 

Decentraland has also attracted railroad magnets like JP Morgan, making it the first American bank to enter the world of Metaverse. The financial firm opened its lounge, named after Onyx, an Ethereum-based exchange, in February 2022. 

International accounting company PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also purchased LAND on the  Decentraland metaverse where it plans to provide its services coupled with innovative business models to its customers. 

Other businesses like Atari, one of the early adopters of video games, also own a virtual property on the platform where users can play games and attend business conferences. The game developer business also plans to expand digital gaming opportunities across other users in the metaverse. 

Similarly, the  New York-based international broker for fine and decorative art Sotheby’s recently opened a virtual gallery on the platform and ultimately Coca-Cola recently celebrated International Friendship Day in the virtual world with more businesses still planning to come onboard. 

How to Buy LAND in Decentraland

As one of the most popular metaverse platforms in the world, users buy LAND on Decentraland for investment or lending purposes (LAND owners can rent the land for others to use to earn passive income) or develop games and other businesses on the platform. 

There are two ways users can acquire LAND on the platform: You can do so on the official Decentraland marketplace, or explore other NFT marketplaces like OpenSea to purchase your parcel. Either way, here’s a complete guide on how to buy assets in Dencentraland. 

  • Sign up for Decentraland 

To access the virtual world and its marketplace, first-time users are required to create an account on the platform. To do this, go to the official webpage and click on sign up. Once done, you will need to link your wallet address in order to access the metaverse. 

If you already have an account, then skip this phase and sign in with the details you supplied while creating the account. 

  • Choose a parcel of LAND 

Buy LAND Decentraland

Listed LAND Parcels (Via Decentraland Marketplace)

Once you have successfully created your account and can now access the marketplace, it’s time to make your purchase. Scroll through the available pieces of LAND that align with your budget. 

After you have selected the virtual property to buy, click on it to read more about it. You will find in-depth information in the description, like the name, the owner, and the creator. Click on buy when you are done reading to proceed with the transaction. 

  • Connect to your wallet

If you didn’t connect your wallet in the beginning after creating the account, now would be the best time to do so as the LAND will be sent directly to your wallet as an NFT after purchase. 

Decentraland supports wallets such as MetaMask and Trust Wallet. Remember to have enough MANA that will be enough to buy LAND and also pay for the gas fee.

  • Confirm your LAND

Once you have completed the purchase from the marketplace, it’s time to check your wallet to confirm if you received the LAND.

 If you are using a Trust wallet, go over to collectibles to check your newly acquired assets and under NFTs if you are using MetaMask. 

How to Make Money in Decentraland

You can make money in the Metaverse and Decentraland is no different. Users can decide to work for the companies on the platform to receive a salary, work as a freelancer or create wearable items to sell and make good returns. 

Aside from this, there are other ways users can earn passive income from the platform. 

  • Buy and sell LAND 

Just like in the real world, real estate agents engage in buying and selling houses for a profit. Decentraland’s users can also do the same by investing in LANDS and selling them once their value increases. This is one of the common ways people make money on Decentraland. 

The total supply of LANDS in the virtual world is fixed at 90,000 and the lowest price for one is around 5,000 MANA at approximately $14,000. 

However, LANDS located close to the popular districts like the Crypto Valley and Vegas City is more expensive than others. 

The value of LAND increases as more users continue to buy them. This is why you can make money by holding them. At launch, the value of LAND was around $20 per parcel and early adopters have earned significant ROI since then. 

  • Play P2P games

Play-to-earn games are another way to make money on Decentraland. The virtual world allows users to explore tons of P2P games built on the platform and earn rewards while at it.

Users can create and play mini-games and popular casino games like Slot, Poker, Roulette, and Blackjack among each other. 

These games reward users with MANA and other digital collectibles such as NFTs, avatars, and other wearables. These assets can be sold for profit to make money. 

  • Create NFTs and wears 

As a digital universe that allows users to create and develop items in its ecosystem, you can build your own game, create NFTs, and design clothes and other wearables to sell on Decentraland’s marketplace. 

Just like in real life, people often explore the marketplace to buy one or two items to equip their LANDs. With a good marketing strategy, you are guaranteed that customers will purchase your items. 

Users can make use of social platforms like Reddit and Discord to reach out to their potential customers. 

Decentraland Vs Sandbox

Among all the debates surrounding the metaverse, Decentraland vs. Sandbox has become a favorite topic within the ecosystem. Users are often asking to know the differences between the two universes.

Currently, both platforms are among the top leaders in the digital space and are completely decentralized with no third-party control.

These two metaverse platforms share a lot of similarities yet are very different from one another. For example, as 3D platforms, both offer developers the tools to create 3D assets which can be tokenized and traded as NFTs. 

Aside from that, they also offer users the tools to build games, galleries, concerts, casinos, or just about anything else that can be imagined in the digital universe. However, these builder tools differ on each platform. 

Sandbox builder tools include Game Maker, Vox Edit, and Avatar. The Game Maker can easily be used by users without needing coding skills while the Avatar toolbox can be used to create customized wear to set you apart from other users. The Vox Edit is focused on animation and minting voxel creations as NFTs. 

Decentraland on the other hand has proficient builders tools that can be used to create customized items on the digital platform. 

Just like Decentraland, Sandbox is also built on the Ethereum blockchain with their cryptocurrencies such as MANA and SAND leveraging Ethereum’s ERC-20 compatibility standard and also follows the ERC-721 standard for non-fungible tokens and other digital collectibles. 

However, looking at the aesthetics of both platforms, the online universe operates differently. Users can access Sandbox through social media, email accounts, or Metamask wallets while Decentraland can only be accessed with a crypto wallet. 

Another significant difference is seen in their roadmap, Sandbox has a clear roadmap with future development plans of integrating the platform to consoles like Xbox and PlayStation. It also plans to onboard more users by introducing the platform to mobile users with plans to launch up to 5000 games by the end of 2023. Decentraland on the other hand does not have a specific roadmap, with the decision to improve the network solely depending on the team. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you download Decentraland? 

Decentraland describes itself as the first virtual reality platform that runs completely on the internet with no software needed to be downloaded and installed except for its supported wallets like MetaMask.

This wallet is a self-custodial wallet that allows users to unlock earning capabilities and explore in-game NFTs. It also offers users complete ownership of the virtual reality assets as users have total control of the private keys. 

With the Metamask wallet, which serves as a browser too, you can log in to the world of Decentraland where you can interact with other users, explore their creations, play games with friends, and buy and sell on the marketplace, and lots more. The possibilities of what you can do on the digital platform are endless. As long as you can dream it then it’s possible to be achieved in the universe. 

Users can also access and explore the online universe through other web browsers like Google Chrome for Windows, and Safari for Mac. 

However, to get the best experience out of the virtual universe and avoid lag, users need a strong internet connection with a good graphic card computer. 

Can you mine MANA Decentraland? 

As a metaverse hosted on the Ethereum blockchain which is based on the principles of Proof-of-Work (PoW).  It is traditionally impossible to mine MANA as you would do to Bitcoin even though it uses the same consensus mechanism as that of Ethereum. 

Transactions on the Ethereum network are made directly on the protocol and are mined by one of the nodes (validators).  All transactions on Decentraland are processed with fees known as gas fees or transaction fees. 

Decentraland makes use of validators to randomly confirm, block, and verify transactions. Anyone can become a validator by locking a particular amount of assets into the system. Validators are then rewarded through transaction fees and other validator rewards. 

Validators can increase their earnings by staking large amounts of MANA to the pool to increase their chance of being selected to confirm a block. 

They can also use specially designed ASIC mining rigs to perform this task.

Is Decentraland a good investment? 

The cryptocurrency market is extremely volatile, making it difficult for price prediction. Experts can get an idea following its past performances and direction. However, with sound planning and a good investment strategy, it could form a portion of a balanced portfolio. 

Investing with caution is always advised and doing proper research is also important before purchasing any crypto assets. 

Given that metaverse is an emerging sector driven by a solid community with growth potential, investors are betting high on Decentraland. The platform caught most users’ interest as the first metaverse platform hosted on the Ethereum blockchain. 

Although its capital appreciation potential is massive, so are its downsides. Just like other altcoins, Decentraland’s tokens are inherently volatile, but most investors consider it a good investment using the hype factor.  

If you had invested back in 2021 when the tokens were sold at $0.08, today you would have made a massive profit in your investment as the token is currently trading at $1.17 with an all-time high of $5.90, according to CoinMarketCap data. 

However, if you had invested during its peak, you would have incurred a significant loss today following the market downturn. This is just the norm in the crypto market and both institutional and small investors should be aware of how risky the industry can be before making any investment decisions. 

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