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What Is Decentraland? MANA Explained in Plain English

Decentraland (MANA) is an attempt to bring the Metaverse into reality. With a market cap of just over $1,500,000,000 USD, Decentraland has proven itself as one of the fastest growing cryptocurrencies in the Metaverse/Gaming section of the industry. But is this cryptocurrency meant to last? Could Decentraland continue to capture a larger market cap or will this hype just be a fad from the past? In this article, we’ll answer these questions by explaining what Decentraland is, how it works, and how it differs from other cryptocurrencies. It took us countless hours of research to write this piece. Thus, we can guarantee that you will learn everything about Decentraland (MANA).

In This Guide:

What Is Decentraland (MANA)?

Decentraland (MANA) is a cryptocurrency that allows users to purchase, develop, and trade virtual land in a decentralized manner. The project was launched in 2020 by Ariel Meilich and Esteban Ordano. The Decentraland team pitched the project as the first virtual world owned by its users, where anyone would be able to create, experience, and monetize content and applications.

The Decentraland platform is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain as an ERC-20 token, which enables it to take advantage of smart contracts. The use of smart contracts allows for a high degree of decentralization, as all transactions on the platform are stored on the blockchain and can be verified by anyone. This smart contract functionality allows Decentraland to create its virtual land parcels, called “Lands”, which are stored as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

The native currency of Decentraland is MANA, which is used to purchase land on the Decentraland platform. When you purchase land in Decentraland, you are purchasing a smart contract that gives you sole ownership of that particular piece of land. The land is then stored on the Ethereum blockchain, and you can do with it whatever you please. You can develop it, sell it, or trade it with other users. This creates a Metaverse-like experience because players can now own virtual land in a completely decentralized manner.

In addition to virtual land, MANA can be used to purchase other virtual goods and services within Decentraland. These include in-game items, avatar customizations, and access to premium content. You can also use MANA to make in-app purchases, such as buying a cup of coffee from a virtual café or purchasing a ticket to a virtual concert.

This is a significant step into the Metaverse as economics with real-world value is now possible. The Metaverse can be seen as a virtual world that is built on top of the real world. In the Metaverse, you can own property, create businesses, and interact with other people. Decentraland is one of the first projects to bring the Metaverse into reality. Imagine a world where you can own virtual property, trade virtual goods, and interact with other people in a completely decentralized manner. This is the vision of Decentraland.

Decentraland is often compared to Second Life, as both platforms allow users to create and experience content in a virtual world. However, there are a few key differences between the two platforms. First, Decentraland is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain, whereas Second Life is not. This gives Decentraland several advantages, including increased security and decentralization. Second, all of the land in Decentraland is owned by its users, whereas in Second Life, the land is owned by Linden Labs. Finally, Decentraland uses MANA as its native currency, while Second Life uses Linden Dollars (L$).

How Does Decentraland Work?

As we mentioned earlier, Decentraland is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. This means that all transactions on the platform are stored on the Ethereum blockchain and can be verified by anyone. The Decentraland platform also makes use of smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts that can be verified and enforced by the network. 

The Decentraland platform is divided into two types of land: parcels and districts. Parcels are pieces of land on the platform and are each 16m x 16m in size. Parcels can be bought and sold on the Decentraland marketplace, and can also be used to build districts. Districts are larger areas of land that are made up of multiple parcels. Districts can be created by anyone and can be used for a variety of purposes such as hosting events, setting up shops, or creating games.

The Decentraland platform also has its own virtual currency, called MANA. MANA is used to purchase land on the platform, and can also be used to buy goods and services within Decentraland. The way this works is that when you buy something within Decentraland, you are buying a piece of virtual property that is stored on the Ethereum blockchain. When you want to sell assets or land, you can do so through the Decentraland marketplace.

The Decentraland platform also has several other features that make it unique. For example, the platform has a built-in chat system that allows users to communicate with each other in real-time. The platform also has a land auction system that allows users to bid on parcels of land that are up for sale. Finally, the Decentraland platform has several different applications that can be used by developers to create their own experiences within Decentraland. These applications include a 3D modeling tool, a game engine, and an SDK.

Decentraland works by empowering creators and giving them the tools they need to build amazing experiences. By incorporating UGC (User-Generated Content), Decentraland can make their platform inviting for creators by incentivizing their creative efforts with a cryptocurrency (MANA) with real-world value. This decentralizes the assets within the game. Instead of in-house developers, teams, or a single person being in charge of the game’s economy or land, it is managed by the players and creators themselves.

This economic incentive structure and social use cases are what make Decentraland work. As more and more people are becoming familiar with both virtual worlds and cryptocurrencies, Decentraland is in a great position to capitalize on this convergence.

Decentraland (MANA) Fun Facts

  • Market cap of $1,591,320,165 USD
  • 257,627 total addresses holding MANA
  • Started with a $24 million initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017
  • 1.85B circulating supply of MANA according to CoinMarketCap.

(Data as of 7/15/2022)

The Story of Decentraland (MANA)

The founders of Decentraland are Ariel Meilich and Esteban Ordano. Estaban was an expert in smart contract solutions and was an advisor to the Matic Network. Ariel’s expertise came from his experience as a serial entrepreneur. Together, they had a shared vision of creating a user-owned virtual world. The duo worked together to develop the game, but they both have since stepped down from the leadership role as decentraland is now a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization).

Decentraland is built on the Ethereum blockchain and uses ERC-20 token standard. The team decided to use the blockchain to store all the game data and content to make it immutable. The virtual world runs on a decentralized protocol called the Decentraland Network. The protocol is designed to manage the interaction between users and applications in the virtual world.

This metaverse game became open to the public in January of 2020. Just a few months later, the world would be locked down due to a health crisis. In hindsight, this was good timing as it allowed people to stay connected virtually when in-person interaction was not possible. The game is still in development but has made significant progress since it launched. For example, just recently in January of 2022, they announced that royalties are going to be available for creators. This shows that the story of Decentraland is just getting started.

Decentraland can be explained as a social game within the virtual worlds that use real-world value currencies. These social games are what we call “Metaverses”. The vision of Decentraland is quite ambitious but there’s no denying its success so far. The cryptocurrency (MANA) has been transacted throughout the game and players can now make a living through Decentraland. The game is still in its early stages but with the introduction of Decentraland’s SDK, we can expect to see a rise in the number of dApps and games being built on top of the Decentraland platform.

Creative energy and social interaction are at the core of human nature. Decentraland’s story so far has been one of connecting this innate desire with blockchain technology. With the virtual world being open to creators, we can only imagine the possibilities that will be built on top of Decentraland. As creators design storylines within the game and players define their avatar’s story, the world of Decentraland will only become more rich and vibrant. We’re excited to see what comes next for this project.