What is Decentraland?

Whitney Anderson
Whitney Anderson
Technology Writer
Last updated: May 20, 2024
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Decentraland (MANA) is a new virtual reality platform based on the Ethereum blockchain that lets people create, explore, and earn money from applications and content in a shared virtual world.

By using Ethereum blockchain technology, Decentraland gives users more creative freedom than ever before as well as financial opportunities. People can express themselves by building different kinds of interactive games or immersive environments where anyone can come to have fun or learn something new. This means that not only can these works be visited by people all over the world but also become hubs connecting different parts of this vast digital space.

What sets Decentraland apart is its ability to directly make money. Here, you can lease out your virtual real estate or games for rent which will then be paid by advertisers among others looking for ways to reach their target audience better, therefore creating another stream of income for oneself. Transactions made within the platform make use of cryptocurrency thus making them secure transparent and efficient too.

How Does Decentraland Work?

Decentraland is accessed through the web as a virtual reality platform, but users must log in via desktop or PC. However, being a crypto-focused protocol, it does not require traditional account creation; instead, users can sign up by connecting a compatible crypto wallet like MetaMask.

Within this immersive 3D virtual space, known as the Metaverse, individuals can visit virtual museums, attend concerts, host events or games and even build applications. All activities are secured and verified on the Ethereum blockchain while transaction settlement transparency is guaranteed too. Users can also purchase digital land parcels using MANA tokens with which they can trade ownership rights on the same platform.

Moreover, developers have an opportunity to innovate within the system by creating animations, avatars, textures and other content related to virtual real estate projects.

The History of Decentraland

In 2015, the proof-of-concept (PoC) stage of Decentraland started under the leadership of creators Esteban Ordano and Ariel Meilich, with Yemel Jardi and Manuel Araoz also contributing. The protocol has undergone many phases as it was being developed; these include the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age.

The Stone Age

During the Stone Age in 2015, virtual land parcels were given out by Decentraland through blockchain technology. Every piece of land was represented as a pixel on an infinite two-dimensional grid with color and ownership metadata attached to it.

The Bronze Age

The Bronze Age began towards the end of 2016 when Decentraland introduced a hashing reference system similar to that used in Bitcoin to identify pieces of land together with their owners. This led to the creation of a framework for distributed hash tables (DHTs), which allowed users to download parcels as well as their contents using BitTorrent software.

The Iron Age

The Iron Age is where we are at now with regards to development within Decentraland; this period sees them creating a shared virtual reality platform that facilitates peer-to-peer social interactions, interactive content creation or game development among other things like fast cryptocurrency payments when transacting within worlds. The era began in 2020 after introducing browser-based software capable of displaying three-dimensional environments.

Decentraland’s Architectural Layout

Consensus Layer

The consensus layer comprises an Ethereum smart contract that acts as a distributed ledger for recording who owns what digital land parcels. This layer secures individual plots alongside their reference files such as coordinates and districts they fall under.

Land/Content Distribution Layer

Here content ranging from audio files to textures of in-game characters required for rendering each parcel is stored decentrally across multiple locations within Decentraland’s network infrastructure. Additionally, the scripting system responsible for placing parcels and running them resides here too besides other contents supported by this layer type.

Real-time Layer

This is where peer-to-peer (P2P) interactions between users take place directly without intermediaries like servers owned by third parties or even landowners themselves getting involved too much in routing traffic signals back and forth their lands thus making it possible to better engage with others’ projects easily.

Dealing with Decentraland Tokens

Decentraland kick-started the Metaverse race in crypto and has managed to stay ahead despite growing competition. However, what really sets this Ethereum-based shared reality platform apart is its dual token system.

LAND Token

The first token within these two categories happens to be an NFT (non-fungible token) called LAND. Each LAND represents a unique 256 square meter plot of virtual land with distinct features. There are only 90,601 LANDs available hence their scarcity value is high too.

MANA Token

On the other hand, MANA operates as a different system based on ERC-20 standard tokens where fungibility applies. At launch in 2020 over 2.1 billion MANAs got minted making them readily interchangeable among users.

As the primary network currency for Decentraland blockchain protocol, MANA ensures an efficient flow of digital cash within its ecosystem, especially during fast transactions involving the purchase of NFTs like LAND tokens or even wearables plus in-game avatars among other things found within this virtual universe.

MANA is also used for:

Users can participate in the governance of Decentraland. They can do this by holding MANA tokens and voting on network proposals or making their own proposals. Users are given a voice in deciding the direction of the protocol.

Indeed, Decentraland is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) where MANA token owners can engage in the governance process. They have the ability to vote on proposals, make suggestions, and influence what happens next for the platform.

What Do Developers Do in Decentraland?

Developers are important actors within Decentraland because they create and deploy different applications, games, and interactive experiences in this metaverse. By utilizing scripting systems and tools provided by decentraland they can build on top of it thus contributing towards its growth as well as wider adoption by users who come into contact with such applications while exploring virtual worlds.


How does Decentraland compare with other metaverse platforms?

Decentraland stands out from other metaverse platforms because it is built on blockchain technology which ensures true decentralization and user ownership of virtual assets. It was also among the first platforms to introduce the concept of a user-owned metaverse leading to the emergence of similar projects being developed later.

What are Decentraland’s future plans or roadmap?

The plan for Future Growth Includes continuous improvement on User Experience (UX), scalability & performance among others according to their official website FAQ section https://decentralandorg/faq. The team also hopes to attract more business developers etc., therefore expanding upon what can be done within this digital space known as “the world.”

Can I use my VR headset in Decentraland?

Currently, PC/desktop browsers are used to access the decentralized world however there has been talk about introducing compatibility with Virtual Reality headsets soon so that people may experience these environments in more fully-immersive ways than ever before possible.

Is there anything else besides gaming or entertainment in Decentraland?

There are many potential use cases in Decentraland beyond just being another video game such as allowing companies to hold exhibitions, conferences educational experiences having e-commerce stores or even creating whole new workplaces where employees interact with each other from different parts of the globe through avatars.

How can I find more information about Decentraland?

You can visit the official website (https://decentralandorg/) or their social media platforms where you will be able to get all necessary documentation including tutorials, white papers etc., and also keep up to date with the latest news and developments happening within this ever-expanding space. Additionally don’t forget to ask questions in forums such as Reddit which have community members who are actively involved in discussing various aspects surrounding Decentraland.

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Whitney Anderson
Whitney Anderson
Whitney Anderson is a dynamic technology writer and content creator known for her quick learning and strong interpersonal skills. With a passion for community service and travel, she excels in crafting engaging tech content and leading diverse teams. Whitney is eager to bring her tech expertise and creativity to make a significant impact in your organization.

Why Trust Us

Our editorial policy emphasizes accuracy, relevance, and impartiality, with content crafted by experts and rigorously reviewed by seasoned editors for top-notch reporting and publishing standards.

Purchases via our affiliate links may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you, and by using this site, you agree to our terms and privacy policy.

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