What is Decentraland (MANA)?

What is Decentraland (MANA)?

What is Decentraland (MANA)?

The Decentraland white paper was published in March of 2017. Since then, the project has taken off, and land price in this virtual world has risen considerably. In this article, we’ll cover all aspects of the project, including the benefits of blockchain-based land ownership, the Decentraland native currency, and some of the more interesting real-world use cases for Decentraland.

    What is Decentraland

    Decentraland is a virtual world that’s similar to the Sims or Second Life. Residents of Decentraland can buy property, build houses, party on flying ships or visit art galleries, and purchase paintings. In terms of the experience, Decentraland isn’t necessarily a revolutionary product. However, dig a bit deeper and you can see how Decentraland brings a new paradigm to the virtual world.

    Image credit: Decentraland

    The problem with virtual worlds like Second Life is that a single centralized company controls the entire experience. Even though users can purchase property and other in-game items, they don’t own their property in a meaningful way since Linden Lab (the creator of Second Life) can freeze a user’s account at any time.

    What makes Decentraland unique is that all purchases are tied to an Ethereum address. Whoever controls that Ethereum address has full property rights, and nobody can take away a purchase. A piece of property that someone buys in Decentraland is just as secure as the Ethereum in a user’s wallet.

    Besides digital home and property ownership, there are a few other fascinating use cases for a blockchain-based virtual world.

    Decentraland Use Cases

    The following is not an exhaustive list of all of the possible use cases for Decentraland; however, it is a good illustration of its potential value.

    Art Galleries

    Artists can use Ethereum to create provably scarce digital art using the ERC721 token standard. ERC721 tokens are also known as NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), and they guarantee that a digital item cannot be duplicated. That can be a digital painting or land: the real estate in Decentraland is coded as an ERC721 token.

    Once an artist has created a digital painting, they can sell it to investors. The most popular marketplace is OpenSea, although another way to advertise art is through a virtual art gallery in Decentraland. Users can walk through the gallery and view the art. If they see something they like, they can buy it. The art will be transferred to the purchaser’s Ethereum address, and they will own it just as completely as they own their plot of land in Decentraland.

    A Decentraland art gallery. IMG SOURCE --- https://cointelegraph.com/news/dc-comics-artist-launches-vr-exhibition-in-decentraland

    Virtual Meetings

    What’s more fun, a boring Zoom call with ten people or a virtual meeting held in a beautiful mansion in Decentraland? For the most tech-centered and cutting edge companies, the answer is obvious. Decentraland is a great place to hold a virtual meeting since it’s so easy to use. All you need to log in to Decentraland is an Ethereum address, and once you’re in, there are a variety of places for everyone to get together.

    If Decentraland were to take off in a big way, it’s probable that large corporations would start buying land plots and building headquarters. The headquarters would show off their presence, just as a flagship store in NYC does now, and give company employees a place to congregate. Virtual meetings and other online gatherings have become much more popular in 2020 than anyone might have imagined.

    Virtual Conferences

    The same idea as a virtual meeting, entire conferences have been moved online. Decentraland is the ideal place for a conference since the infrastructure is already in place, and anybody can join the world without paying.


    Decentraland could prove to be the Myspace of blockchain-based virtual worlds. In a few years, it may be eclipsed by a better, more exciting project. Or it could not be… Perhaps Decentraland becomes the largest and most popular virtual world and stays that way for years.

    If that were to happen, Decentraland real estate would become even more valuable and speculators who are buying up land now would be handsomely rewarded.

    What is MANA Coin?

    MANA is the native currency in Decentraland. It can be used to purchase Decentraland real estate as well as other items in the virtual world. Unlike Decentraland itself, which is an ERC721 token, the Decentraland Coin is based on the ERC20 standard, the same as other popular tokens like DAI, BAT, USDC, etc.

    MANA can be stored in any cryptocurrency wallet which supports the token, like MyEtherWallet or Exodus wallet. If you use Exodus you can even keep your MANA on the Trezor hardware wallet, for ultimate security.

    The total supply of MANA was fixed at 2.6 billion to begin with. However, as Mana is used to purchase property, it gets burned so that the supply goes down over time. According to CoinMarketCap, the current supply of Mana is 2,195,710,466.

    MANA coin price

    The price of MANA peaked at about $0.25 during the last bull run in 2017. At the time, Decentraland was only a concept from the whitepaper; the virtual world didn’t exist yet. Three years later and Decentraland is live, and its popularity has only increased. Although it’s popularity is not yet reflected in its price. On September 7, 2020. one token was equal to $0.07.

    MANA isn’t that far away from its old all-time high price 

    MANA coin price prediction

    There are many MANA coin price predictions for the future but very few of these predictions are worth much. Case in point, ChangeNow is an established cryptocurrency exchange which has a blog where they post content. However, their MANA price predictions have been way off.

    At the start of the summer ChangeNow predicted that the MANA price would be $0.038 on the first day of September. However, once September 1st rolled around the price ended up being nearly three times as high, at $0.10 per token.  

    Their prediction was way off even though they were just trying to guess the price a few months in the future. Predicting cryptocurrency prices is generally a guessing game, as the market is so volatile that it’s impossible to say where prices will be tomorrow let alone in six months.

    Decentraland Auction

    The creators of Decentraland decided that the best way to sell off land was with a Dutch auction. In a Dutch auction the price begins at an unreasonably high level and then comes down gradually. At any time a person can choose to buy the property at the price listed, or they can wait for it to get cheaper but run the risk that someone else will buy the land first.

    All of the MANA that’s used to buy property gets burned. It doesn’t get funneled to the Decentraland founding team. More information about the Decentraland land auctions is available on their website.

    Decentraland News

    For a while Decentraland had its own newspaper, the Decentraland Daily, although nobody has posted a new article there in the last two years.

    There’s still plenty happening though and the Decentraland website has a full listing of all of the virtual events taking place.

    Virtual events taking place in Decentraland

    Decentraland Reddit

    The official Decentraland Subreddit is a good source of information about the project. There’s also some interesting debate about MANA in the Reddit Thread: What happens if Mana reaches 1 dollar?

    Decentraland Wallet

    MetaMask is the best Decentraland wallet since it’s built into the browser and provides an easy way to access the Decentraland world. You can use MetaMask to store Ethereum as well as MANA. There is a full guide to using MetaMask with Decentraland available here.

    If you’re simply looking to hold Decentraland MANA coins, you can download Exodus on your phone and computer. With Exodus, you can manage MANA coin and quickly exchange it for other crypto like Bitcoin and Ethereum. No account sign up is required to use Exodus and your assets remain in your full control.

    The Future of Decentraland

    Decentraland is still a relatively small project. Although it’s becoming an increasingly popular virtual world it definitely hasn’t hit mass adoption yet. That day may still come though, as more people become used to the idea of living online.

    Digital art, virtual conferences and online meetings, all of these will help the Decentraland project to grow in the future. This is definitely a project to keep an eye on, especially as the user experience improves and large companies begin to buy land and create their own virtual headquarters.

    This content is for informational purposes only and is not investment advice. You should consult a qualified licensed advisor before engaging in any transaction.

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