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[exchange-rates_badge amount="1" base_currency="ETH" flag_type="none" decimals="2" id="1690700525" currency_list="USD"]

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[exchange-rates_badge amount="1" base_currency="BTC" flag_type="none" decimals="2" id="1690700525" currency_list="USD"]

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[exchange-rates_badge amount="1" base_currency="BTC" flag_type="none" decimals="2" id="1690700525" currency_list="USD"]

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decentraland.org

Decentraland

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The growing interest in metaverses indicates that it is only a matter of time before we begin to witness an influx of companies vying for the chance of leading the ongoing digital revolution. Already, Facebook, now Meta, has made its intention known when it underwent a total restructure centered around the creation of a Metaverse. It is safe to say that many more companies will follow suit in the coming years.

However, before the recent massive surge in corporate interest in Metaverse-based solutions, some teams and platforms had already made progress in this field. Some of these platforms had introduced elements of blockchain technology to make the virtual experience a lot more worthwhile. One of such is Decentraland, the Ethereum-based platform that allows users to explore an ever-growing digital world powered by non-fungible tokens.

In this guide, I will explore the workings of Decentraland and why it has become a prominent blockchain game. Additionally, I will highlight its downsides, if there are any.

What is Decentraland?

Decentraland is a pixelated virtual platform or game where users can explore and build on. Think of it as a virtual world where a virtual representation of you can exist. Not only that, you can monetize your virtual experience such that your active participation yields financial rewards. Herein lies one of the core factors that set blockchain-powered virtual realms apart from those built with conventional models.

Before the advent of blockchain-powered metaverses, what we had were companies that had complete control over their in-world economy, that is if they had any. Users could explore all they want but there was a limit to the level of control they have over the infrastructures and features that make up the virtual game. Usually, you can buy in-game items but that does not translate to outright ownership. When you buy such items, they are untransferable, which makes it impossible to monetize.

In contrast, blockchain-based metaverses like Decentraland have introduced an innovative system that allows you and I to outrightly own in-game items, transfer them, and ultimately monetize them. So with Decentraland, what you will get is a decentralized platform where your purchases are finalized on the blockchain. With this, it becomes possible to track and authenticate each item. As such, this system gives no room for counterfeiting. This is thanks to the implementation of what we call non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

For those unfamiliar with this term, NFTs are crypto assets that are ideal for establishing ownership and authenticity of real-world or digital assets on the blockchain. The goal is to create a system that will enable true ownership of digital assets. Therefore, when you purchase NFTs, they are automatically registered on the blockchain as yours. This model is perfect for platforms like Decentraland that want to transfer the ownership of in-game items to their users. Bearing this in mind, we can define Decentraland as a decentralized virtual world powered by NFTs and secured by blockchain technology.

The core aim is to create a world that is fully owned by users which is why the platform focuses on delivering a lot more flexibility and control. More importantly, users are allowed to build and add new elements to the game. This functionality, in addition to the implementation of NFT-based assets, is one of the defining attributes of Decentraland. Simply put, Decentraland encourages users to contribute creatively to its virtual world. Not only that, you retain control over how your creation and content are being used. You could set it up in such a way that other players pay you when they engage with your content. Note that content in this context usually denotes virtual structures and games. For example, users can build virtual structures like a playground, a gallery, or even a race track and charge other players when they use them. However, for this to happen, you have to first acquire parcels of lands on which you can build upon.

Since lands are perhaps the most critical in-game items on Decentraland, they are tokenized as NFTs such that each piece of land is unique. What's more? These lands are verifiable on the blockchain which means that it is impossible to counterfeit them. Now that you are familiar with the basic workings of Decentraland, it is time to take a deep dive into the functionalities of the platform.

What are the core features of Decentraland?

As mentioned earlier, Decentraland incorporates blockchain-based digital assets to anchor a self-sufficient economy. The two types of digital assets that you will find on Decentraland are LAND and MANA.

What is LAND?

LAND is the non-fungible token used to represent the lands on Decentraland. Therefore, when you buy a LAND token, you automatically become the owner of a corresponding piece of land in the virtual world. These digital assets were designed based on the ERC721 protocol, which means that there will always be one of each, and they all exist on the Ethereum blockchain. What makes LAND unique is its special attribute that makes it possible to build 3D constructs and applications on Decentraland. In essence, when you own LAND tokens, you can choose to create 3D spaces on them and ultimately contribute to the growth of the platform.

For example, Sotheby’s, the world's oldest auction house, launched a virtual gallery on Decentraland. This virtual space is the replica of the auction’s gallery in London, and it was designed to house and showcase NFT arts. Virtual spaces like this have begun to emerge on Decentraland. They ultimately add to the allure of the virtual realm as a whole.

Please note that each LAND token represents a 16m X 16m land parcel. All through 2021, we witnessed how valuable these virtual lands can be with one in particular selling for $1 million in June 2021. In another development that buttressed the growing appeal of Decentraland and its LAND tokens, a patch of land was bought with cryptocurrency worth $2.4 million in November 2021. It is safe to say that this is the most expensive digital real estate at the time of writing this review. So the question is: how can you get your hands on virtual lands on Decentraland?

Before I go into the technicalities involved, you should first have at the back of your mind that there are limited LAND tokens. And from basic economics, scarcity generally drives prices up. This is true in the case of LAND since a growing number of users are competing for a limited supply of the digital asset. Hence, there is a high chance that you will have to part with a considerable sum of money to purchase a virtual land parcel on Decentraland.

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