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What is Decentraland virtual reality platform?

Decentraland is a virtual reality platform or virtual world powered by Ethereum blockchain. Users explore the project's metaworld and fill it with content. In Decentraland, users create various artifacts and interactive objects. Objects and plots of land in this virtual world are NFT. They are traded on an internal marketplace.

The platform uses MANA and LAND coins. The non-interchangeable LAND tokens are plots of land, and MANA is used for settlement and management. Decentraland’s metaworld is managed by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

Who founded Decentraland and when?

Esteban Ordano and Ariel Meilich founded Decentraland in 2015. Prior to that, Ordano worked as a programmer at Bitpay and Meilich as an analyst at Charles River Ventures.

The developers originally released the virtual world as a two-dimensional pixel map. The dots were colored and linked to metadata that allowed them to be identified.

In 2016, the team began creating a digital world using 3D graphics.

In 2017, Decentraland raised 86,206 ETH ($24 million at the time) in an ICO. The organization maintains the project’s website and also owns the intellectual property rights. The developers kept 20% of the raised funds.

A development plan for the platform was formed in 2017, and its beta version was presented in 2019. Later they added interactive applications and the possibility of in-game communication.

In February 2020, the developers presented the final version of the meta-universe.

What can I do in Decentraland?

The platform belongs to the GameFi sector – providing users with gaming and financial opportunities. Players explore territories, communicate and participate in interactive scenes, and create virtual objects in the form of NFTs.

Various events take place in Decentraland, including exhibitions, trainings, and seminars. The metavirtual universe allows advertising products and services as well as informing about upcoming activities.

The project’s white paper outlines different ways to develop the meta universe and expand gameplay opportunities. Users can create objects, mini-games and applications. The team offers two tools to develop the virtual world:

  1. The Builder. This is a browser-based editor that allows you to create and edit the content of the metaworld by dragging and dropping objects.
  2. Decentraland SDK. A set of development tools designed to implement interactive scenes and custom elements.

The libraries extend the capabilities of interactive content. Territory owners can create mini-games and generate income from them. Virtual items and lands can be freely traded in the Decentraland Marketplace.

What’s in the Decentraland meta universe?

The virtual world is placed on a 300 by 300 area. All lands correspond to non-interchangeable LAND tokens.

The virtual world includes 92,598 plots. The area of each plot is 256 square meters (a square of 16 m2 by 16 m2).

The position of the plot is determined by x and y coordinates. Owners decide what content to place on their own territories.

The metavieworld is divided into thematic areas. The concept allows to unite like-minded people into districts that match their interests. As of this writing, there are 39 active districts.

These areas have unique features that attract visitors. The most popular area associations are:

Aetheria

The largest district in the meta-village, containing more than 8,000 lots. The district includes cyberpunk style properties and facilities.

Vegas City

The district contains more than 6,000 lots. The district’s activities focus on gambling. Casinos, nightclubs, and stores are common here.

Dragon City

The district harmoniously combines Western and Eastern cultures. On its territory there are various architectural styles of real estate.

Fashion Street

The district is filled with stores of famous companies. Visitors can see the things they like thanks to virtual reality technology and buy them.

Each district holds votes that set the internal rules and determine the direction of development. Some restrictions apply to building on one’s own property.

Plot owners choose the architectural style of the district and dispose of the resulting profits. The district’s budget is allocated with the help of the DAO.

How does Decentraland work?

The platform is a layered structure with three layers: consensus, content and real-time.

The consensus layer tracks virtual property rights. Decentraland uses Ethereum smart contracts to issue non-interchangeable tokens, including LAND. This layer contains information about the owners of virtual areas and objects. The coordinates of the areas are stored in the blockchain. There is also a link to the file in which the content of the site is located.

The content layer is a decentralized data storage system. It uses software like BitTorrent. Users host the files needed to display the game space and its objects. The storage contains static elements, textures, audio recordings and item descriptions. It contains the information necessary for scripting.

The Real-time layer allows users to interact with the virtual world and with each other. The tool provides real-time loading of data from the repository and connection of avatars.

How is Decentraland tokenomics structured?

The project uses MANA and LAND coins. The game objects of the meta universe are represented by NFT.

MANA is a utility token of the ERC-20 standard. The initial issue of MANA was 2.8 billion coins. As of January 2022, it has been reduced to 2.19 billion through combustion.

MANA is used to buy land, gaming items and services. The token is needed to build buildings and manage the platform.

LAND is a non-exchangeable ERC-721 standard token representing a plot in the meta universe. The owner of the NFT is the steward of the area with the corresponding coordinates.

If the user owns a group of plots, he can get an Estate (real estate) token. It is possible to create a crypto-asset from two or more plots.

During the formation phase of the meta-universe, MANA was used to buy LAND tokens. Lands were auctioned in December 2017 and December 2018. At the same time, MANA tokens were burned.

Who runs Decentraland?

The platform is managed by the DAO, which distinguishes it from alternative projects. The founders proposed a collective governance model at launch, but the project did not fully come under community control until 2020.

Changes are made based on the results of votes. It uses smart contracts – MANA and LAND owners can participate and initiate votes.

Precinct owners are entitled to two thousand votes. MANA holders can also manage the DAO, but they need to convert the assets into wrapped tokens (wMANA). Each coin entitles them to one vote.

How has Decentraland evolved?

The project has been in existence for more than six years. Users still note the shortcomings of the software and the poor quality of object display.

In October 2021, the developers added support for Polygon. Users can now use the network to release and move assets. According to Decentraland Roadmap, the project team plans to improve developer tools and add new features.

Many companies have bought virtual plots in the project’s meta-universe to advertise and sell products. For example, Sotheby’s Art Gallery and a Samsung store have opened in it. In Decentraland hold weddings and even raves, though not very funny. And the authorities in Barbados are preparing to open a virtual embassy.