Decentraland is a virtual reality (VR) platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain, where users can create, experience, and monetize content and applications in a 3D interactive world. In Decentraland, you can purchase land via the Ethereum blockchain and have full ownership rights, allowing you to build whatever you want. Landowners control what content is published to their land, ranging from static 3D scenes to interactive systems such as games and activities. Users can use MANA to buy empty land parcels as well as any digital goods and services offered within the platform.
In Decentraland, new land parcels must be contiguous to existing ones, allowing for spatial discovery of new content and the creation of districts devoted to specific topics or themes. This means that land parcels can only have a limited, fixed amount of adjacencies, making land purposefully scarce. The content of adjacent parcels can be seen from a distance, providing users with the experience of traveling through a neighborhood. With scarce land and discovery by adjacency, access to users is gained by purchasing land in high-traffic areas, giving rise to secondary markets around land ownership and rentals.
The infrastructure supporting this shared virtual world consists of a decentralized ledger for land ownership, a protocol for describing the content of each land parcel, and a peer-to-peer network for user interactions. Land ownership is established via an Ethereum smart contract, which includes a hash reference to a content file, which in turn is downloaded via BitTorrent (currently) or IPFS (in the future). The downloaded file contains a description of objects, textures, sounds, and other elements needed to render the scene. It also contains the URL of a rendezvous server to coordinate connections between users exploring the tile concurrently.
Decentraland’s beginning in 2015, called its Stone Age, was a proof-of-concept in which digital real estate was implemented as pixels on an infinite 2D grid, each pixel containing metadata identifying the owner and describing the pixel’s color. By now the platform has progressed to its Bronze Age, wherein a 3D virtual world is divided into land parcels, each associated by hash reference to a content file in distributed storage. The next version or stage of Decentraland, its Iron Age, will enable developers to create applications on top of Decentraland, distribute them to other users, and monetize them. This will be made possible by implementing peer-to-peer communications, a scripting system to enable interactive content, and a system of fast cryptocurrency payments for in-world transactions. In addition, an identity system based on the land ownership will enable users to establish content authorship through cryptographic signatures.
With the launch of the Iron Age, Decentraland is introducing two digital assets: LAND, the non-fungible parcels into which the virtual world is divided; and MANA, an ERC-20 token that is burned to claim LAND, as well as to make in-world purchases of goods and services. Although every unclaimed LAND can be purchased at the same exchange rate (1000 MANA = 1 LAND), LAND parcels may be traded at different prices on a secondary market due to differences in adjacencies and traffic. MANA tokens will also be used to incentivize content creation and user adoption.
Decentraland’s management team is comprised of project lead Ari Meilich, technical lead Esteban Ordano, and board members Manuel Araoz and Yemel Jardi – an innovative bunch who, as the website emphasizes, collectively brought us Proof of Existence, Streamium, Bitcore, and OpenZeppelin. Their advisory board includes Jake Brukhman (Founder at CoinFund), Luis Cuende (Project Lead at Aragon), Diego Doval (ex CTO at Ning), and Wendell Davis (CCO at Golem). The project will utilize other blockchain technologies such as district0x for secondary markets for reselling land, Aragon for distributed governance, uPort for self-sovereign identity, Ethereum Name Service for human readable names, and potentially IPFS for distributed storage as mentioned above.
|Total Supply||Tokens bought at the crowdsale will represent 40% of the initial token supply.|
Additional tokens will be issued and allocated to the team and early contributors (20%), the community and partners (20%), and the Decentraland Foundation (20%). Founders will have three-year vesting.
After the token sale, additional MANA will be issued in a Continuous Token Model with an 8% increase of the token supply for the first year, and a lower rate in subsequent years. This will allow Decentraland to regularly expand and accommodate new users.
|Maximum Raise||$20 Milllion |
Revenue will be used for primarily for development (50%) and research (20%), as well as for marketing and community dev (15%), operations and business dev (10%), and legal expenses (5%).
|Pricing Structure||MANA tokens will sell at a price that goes from $24 to $40 per LAND equivalent (1000 MANA = 1 LAND).|
|Holding of Funds||N/A. Proceeds received from token sales will eventually be managed by a DAO.|
|Technical White Paper||https://decentraland.org/whitepaper.pdf – doesn’t have the answers to everything yet, but gives a clear view of the developmental trajectory.|
|Team||Experienced, recognized contributors to blockchain development.|
|Token Rights||MANA Tokens used to purchase parcels of LAND, as well as buy digital goods and services within Decentraland.|
*Disclosure – At the time of writing, cryptorated staff owned no Decentraland tokens.