Decentraland (DCL) Metaverse: Explained
|— Decentraland is a 3D virtual world powered by blockchain technology, which allows it to operate a decentralized infrastructure.|
—Decentraland users can own, buy and sell items, such as LAND, avatars, or wearables, with its in-game currency MANA
—This Metaverse is governed by a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), which uses MANA as a governance token.
You might be familiar with web2 metaverses such as Fortnite or Roblox, but Decentraland offers a unique and decentralized experience like no other.
While a web2 metaverse may have an in-game currency and allow you to buy items. These items are stuck in that game, impossible to use for anything else. Blockchain metaverses allow you true ownership of your digital assets. One of the most popular blockchain metaverses today is Decentraland.
This immersive 3d virtual world allows users to buy virtual plots of land using the Decentraland MANA cryptocurrency and provides a range of opportunities for adventure and creativity. With its decentralized governance system managed through the Decentraland DAO, the platform is entirely owned by users, ensuring a fair and secure experience for all.
In this guide, we’ll dive into the exciting virtual world and explore all that this decentralized metaverse has to offer, starting with the basics.
What Is The Decentraland Metaverse?
Essentially, the Decentraland Metaverse is an immersive 3D virtual world that you can explore through your web browser. It allows you to create and sell customized clothes and accessories for your virtual avatar. It also allows you to own virtual plots of land on which to build experiences. Each piece of land, item, and avatar in this blockchain metaverse is an NFT, meaning it’s unique and impossible to replicate. This gives creators a chance to play, create and monetize their creations.
But Decentraland is not just any metaverse platform. It operates in a decentralized manner, ensuring a fair and secure user experience. To explain, it’s not a central entity that chooses what happens to Decentraland. Instead, it uses a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).
What Is the History of Decentraland?
Argentine blockchain experts Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano created Decentraland in 2017. This started as a proof of concept that assigns ownership of digital real estate to users on the blockchain. They created the game’s smart contracts and originally conceived it as a 2D project. But over time, it evolved into a 3D virtual world.
How Does the Decentraland Metaverse Work?
Decentraland Metaverse is a blockchain-based virtual world where users can buy, sell, and build on land they own using the platform’s native token, MANA. It operates on a decentralized infrastructure, allowing users to create and control their own experiences without a centralized authority.
A 3-Layered Protocol
Decentraland has three layers in its protocol:
The first layer called the consensus layer, is responsible for keeping track of each piece of virtual land including its owner and its contents. This is thanks to smart contracts, which are self-executing computer programs on the blockchain.
The LAND content layer distributes content throughout the Decentraland Metaverse using a decentralized system that relies on many users. This way, no one person or group has too much control, which makes it more secure and fair.
Then the third layer real-time layer enables peer-to-peer connections, meaning it allows users to interact with each other in real-time.
Ultimately, these layers work together to create a decentralized virtual world where users can buy and sell virtual land, create and share content, and interact with each other.
Governance: About DCL DAO
So who manages Decentraland? The answer lies with the metaverse’s own Decentralized Autonomous Organization, or DAO. To explain, anyone that holds a MANA token can vote on proposals to improve Decentraland. Each holder can vote on changes such as issuing grants. This means Decentraland operates without a central authority, relying purely on its decentralized governance model instead.
Each holder must vote using MANA, giving larger holders more voting power. One token is equal to one vote. Then LAND and Estate tokens grant holders 2000 votes.
Tokens in the Decentraland Ecosystem
Decentraland uses non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to represent unique digital assets like virtual land. It also uses fungible tokens, like MANA cryptocurrency, as a means of exchange and governance in the Decentraland Metaverse.
What is MANA?
MANA is the native cryptocurrency of the Decentraland Metaverse. To explain, MANA is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain. You can use MANA in-game to purchase virtual land, goods, and services within Decentraland. However, it’s not just an in-game currency, it’s also a governance token. To explain, it allows holders to participate in the decision-making process through the Decentraland DAO.
As of today, the value of MANA is subject to the usual market fluctuations. You can buy, sell, or trade MANA on trading platforms. To buy MANA securely with Ledger, start by installing the Ledger Live application and select the Ethereum app on your Ledger device. Then click on the “Buy” button on the Ethereum page and choose a MANA exchange that is compatible with Ledger. You can then transfer it to your Ledger wallet by sending it to your Ethereum address.
What Is LAND?
LAND is a virtual plot in the Decentraland metaverse, with each one represented by a unique NFT. In total, there are 90,601 plots of LAND. If you own virtual land, you have full control over it, including the ability to develop, monetize and govern it. Then, the cost of different lands varies depending on their location and size, with some selling for millions of dollars.
You can use a Ledger hardware wallet to secure your Decentraland land and other NFTs. First, connect your Ledger device to your device and unlock it. Then, install an Ethereum wallet on your device if you haven’t already via the Ledger Live application. From there, you can transfer your LAND to your secure Ledger wallet.
Exploring Decentraland’s Metaverse
The Decentraland Metaverse offers endless opportunities for adventure and creativity. Popular activities include exploring user-generated experiences, attending virtual events, play-to-earn games, and socializing with other users.
Top Metaverse Locations
Each quadrant of the Decentraland Metaverse map contains multiple districts, each with its own unique style and purpose. Thus creating a diverse virtual world. The Genesis Plaza is one of the most iconic places in the Decentraland Metaverse, serving as the community hub. Other notable locations include the Vegas City district, featuring various casinos and entertainment venues, and the Crypto Valley district focused on blockchain and cryptocurrency-related activities. Overall, Decentraland offers a wide range of locations to explore and discover, making it an exciting and engaging metaverse for users.
Metaverse Festivals and Events
The Decentraland Metaverse hosts a variety of events, ranging from art exhibitions and music concerts to gaming tournaments and educational events.
Although many are open to everyone in the metaverse, Decentraland also allows you to token-gate experiences. You can participate in these events by exploring different districts or by simply checking the Decentraland events calendar. Popular events in Decentraland include the weekly poker night, concerts, fashion shows, and even NFT art exhibitions. Plus, it’s a metaverse event pioneer, hosting its own Music Festival and Fashion Week.
Building in the Metaverse
In Decentraland, you can create a variety of things, such as skins, avatars, and experiences. 3D modelers can import typescript code if they prefer, or use the “builder tool” to construct their creations. Let’s take a closer look here.
DCL’s No-Code Builder Tool
Decentraland’s No-Code Builder Tool is a game-changer for creators. This tool enables a no-code upload of 3D models and offers a step-by-step guide for beginners through its University. With the Builder Tool, anyone can easily create beautiful scenes and games with a simple drag-and-drop interface, complete with pre-made models.
For advanced coders, the Decentraland SDK provides limitless possibilities for importing 3D models and creating advanced games, applications, and animations. Note that building height limitations are set at 20 meters per land, and building underground is not permitted.
How to Get Started in the DCL Metaverse
1. Set up your wallet: Before you start exploring Decentraland, create an account on their website and set up a compatible cryptocurrency wallet, such as a Ledger device.
2. Purchase MANA: Once you have a wallet, you can purchase MANA through a cryptocurrency exchange or within the game itself.
3. Explore: With your wallet and MANA, you’re ready to start exploring the Decentraland Metaverse. Use your web browser to log into the game and start exploring.
4. Stay safe: While playing in Decentraland, it’s important to be cautious and never share personal information and keep your private keys secure.
Staying Safe in The Decentraland Metaverse
As the Metaverse continues to grow, it is important to ensure that you stay safe while exploring and participating in its various activities. Firstly, make sure you’re always using the official Decentraland website. Then one crucial step to take is to secure your assets, such as your land and other NFTs, with a hardware wallet like the devices Ledger offers. This will provide an added layer of protection against hackers and scammers who may try to steal your valuable assets. Only by using a hardware wallet can you can have peace of mind knowing that your digital assets are secure. And this way, you can continue to explore and enjoy the Decentraland Metaverse. To learn about other metaverse platforms, you can check out Yuga Labs’ Otherside Metaverse and The Sandbox.