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Understanding Decentraland (MANA)
If you have a passion for blockchain technology and gaming, Decentraland (MANA) has become the wonderland for you, Alice. Decentraland opened up a new world for gamers and those who love virtual reality, NFT’s and the emerging Metaverse.
Since its launch in January 2020, gamers, crypto investors and NFT aficionados have had big dreams for this project. So what is Decentraland, how does it work, and what future does it hold for the metaverse and non-fungible token (NFT) users? This article will answer all those questions.
What is Decentraland?
Two blockchain experts, Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano develop the smart contracts that run Decentraland. Both developers launched the project in 2020 and allowed a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to govern it.
The platform has three native tokens which include Estate, an ERC-721 token that represents merged parcels of digital land, LAND, ERC-721 non-fungible tokens that represents parcels of digital land, and MANA, an ERC-20 token that is the official currency of Decentraland. The MANA cryptocurrency is likely what will see tremendous success if the Decentraland dream becomes a reality.
The Decentraland protocol has three layers which include the consensus layer, the land content layer, and the real-time layer. The consensus layer contains the Ethereum smart contract which governs and tracks LAND ownership. The land content layer renders the content users see on Decentraland while the real-time layer allows users to interact with each other.
How does Decentraland work?
Decentraland is like any other virtual world. You can explore the map of Decentraland and join one of the many community events happening. Communities across the entire crypto space throw everything from concerts, to gambling nights and even movies where participants meet at the same location and have fun.
In addition, you can interact with the in-game economy by buying digital art and/or trading with others on the platform. Players can interact with the platform and track real estate parcels known as LAND. Users can purchase and sell these tokens. However, unlike other virtual reality games, players have some direct control over the rules in Decentraland. The decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) allows users to vote directly on the game and the organization's policies.
On the Decentraland map, each small square is a parcel of LAND. A collection or plots of LAND form a district. A district is a community of LANDs with the same interests, style or community. There is a Vegas City, District X (former Redlight District), Fashion Street, Dragon City and much more. It doesn't matter if a person wants to talk about startups, play casino games, look at minecraft streaming, view virtual real estate or even discuss the latest Southeby NFT drop - Decentraland has it all.
The Emerging Metaverse
The metaverse is arriving and looks like it will be built on an open-source blockchain that gives digital assets, identities and communities true ownership. It is a virtual shared space that is created by the confluence of augmented reality, enhanced physical reality, virtual reality and the internet. This new reality is where people will flaunt their digital items (NFT's) such as avatars and wearables in order to display social status. It likely will become a sort of second life, where people spend a significant amount of their time in this virtual reality platform instead of the normal analogue world.
There have been many movies that envision a virtual world where almost anything can be done. In the metaverse, traveling around different places while keeping the same avatar and purchased goods should be easy. Many people picture the metaverse as the world shown in the sci-fi movie, Ready Player One. However, the metaverse is not only an online game or virtual space. The metaverse is like an alternative world with features that cannot be achieved in the real world. Why does the metaverse matter anyway?
The metaverse could change the way we interact with the digital world. This could open up a new bubble for content creators, gamers, and artists just like NFTs did some months back. The metaverse is built on the blockchain network and is described as the successor to the internet.
The metaverse could become a money-making industry as it could be the content medium for entertainment, commerce and so much more. Matthew Ball, a Venture capitalist writes that the metaverse will be the driving force for the creation of companies and a gateway to more digital experiences.
The Future of the Metaverse
The future of the metaverse may grow into an omniverse with many possibilities. Many brands are moving towards the metaverse and although no one can predict the future, many believe that the metaverse will be an important part of the future.
Recently, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be looking towards creating a minimalist, interconnected set of experiences known as the metaverse. According to Zuckerberg, the metaverse will bring many opportunities for content creators and many others.
The future of the metaverse is huge and no one knows where it is heading and what it will look like. As the gaming and fashion industries keep moving towards creating metaverses, the journey is just beginning.
NFTs and the Metaverse
NFTs have changed the world of blockchain and digital ownership. Many people have invested millions of dollars into NFTs as the entertainment industry and even the sports industry create in-game tokens and fan tokens as NFTs.
NFTs are unique digital tokens. An NFT is information that is recorded on a blockchain about an asset. NFTs contain secured information about an asset that proves identity, ownership, and even the history of the asset. With the new metaverses, NFT will be the norm for ownership in a world of content creators and entertainers.
Although NFTs are used in the digital space, the real estate sector, and the gaming industry, they are also part of a bigger opportunity: the Metaverse. One concept that is common to the metaverse is the concept of ownership. The metaverse will be home to any asset one can think of and the need to recognize ownership will be greater.
There has always been an issue with ownership in the digital space and that is why NFTs have become a big boom in the blockchain industry today.
It isn't yet clear if the Metaverse will be one merged element (like the web) or many separate joined ones (like online media organizations), yet how it will be created will decide its effect on the future. In case there are different elements, for instance, each will have its principles and may not follow existing models.
To imagine the importance of NFT resources in the Metaverse, envision a virtual existence where each possible resource can be purchased, sold, or exchanged. This includes the real exchange of assets between two universes, the real and the virtual. Enter Web3, or the decentralized Internet, which is the key that can connect NFTs with the metaverse. That seamless process can only be possible with the help of NFTs.
MANA is the official currency of Decentraland. It is built on the Ethereum blockchain and used to pay for goods and services in Decentraland. One can also exchange MANA for fiat currency or other digital currencies. Those who hold MANA can interact with the platform through their avatars and have the ability to vote on policies that can improve the platform. If Decentraland continues to scale and become adopted as a crucial piece of the emerging Metaverse, it's likely that MANA will appreciate in price as a result.
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