A metaverse is a virtual collective shared space. If that short definition sounds too convoluted, think of it as a sandbox game. Something like an entry in the GTA series. A vast 3D map that users can roam. Inside it, they can interact with others via their avatars and even conduct monetary transactions. It is a parallel digital universe, Second Life but with vast in-world money-earning possibilities. We are not talking about peanuts here either.
Metaverses have become all the rage in the past year due to the rise of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. These are unique, unreproducible virtual assets that have recently attained massive popularity and are slowly going mainstream. Other popular metaverses include Cryptovoxels, The Sandbox, Ethernia, Axie Infinity, and Somnium Space.
Below we explain the nitty-gritty of Decentraland and how you can become a part of this open world.
A Brief History of Decentraland
The Decentraland development team began working on this project in 2015. At the start, the map was an infinite 2D grid where users got assigned pixels (digital real estate). During that time, the project bore the name – Stone Age of the Decentralized. A year later, the team began crafting the world’s 3D environment and move the project to the stage titled – The Bronze Age. In 2017, Decentraland officially opened its doors by auctioning off its virtual real estate.
It is crucial to understand that Decentraland exists on the Ethereum blockchain, a digital ledger used by the world’s second most popular cryptocurrency, Ether. Thus, Decentraland’s money called MANA is a token that exists on the Ethereum blockchain. You can purchase MANA by converting fiat currency into digital tokens.
How to Enter This Metaverse
You gain entry into this virtual world by visiting decentraland.org and clicking the Get Started button. You can choose to immerse yourself in this metaverse or explore it as a guest. If you select the first option, you will need to pay 100 MANA to grab a digital passport that manages your in-world identity. You will also have to go through an avatar selection process, where you get to choose what you will look like in this world. The steps featured on this page are similar to those utilized in the creation of Nintendo’s Miis.
After you hit – Start Exploring, the Decentraland website connects to your MetaMask or any other account that can store and send Ethereum-based tokens. Then, your avatar lands inside – Genesis Plaza, the introductory zone of Decentraland. There, a robot gives you an explanation of what this world is and how it works.
What Can You Do In This Virtual World?
If you have not seen what Decentraland looks like, it features rudimentary Minecraft-like graphics. Once inside, users can press – /help to learn ITS control mechanisms. Genesis Plaza is one of many districts that exist inside this world. Other, larger ones are the Aetherian project, Dragon City, and Vegas City. The latter is the spOT of the world’s first virtual casino run by Atari, similar to new online casinos in the USA market. That is right, you can gamble for real in Decentraland.
You can also do some in-world shopping at the Decentraland Marketplace, where you can buy unique clothing (NFTs), such as colorful tuxedos or jester leggings. Custom titles are also on offer here. So, if you do not want a vanilla avatar, you will have to spend some MANA to make yours a bit different than the standard one.
The real power of Decentraland lies in the land-owning and business possibilities that this metaverse offers. You can buy parcels of LAND, digital real estate, using MANA, and then build structures on top of your LAND property. Some users have built stores, nightclubs, museums, and other businesses inside this world. All of these earn MANA via various means. For example, nightclubs sell VIP passes to exclusive lounges that offer a wider choice of music, richer animations, and a ton of other perks. Users also get hired to DJ at these spots, earning MANA via their unique talents, the same as they would in real life. There are even digital concerts, and Decentraland has its version of Burning Man.
That said, the best get-rich schemes here seem to be associated with creating artworks (NFTs). That market is exploding, as people have already made millions by selling digital art.
Decentraland is the most established metaverse on the Etherum blockchain. It is a fully decentralized space controlled via a digital decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). Meaning, every user votes on policies regarding the rules implemented in this metaverse. Everyone has a say, and anyone can buy real estate here. However, while there is a cap on the number of LAND parcels, there is no limit on how high the structures built on them can go.
About the Author
Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com. However, over her eleven-year career, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.