Decentraland Review: Everything You Should Know

Built and powered by the Ethereum blockchain, Decentraland is a decentralized browser-based virtual reality (VR) platform.


In recent years, the number of use cases of blockchain technologies is increasing steeply, resulting in more decentralized applications surfacing. One of the best and most successful use cases of blockchain technology is gaming. In traditional games, in-game achievements and assets were limited to the game. Players can now own their in-game purchases, land pieces, and characters with blockchain technology in games. 

The play-to-earn model enables players to earn crypto or real money using their skills and digital assets. We are looking at an economy where gamers and crypto enthusiasts are paying millions to own digital real estate that has no existence in the real world. Decentraland was one of the first games to pioneer in the blockchain gaming field. But what does Decentraland stand for? How does it work? How do you buy Decentraland LAND and tokens? Keep reading below as we discuss everything related to Decentraland.

Quick Summary

Name: Decentraland

About: Decentraland is a decentralized browser-based 3D virtual platform where users can trade assets, explore, and monetize in-game content.

Launch Date: 20.02.2020

Blockchain: Ethereum

Tokens: MANA and LAND

Associated Brands and Celebrities: 

Samsung, Australia Open 2022, Digital Currency Group, Metaverse Group, JJ Lin, Stephen Curry, and more.

What is Decentraland?

Built and powered by the Ethereum blockchain, Decentraland is a decentralized browser-based virtual reality (VR) platform. In its 3D virtual world, users can create, trade, explore and monetize in-game content with NFTs and cryptocurrencies. The 3D lands in Decentraland are permanently owned by the community members and investors, giving them complete ownership over their creations. Getting started is very easy; you have to login and create an avatar. After that, you can begin exploring around and building all sorts of experiences such as virtual cinemas, galleries, or even playgrounds. 

But you might be wondering," How is Decentraland any different from other famous blockchain-based games?" Decentraland stands out in the crowd as a central organization does not control it. The policies that determine how Decentraland would be developed are governed by a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). What exactly is the Decentraland DAO, and how does it work? Read along to find out!

The Decentraland DAO

DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. The most important smart contracts and assets, which are the building blocks of Decentraland, are owned by the Decentraland DAO. These contracts and assets include LAND and Estate contracts, wearables, marketplace, and content servers. The Decentraland DAO also holds a good sum of MANA to subsidize various development operations and initiatives autonomously. 

The game developers always envisioned making Decentraland fully decentralized by handing over the control to the people who contribute and participate in its virtual world. Through the Decentraland DAO, community members can determine how things work in Decentraland, such as content moderation, Land policy, auctions, and more. Everything is determined by voting on the Decentraland DAO's governance interface powered by Aragon.

There is a range of issues on which the Decentraland DAO members get to vote on, including:

  • Features and protocol updates for LANDs and Estates.
  • Future LAND Auction Dates.
  • Marketplace fees amount in MANA.
  • Addition of new and replacement of existing content servers.
  • Allocating funds to development.
  • Addition of new assets to the Decentraland world.
  • Electing and replacing members of Decentraland's Security Council.

The Team Behind Decentraland

The vision behind Decentraland was conceptualized in writing in its whitepaper, which was written by Esteban Ordano, Ariel Meilich, Manuel Araoz, and Yemel Jardi. Several industry experts helped by reviewing and contributing, such as Michael Bossworth from Google, Jon Choi of Dropbox, Jesse Walden of Spotify, CoinFund founder Jake Brukhman and many more. The unique vision turned into reality on February 20th, 2020, when Decentraland was launched. It started with the establishment of Decentraland DAO and fully decentralizing the infrastructure of Decentraland's virtual world.

The launch was an important moment in Decentraland's future development as from that point on; no single entity could change anything in Decentraland's code. While we don't have any valid estimation on the player base of Decentraland, we can't deny that it has become one of the leading metaverse-based virtual worlds out there. A lot of this present success is possible through the founders' great vision and hard work and all of the Decentraland community.

Noteworthy Partnerships of Decentraland

Any project needs partnership from industry-leading companies and celebrities to prove its legitimacy to the world. One of the best examples for Decentraland is Samsung publicly revealing its attempts to use Decentraland to deep dive into the metaverse. Samsung released their collection of limited supply Decentraland wearables that players can use to customize their avatars in-game. 

The Australian Open 2020, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, also declared its partnership with Decentraland to join the Metaverse frenzy. Other prominent partners include leading Digital Currency Group, the world's oldest auction house Sotheby's, and more. 

Decentraland Tokenomics

Decentraland is a completely virtual world, and it comprises many venture aspects. As a player or investor, you need a comprehensive knowledge of tokenomics to make the most out of this 3D virtual world. Two of the main tokens of Decentraland are MANA and LAND; let's have a deeper look at them.

The MANA Token Explained

MANA is an essential part of Decentraland's in-game economy. It is a fungible ERC-20 token that you can burn and spend in exchange for LAND tokens (1 LAND = 1000 MANA). MANA can be spent on various other digital assets that have utility inside the Decentraland world. Acquiring MANA is very simple and can be done on multiple leading cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance, Kucoin, FTX, and many more. You can open an account on any of these exchanges, buy MANA and transfer it to the wallet you are using to interact with the Decentraland world. 

The LANDToken Explained 

The virtual real estate inside the Decentraland metaverse is represented by LAND NFTs that can track the ownership on the Ethereum blockchain. The LAND tokens are based on the ERC-721 standard, the common protocol for Ethereum based NFTs. The ERC-721 standard makes LAND tradable like any other NFTs on the blockchain. However, in Decentraland, users can build 3D experiences and applications on their LAND tokens and monetize them. The whole Decentraland world comprises 90,601 LAND parcels measuring 16 x 16 meters in size. The most expensive virtual real estate sold to date also belongs to Decentraland, with a single piece of LAND selling for over $2.4 million on November 24th, 2021. 

There are two different ways to acquire virtual properties in the Decentraland metaverse. One way is to participate in the LAND auctions held from time to time, and the other way is to acquire land from other users interested in selling. The easiest and the go-to method is visiting the Decentraland Marketplace and buying the ones that other users list. 

Once you visit the marketplace, you will receive a wallet prompt, where you have to connect your crypto wallet. We recommend using the MetaMask wallet as it is the most popular, trusted, and easy-to-use crypto wallet. After connecting your wallet, click on the "Land" button on the top left corner, and you will see the map of all the LAND in Decentraland. Most of the land is already under someone's name; you can click on the LAND units and place a winning bet for buying the LAND. 

When buying any token or connecting your wallet to any website, be careful of phishing scams. Phishing and other scams are common in the crypto and NFT space nowadays, and countless individuals lose their digital assets daily. To keep yourself safe from such scams, read our guide: NFT Counterfeit and Scams: Things You Need To Be Aware Of

Decentraland Technology Architecture

There are three layers to the protocol of Decentraland:

  • Consensus Layer: This layer employs an Ethereum smart contract for tracking the ownership and content of the LAND parcels.
  • Land Content Layer: This layer plays the role of rendering the virtual world content through a decentralized distribution system.
  • Real-time Layer: This layer uses a peer-to-peer (P2P) network for enabling users to interact with one another in real-time. 

What Can You Do In Decentraland

The possibilities in Decentraland are unlimited. You can build various 3D environments and avatars for showcasing multiple digital assets, roam around in the virtual world without boundaries, or play games with your virtual mates. And the best thing is, everything can be done from the comfort of your own home! For example, if someone wants to sell their Bored Ape NFTs, they can display them in Decentaland's in-game galleries. There are also various games to play, with some featuring a play-to-earn model where players can earn money. For now, these are the most prominent activities in the Decentraland metaverse, and with time we might see more use cases being implemented.

Decentraland Avatars

To travel in the Decentraland's metaverse, you first need to have an avatar. In Decentraland, everything a user does is represented through their avatar. Decentraland provides users with an in-app avatar builder to customize their avatars. Every avatar has a unique name and can stand out from the rest by adding distinct traits. You can claim an avatar name before it's taken by paying 100 MANA, but it is also possible to create an avatar without claiming the name or claiming it later. After completing your avatar, you will get a passport that will serve as your identity across the Decentraland ecosystem.

The Decentraland Marketplace

The Decentraland Marketplace is the internal ecosystem of Decentraland, used for transferring the ownership of LAND parcels, wearables, and unique names. Users can list their items at their prices and negotiate their deals over a P2P network. In the marketplace, users get to check out the LANDs with an atlas view that shows details of every LAND parcel. There is a second marketplace view that looks like a traditional marketplace, with various listings of LAND and other assets. To access the Decentraland marketplace, you can either visit their website or find it in-game by pressing "M".

Making Money in Decentraland

Once you enter the Decentraland world, there are several ways you can make money. The most common method of earning money is investing in LAND, just like real estate in our world. LAND being a limited resource, we can easily predict that its prices will go even higher with time as more and more people join the community. Apart from the price appreciation over time, you can also profit from LAND by hosting games, gambling events, or advertising. Users can also rent their LAND to developers, content creators, or advertising agencies who want to build on it. LAND can also be used as a gallery to display digital products that you want to sell. 

Other than LAND, users can make money by playing various play-to-earn games or gambling games hosted by others. The Decentraland metaverse also has real-world job opportunities. For example, 20 part-time greeters and a manager were hired by the Tominoya Casino from the Decentraland metaverse. As Decentraland attracts more developers and more companies, the potential for earning money will keep increasing. It is just a matter of time.

If you are interested in earning money with metaverse and want to invest wisely, read our guide: How to Invest In The Metaverse: An In-depth Guide

Final Say

Decentraland is the spitting image of the metaverse that we imagine in our minds. It is a completely digital alternative to our real lives where users can build everything from scratch, in any way they like. Decentraland is also set apart from most other popular metaverses in the industry as it is governed through a DAO. When you visit the virtual world, you can see that it is undergoing serious in-game development. Users and investors worldwide have shown great interest in the game, which is evident in the massive galleries, museums, parks, and other massive structures that are being constructed. 

But before you venture into the virtual world of Decentraland, you should keep in mind that it is not a triple-A game with flawless graphics. It is at a basic browser-based stage where you can't expect much quality in graphics or gameplay. However, it is one of the earliest attempts to build a virtual gaming world on the blockchain where players will have ownership over their items and trades. The developers have done a brilliant job so far, building up the world from scratch. With the worldwide adoption of blockchain and improvement of the technology, Decentraland is set to be the go-to platform for replacing every physical activity with a virtual one.