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As the name suggests, Decentraland is a decentralized software built on Ethereum’s blockchain to operate as a virtual reality platform where users are allowed to create, purchase or sell virtual plots of land created in the form of NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

At its core, Decentraland is building the foundations of a metaverse with a 3D virtual world experience on the blockchain where users can interact in a shared economy enabled by NFTs they own. Operating as a community-owned platform, its users can non-only have ownership of the NFTs they buy but also govern further development and management of the platform through a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

The platform is supported by two native cryptocurrencies with the first one (MANA) facilitating transactions and purchases of virtual land among other virtual items in the platform. The other token is called LAND and is a non-fungible token used to define ownership of parcels of land.

Decentraland Pros & Cons


  • The token to use in the Decentraland metaverse.

  • Fungible and compatible with dApps on Ethereum

  • Features a deflationary design

  • Cross-chain accessibility


  • Lacks interoperability on other blockchain networks

  • Doesn’t offer any truly unique features outside of Decentraland

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MANA Ratings

Developer engagement

  • Rating: High
  • Reason: Several institutions have already shown interest in Decentrand’s MANAas it represents a piece of the booming NFT landscape that is Decentraland.


  • Rating: High
  • Reason: At the start of the project in 2017, Decentraland featured a 40/20/20/20 distribution model that placed 20 percent of the tokens in reserve as an incentive to the community and 20percent for development and the remaining 20 to be held by the project’s team.


  • Rating: High
  • Reason: As a fungible ERC20 token, the MANA tokens enable a high level of liquidity on the Decentraland platform.

Network Speed

  • Rating: Medium
  • Reason: Given that Decentraland is built on Ethereum, its network speed is affected by congestion on the Ethereum network.

Who created Decentraland?

Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano first originated the idea of Decentraland in 2015 which started as a pixelated grid that used a proof of work algorithm to allocate pixels to users. However, the idea soon evolved into a 3D world with the launch of its beta platform in 2017. In the beginning, users could sell virtual land for as low as $20.

With the current NFT boom, Decentraland’s virtual land items have also seen a tremendous uptake with the most desirable real estate going for more than $100,000. Evidence of the outsized returns of the digital real estate sector has been revealed with the recent purchase of nearly $1 million made by an investment firm called Republic Realm.

How does Decentraland work?

Decentraland is a virtual world wrapped in an online space that integrates blockchain technology through NFTs in the form of virtual land. Other virtual items such as the avatar for each player, the clothes of the avatar as well as the buildings built on top of the land are also represented in the form of NFTs.

Users therefore can interact with the virtual world of the platform by creating custom additional NFT items such as a house, a car, or even a shopping mall that stand on top of the land. Republic Realm for instance plans to use the 259 parcels of virtual land bought on Decentraland to build a virtual shopping district designed after a Tokyo shopping district called Harajuku.

Other users can interact with the virtual items you have created on Decentraland and you can go as far as upgrading your land with more features that can be used to monetize the land thus making the entire experience exciting and fun.

How is the LAND token used?

The LAND tokens on Decentraland are designed to track ownership of virtual land on the platform. Each LAND token represents a parcel of virtual land on the platform therefore users who own LAND tokens own a plot of land on Decentraland.

Several builder tools on Decentraland can be used by parcel owners to curate a unique experience within the LAND parcel. Users can use Decentraland’s LAND manager to merge LAND parcels into an estate, dissolve an estate into separate LAND parcels, transfer ownership of LAND parcels or even permit other users to edit the parcel.

The supply of LAND tokens is capped with each plot measuring 33 by 33 feet, however, there is no cap to the height of the land. To purchase LAND tokens, users need MANA as LAND parcels are priced in MANA.

How is the MANA token used?

While LAND tokens are built as non-fungible tokens using Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard, MANA tokens are built with Ethereum’s ERC-20 token standard as fungible tokens.

MANA is Decentraland’s native token and also functions as the platform’s governance token and can be bought on exchanges or acquired through selling collectibles and NFTs on the Decentraland marketplace. There is a MANA treasury in place for the DAO where users who want to participate in the decision-making process of the platform lock their MANA tokens.

Apart from LAND parcels, users can use MANA to buy other NFT collectibles and services in the Decentralized platform.

With each LAND token produced, MANA tokens are burnt thus maintaining a deflationary aspect to the token as the platform grows.

Where to Buy MANA?

You can buy MANA on the following exchanges.

MANA Advantages

MANA is designed to facilitate liquidity of in-game items on Decentraland.

It features a deflationary aspect that maintains the value of in-game items therefore as more people mint NFTs on Decentraland so does its value appreciation. It also adds a layer of security to the Decentraland ecosystem as is built on the Ethereum blockchain which is a tried and tested network. MANA is also a fully decentralized token such that the private keys to its smart contract have been thrown away meaning no single entity or individual can control its inherent design.

MANA Disadvantages

MANA is only useful on the Ethereum network. While it is useful to the Decentraland network, MANA hinders interoperability as you cannot use any other cryptocurrency to buy assets on Decentraland.

The Intersection Between VR and Blockchain

The potential use cases for Decentraland are endless.

The platform can be used to create a richer immersive experience online with 3D scenes and games on top of the LAND parcels. Organic communities of like-minded individuals can also emerge through the creation of districts and neighborhoods centered around a specific theme or culture.

Advertisers can also display their brands by purchasing real-estate and other items on the platform. Artists can also set up virtual museums and use them to display or sell their NFT based digital art.

Even though the blockchain and virtual reality sector are largely untested, Decentraland provides a real example of what a virtual reality experience built on the blockchain can look like.

MANA Frequently Asked Questions

Decentraland boasts of being the first of its kind open-source protocol that is fully controlled by its network of users in a decentralized framework.

Therefore, a huge percentage of LAND and MANA tokens are owned and controlled by the DAO. Governance works through proposals on policy updates that are submitted by the users. The voting process for the various proposals takes place on Decentraland’s DAO governance interface called Aragon. Proposals with the most votes are implemented by the platform’s development team.

The platform recently released the concept of ‘districts’ which are communities that revolve around a shared piece of real estate in the game where the amount of LAND a user owns in the specified district determines the weight of their vote.

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