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Video games and online multiplayer games have been the favorite hobbies of many people all over the world. They continue to be the preferred method of entertainment for gamers with highly immersive graphics and gaming experiences. Now, the metaverse is taking online games to a different level by allowing players to participate in the game through virtual 3D environments.
The Decentraland metaverse is the most clearly evident example of taking online games to the next level. It is a blockchain-based virtual world that allows players to build their own games, tools, marketplaces, and content. In 2021, Decentraland experienced explosive growth in the number of users by 3,300%, alongside garnering headlines for virtual real estate auctions.
The simple answer for “what is Decentraland” does not offer a lot of insight to determine the reasons for its growing popularity. You need to dive deeper into the definition and background of Decentraland and the essential highlights in its architecture. Once you know how Decentraland works, you can identify how it serves the different intended use cases. The following discussion helps you uncover all these details about Decentraland, the earliest pioneer of mainstream metaverse applications.
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Definition of Decentraland
When you think of the term “Decentraland metaverse”, it is reasonable to wonder whether Decentraland is a metaverse. To clear your doubt, you must know what a metaverse is. However, you may come across a wide range of definitions for the metaverse depending on the perspective of experts. Simply put, the metaverse is a persistent and shared three-dimensional virtual world where users can interact with each other through digital avatars.
At the same time, the metaverse will also feature virtual spaces which enable users to interact with different digital solutions. The definition of the metaverse fits that of Decentraland to a certain extent. However, Decentraland is not “the” metaverse which would more or less be the virtual counterpart of the real world. On the other hand, Decentraland has developed innovative technology, gathered a community, and accumulated capital which showcases promising prospects for growth of the metaverse.
Basically, the answer to “what is Decentraland” shows that it is a shared virtual world featuring a decentralized ledger for documenting land ownership. The virtual world also features a protocol for specification of content in each land parcel. In addition, Decentraland also offers the infrastructure for a peer-to-peer network to facilitate user interactions.
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Background of Decentraland
The next most important factor in understanding Decentraland basics is a background of the platform. Why did it emerge in the first place? How did Decentraland start in 2017 with metaverse as its core concept? The primary design of games and social networks relies on centralized infrastructures, which allow limited flexibility and ownership to users. As of now, video games enjoy more than 47% market penetration in the United States.
For example, in April 2020, Fortnite registered almost 3.3 billion hours of in-game activity with almost 350 million registered accounts. One thing is quite clear- humans are increasingly spending more time in virtual environments. However, companies hold a substantial amount of control over the experience of users and the network’s parameters. At the same time, such companies also derive a significant amount of value from users.
The Decentraland blockchain evolved as a promising solution for allocating more power to users in the virtual world. Empowering users in the virtual world drives better creativity from users in developing value for the community. The work on Decentraland started in 2015 when the adoption of crypto assets was far from mainstream recognition.
However, the explosive growth of consumer adoption and infrastructure creation in the crypto space fueled the prospects for developing decentralized commerce in virtual worlds like Decentraland. The primary concept behind the Decentraland marketplace was basically a proof of concept to ensure allocation of digital real estate ownership on a blockchain. With more control over their assets in a virtual environment, users can find motivation for contributing more to the community.
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Stages in the Evolution of Decentraland
Since its initial stages of infancy, Decentraland went through different stages in its history. Here are some of the important milestones in the background of Decentraland.
The first stage in the journey of the Decentraland blockchain is the Stone Age. The Stone Age was basically an experiment for implementing the initial proof of concept for Decentraland. During this stage, digital real estate was represented as a pixel on a continuous two-dimensional grid, with allocation of metadata to each pixel.
The next stage in understanding how Decentraland works is the Bronze Age, which brought the 3D virtual world with land parcels. Owners of each parcel of the land could easily associate the parcel with a hash reference. Users could leverage the hash reference for downloading the file with the content of the associated land parcel.
The latest stage in evolution of the Decentraland marketplace refers to the Iron Age. Now, the focus of Decentraland revolves around creating a social experience with an independent economy featuring the aspects of content distribution and land ownership. Developers could create applications over Decentraland and distribute them as well as capitalize on the potential for their monetization.
Working of Decentraland
The background of Decentraland offers a promising idea of how it can empower users and drive increased engagement. At the same time, it is important to find out how it works and how Decentraland crypto can be an influential technological intervention. You need to understand the architecture of Decentraland and the approach it follows for developing a clear impression of how it works.
Architecture of Decentraland
The essential aspect to understanding how the Decentraland coin will be relevant in the crypto space is the architecture. You can find three distinct layers in the protocol of Decentraland as the consensus layer, land content layer, and the real-time layer. The consensus layer takes care of tracking land ownership and the associated content with land parcels. In the land content layer, users can leverage a decentralized distribution system such as IPFS or BitTorrent for downloading assets.
You can get a detailed specification of different objects, elements, sounds, and textures related to the land parcel in the download file. The final layer in the Decentraland crypto protocol is the real-time layer, which enables world viewers of users to connect with each other. The real-time layer offers a URL of the rendezvous server for coordinating connections between P2P users exploring the file concurrently.
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Approach of Decentraland
When you think of the base architecture of Decentraland metaverse, it is reasonable to wonder about the economic element. Interestingly, Decentraland protocol also includes two other systems for developing its independent economy.
The first one is a payment channel infrastructure for facilitating faster payments with lower transaction fees.
The second important aspect for driving the Decentraland economy is an identity system for allowing users to exercise ownership over their original creations.
The Decentraland marketplace develops on the vision of leveraging digital property rights for offering the ability to users for managing the complete in-game experience without limits of centralization. This is where you can find the relevance of Decentraland blockchain connection for using smart contracts and NFTs.
Both these elements can help in driving in-game scarcity. Users can develop social experiences in 3D worlds with an independent economy in Decentraland. The practical approach of Decentraland focuses on two prominent functional digital assets, MANA and LAND. You can develop a detailed understanding of the Decentraland crypto interplay with an overview of these assets.
- LAND is the NFT associated with digital land parcels in Decentraland through ERC-721 standards. Each LAND token has a distinct set of coordinates in Decentraland, and its value depends on proximity to other LAND. The value of LAND also depends on the ability to host content and establish connections among users on Decentraland.
- MANA is the digital asset, which is actually the Decentraland coin of sorts. It serves as the unit of account for determining the pricing of LAND tokens. In addition, MANA is also useful for making payments for products and services in Decentraland.
- Another interesting highlight in the functionalities of Decentraland refers to the allocation of smart contract control to DAO. As a result, users have more control over protocol changes in Decentraland through voting. DAO provides the foundation for voting on policy updates, fees on Decentraland marketplace transactions, and LAND auctions.
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Uses of Decentraland
The different elements in the design of Decentraland metaverse showcase how it can fit with different real-world use cases.
- One of the foremost uses of Decentraland will be evident in the creation of dynamic 3D applications, games, and content.
- Users could also gather in communities with shared interests in Decentraland for content curation.
- In addition, brands can also leverage the virtual spaces in Decentraland for marketing opportunities near high-traffic LAND parcels.
- Another obvious use case of Decentraland is the facility for publishing, distributing, and collecting rare digital assets.
- As the Decentraland ecosystem grows further, it would expand into many other use cases such as virtual tourism, education, and professional development.
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Decentraland Metaverse FAQs to Know
If you’re new at learning Metaverse, some questions may come to your mind. So, to curb your curiosity, here we cover a few common frequently asked questions on decentraland metaverse.
1. Do users need specialized equipment for participating in Decentraland?
You can participate in Decentraland with a PC or Mac without any advanced equipment or software. All you need is a browser such as Chrome or Firefox for accessing Decentraland. However, Decentraland does not offer support for mobile devices presently.
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2. Can users purchase other things with MANA beyond LAND?
Yes, you can purchase LAND parcels with MANA as well as many other items. For example, you can trade MANA with other users for purchasing goods and services in Decentraland.
3. What is the concept of an Estate in Decentraland?
Estate is also a non-fungible token like LAND in Decentraland. It is basically the combination of two or multiple adjacent LAND parcels for easier management of larger holdings.
4. What are the tools available for creating content on Decentraland?
Decentraland offers two distinct tools for creating 3D content on the platform. The Decentraland Builder offers an easy drag and drops visual tool, while the SDK enables more power and flexibility.
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A detailed overview of the fundamentals of Decentraland and how it works to showcase the exact reasons for which it is growing in popularity. The understanding of what is Decentraland paints it as a shared virtual world tailored for empowering users with the power of creation. You can own virtual parcels of real estate, LAND, and purchase goods and services with the Decentraland coin, MANA. Users can create many experiences and interactive content as well as social events in Decentraland with exclusive prospects for monetization. Dive deeper into the detailed specifications of Decentraland by exploring the platform right now.
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*Disclaimer: The article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. Claims made in this article do not constitute investment advice and should not be taken as such. 101 Blockchains shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this article. Do your own research!