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Decentraland: Decentralizing the Metaverse

Decentraland: Decentralizing the Metaverse

I know what you’re thinking…

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Another metaverse article with fancy, schmancy buzzwords…

If you had stopped reading there, you might have been right! 😂 You know what they say: if knowledge is power, then curiosity is the muscle! 

Okay, only 5 people have said that, but the point is that you never know what you’ve been missing until it passes you by. 👀 Let’s hop in, shall we? 

At BGN, we’ve talked about the metaverse before, but, in case you missed it, catch up here.

This time we’re talking about one of the biggest virtual landscapes within the metaverse: Decentraland! This metaverse is a decentralized 3D virtual world. Its landscape includes an array of things. From buildings to art, live events, gaming, and networking opportunities, Decentraland offers its community the opportunity to interact in new creative, meaningful ways.

Imagine Decentraland the way you would envision a state fair. There are many people to interact with in real-time, and you can move around and explore what other users have created and have for sale. 

You might have also heard of Decentraland because it’s becoming one of the leading platforms for buying digital land in the metaverse. 

When one goes to buy digital property in Decentraland, you’ll find that it’s split into multiple fragments, a.k.a. parcels, that would be about the equivalent of 52 x 52 feet of land in the real world. As a user, you can come into this virtual reality world and buy parcels of land to build virtual homes, art galleries, real estate, and commercial properties for live events or artistic endeavors! In turn, you also can rent your property to other users and creators as you would in the real world. 

“How do I navigate Decentraland after I’ve registered to join?”

Luckily for you, there’s a virtual district, called Genesis Plaza, that is dedicated to helping you learn about the history of Decentraland and all the virtual places you can explore.. Long story short – Genesis Plaza can be described as the headquarters of this revolutionary virtual reality world. 

A great way to think about Genesis Plaza is as a town square. In a town square, you’ll often come across historical buildings, a main governing building, museums, restaurants, and maybe a guest services office. This is exactly what Genesis Plaza is, so here users can always visit to learn more about what Decentraland has to offer and safely navigate the space.

Let’s deep dive into how Decentraland works and get ready for another buzzword: decentralization. As you can guess, the latter has a lot to do with how Decentraland got its name, so what does it mean? 

According to Mallay Anderson of MIT: “Decentralization is the process of dispersing functions and power away from a central location or authority.” Therefore, decentralization aims to return power and autonomy to individuals versus big corporations that unilaterally decide how content gets filtered, profit off your data, and can censor you at any given time without notice. 

If decentralization is beginning to sound familiar, it’s because the technology that Decentraland uses is rooted in a blockchain — similar to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Remember that the appeal behind cryptocurrency when it started blowing up years ago was that it would empower consumers to have full autonomy of their financial exchanges and interactions without banks or financial institutions as the intermediary. Therefore, crypto was presented as the answer to decentralizing finance and streamlining monetary exchanges.

“If Decentraland isn’t owned or centralized by a single entity, WHO is calling the shots?

Since Decentraland is decentralized, all community users can vote on key critical decisions that may affect change on that platform. 

In fact, Decentraland is governed by a DAO, which stands for decentralized autonomous organization. This is composed of its community of users to further transparency. The platform also educates users on how they can become part of decision-making processes.

Additionally, Decentraland’s DAO owns the most important smart contracts and assets that make up the virtual reality world. 

“Can I use standard currency to shop around in Decentraland?”

Not quite. $MANA is the cryptocurrency that’s used to sell, buy, and exchange in this metaverse, which leads us to discuss how digital property is protected in Decentraland. 

Since we’ve touched upon decentralization, cryptocurrency, and blockchain, you can probably guess where this is heading! 

NFTs! That’s right, non-fungible tokens. Hey, at least these “fancy, schmancy” buzzwords are relevant! 😏

When people found out that masses of people and businesses were buying land in the metaverse, one of the primary concerns that surfaced was how one could protect their digital real estate. 

Besides, if the metaverse is supposed to mirror the real world, doesn’t that mean that users can act just as dangerously in real life and potentially steal others’ digital property? 👀

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This is where the use of NFTs comes in because, in Decentraland, each parcel is marked by a land token. These ensure that your land cannot be duplicated, replicated, or exchanged. 

When it comes to digital real estate, remember that location is key. Just as you would in the real world, you can utilize your parcel purchases as a return on your investment in the future. So, if you’re interested in flipping houses or investing early in the metaverse as it begins to gain traction, this is the time to explore what virtual reality worlds like Decentraland can offer you as an entrepreneur or business owner. It is redefining the way that human beings connect and interact with one another. 

If the pandemic proved anything to businesses, it’s that they have to be able to meet consumers where they’re at. For small businesses and entrepreneurs, you might not always be able to open up a local storefront or even reach customers overseas, right? But with Decentraland, you can buy parcels of land to build a digital replica of your business where you can offer services and network with people all around the world without physical limitations.

The best way to determine what Decentraland can offer you is to experience it firsthand. So, go and check out the website! You can easily create your own avatar and explore what the landscape is like. 

Lastly, as the metaverse continues to trend and develop, the landscape of virtual reality worlds will adapt to the needs of the community. Decentraland has become a great example of virtual reality worlds that have evolved  over the past few years as they gain traction with artists, creators, and social entrepreneurs.

Want to learn more about the number of ways you can start a business in the metaverse? Stay tuned! 👀

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