Decentraland: The World’s First Decentralized Virtual Reality Platform

The evolution of the internet has seen users begin to get more involved with the content by creating and owning it rather than merely being spectators. In gaming technology, for instance, we have moved from 2D to 3D, and now, we are in the age of virtual reality and augmented reality. This tech transformation is currently being experienced across all gaming verticals, from console-based and online video games to iGaming, via platforms like Canadian online casino sites.  

Right now, one of the most disruptive technologies that define user-owned and user-run content is blockchain technology. It is a decentralized system that is not owned by a single entity. The current craze about the metaverse has led to a lot of speculation as to who really controls the aspects of a specific platform. 

Decentraland, a virtual reality platform that runs on the Ethereum blockchain, is the first of its kind since it is run by its users and not a central authority. Instead of stepping into a factory-made virtual realm, users can create their own experiences and elements within the world and even interact with what other users have created. Decentraland’s popularity has also been due to its stabilized cryptocurrency (MANA), which users can use to trade within the game. Today, we take a look at the ins and outs of Decentraland so that you can understand and appreciate the potential of merging virtual reality and blockchain technology.

The Evolution of Decentraland

Decentraland was officially launched in February 2020, although it had been under development for about five years. All the while, it was allocating pixels via the Proof-of-Work algorithm before a couple of upgrades that began with the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and finally, the Iron Age. It is part of the latest disruptive technologies designed to fit into the Web 3.0 phase. Being a crypto metaverse, it’s held together by a blockchain network capable of handling such huge platforms. There are several advantages to a crypto metaverse, including the allowance for user governance, transparency of ownership and the ability to trade the tokens for tangible real-world resources.

Now, instead of purchasing a 2-dimensional pixel on a 2D grid, there is LAND or Parcels, which are 90,000 NFTs measuring 16 square meters (approximately 52 square feet) each. Half of them, however, have been set aside for private use. Users can even create an estate if they own several adjacent parcels. 

Owning an estate places a player at an advantage since they can develop profitable business environments that can involve partnering with other users. The cost of collective parcels is much higher than individual parcels, and some companies have purchased several parcels to develop big projects that can be profited off. The location of the parcels also determines how much they could go for as some ‘streets’ are more frequently than others. 

Apart from turning a profit by buying and reselling digital collectibles like land, avatar names and wearables, it’s also possible to create games and earn some MANA when other users play. All these can be created and modified using the Decentraland Builder. In addition, there are social places like plazas where players can interact with other users’ avatars and even attend virtual events or viewings at virtual art galleries.

User Participation in Decision-making

The feeling of having full ownership of an NFT that can be traded for something else or cryptocurrency is satisfying. But then, you’ll have to agree that nothing beats the ability to vote on what proposed policies that should guide the platform. You don’t have to buy an NFT to explore Decentraland, but when it comes to having a voice to change or establish new policies, you will be required to own any of the tokens in the game. This grants you entry into the real user-owned experience where you can create, vote for or against upcoming rules and regulations.

Ushering in a New Era

Facebook’s recent rebranding to Meta has shed light on a world that we already were familiar with but knew little about the advancements that have been made thus far. Virtual reality is no longer just confined to video games like Roblox and Fortnite. For years, VR and AR developers and enthusiasts have been considering blending the virtual and real worlds to create experiences that users can relate to while exploring the unimaginable. 

Immersive media has been in the works for quite some time now. However, during the covid-19 pandemic, the concept that was once only possible as a piece of entertainment took great strides towards other markets, the main one being the finance market. Work and play are now being combined to develop a world where people can have fun and still make some cash. With the decentralization of virtual worlds, there is no limit to what can be achieved in the new era of Web 3.0.