As is the case with most currencies, to truly understand a coin one must first know where it is used - and what purpose it holds.
What is Decentraland?
Decentraland is an Ethereum-powered virtual reality platform. In the virtual world of Decentraland, players purchase plots of land that can be traversed, built upon, and monetized. This virtual reality platform has no limits to what users can do. It’s the first digital platform that’s completely owned by its users.
So, what is $MANA?
Decentraland’s cryptocurrency token is $MANA. It’s an ERC20 token that user's use for purchasing plots of LAND as well as for paying for in-world goods and services.
When users buy LAND, Decentraland burns the MANA that they purchase it with. The Decentraland team originally sold each plot of LAND for 1000 MANA.
Now that there’s a secondary market, though, the LAND prices vary.
Currently, the cheapest plot of LAND is 11,750 MANA while more popular areas have price tags in the millions. The highest selling plot went for 2,000,000 MANA, or $175,578, in March 2018.
$MANA is secure and this can be explained further.
Decentraland’s protocol has three layers:
Consensus layer: Tracks land ownership and land contents through an Ethereum smart contract.
Land content layer: Uses a decentralized distribution system to render the content in the virtual world of Decentraland.
Real-time layer: Provides peer-to-peer connections for users to interact with one another in the virtual world.
A Bright future: $MANA
Decentraland has been around since June 2015. At that time it was a simple, pixelated grid that allocated pixels to users through a proof-of-work algorithm.
The Decentraland team has partnered with District Ox, Aragon, and imToken to provide some of their services.
Decentraland has zero to no direct competitors. Similar platforms, High Fidelity and Sansar both provide spaces to create and sell virtual reality experiences, but they aren’t blockchain based.
It is a unique project in a largely untested market. This virtual world has gained much popularity, but it’s hard to tell if this will carry over into the 3D and blockchain space.
However, if Decentraland gains faster adoption, then we may just see an entirely new ecosystem of businesses and experiences in the virtual/ alternative life segment unravel before our eyes.