The idea of a Metaverse is becoming increasingly popular as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) collide with crypto markets and gamers. One protocol that’s been on the mission of creating a metaverse before even the word metaverse even became a thing is Decentraland.
In one of our earlier articles you had the chance to learn how the P2E protocol powered by MANA works. In today’s article, you’ll learn what makes Decentraland a good investment, while also exploring the cons and pros of buying the MANA token.
What Is Decentraland?
Decentraland is a play-to-earn (P2E) blockchain game based on the Ethereum blockchain that allows players to communicate and own virtual land. You can invest in scarce digital land – represented by NFTs – to develop event spaces, virtual shopping malls, homes, museums, and whatever else you might have in mind.
Decentraland is completely decentralized. It is governed and owned by the community, rather than the developers, who partake in a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). The DAO is what controls Decentraland, its assets, and smart contracts. The management of the LAND, Estates, and Wearables smart contracts are all delegated to the DAO.
The DAO also takes care of the game’s content servers and virtual marketplace. The DAO, or rather the community, also own a substantial portion of MANA which they can use to support various operations and initiatives throughout the game.
Virtual parcels are referred to as LAND in the game. Meanwhile, MANA is a virtual cryptocurrency and utility token used in Decentraland to exchange goods and services. MANA has the same utility in Decentraland as the dollar, yen, or euro do in the real world.
LAND in Decentraland has unique and specific measurements that correspond to in-game physical dimensions. Parcels are clearly defined in the game’s world. You can only buy LAND by exchanging MANA. This also means that the value of LAND is maintained by the value of the MANA cryptocurrency.
Being NFT pioneers, Decentraland founders Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano have decided to implement this technology into the game as well. All LAND parcels in Decentraland are available on-chain in the form of ERC-721 NFT tokens. This means that you can sell, transfer, and directly own your virtual land.
Besides being used to buy LAND, MANA also serves as the protocol’s governance token. You can participate in the DAO and propose governance proposals (or vote on existing proposals) by submitting MANA tokens. Polls, proposals, and voting take place in Decentraland’s Agora.
Reasons to Invest in Decentraland
Decentraland is a promising implementation of the metaverse concept that invites gamers to participate in virtual worlds that they control, own, and govern. But what’s the exact reasoning behind buying into the whole metaverse idea? Below are 5 reasons why you should invest in Decentraland.
1. Metaverse Narrative
The metaverse is a powerful new narrative that has engulfed the crypto market for the past year. Mark Zuckerberg liked it so much that he rebranded his company to Meta and shifted Facebook’s path to one centered around virtual reality and virtual worlds.
The world is rapidly going digital. Remote work is now mainstream, social media is in full swing, and there are more people than ever that game, manage money, and communicate online. But there’s one problem with digitalization: everything is centralized.
The Metaverse proposes that we share a virtual three-dimensional space with others just like we do with the internet. The catch is that it’s decentralized and that it emulates the physical world. Some believe that this is the natural evolution of the internet and that it will become reality once VR and AR technology become mainstream.
Decentraland is a project that stands at the forefront of crypto’s metaverse. Released in 2020, Decentraland is one of the first blockchain games to pioneer both the metaverse and NFT concepts. It was valued at almost $5 billion, and has reached virtual land sales volume of more than $2 million at one point.
Decentraland might very well be the first game that takes the metaverse mainstream. And if the narrative succeeds in maintaining its interest among both crypto and non-crypto internet users, investors will hurl towards Decentraland due to its first-mover advantage.
2. Play-to-Earn (P2E)
There are many opportunities to earn money in Decentraland. For example, you can buy LAND and sell your virtual land parcels once they increase in value. Or you can create art and other in-game collectibles for players to buy. You can even find people to work for in the game.
If you decide to work as a collectible designer, you can utilize your 3D design experience to create clothes or wearables for others to buy. People want to customize their avatars and make them seem unique, so wearables can go for a high price.
If you’re not that creative, you can opt for Decentraland’s mini games. You can participate in in-game P2E games where you can win NFTs and wearables. You can sell these for a profit inside Decentraland’s marketplaces. You can alternatively participate in casino games and win wearables, NFTs, or even MANA.
Above all, Decentraland is a virtual world in which you can communicate with people all over the world and own virtual land. But you can also utilize your time by earning various rewards simply by playing the game. P2E is what makes Decentraland’s iteration of a metaverse more likely to come to a fruition.
The game has incorporated non-fungible tokens as a way to own property and in-game items. It’s now clearer than ever that NFTs are the only way to decentralize the video game industry, and Decentraland is playing a part in turning NFTs mainstream.
Decentraland features two main types of NFTs: virtual land parcels and wearables. You can own land inside the game and verify your ownership with a unique token. You can either sell this token for a higher price or keep it inside your wallet to prove your ownership.
Wearables are used to customize your in-game avatar and make you stand out from other players. Wearables have a purely aesthetic utility, and add nothing else to the game. But in spite of this, they are still sold for a rather high price depending on the rarity.
4. First Mover Advantage
Decentraland is one of the very first metaverse-type blockchain games to launch. This helps it stand out among other blockchain games utilizing NFTs by granting it a first-mover advantage. Decentraland is a game considered to lead the way in the metaverse narrative, and therefore, has the biggest player base.
You can compare this situation to the smart contract sector. The reason Ethereum is so popular and dominant is that it was the first project to launch a blockchain capable of supporting smart contracts. Ethereum’s first mover advantage allows it to dominate the market and stand out as a blue chip asset that will never lose its status.
Decentraland’s status simply makes it a potentially good investment. If you’re aiming to diversify your portfolio and allocate a portion of it to the metaverse sector, there’s no better choice than Decentraland.
Disadvantages of Investing in Decentraland
There’s a good number of reasons why you should invest in Decentraland. The project utilizes NFTs, has created the first crypto metaverse, and allows you to earn money simply for playing the game. But what are the exact disadvantages of investing in Decentraland?
Like in any other game, the number of players is important. Decentraland currently can’t boast with a high-player count. According to a recently published article by Coindesk, the game only has 38 daily active users. Yes, you’ve read that correctly, thirty eight players.
The team responded to Coindesk article by claiming that the project has 1,074 users interacting with the project’s smart contracts in September. It apparently had 56,597 active players during the whole month. Moreover, players sold 6,315 wearables and proposed up to 148 DAO proposals.
While the figures coming directly from Decentraland are better than the ones published by Coindesk, the issue still stands: not enough people play Decentraland. Adoption is important, and unless we want to see ghost towns inside blockchain metaverses, the game will have to find a way to attract new players.
Should You Buy Decentraland (MANA)?
Decentraland takes a unique approach to the blockchain gaming industry by combining the concept of a metaverse with virtual land parcels and NFTs. Those playing Decentraland can freely socialize with other players, participate in P2E mini-games (earning money doing so), and purchase virtual land.
Decentraland sounds like a good idea on paper so far. But for it to make blockchain P2E games mainstream, it must offer much more incentives than it currently does. The MANA token has performed well in the past bull run, but it’ll continue living in a bubble that can be easily popped as long as the game itself is a ghost town.
If you want to learn more about Decentraland, I recommend visiting the following links:
Marko is a crypto enthusiast who has been involved in the blockchain industry since 2018. When not charting, tweeting on CT, or researching Solana NFTs, he likes to read about psychology, InfoSec, and geopolitics.
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