Decentraland Review: Introduction to MANA

If you have a habit of staying up to date with the latest happenings in the cryptosphere and you have even the slightest passion for gaming in general, you might have heard about Decentraland, a unique VR platform built on top of the Ethereum blockchain.

In our guide, we will introduce you to Decentraland; we will discuss what it is, how it works, we will talk about the platform’s token (the MANA token), and will even provide some information on how to buy, store, and manage MANA.

What is Decentraland?

As mentioned before, Decentraland is a unique, state-of-the-art Ethereum-powered virtual reality platform that supports the development and hosting of virtual reality assets. These assets can be purchased within the space, and the blockchain is used to determine their virtual property. In Decentraland, you can purchase plots of land and develop your own “business.” You can build various “attractions” upon the land (mostly applications) and monetize them.

The project is the brainchild of two blockchain experts by the names of Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano. The project came into its current form after the two successfully developers launched a blockchain video streaming platform called Streamium, and later with the finalization of Bronze Age.

How Decentraland works

On a practical level, Decentraland works by allowing you to interact with LANDs, the non-fungible digital assets that you can purchase in the game. The platform lets LAND owners create games, applications, gambling services, creative 3D scenes, informative sites, literally, anything one can think of.

Since the number of LAND is capped, each plot of LAND has the following pre-defined ratio: 33 feet by 33 feet. What’s interesting is the fact that that there’s no limit to a LAND’s height. Various LANDs create Districts, which can be thought upon as small communities revolving a shared theme. Since Decentraland has a voting dApp, anyone can vote in regards to various district issues. The amount of land one holds is in direct accordance with the weight of his or her vote.

The platform is powered by MANA, its official cryptocurrency token. It’s an ERC-20 token that can be used to purchase plots of LAND as well as to buy any other Decentraland-based goods and services.

Decentraland works in a similar fashion like most blockchain projects. Its protocol has three layers: the consensus layer, the land content layer, and a real-time layer. The first one uses Ethereum smart contracts to track and govern proof of land ownership. The second layer uses a decentralized distribution system to render the content in the virtual world. The last and final layer is responsible for providing peer-to-peer connections for users to interact with one another.

How to buy, trade, and store MANA

Considering the fact that Decentraland is still a relatively new project, its tokens are not as popular as some other crypto coins. However, it’s getting increasingly easier to purchase MANA.

A quick search on CoinMarketCap will show that Decentraland’s token is currently ranked 82nd by market cap, which is very good considering it’s used to buy in-world commodities and services.

Fortunately, getting your hands on some MANA is no longer a difficult task as it’s supported by most relevant crypto exchanges. Popular names include Binance, DragonEX, OKEx, Bittrex, Huobi Global, Bibox, Bitso, and Coinbase Pro. A full list of crypto exchanges supporting MANA can be found on CoinMarketCap’s Markets section. Unexpectedly, the most popular trading pairs are MANA/BTC and MANA/ETH.

The process differs from exchange to exchange, but the principles apply to most of them. Create an account on a specific exchange, verify that account via email, set-up two-factor authentication if it’s available, deposit funds into your account, and then buy MANA.

Since MANA is an ERC-20 token, storing it is not an issue as there are numerous good wallet options out there. Of course, if security is what you’re after, then opting for a hardware wallet is highly recommended. You can choose anything from the Ledger Nano S to Trezor. Another popular option is MyEtherWallet, a web wallet with a unique approach towards security.

Conclusion

Decentraland is without a doubt a unique project in the cryptosphere at the moment, one that’s most likely going to pave the way through a new generation of AI-based games, alternative-life dApps, and 3D/VR ecosystems. It is a platform that allows anyone, be they gamers, or money-driven entrepreneurs, to purchase LAND and do whatever they like to it.

Of course, the project still has some way to go until maturity, but the potential is quite clear. MANA can be used to claim LAND on Decentraland platform, or it is used to buy tokens, goods, and services.

Image Source: medium.com/decentraland

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