What Exactly Is Decentraland? (MANA)

Decentraland is software running on Ethereum that incentivizes a global network of users to operate a shared virtual world.

Decentraland users can buy and sell digital real estate while exploring, interacting, and playing games within this virtual world. Over time, the platform has evolved to implement interactive apps, in-world payments, and peer-to-peer communication for users.

Two different types of tokens govern operations in Decentraland.

These are:

Land: A non-fungible token (NFT) used to define the ownership of land parcels representing digital real estate.

Mana: A cryptocurrency that facilitates purchases of LAND and virtual goods and services used in the Decentraland.

Changes to the Decentraland software take place through a collection of blockchain-based smart contacts. These contracts allow participants who own MANA to vote on policy updates, land auctions, and subsidies for new developments.

How Does Decentraland Work?

The Decentraland application tracks real estate parcels defined by LAND tokens.

The software leverages the Ethereum blockchain to track ownership of this digital land. It requires users to hold its MANA token within an Ethereum wallet to engage with its ecosystem.

Further, developers are free to innovate within Decentraland’s platform by designing the animation and interactions experienced on their virtual real estate.

Architecture

Decentraland has many layered components built using Ethereum smart contracts.

The consensus layer maintains a ledger that tracks the ownership of land parcels. Each parcel of LAND has a unique coordinate in the virtual world, an owner, and a reference to a description file representing the content within the parcel.

The content layer controls what happens within each parcel and includes various files required to render them:

  • Content Files – referencing all static audio and visuals
  • Script Files – defining the placement and behavior of the referenced content
  • Interaction Definition – peer-to-peer interactions such as gesturing, voice chat, and messaging.

Finally, the real-time layer facilitates social interactions within Decentraland through user avatars, including voice chat and messaging.

Marketplace & Builder

Outside of the gaming environment, the Decentraland team has released a marketplace, and a drag-and-drop editor user can access to build scenes.

The marketplace enables participants to manage and exchange LAND tokens, priced in MANA. In addition, owners can use the marketplace to transact or transfer parcels and other in-game items such as wearables and unique names.

All transactions take place between Ethereum wallets and therefore are verified by Ethereum’s network and logged on its blockchain.

Decentraland’s builder tools authorize owners to curate a unique experience within their LAND parcels. These are interactive scenes produced through its editing tool, where developers can access customization libraries and payment implementations.

Source: https://www.kraken.com/learn/what-is-decentraland-mana

Where Can I Buy MANA?

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