The technology has already found applications in various aspects of the business world, making its union with virtual reality (another revolutionary technology), a match made in heaven.
We all saw it coming, but Decentraland is driving the bandwagon.
So what is Decentraland?
Decentraland is a player in the virtual reality world that has adopted this blockchain technology for users to acquire digital plots of land to build on and even earn money or token called Mana coin.
In the virtual reality space, Decentraland uses Ethereum blockchain technology to assist users in the acquisition and usage of virtual land. It is a game like a 3-dimensional world, where a user is deeply involved in it like it is in reality and can own a piece of land, using it as he pleases.
Most individuals are involved in a 2-dimensional interface like the Web and mobile phones for leisure and work, but Decentraland uses a 3-dimensional interface that gives the user experience as if it were a reality. The land here is a digital asset purchased in this 3-dimensional game-like world, where a user can create 3D scenes on it like casinos, schools, parking lots including a resort which tokens can be earned. It cannot be exchanged with another land of the same value.
History of Decentraland
In 2015, Decentraland started the “Stone Age” experiment, which involved developing a platform to issue digital land to clients on a blockchain. The digital land parcels were represented as pixels on a 2-dimensional grid; each land had metadata indicating the owner and describing the color of the pixel.
In 2017, the next phase of its development started which was called the “Bronze Age” experiment, featuring a 3-dimensional virtual world, and later that same year, the Mana token was created to allow clients claim parcels of land.
Decentraland ended the year with the launch of the beta version of their “Iron Age.” Currently, Decentraland is on the “Silicon Age” which is characterized by a well developed 3-dimensional virtual world, good virtual reality support, and customization of the laws of physics.
Advantages of Decentraland
The absence of interference: There is no interference from any central organization.
Autonomy: In Decentraland, users can build without limitations, and they can keep for themselves all proceeds from the services they render to other users.
Security: Decentraland offers the assurance of possession as ownership of land cannot be forged, and this is certain because of its adoption of the blockchain technology.
Technology Used by Decentraland
Decentraland protocol is built in three layers; Consensus layer, Land content layer, and Real-time layer.
The Consensus Layer: At this layer, Decentraland keeps a ledger of ownership of land at the virtual world.
Each land has its coordinates(x, y), owner name and a reference that specifies what the owner intends to serve there. Potential clients who plan to purchase land can check the land smart contract to know how to go about the acquisition of landed property. Lands are acquired using the Mana token.
Land Content Layer: At this layer, the storage system distributes the requirements needed to display files in a land.
Decentraland decentralized server system enables it to function without the aid of a third party, thereby making it self-sustaining, allowing the actors that use it to bear the cost of running it. The description file of land shows the list of data to be displayed on the land, services hosted by the landowner, and the scripting entry point which determines the animation and application placements, how virtual objects are to be placed in the land.
Real-time Layer: This layer allows users to communicate with each other on a peer-to-peer basis.
An A-Frame is used to build in the virtual world. One can create a model of his structure in a Sketchup or Blender, before unleashing it to the virtual world.
Where to buy Mana Token
The Mana token cannot be purchased using fiat currency; it can only be acquired by exchanging Bitcoin or Ethereum for mana token on exchange platforms like;
How to store Mana Token
Mana token can be stored on hardware wallets like Trezor or Ledger Nano S. These wallets maintain the funds offline thereby making them less prone to malicious software or hackers. MyEtherWallet is also another option for storage if the individual does not wish to spend on a hardware wallet.
Despite the vast opportunities Decentraland offers, some challenges limit its performance; they range from a slow download speed to filtering of contents for a young audience (contents like pornography, violence, and gambling).
Decentraland is still open for more development like the inclusion of virtual tours, virtual training and the expansion of the size of the virtual world.