You may want to consider purchasing its cryptocurrency, MANA, as a way to buy virtual land, transact with other users or participate in the management of its software.
Built on top of the Ethereum, Decentraland uses its blockchain to manage and track ownership of digital land, but this is only one way it empowers its citizens to exercise their full creativity.
Not sure yet why you’d want to buy Decentraland? Feel free to read our ‘What is Decentraland?’ guide. It offers a more extensive breakdown of its technology and vision.
What is Decentraland (MANA)?
MANA is the currency that is used in Decentraland . Decentraland is made up of LAND, non-fungible digital plots of virtual space (or land) that make up the game. The developers of Decentraland created a fixed amount of land, encouraging users to “develop” what they have and thereby creating a market for the currency used to transact with it, MANA. Also, because LAND is a type of NFT, any individual parcel can not be replicated or duplicated. LAND first went up for sale in December, 2017 and since January the land has been owned by “participants” in Decentraland.
LAND isn’t the only asset available within the Decentraland universe — one can also buy virtual goods using MANA in the Decentraland Marketplace. These include “wearables” like virtual clothing as well as names that are unique within Decentraland.
Decentraland and MANA
There are two coins that keep the decentralized universe running: MANA is the main token of the Decentraland network, the other is LAND. The latter is an NFT that defines the ownership of various digital real estate parcels. The former is the currency you’ll need to purchase LAND and pave your way towards being a digital real estate mogul.
MANA is unique in that it is fully decentralized and not overseen by a single governing body. The Decentraland DAO is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization where token holders can vote on decisions that affect the content and future operations of the platform. Token holders are tasked with all elements of the community including:
- Token economics
- Policy updates
- LAND auctions
As you might imagine, it’s going to be in the best interests of the token holders to make decisions that will increase the value of their tokens. If they do that successfully, MANA could be an excellent addition to any crypto portfolio.
How Does Decentraland Work?
Similar to games like Skyrim and Fallout, Decentraland is an all-immersive virtual universe. However, instead of playing on a two-dimensional screen, you participate in a three-dimensional world. It seems to be the logical next step before creating full-blown AI-based games in the physical space, à la Westworld.
What Is LAND?
In Decentraland, the spaces that you interact with are LAND, non-fungible digital assets that you purchase in the game. Once you own a plot of LAND, you’re free to do with it as you choose. You can create games, applications, gambling services, or even dynamic 3D scenes. But, why stop there? Although not its primary purpose, you can also create LAND-based services around education, professional development, tourism, etc.
The number of LAND is capped, and each plot of LAND is 33 feet by 33 feet, but there’s no limit to its height. Recently Decentraland created LAND Estates, a feature that allows you to more easily manage your LAND by associating adjacent plots. If you’re interested in purchasing LAND (or just want to see the map), you should check out the LAND marketplace.
Similar groupings on LAND comprise Districts. Districts are basically communities that revolve around a shared theme. For example, there may be a District just for crypto enthusiasts with cryptocurrency apps and services. You can vote on District issues through Decentraland’s voting dApp, Agora. The amount of LAND you hold in a specific district correlates to the weight of your vote. Decentraland created Agora to give you more control over what happens in your districts, and to provide feedback on the platform at large.
How and Where to Buy MANA Crypto
There are a few different ways to buy MANA — both of which will be familiar to anyone who’s looked into investing in most other types of crypto.
On a central exchange, you can swap your fiat currency like U.S. dollars for a crypto coin, which is then stored using a crypto wallet. The following exchanges offer MANA:
You could also purchase MANA by purchasing Ether tokens through brokers or exchanges and then swapping for MANA. It’s possible to buy MANA in this way from:
• SoFi Invest
How to Store MANA
Decentraland MANA is an ERC20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain, which allows it to be stored in a wide range of hardware or software wallets. Here are our top five crypto wallet picks:
Trust Wallet: Trust Wallet is a software wallet popular among investors and traders. It’s also officially supported by Binance. A convenient and safe place to store your MANA, it also provides backup options for greater peace of mind.
Ledger or Trezor: These encrypted hardware wallets are secure ways of storing MANA. They use high-end encryption technology to keep your funds safe from even the most sophisticated network attacks. Hardware wallets store your wallets offline, thus adding an extra level of security.
Atomic Wallet: Atomic Wallet is available in Android, iOS and several desktop versions. You can store your MANA and 300 other cryptocurrencies in it. Atomic Wallet also offers atomic swaps and a built-in exchange that users can utilize to swap back and forth between supported digital assets, including MANA.
MyEtherWallet: MyEtherWallet is a web-based wallet that allows you to store all ERC20 tokens, including MANA, on the Ethereum blockchain. You won’t have to download any clients or software to use it.
Exchanges: You can store MANA on any exchange which supports it. This is the least secure way to keep MANA, and it’s not what we’d recommend. However, for active traders who need quick access to funds at any time, exchanges are always an option for storing the MANA token. Try to choose larger exchanges that have a proven record of security and reliability. A few of these include Binance, Kraken and Kucoin.
Is Decentraland MANA a Good Investment?
As real estate in the physical world heats up in popularity, Decentraland has also gathered hype in virtual space, gaining significant coverage from traditional news outlets. Investing in Decentraland could come with a highly lucrative payoff. But what are the factors that give rise to such an optimistic outlook? Let’s look at some of the reasons for the bullish sentiment behind MANA.
There’s a reason metaverse-themed cryptocurrencies such as Decentraland are taking off. Interest in what the future of the metaverse holds is currently sky-high. Indeed, there’s no doubt Decentraland provides long-term investors with a myriad of reasons to invest.
Of course, given the sums of money now changing hands in these virtual worlds, regulatory risks remain high for metaverse cryptocurrencies like MANA. Regulators have stepped up their game in key global markets, with China and India recently taking hard-line stances on this nascent sector. These regulatory pressures appear unlikely to abate any time soon.
In particular, cryptocurrency gambling happens to be one of the key features users have been attracted to with Decentraland and other metaverse games. Accordingly, this gambling exposure amplifies the regulatory risk facing Decentraland right now.
However, it appears the macro tailwinds for metaverse assets outweigh the potential headwinds right now. Decentraland has seen impressive growth over the past year, and there’s reason to believe this growth has only just begun. As part of a well-balanced crypto portfolio, there’s a strong argument to be made for Decentraland.
Decentraland is a virtual reality platform that you can purchase land on. Tapping into the imagination of gamers and entrepreneurs everywhere, you’re able to do whatever you want with the land that you purchase.
This is a unique project in a largely untested market. The popularity of “alternative life” games is a good sign, but it’s hard to tell if this will carry over into the 3D and blockchain space. However, if Decentraland gains the adoption that its supporters hope it will, then we may just see an entirely new ecosystem of businesses and experiences flourish before our eyes.