Last summer I got involved with investing and participating in a new virtual reality world, called Decentraland.
I’ve been in other virtual worlds for some time, and wrote a book about one of them.
So why is Decentraland special?
The users are creating a whole new world from scratch
We get to build a new virtual world and society with all that’s been learned from the first generation of virtual worlds, and with emerging new ideas about governance, justice, economics and collaboration.
We actually own our land
We can buy land, and then keep it as long as we want without fees to any company. And we have the ability to rent it out or even sell it at market rate. Here is a map of land ownership in Genesis City, at the core Decentraland.
We can buy land, and then keep it as long as we want without fees to any company. And we have the ability to rent it out or even sell it at market rate.
There are more than fifty themed “districts” in Decentraland: a university, a conference center, a forest, a cyberpunk city, a museum, a festival venue, shopping districts, an amusement park, and a number of cultural and entertainment properties. You can see their location in the Genesis City map above.
The infrastructure of the world is decentralized
Land ownership and land transactions in Decentraland are recorded on the Ethereum blockchain, and what we put on the land is recorded in the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). Both Ethereum and IPFS run in a decentralized fabric on the Internet. They are not running on the servers of any one owner. Let me repeat — Decentraland does not rely on the servers of some company or that company’s fate. The Land is permanent. The decentralized structure means there is no place to perform a denial of service attack, or to be subject to the whims of policy of some company, or to be shut down by some outside entity.
Decentraland is immensely social
Even before being fully launched, Decentraland already has a strong social fabric among its community of landowners. We have been working together actively to share our plans, designs, and best practices.
Land is contiguous in Decentraland. The world is not made of isolated islands of experience. Land is adjacent. You can walk or fly across the world. This completely adjacent geography produces a connected, continuous, social and exploratory experience.
So why am I in Decentraland?
My personal interest in Decentraland is about investing in the future. Yes, financially, but even more I am investing in service by being part of the process of making virtual experience truly beneficial for humanity. We can achieve this by developing new realities for education, global collaboration, telemedicine, visual and performance arts, interactive story-telling, and new models for human prosperity. And through these, we can promote unity, justice, creativity and peace. This really is enabled in virtual worlds, where we can experiment and learn fast, and then bring these lessons to bear in the physical world as well. I am seeing the culture of Decentraland coming together like this.
And the big news? You can buy land and build now!
Decentraland has now opened a Land Market, where people can directly buy and sell property. This will allow people who missed the district formation and Genesis City auction to obtain land in the world, expanding the number of people who can get involved in owning land.
The land market is at https://market.decentraland.org.
Decentraland has also released the first version of its developer tools for assembling and visualizing content for your land. They are available at https://cli.decentraland.org/