Introducing the Decentraland Team

Blockchain veterans join forces to protect the future of VR.

VR hardware is on the verge of mass adoption. We’ve discussed how the impact on daily life will be huge.

In 2015, a group of like-minded friends posed the question: What happens when a single entity controls the future of virtual reality? The next question was more powerful: Do we want a centralized gatekeeper dictating prices, levying taxes, censoring users, controlling content, and monetizing our data?

To fight back, Decentraland was born.

The Team

With established reputations in crypto, software engineering, and venture capital, the core Decentraland team is comprised of:

Esteban Ordano, Tech Lead

A seasoned blockchain engineer, Esteban co-founded Zeppelin Solutions and led the team that created Streamium, the first app that implemented payment channels, a crucial technology for scaling blockchain payments. As a former software engineer at BitPay, he co-created one of the leading Bitcoin infrastructure libraries, known as Bitcore. He was also on the teams behind Copay (a bitcoin wallet) and Insight (a bitcoin blockchain API).

Esteban spent his formative years competing in math and computer science olympiads, investing two summers working as a Software Engineering intern at Google. Throughout college, he was also a Tech Lead at Monits, an Argentine software company that was acquired by MercadoLibre. As with other core Decentraland team members, Esteban co-founded Voltaire, a blockchain-focused hacker space in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“With Decentraland, we’re creating an ecosystem that combines many of the solutions being implemented on cryptocurrencies with the impending mass adoption of VR systems. The result is a metaverse, a social 3D world with a native economic network.” — Esteban Ordano

Ariel Meilich, Project Lead

With experience in venture capital and data analytics, Ariel has worked as an Analyst at Charles River Ventures, a leading Silicon Valley venture fund, and as the founder of Benchrise, a big-data company whose product helped find software engineers for tech companies.

Before entering the world of tech, he spent two years as a National Institute of Health fellow, performing neuroscience research on human decision-making, while running a BPO agency that catered to clients such as Amazon and General Electric.

“The days are numbered for the ‘walled garden’ type of organization. Take Facebook for instance: users create content for free, attract their friends’ attention, and contribute to a network effect that benefits none of them. The idea behind Decentraland is to build an environment where people who contribute to growing the network will benefit handsomely.” — Ari Meilich

Manuel Araoz, Board Member

With an established reputation in crypto, Manuel is the co-founder and CTO at Zeppelin Solutions, the leader in smart contract security. Using their audited smart contracts, over $250 million has been raised by organizations such as Brave, Golem, and Blockchain Capital. Manuel is known as the creator of Proof of Existence, the first non-financial application on the blockchain. He also served as a Tech Lead at Bitpay, Copay, and Insight.

In his spare time, Manuel has created several games, such as Galaktia and 7cerebros, a problem-solving competition for college students. Along with other core Decentraland team members, he co-founded Voltaire, a blockchain-focused hacker space in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“There are few people in the world who know the ins and outs of blockchain tech as well as this team, and we’re a strong community. I’m proud to have worked with them in the past and Decentraland represents the culmination of our efforts and experience.” — Manuel Araoz

Yemel Jardi, Board Member

A veteran blockchain developer, Yemel worked on ChangeTip building a micropayment infrastructure for the web, before it was acquired by Airbnb in 2016. Before that, he was a Software Engineer at BitPay (the leading Bitcoin payment processor) where he crafted some of the most widely used open source tools utilized by Bitcoin developers worldwide, such as the Bitcore library.

Yemel is also a Professor of Cryptocurrencies at the Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires, and Chairman of the South American Business Forum. He was one of the founding members of Voltaire, a blockchain-focused hacker space in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“It isn’t a question of if we should build Decentraland, but why we must. VR is about to become mainstream and users will demand a world shielded from the agenda of a central organization.” — Yemel Jardi

Partnering to Advance the Future of VR

With one of the most experienced teams in crypto, Decentraland has attracted partnerships with other blockchain projects, such as Aragon, Coral, and district0x.

The true potential of VR will be realized when the power is put into the hands of the users. We hope you join us.

Next Steps

The Decentraland token sale will take place on 17/08/2017. Learn more by reading the Decentraland White Paper.

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Note: This article has been amended. We’ve transitioned the token sale start date to August 17th to ensure complete compliance with recent regulatory announcements. Learn more in our announcement.