Deep Dive Project Analysis — Decentraland ($MANA)
Decentraland ($MANA) is an ambitious project that brings the cutting edge world of Virtual Reality (VR) to the frontiers of Blockchain. This project aims at creating a Metaverse that will form a base for a whole world of trade and gaming.
They describe the project as a virtual world that runs of open standards. It is a VR platform that is built to run on the Ethereum blockchain. Developers and users can buy and sell plots of land, build places and businesses in a virtual world and conduct commerce there.
In essence right now, with Ethereum or Mana token, you can buy a piece of land in the Genesis City, the immutable record of ownership of which will be stored on the on the Ethereum blockchain. Once you buy the land, you have complete control of what you build on that. You could build a casino, a shop, your own house or anything that is only limited by your imagination. With just a VR headset and your browser, you can then immerse yourself in the 3D world where other participants are building bars, resorts, car showrooms and you can go out with your friends to watch live music, test drive a car or visit an underwater resort.
The whole world is built on open standards, not controlled by a single entity like Facebook. Everything is user controlled and all the proceeds generated through the value you create will go to you and you can be safe that the decentralised nature of your record of ownership of land will mean you own that piece of property forever. You may want to sell that piece when you get a nice return or keep building.
E-Commerce in VR
The most exciting part of this project as an investor is the fact that in the future when VR will be ubiquitous, e-commerce will eventually move there and whether it is trying the new brand t-shirt or hosting a Nike billboard, all of that is possible in Decentraland. This is a whole capitalist market in VR. The exciting part is that we can participate in the creation and running of this world unlike in the internet era where we were able to invest in Amazon only after it was listed on a public stock exchange.
This VR world opens up the possibilities of gaming. For example Scrapyard Escape is a first-person game that is being built by Decentraland team from scratch. This will be exclusive for Decentraland platform. There is a possibility of more gaming concepts coming in from the community and being built inside the Virtual world of Decentraland.
Team doesn’t list the whole bunch but most impressive is Esteban Ordano, who has worked at Bitcore and is the CTO.
The advisory board lists some big names like Jake Brukhman from CoinFund and Luis Cuende who is the project lead for Aragon.
An interesting roadmap portrayed by Stone Age to Silicon Age shows their plans on the website. The team seems to be lagging in terms of development. But the developer community is thriving and builders from across the world have started buying land with great enthusiasm. This speaks volumes about the respect this team has garnered and as an investor, I would not mind the little lag in their delivery on the product front.
Potential for this project to take off is huge and we have all heard news about the likes of Facebook and Google pour tons of money in VR projects. There is a huge market that is going VR and as the technology matures and developers get a hang of building VIRTUAL REALITY worlds, a project like this will be a ready platform to build and trade on.
Frankly, the technology is yet to mature in terms of Virtual Reality as well as Ethereum blockchain which is facing congestion issues. This is a long term horse to bet on. The returns from such a world will be phenomenal if it survives the test of regulation, tech scalability and remains truly decentralised. If this were the internet era, Decentraland would be Facebook — taking a whole offline experience and making it online. Decentraland is taking the whole experience of a static web navigation to a new world of Virtual Reality.