Decentraland: first steps into the metaverse
Land is sold for U$ 2.4 million
By itself, there’s nothing out of the ordinary with this headline. A purchase of that size might be out of reach for many of us, but it’s not such an absurd amount considering that in Manhattan two million is only enough for a two-bed, two-bathroom condo.
But what if we told you that the headline was actually:
Virtual land is sold for U$ 2.4 million
Now, you might understand what the buzz around the news was about.
The millionaire acquisition happened towards the end of November at Decentraland and, at the time, it was the biggest transaction of the kind ever made. Despite no longer holding the record, that purchase showed the market that we should all be paying more attention to the metaverse.
In order to understand the significance of this occurrence, let’s find out what Decentraland is all about.
What is Decentraland?
Decentraland is an Ethereum-based virtual reality decentralized platform, as the name suggests. In it, users can buy and sell land, build properties, explore the map and interact with one another.
The land, fittingly called LAND, can be bought with MANA, the platform’s native currency, and the dynamic is pretty similar to real life, the more popular an area gets, the more expensive its LAND becomes, as they can be used for marketing and entertainment purposes.
What makes the platform decentralized is the same principle behind cryptocurrency and NFTs: blockchain technology. Every action in the virtual world is ruled by smart contracts registered in the blockchain, and decisions about the future of the platform are made by a DAO — decentralized autonomous organization — composed of every user that holds MANA or LAND.
Decentraland is seen by many as a first step towards the metaverse, and big companies have been putting their money in that projection.
What’s happening over there
LAND can be bought and sold trhough the platform’s own marketplace or at OpenSea. Many users have been using that opportunity to monetize their experience in the virtual world, believing in the growth of both Decentraland and the popularity of the metaverse.
The purchase of 500 m² for U$ 2.4 million was made by the Metaverse Group, self entitled the world’s first virtual real estate agency. The plan for the space, located at the heart of the platform’s fashion district, is to develop e-commerces and fashion shows alongside names like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Burberry, who already hold LAND around the area. The Group believes that we already find ourselves in a reality similar to Ready Player One, a science-fiction novel that received an adaptation for the silver screen in 2018.
The map is divided into districts, each with specific themes and rules. Other than the fashion district, there are areas dedicated to betting, art, education, finance, culture and anything else you can imagine. In them, users can build communities around their favorite subjects and interact through games and events.
Besides companies like the Metavrse Group, other initiatives have been getting people’s attention: The Barbados Government wants to be the first country to have an embassy in the metaverse, bridging the gap between the “real” and the virtual world.
Cryptoart and Decentraland
Cryptoart also has its space in Decentraland. In 2020 the platform hosted an Art Week in partnership with marketplaces like SuperRare, Known Origin and OpenSea. The event, with its exhibitions, parties and shows, was so successful that it came back in 2021 and is expected to become an annual occurrence.
In the art districts you can find galleries, artists and exhibitions, truly opening the art world to its users. Among the possible places to visit is Sotheby’s, a traditional auction house that has been in the “real world” market since 1744. There you can find featured art pieces and keep up with auctions.
Other than Sotheby’s and SuperRare, you can visit user-created galleries and admire the work of independent artists. Decentraland is one of the places you can show off your NFT collection for the world to see.
We expect to see a lot more exciting news about the metaverse in the coming years, and Decentraland promises to be among the big platforms that will lead this journey towards an interconnected experience. If you are interested in all that Decentraland has to offer, don’t miss the opportunity of being present in its initial years.
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