Decentraland is an open-source initiative that will allow users to create ‘land’ and objects for use in its virtual space. While not dissimilar to Second Life, Decentraland distinguishes itself with blockchain technology- the same record keeping innovation that powers Bitcoin, Etherium, and other virtual currencies- which generates 10m x 10m blocks of space called LAND alongside the cryptocurrency MANA tokens which willpower the virtual economy. One LAND costs 1000 MANA tokens.
Decentraland recently finished its initial coin offering (ICO)- a sort of cryptocurrency hybrid of a traditional IPO and a crowdfunding initiative- taking in $25.5 million in the digital coinage Etherium in exchange for the first MANA tokens. Players will use these tokens to buy not just property, but goods and services on sale in the virtual world.
Initially set to go for nine days, or until $25 million was raised, the ICO began on August 17th with coins on sale for 0.080 ETH (approx. USD 26) per LAND and was slated to slowly rise to a maximum of 0.133 ETH (USD 43). However, demand was so overwhelming that 7,000 transactions could not be processed before the company hit its fundraising cap, ending the ICO.
Investors aren’t the only ones who will own MANA tokens to start. According to the Decentraland blog, “40 percent of the token supply will be allocated to the launch contributors; 20 percent is reserved to incentivize content creators and developers to build inside of Decentraland; 20 percent will go to the development team, early contributors and advisors; and the remaining 20 percent will be held by the Decentraland Foundation.”
The first parcels of virtual real estate will go on sale in a few months. Decentraland is still preparing a land allocation policy to ensure equitable distribution and to ensure buyers can procure contiguous blocks of LAND. In the trailer above the platform can be seen running on the HTC Vive, though we’re not sure if it’s coming to the Oculus Rift too.