You can think of it as a virtual Disneyland, but Decentraland is more than that.
In addition to being a fairyland that only exists in a binary world of 1s and 0s, Decentraland has a practical economic aspect where virtual assets with real monetary value can be exchanged.
These digitized properties, which can be anything from real estate, socialization spots, shopping complexes, and more, are collectively referred to as NFTs.
But for whatever guessable reason, Decentraland calls them LAND. However, it's the platform's native token, MANA, that has generated more interest in investors' circles.
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What Is The Decentraland (MANA) Project?
Decentraland is an Ethereum-based virtual reality platform where users can create, interact, and monetize visual content.
It is the first of several fast-exploding metaverses built on the blockchain, where players can replicate virtually every conceivable activity in the real world.
If you are new to the crypto world, the chances are high that this article is the first time you have seen/heard the word "metaverse."
However, it's easier to understand if you can think of a parallel digital universe standing side-to-side with the physical universe, but one so real that humans seem to "live" and "move" inside.
Features Of The Decentraland Virtual Reality Network
Decentraland consists of two key components - MANA, the in-world currency, and LAND, which is the underlying infrastructure behind all the properties.
The diversities of these assets range from lands, customized avatars, artworks, and more - all in a 3D virtual universe.
Aside from that, a smart contract-enabled democratic ruling system (the DAO) is used to vote on small to large-scale changes.
However, the project's team's decision to launch on Ethereum tends to scare investors away.
Thus, in April this year, Decentraland launched a dApp (Decentralized application) on the layer-2 network, Polygon.
That was done to escape the rising cost of gas on Ethereum and the already worsening scalability problems.
What Makes Decentraland (MANA) Valuable?
It is a lot easier to estimate what an established company will be worth in the future than to predict the valuation of a blockchain company.
As of 2017, when Decentraland launched, 90,000 plots of land were auctioned at $20 per piece.
Same parcels of land are currently priced between $6k to $100k, and with the ever-increasing popularity of NFTs, they could be worth more in the future.
However, for most investors, the most important yardstick for forecasting the growth potential of a crypto token is the extent to which its use-cases are explored daily.
With this in view, the following facts are some of the biggest reasons to invest in Decentraland right now:
- Live Events: Decentraland community has also played host to some entertaining events in the past. Last month (September 2021), Deadmau5 and Paris Hilton held a virtual music festival that featured over 80 artists.
- Institutional Adoption: The recent spotlights on NFTs have also positioned Decentraland as a viable entry point for institutional investors like Sotheby's Auction House. The privately held firm known for its sales of exotic watches, premium wines, rare pieces of jewelry, and classical artworks created a virtual version of its platform on Decentraland.
- Socialization: Decentraland also enables the use of virtual reality headsets for real-time cross-messaging.
- Incentivized Activities: Investors can also trade properties such as malls, exclusive art galleries, real estate, and more. Content creators can create immersive games that tend to grow into very profitable income streams.
It's important to note that unlocking any of the above possibilities requires MANA tokens.
How Do The MANA Tokens Work?
The MANA tokens are the fuel that power the Decentraland network. It is the medium of exchanging ownership of lands, goods, and more on the platform.
MANA is also the default payment method for services on the metaverse - such as buying and selling tickets to participate in exclusive auctions, virtual musical concerts, tournaments, and more.
Moreover, MANA functions as the utility token of the DAO governance system; the higher the number of MANA held by investors, the bigger their voting rights will be.
How Can I Invest In MANA?
While these platforms essentially offer the same thing, they differ significantly by transaction fees, deposit amounts, interfaces, and more.
However, most users prefer eToro as it offers commission-free trading, an affordable minimum deposit, plus an easy-to-navigate interface.
That said, follow the below steps to buy MANA tokens from the eToro exchange:
- Create an account at eToro's official website by registering and verifying your email address. You will also need to go through the KYC process.
- After that, go to the deposit section on the dashboard and click to fund your account by selecting one of the payment methods.
- Next, navigate to the trade section and select an appropriate trading pair so you can swap your fund for MANA coins.
- After indicating the amount you wish to invest, click on the buy button. The purchased MANA will be sent to your wallet.
Why Should You Consider Investing In MANA?
Unlike most blockchain projects, Decentraland is more than another hype train.
This view can be sufficiently substantiated when one considers the recent growth strategy that has seen the project embark on lucrative partnership deals with big industry players.
These are geared towards increasing the adoption of MANA tokens, just like how Bitcoin is presently being accepted in some online stores.
In addition, Decentraland is one of the few blockchain projects that proactively tackles the problems of class-reserved sectoral investment opportunities, especially in the real estate niche.
Decentraland acts as a platform where any investor can profitably become a real estate agent by eliminating the need for intermediaries.
At the time of this writing, MANA tokens are traded at approximately $4 per piece, an astronomical gain of over 4,000% in the last year alone.
Despite that, most experts believe there are solid reasons to anticipate more upside trends in the token's value before the year runs out.
Aside from this, the NFT industry (of which Decentraland is a crucial player) doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon after putting forth a massive showing in 2021.
Thus, if you are looking to invest in the MANA tokens, now may be the best time.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.