What is Decentraland (MANA)?

Recently, the crypto world has been dominated by the metaverse. With Facebook rebranding itself to Meta, it is clear the industry is in for a massive shift. But to understand what it holds for us, it is crucial to look at Decentraland, one of the oldest and most popular metaverses. From digital real estate to engaging virtual communities, Decentraland has it all.

How Does Decentraland Work?

Decentraland is a perfect mix of gaming and blockchain technology. However, unlike traditional games, players have complete ownership and control over the game world. All in-game collectables, such as clothing, accessories and other in-game items are NFTs. Even the game’s virtual real estate is an NFT. This means you truly own everything you collect.

As a player, you also have a say in the game’s future. The Decentraland DAO enables you to vote on key issues both in-game and outside it. This allows you to influence new features, system upgrades or even how Decentraland’s treasury is allocated. 

Your parcel of real estate called LAND allows you to create new and unique experiences anyone can interact with. From artwork and simple activities to immersive games, the choice is yours. 

Decentraland Features

Create and Build Experiences

Decentraland’s development tools allow you to make immersive experiences that users can truly own. From space adventures to mazes and entire villages and cities, you can create whatever you wish to. It is also possible to monetise these experiences, so you can earn crypto for your efforts. 


All in-game items of Decentraland can be purchased in this marketplace. When selling, it allows you to set your own price for LAND, clothing and even in-game names. This marketplace is what allows the community to thrive. You can buy items to showcase your creativity with character or LAND designs, or trade items to earn rewards. 


Decentraland is controlled by the Decentraland DAO. The vision of the platform was to give complete control of the game to the users. The DAO allows you to influence change in the game and the entire platform surrounding it. As a player, you can vote on issues such as – what kind of wearables are allowed on the platform, moderation of content, DAO policies and many other issues. 

Read more: What Is GameFi?

What Are LAND and MANA?

There are two main tokens used in Decentraland, MANA and LAND. 


This is the NFT that represents the virtual real estate of the platform. It represents ownership of parcels or plots in the Decentraland Metaverse. Owning this LAND is what allows you to create and share games and other experiences with the community. LAND also gives you voting powers in the Decentraland DAO. 

Read more: Real Estate Agents and Virtual Lands

LAND is divided into parcels and districts. Parcels are owned by individual users, while districts are collections of parcels with a similar theme or function. A user who owns multiple parcels of LAND side-by-side can convert them into a single unit called Estates.

MANA Token

It is Decentraland’s native token. It is used for all transactions on the platform, from buying wearables to gaining access to monetised LANDs. MANA is also the governance token of the Decentraland DAO. Owning the token gives you voting rights on key decisions for the game and its policies. 

Every time LAND is auctioned, the MANA tokens used to purchase it are burned. This acts as a deflationary measure for the token and may raise its value as new users enter Decentraland.

How To Play Decentraland?

Playing Decentraland is very simple. You can immediately join the game as a guest from your web browser or download the application. If you want to experience the full game, however, you must create an account and link a crypto wallet. Decentraland recommends using Metamask for storing all your NFTs. 

Once you create your account, you can start playing. You can begin by exploring LANDs created by other users. You can also buy your own LAND and showcase your creativity. Acquiring MANA means you can also buy new clothing and accessories for your in-game character. These are also NFTs that can be stored in your wallet and traded on the marketplace. 

How to Buy Land in Decentraland?

Buying LAND in the Decentraland virtual world is simple. Once you have an active account with a linked wallet, you can enter the marketplace. The marketplace displays a map of Decentraland property available. With this, you can choose a location to purchase, view the offer price and acquire it. 

You can use either MANA or Ethereum to purchase LAND in the marketplace. Once you confirm your purchase, it may take a few minutes for the transaction to complete. Now the LAND will be visible in your linked wallet. 

Alternatively, you can also buy land from the OpenSea marketplace. However, the Decentraland marketplace makes it easier to browse and select plots visually. 

What is Decentraland DAO?

You, the player, owns Decentraland. There is no centralised authority or company in control of the game. As long as you own LAND or MANA, you can participate in the governance of the platform. This is the basis of the Decentraland DAO. 

The DAO enables you to vote on the things you want to see in Decentraland. These decisions span across the board, from LAND and marketplace fees to software upgrades for LAND. 

The Security Advisory Board is a body that supports the DAO. It is responsible for smart contract security and responds to bug reports on the platform. It is made up of 5 members, all of whom are appointed by the community through voting. 

Is Decentraland A Good Investment?

Decentraland is a strong contender in the metaverse space. Launched in 2017, it is the oldest platform for creating an immersive and decentralised virtual world. However, it is important to consider that there are other players in the industry.

Sandbox is one of Decentraland’s largest competitors. It offers better graphics and a newer platform for players. However, The Sandbox is a highly centralised platform that has not yet transitioned to a DAO. 

MANA is ranked #36 by market capitalisation. At the time of writing, it is trading at almost $0.8 per token and has a market cap of $1.46 billion. There are currently 1.85 billion MANA tokens in circulation.

Decentraland seems to be a great investment opportunity in the metaverse space and should be on your radar for future growth. While not the newest, its complete decentralisation is a highly sought-after feature. 

Read more: Decentraland Vs Sandbox

Final Thoughts

Since its beginning, Decentraland has fulfilled its promise of a completely user-owned and user-driven virtual world. From its wearables to its exploration experiences, everything is thanks to its passionate community. It has been the foremost metaverse experience since its release to the public and will continue to dominate as long as its users remain engaged.

Disclaimer: Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Each investor must do his/her own research or seek independent advice if necessary before initiating any transactions in crypto products and NFTs. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author, and not to ZebPay or the author’s employer or other groups or individuals. ZebPay shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions, or losses incurred by the investors. ZebPay has not received any compensation in cash or kind for the above article and the article is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information.

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