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June 29, 2022

What is Decentraland: What You Need to Know (For Beginners)

Oculus and virtual reality games have opened a window into creating a full-on virtual world. What sets the virtual reality platform apart from what we are familiar with is the addition of digital assets and what the Decentraland team allows users to do. 

Is the concept here to stay, or are Decentraland users throwing money into a VR world that won’t last?  

What is Decentraland?


To put it simply, Decentraland is a virtual reality platform. It’s built on the Ethereum blockchain and uses Ethereum smart contracts. Decentraland possesses various features that allow users of the platform to take part in the creation of digital assets, purchase virtual land, exploration, and gaming. 

As the name suggests, Decentraland is decentralized digital land, which means users will hold sole ownership of digital art and assets. Decentraland has also incorporated the addition of apps, easy payments that can be done within the virtual space, and peer-to-peer connections. 

Decentraland is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), where the community members take control and vote on the features to influence the platform’s future. The freedom expands to allow users to create and build what they want, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and give them more control on Decentraland’s platform. 


Decentraland is ruled by 2 types of tokens – LAND and MANA. Let’s look at LAND first.

LAND tokens are NFTs that depict ownership of land parcels. The land parcels are a representation of the virtual real estate non-fungible token that you own.


We then have Decentraland MANA. Mana tokens are the native cryptocurrency used to fuel its digital economy and are what is used when purchasing LAND, and everything else offered on Decentraland. You can purchase MANA on most major crypto exchanges.

How Does Decentraland Work?

As we said, Decentraland offers many features, services, and goods. Although it doesn’t have anything as we have on NFT Drops, where NFT values are broken down. We’re going to dissect each aspect to explore how to navigate this digital real estate platform. 

• Marketplace

Decentraland Marketplace

We’ve explored this before, as Decentraland has made an appearance on some of our NFT marketplace introduction articles. The marketplace isn’t like a traditional NFT marketplace where one can purchase various types of NFTs. Instead, it’s more to purchase LAND, which can be done with Decentraland MANA. The transactions are done in the Decentraland marketplace. 

You will need an Ethereum wallet in order to buy and sell on the market, and your wallet will need to be verified by blockchain technology.

• Trading

Trading on the platform pertains to the MANA token. In order to make the right moves in trading, you have to understand the market value of the token. MANA value correlates with the rise and fall of the crypto market. The utility of this token is only to buy plots of land on Decentraland. In the future, if there are new developments that go beyond purchasing digital real estate, then the value may rise.

• Blockchain Architecture


As we mentioned, Decentraland is built on the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem. There are many layered components to the system. We have a consensus layer, the one that can track the ownership of real estate parcels, and the content layer controls what goes on in each land parcel and also has the files necessary to render them. These are content files, script files, and interaction definitions. You then have the real-time layer responsible for interactions between users on the platform, including user avatars, messaging, and voice chat. 

• Content Creation

You can explore various worlds on Decentraland that are made up of 16×16 land parcels. Users create their own “scenes”, which is basically the experience you get on your piece of land (or several pieces). Each scene is its own unique experienced owned by its users, and other users can move about freely and explore your little world.

• Builders

Decentraland has a builder to create scenes on your land, which is a drag-and-drop editor that most people can figure out how to use. No prior coding knowledge is necessary. It only involves using default items that already exist in the virtual world. 

If you have coding know-how, then you can opt to use the Decentraland SDK, which gives users the freedom to code and create their own scenes with greater freedom. The two types of builders can also be utilized together, where one can use the drag-and-drop builder first, then export the scene and fine-tune it with the SDK. 

Advantages of Decentraland

Why invest in a digital world when people covet social interactions in person? Decentraland is more than just a game; it’s a unique and very immersive experience that incorporates content creation into your own little world. Buy land you can build on, have true ownership over your digital assets, and have complete freedom on a platform that is not owned by a centralized entity. 

Powered by blockchain tech, Decentraland is a true democracy. If you’re a part of the DAO, you have a say in the progression of Decentraland’s advancement and vote on upcoming features.

Another major benefit is privacy. Another VR game may have rules you need to follow, but Decentraland gives you complete freedom and privacy. 

Decentraland vs Metaverse

Metaverse is an umbrella term for virtual worlds. Decentraland is under this term as it is a metaverse, or virtual world. Metaverse can be used to describe each individual virtual world or the overarching space in which they exist. Think of it like the universe = metaverse, and the Milky Way = Decentraland. Other metaverse platforms include Sandbox, and Star Atlas, which would be other galaxies in the universe in our little analogy. 

There isn’t really a comparison between the metaverse and Decentraland, because Decentraland is part of the metaverse, but there is a notable consideration: Decentraland is a realization of the metaverse concept, while the metaverse is an ever-expanding project. 

The VR worlds such as Decentraland and Sandbox are not connected to each other. Hopefully, in the future, there will be a bridge for cross-chain metaverse platforms, but they’re not connected as of now.


• Is Decentraland a good investment?

Yes, Decentraland is a good investment. It’s one of the first of its kind, a metaverse project where users can socialize on, create, purchase, sell and trade digital assets. It’s a virtual space where users can explore, fully control and exercise true ownership without the rules that govern other VR experiences. 

• Can you make real money on Decentraland?

Yes, you can make real money on Decentraland, but a lot of it hinges on the prices of the land plots (LAND) and the native token (MANA) increasing in value. Decentraland also features Decentral Games, working within and playing games inside the metaverse can earn you money. 


Decentraland allows you to own VR real estate assets in the metaverse. You can build what you want on the land, make your own scenes, and create the perfect life that you envision. It’s still quite a new concept but for now, it has a very promising future with a decentralized network and DAO.

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