Since Ethereum is a new kind of public infrastructure, it has a wide variety of projects building on top of it. One of those projects is Decentraland, a virtual world focused on entertainment.
What’s interesting about Decentraland is that its MANA token has been quite popular in the market for NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, in recent months. Indeed, it mostly hasn’t been close for a while.
For example, over the last week the virtual world’s total sales struck just shy of the $600,000 USD mark — more than three times the amount of assets traded around the NFT space’s 2nd hottest project this past week, The Sandbox. Part of the reason Decentraland is presently hot is the project’s mainnet launch, which is slated for Feb. 20th.
What to Expect?
In short, Decentraland is going decentralized. After its mainnet launch the project, which dubs its universe as part of the “Metaverse,” is set to advance toward maturity, as its builders said last month:
“The launch includes the establishment of the Decentraland DAO, full decentralization of the world’s infrastructure (communications between users and the serving of content), and, most importantly, public access to the very best the Metaverse has to offer. From now on, no single agent will have the power to modify the rules of the software, curate LAND content, modify the economics of MANA, upgrade the LAND smart contract unilaterally, or prevent others from accessing the world, among other decentralization features.”
Love it or hate it, this activity will lead to short-term buzz, which will undoubtedly lead to increased trading volume as more users take notice. As such, don’t be surprised if the MANA market and trading around Decentraland parcels acutely heats up for the foreseeable future.
On February 17th, the Decentraland project announced that it was opening up the virtual world’s marketplace to assets beyond just land, namely “wearables and Avatar names,” which can be used to customize in-world characters.
The project’s team said that its previously marketplace had facilitated nearly $50 million in transactions, and that more were to come with the novel dashboard.
“With the launch of the new and improved Marketplace and the addition of NFTs, that figure is set to rise dramatically, as people can now do their buying and selling of all things Decentraland in one place,” Decentraland’s builders said.
Recent Price Action
MANA, the digital currency of the Decentraland virtual world, has been having a good run lately.
Late last year, MANA bottomed at $0.0191. The token has been fighting upward since then, as its current price of $0.0554 is 184% up from that low. The token’s previous all-time high was $0.259, so about five times from where it’s at now.
With buy pressure picking up around NFT projects and with the Decentraland mainnet launch imminent, it’s not out of the question that MANA will return to its all-time price high this year.
A Novel Identity System
Decentraland is a virtual world, so it requires identities just as any social arena would.
Hitherto, Decentraland’s naming system was inflexible, making it so that a user could only have one name per each address and that names were non-transferable between addresses. However, last week the project rolled out a new system that is considerably more user-friendly.
For one, Decentraland’s new identity system is integrated with the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), which has made it possible to send MANA tokens to human-readable address names. Moreover, Decentraland names are now ERC-721 tokens, which means they can be easily transferred between Ethereum addresses as an NFT. These are simple steps forward, but they’re better by heaps and bounds compared to the original system.