A beginner's guide to buying virtual real estate in Decentraland (MANA)

What is Decentraland (MANA)?

If you still doubt that the metaverse is real, you should look into Decentraland (open-world metaverse). You can do whatever you want with the land you buy on Decentraland, tapping into the imaginations of gamers and business people everywhere. This is a one-of-a-kind endeavor in an untested market.

Decentraland is an Ethereum-based metaverse game that encourages a global network of users to operate a shared virtual world. Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano, two blockchain professionals, create Decentraland's smart contracts. The project was created in 2020 by both creators, and it is governed by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

Users of Decentraland can explore, engage and play games in this virtual environment while buying and selling digital real estate. Users may now use interactive apps, in-world payments and peer-to-peer communication, thanks to the platform's evolution. 

Additionally, Decentraland is a fully immersive virtual realm, similar to Skyrim and Fallout. However, instead of playing on a two-dimensional screen, you'll be immersed in a three-dimensional environment. The virtual world promotes creative digital ownership concepts and includes online places such as museums where users can exhibit nonfungible pieces of digital art called NFTs.

Decentraland appears to be the next logical step before producing full-fledged artificial intelligence-based games in the real world. This article will explain how Decentraland works, how to buy virtual land in the metaverse and explain why MANA is so bullish.

Three native tokens of Decentraland

ESTATE, an ERC-721 token representing merging pieces of digital land; LAND, an ERC-721 nonfungible token representing parcels of digital land; and MANA, an ERC-20 token that is the official currency of Decentraland, are the platform's native tokens.

Let's go over the differences between ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens before looking at how Decentraland's tokens power its digital economy. MANA and other ERC-20 tokens are known as fungible tokens because they may be swapped for other ERC-20 tokens. Similarly, each MANA token is identical and without any distinguishing characteristics. These characteristics contribute to MANA's suitability as a Decentraland in-world currency.

ERC-721 tokens like LAND and ESTATE, on the other hand, have properties that distinguish them from one another. As a result, they're referred to as NFTs because they're not interchangeable. This means they can't be used as currency, but they can be used to make one-of-a-kind in-world products like avatars, wearables and unique land parcels.

Three smart contracts define the attributes of MANA, LAND, and ESTATE: the MANAtoken, the LANDregistry and the EstateRegistry contracts. Individual parcels of LAND, which you can purchase with MANA in Decentraland's Marketplace, make up all virtual space in Decentraland. 

You can also purchase wearables for your avatar at the Marketplace, such as clothing, shoes and accessories. The Ethereum blockchain records every transaction, effectively turning it into a registry for all of the digital property you gain in Decentraland.

You can construct digital environments and applications on LAND, such as games and themed communities, that can be monetized if you own virtual land. Estates can be formed by combining LAND parcels that are physically adjacent to one another. Rarible, a cryptocurrency company, has set up virtual offices and art galleries in Decentraland. In addition, several virtual conferences and virtual real estate investing have also taken place in Decentraland.

Technology architecture of Decentraland

Many layered components of Decentraland are constructed using Ethereum smart contracts.

The consensus layer keeps track of land parcel ownership through a ledger. Each LAND parcel contains a virtual world coordinate, an owner, and a link to a description file that describes the information within the parcel.

Finally, using user avatars and voice chat and messaging, the real-time layer supports social interactions within Decentraland.

Marketplace and Builder

The Decentraland team has also developed a marketplace and a drag-and-drop editor for users to utilize to create settings outside of the gaming area.

Participants can use the marketplace to manage and exchange LAND tokens, which are priced in MANA. In addition, owners can use the marketplace to buy, sell and trade parcels and other in-game products like wearables and unique names. It's worth noting that all transactions are resolved between Ethereum wallets and thus are validated by Ethereum's network and recorded on its blockchain.

Owners can use Decentraland's building tools to create a one-of-a-kind experience within their LAND plots. Developers can access customization libraries and payment implementations through its editing tool, which allows them to create interactive scenes.

How does Decentraland work?

Decentraland is a virtual environment like any other metaverse project. You can explore Decentraland's map and participate in one of the many community events taking place. Across the crypto sector, communities do everything from concerts to gambling nights to movie screenings where people gather in one spot and have a good time.

You can also participate in the in-game economy by purchasing digital art and/or exchanging it with other players on the platform. Players can engage with the platform and track LAND parcels, which are real estate parcels. These tokens can be bought and sold by users. 

Unlike other virtual reality games, however, participants in Decentraland have some direct control over the rules of the platform. As a result, users can vote directly on the game and the organization's policy through the DAO.

Each small square on the Decentraland map represents a piece of LAND. A district is a cluster of LAND parcels. A district is a group of LANDs with common interests, styles or communities. There's Vegas City, District X (formerly known as the Redlight District), Fashion Street, Dragon City and much more. Decentraland has it all, whether you want to debate about startups, play casino games, watch Minecraft streaming, look at virtual real estate or even analyze the latest Southeby NFT drop.

How to buy Decentraland (MANA)?

MANA is available on many crypto trading platforms like Coinbase, Kraken. Steps to buying MANA on these platforms are explained in the sections below:

Steps to buying MANA on Coinbase

Follow the below steps to buy MANA on Coinbase:

Create a Coinbase account: Start by downloading the Coinbase app and filling out the registration form. To transact, you'll need a valid ID and maybe proof of address, so make sure you have these on hand. Depending on where you reside, verifying your ID may take longer than a few minutes.

Add a payment method: Connect a payment method by tapping on the payment method box. For example, you can pay with a bank account, a debit card or a wire transfer.

Start trade by selecting Decentraland from the list of assets: Choose "Buy" from the drop-down menu. Type "Decentraland" into the search bar to find Decentraland. When Decentraland appears in the search results, tap it to get to the purchase page.

Enter the amount you want to buy: Input the amount you want to spend in your native currency using the number pad. This will be immediately converted to a Decentraland amount by the app.

Finalize your purchase: When you're ready, tap "Preview buy." The specifics of your purchase will be displayed. After you've double-checked that everything seems good, you can finalize your order. That's it; Decentraland is a part of your portfolio now.

Steps to buying MANA on Kraken

Follow the below steps to buy MANA on Kraken:

Sign up for a Kraken account: Create an account by entering an email address, a new username and a strong password to secure your account.

Verify your account. You may buy MANA with cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (ETH) after providing your name, date of birth, country of residence and phone number. You'll need to give our specialists additional supporting documents validating your identification if you want to use fiat (i.e., USD or EUR).

Deposit cash: You have several options for funding your Kraken account. Your method will be determined by your location and preferences.

Purchase MANA: You're ready to buy MANA after your account has been loaded with cash. You'll also have access to Kraken's comprehensive charting tools, 24-hour worldwide customer support and the opportunity to use margin trading at this time, all of which contribute to the Kraken experience being adored by millions of traders around the world.

How to store MANA?

MANA tokens can be stored in one of two ways. The first is hardware wallets, which are very useful if you plan to keep MANA for a long time. Because they are offline wallets, they are extremely safe and impossible to hack. The Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X are two hardware wallets available on the market that support MANA. 

The Nano S is designed for newcomers and only includes the features required to keep crypto safe. The Nano X is more advanced, with a bigger screen and Bluetooth connectivity, among other things. Software wallets are the second alternative for holding MANA tokens, and they are a viable solution for short-term storage. 

How do I buy property on Decentraland?

The areas you interact within Decentraland are LAND, non-fungible digital assets that you purchase in the game. Once you possess a piece of LAND, you can do whatever you want with it. Games, applications, gambling services and even dynamic 3D scenes are possible. 

But why should it end there? Although not its primary goal, LAND-based services can be built in the areas of education, professional development, tourism and so forth. So, if you want to know how you buy things in Decentraland, please follow the steps below:

Sign up

The first step is to go to Decentraland's Marketplace and sign in or create an account if you haven't previously. Once you've signed in, go to “Parcels and Estates,” then “View All.”

Select a parcel of LAND

The next step is to look through the available parcels of land and pick your favorite one. You may see the nearby places and the proximity to famous areas by purchasing land in Decentraland directly from the marketplace. 

After you've chosen your virtual piece of property, click on it to learn more about it. The price of the land in MANA, its availability and the name of the owner may all be found here. To make a purchase, tap “Buy.”

Connect your wallet to the Decentraland Marketplace

To make the purchase, make sure your wallet is linked to your account, as the land will be transferred to your wallet as an NFT after the transaction is completed and successful.

You can download wallets like MetaMask and Trust Wallet if you don't have one already. Remember that you'll need enough MANA or ETH in your selected wallet to complete the transaction. Additionally, you'll need some extra tokens to cover the gas cost.

Confirm your virtual LAND

You may confirm your LAND on your wallet once the transaction is complete. If you're using a Trust Wallet, you can validate this in the MetaMask wallet's “Collectibles” and “NFTs” tabs. Each NFT on Decentraland is 16 meters by 16 meters and represents a piece of LAND. The amount of land plots on Decentraland is regulated at 90,000, which contributes to the feeling of scarcity.

But, how much does it cost to buy LAND in Decentraland? Currently, the most affordable LAND plots in Decentraland sell for roughly 4,000 MANA or 3.7 ETH. However, once a user buys LAND, they own it until someone else wants to buy it—the tokens, after all, are nonfungible. 

On the other hand, MANA is fungible (as explained previously), which means that if a user has a large amount of it, they can sell it to anyone who needs it, even any new users who may have arrived to buy LAND.

Decentraland vs The Sandbox

Decentraland (MANA) describes itself as a virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum network that allows users to build and monetize apps and content. Similarly, The Sandbox is a blockchain-based virtual world where users may play a game to develop, generate, sell and purchase digital goods.

The key differences between the two platforms are listed in the table below:

Is Decentraland (MANA) a good investment?

The primary purpose of Decentraland is to be used as a game. Virtual business development is another use case. Because MANA is primarily utilized as an in-game currency, MANA allows users to buy and sell goods within the game.

The popularity of "alternative life" games is encouraging, but it's difficult to predict if this trend will extend to 3D and blockchain. However, if Decentraland achieves the kind of adoption that its advocates hope for, we may be witnessing the birth of a whole new ecosystem of enterprises and experiences right before our eyes.

In contrast, many people believe that the metaverse will become more useful in the future. For example, in a metaverse, things like video calls and concerts may take place. However, Decentraland aspires to bring its technologies to a much larger audience and integrate the initiative into daily life, making it a significant investment asset.

However, there are extremes of bullishness and bearishness in the crypto market; there may be booms and eventual busts. Therefore, purchasing a plot of LAND in Decentraland should be approached with caution.