What is Decentraland?

Camilla Marziani

By Camilla Marziani


3D real estate, metaverse music festivals and virtual pride parades: Decentraland and its native ERC20 token MANA are shaping the future of virtual reality and bringing the possibilities of the metaverse to life.

  • Decentraland is a blockchain-based virtual reality game running on Ethereum.
  • The virtual space inside Decentraland is called LAND, kept in NFTs based on Ethereum smart contract technology.
  • Users can build 3D real estate and communities in the Decentraland metaverse.
  • MANA is the native ERC20 token of the Decentraland platform and in order to engage with the ecosystem, users need to store MANA in a digital wallet connected to Decentraland.
  • The MANA price reached its all time high of €4.89 on November 25, 2021

What is Decentraland? 

Decentraland is a blockchain-based virtual reality game running on the Ethereum blockchain. While traversing a 3D virtual world, players can buy digital LAND that they own permanently thanks to MANA, Decentraland’s native ERC20 token. Users can also purchase other goods and services in the Decentraland marketplace and create their own content on the platform, such as decentralised apps (DApps). All transactions are recorded on the Ethereum blockchain. 

Holders of the MANA token have full control over the virtual property they own, because every collectable, wearable, piece of land or real estate and any good that can be purchased in Decentraland is an NFT. MANA and LAND holders in Decentraland’s virtual world govern the decision-making process together via the Decentraland DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation).

What is MANA?

Decentraland’s entire virtual economy runs on Decentraland’s ERC20 token, MANA. To engage with the ecosystem, users need to store MANA in an Ethereum wallet connected to their Decentraland account. MANA allows users to purchase a variety of goods, from pieces of LAND to clothes for their avatar. Users can also spend MANA to attend special events, play-to earn, and use it as they would fiat currencies in real life.

How does Decentraland work?

At the heart of Decentraland is its smart contracts. To keep the metaverse fully decentralised, the most important smart contracts and other major assets are operated by Decentraland’s DAO . The DAO also holds a large amount of the ecosystem’s currency MANA to further ensure its autonomy. 

Through the DAO, users can vote and decide on issues such as LAND auctions, protocol upgrades, fees, allocations of MANA grants and content moderation. Ultimately, users themselves are responsible for - and are creators of - the same metaverse they enjoy and invest in, a feature that only blockchain technology can enable.

The Decentraland metaverse

The virtual metaverse space inside Decentraland is called LAND, which is divided into parcels that are distinguished using cartesian coordinates (x, y) and organised in neighbourhoods called ‘Districts’. Real estate in the metaverse has been in the headlines lately, as virtual land is being sold for astronomical prices. In the case of Decentraland, a new record was reached in October 2021 when a plot of LAND in Decentraland’s Fashion District sold for 618k MANA, the equivalent of $2.43M.

Next to building and monetising their creations, users can also participate in virtual events and activities in one or more of the many hubs and communities that already exist in Decentraland. From fashion week to NFT galleries (where you can buy the art) to talks given by successful Decentraland influencers, the metaverse is a playground of opportunities for digital creators and metaverse enthusiasts.

How to buy MANA?

MANA can be bought on crypto exchanges like Bitpanda using fiat currencies, e.g. euros or U.S. dollars. It’s a good idea to first get familiar with the MANA price history and the current exchange rate. Once purchased, your MANA investment can be viewed and accessed in a digital wallet that acts similarly to a banking app. You then have the option to hold on to your MANA or sell it again via the exchange.

MANA price history

Like all cryptocurrencies, the price of MANA can fluctuate greatly and is highly dependent on market conditions, making it a volatile asset. It’s recommended that you do your own research before investing in MANA or other crypto currencies. When it launched, MANA had a mild start in terms of price, moving between €0.6 and €0.8 for most of 2021 until hitting its first and currently standing all time high of €4.89 on November 25, 2021. The price fell sharply afterwards and hasn’t reached its peak since. After gaining some momentum in the summer of 2022, MANA is currently trading at an average daily high of €0.7302 and an average daily low of €0.7001, with a total market cap of €1.31 billion.

Camilla Marziani

Camilla Marziani

Global content specialist, blockchain enthusiast and coffee lover