About Decentraland (MANA)
Ethereum-based virtual reality (VR) platform Decentraland is a 3D realm where inhabitants buy and sell a finite amount of digital LAND. The coin of this realm, part of what’s being called the metaverse, is MANA.
Just as the supply of Decentraland LAND is limited so too is MANA, a fungible ERC-20 token used on the platform to buy the one-of-a-kind parcels that come in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
LAND owners choose how their property gets digitally developed, whether it’s something interactive or more static/pedestrian, according to Gemini research.
The Australian Open made headlines in mid-January, partnering with Decentraland on a virtual fan experience. Barbados, meanwhile, is planning a digital embassy in Decentraland. The Caribbean island’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade inked what could be the first diplomatic deal done in the metaverse.
Virtual spaces have become more common over the past two years with the trend accelerated by the pandemic and punctuated this past fall with the news that Facebook was changing its name to Meta. Add in the growing popularity of play-to-earn projects, such as Axie Infinity, and the explosion of NFTs, and it becomes at least partly clear why MANA spent the better part of November of 2021 surging to record highs.
Decentraland views itself as more than just an online social gaming platform, as InvestorPlace has pointed out, highlighting the platform's decentralized autonomous organizational structure (DAO) for governance decisions.
In addition to LAND NFTs, MANA can also be used to make in-world purchases of digital goods and services.
A mash-up between Minecraft and an NFT hub, Decentraland traces its beginnings to a 2015 experiment to emphasize the potential of a bottom-up-run digital domain. "Unlike other virtual worlds and social networks, Decentraland is not controlled by a centralized organization," said the project's white paper first published in March of 2017. "There is no single agent with the power to modify the rules of the software, contents of land, economics of the currency, or prevent others from accessing the world."
The first sale of MANA took place in the summer of 2017. Its initial coin offering (ICO) generated $24 million. Two years later came the beta launch of a boundaries-pushing yet mostly off-limits virtual world. Gates were open to the public in February 2020. LAND use projects since then have included interactive games and 3D-scenery creations.
Decentraland was developed by a pair of Argentineans, Estaban Ordano and Ari Meilich who founded a non-profit, The Decentraland Foundation, the organization said. Ordano, a blockchain engineer, had previously co-founded Streamium, the first app that implemented technology for scaling blockchain payments. He was also a former software engineer at BitPay where he helped create the Bitcore library, considered a key piece of Bitcoin infrastructure.
Meilich’s background included stints in venture capital and data analytics.
Both have since retired from the project but remain involved as consultants.
Shared virtual worlds have been the subject of popular books and movies. In terms of actual innovations, the industry is still considered an early-days-proposition. However, its nascence has not prevented the metaverse from attracting a deluge of venture capital funding, according to the Wall Street Journal.
MANA is attractive to speculators but also to users seeking to have an almighty hand shaping the metaverse; Decentraland’s DAO structure allows MANA holders to vote on in-game and organizational policies.
While MANA caught on among NFT enthusiasts early in 2021, it really took off following the headline-grabbing rebranding of Facebook to Meta, in late October. As InvestorPlace said, “Decentraland entered a new reality.”
The current price of MANA
As of mid-January 2022, MANA was trading near $2.90, having shed 50% of its value since late November of 2021 when it reached an all-time high of $5.85, according to CoinGecko.
Trading at less than a penny for much of its life, MANA did not reach upwards of $0.10 until the end of 2020. In mid-April of 2021, with crypto at large rallying, MANA crossed $1.
How the price of MANA is determined
The total supply of MANA tokens is fixed at 2.6 billion. When LAND is auctioned, the MANA tokens used to purchase the parcels are burned, such that the supply of MANA is inherently deflationary and, in theory, its price could rise in value as the platform grows.
What the bulls are saying
*Gaming executives have predicted that the metaverse economy will be a multitrillion-dollar opportunity, and so “if you believe in the metaverse, an investment in MANA may be sensible, as Decentraland is arguably at the forefront of it so far,” Data Driven Investor said in a Medium post.
*MANA’s outlook appears favorable if this bullish trend continues i.e. it will reach $10 by the end of 2022, CoinQuora said.
*MANA will hit $25 by the end of 2022 and then $50 by the middle of 2024, per Coin Price Forecast.
What the bears are saying
*MANA-USD is as choppy as it is attractive, InvestorPlace said.
*Decentraland price is overwhelmingly bearish, FX Street said.
*Technical indicators of MANA hints towards a further downtrend, The Market Periodical said.
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This content is correct as of January 2022.
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