Decentraland 2019 Project Update
The latest news and updates from Decentraland, and some notes on the future of the platform
We’ve come a long way since we started growing the Decentraland project in late 2017. Today, we want to update you on the state of Decentraland’s economy and smart contracts, talk about developments in our governance tools, and show how our vibrant virtual world built around the MANA token is starting to come to life.
Virtual World Economy
Since its inception in April 2018, the LAND Marketplace has proven to be secure and widely trusted by the community. The Marketplace has transacted roughly $16.6M USD worth of MANA in secondary sales1, becoming one of the most successful smart contracts of Decentraland’s virtual economy. The Marketplace is not limited to LAND and Estates - any ERC721-compatible NFT will eventually be supported by the platform. We will continue to measure the health of Decentraland’s virtual economy’s by tracking the volume traded on this smart contract.
Right now, MANA is being used as a medium of exchange. However, it’s fundamentally different from normal currencies: MANA is a utility token redeemed for LAND during Decentraland’s auctions. It’s is also intended to serve as an in-world currency that players can exchange for items and experiences within the platform.
Starting next week, the Marketplace will begin burning 1% of the MANA in every transaction, in response to the positive community vote on Agora. All MANA spent toward these transaction costs will be burned (removing it entirely from circulation), in the same way that MANA spent in the LAND auctions was burned.
The Decentraland community is working to create a space where everyone has a voice in the future of the platform, and where everyone is in control of their own individual experience.
Full decentralization at this scale is something we’re striving for, but our journey there will require a certain amount of centralized decision making. We’re very grateful for the confidence bestowed on our team by our community to optimize this process.
However, our team is committed to decentralizing these decisions as much, and as quickly, as possible. So, one of our biggest, current priorities is making Decentraland’s development more transparent and participative.
This is why we’ve started using Agora for Decentraland’s most critical decisions.
Removing the potential for MANA inflation
This past November, we put Agora to use asking our community whether we should drop the ability to set an expansion rate to the supply of MANA, a function in the MANA smart contract proposed in Decentraland’s original whitepaper, but never activated.
Effective January 20th, we will transfer ownership of the MANA contract to a self-destructed contract address, losing access to this functionality in a provable way.
Agora has proven to be a powerful forum to help validate important decisions with the community, and we’ve started working closely with democracy.earth to improve Agora and broaden its use.
We want anyone to be able to spark discussions, open polls, and vote.
Exploring token curated registries
We have also been advancing the research on token curated registries (TCRs), because we believe TCRs are one of the key governance tools that will emerge from the first generation of dApps.
Decentraland’s experiment in TCRs is centered on sets of different avatars, where each set must adhere to a specific theme. For instance, a set of “Sci-Fi” avatars shouldn’t include a “Cowboy” avatar model, while a “Medieval” set should not allow robots.
Why is this useful?
As a parcel owner, I might want to select which collections of avatars I want to allow on my LAND. In this way, token curated registries allow experience creators to fine-tune the ambience of their parcels.
We also started issuing Access Token NFTs to our beta users last August of 2018. As a side-effect, we now have a token that allows us to prevent sybil attacks (a security threat where one actor attempts to make their vote count multiple times by creating fake identities). Our Access Token NFTs provide a holy grail for security, allowing even more advanced experiments in decentralized governance, like enabling Quadratic Voting2 in Agora. If you’re working on ways to scale sybil-resistant decentralized networks, please reach out to us, we’d love to hear about it!
During the next few months, we will be open-sourcing the reference implementation of Decentraland, alongside the specification of its protocols. This implementation is something the team has been working on for quite some time, and making it open source is a hallmark achievement. We’re really proud of the team we built along the way, but now it’s time to build up the content of the world, make it available for everyone, and fill it with experiences.
That’s why we’re building an easy-to-use scene building tool!
After the second auction, a drag-and-drop editor was the most frequently requested feature. Helping the community populate the world with high-quality content is our top priority, and providing an accessible and powerful editor is the best way to make that happen.
Transferring LAND to Districts
Last, but not least, we’re processing all district LAND transfer agreements for districts, as well as the contribution refunds for dissolved districts. We’re incredibly proud of the effort put forward by Decentraland’s districts, and look forward to their continued growth and development.
If you are a member of one of Decentraland’s districts, you can visit your district’s channel on Discord to see your community’s progress. You can also reach out to
@Carl Fravel#3088 on Discord, if you have any questions about your district or the district communities.