Decentraland Basic Review
|Start ICO||15 Aug 2017|
|End ICO||15 Sep 2017|
- Name: Decentraland
- Ticker symbol: MANA
- Project type: A blockchain-based virtual world
- Company: Decentraland Foundation
- Website: https://decentraland.org
- Whitepaper: https://decentraland.org/whitepaper-en.pdf
- ICO: 8 Aug 2017
- Soft cap: No information available
- Hard cap: $20 million
- Token: MANA, follows ERC20 standard
- Bonus structure: Discount for early contributors
- Referral system: No information available
- Open source: No information available
- Team size: 4, plus 4 advisors
- Developer team active: Yes, steady activity on Slack
- GitHub: https://github.com/decentraland
- Wiki: No information available
- Slack: +1456 registered https://slack.decentraland.org/
- Twitter: +1902 followers https://twitter.com/decentraland
- Reddit: +118 redditors https://www.reddit.com/r/decentraland/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/decentraland/
- YouTube: No information available
Decentraland is a blockchain-based decentralized virtual world with rules set by the users. The project has been developing since 2015, moving from 2D to 3D visualization levels.
The Decentraland project includes a social network and game functions. On the one hand, users can chat, join communities and interconnect within the platform. On the other hand, they are able to customize their game assets – land plots – tiles. They can sell, buy, rent them out, as well as create new virtual worlds that defy the laws of physics!
Payment transactions are fulfilled inside the network - the Decentraland Project has a closed virtual economy. The user can create, experience and monetize content and applications.
The founders have developed their project on both a blockchain and VR basis. Both these technological themes are of course currently very popular; as a result, the project is potentially of interest to the general public. Decentralized in-game/ social networks are set to become very common. Nevertheless, the project is still one of the first to buy into the idea.
The project claims to be a VR platform, however the developers provide a browser-based game with fairly primitive graphics. So there are currently questions about the project’s ability to develop effective 3D content.
Comparing Decentraland with the established Second Life product, we are sure the decentralization process is not enough alone to command market share.
- a novel take on virtual reality;
- offers a decentralized virtual world with user-defined rule sets.
- Experience of staff in the field of computer game creation is not proven
- A financial plan is not currently available
- A lack of technological capabilities to create 3D content within the platform
- No stated agreements with any partners/service providers.
REVIEW OF COMPETITORS
It is not a new idea to create virtual worlds on the basis of computer games or modern
Web-applications. Some ideas have already implemented. The obvious example is
Second Life; a highly successful project. Established in 2003, it remains a market leader.
Second Life provides users with an advanced 3D-social network and a wide range of services. It sells in-game content – food, real estate, clothes, and so on. Education and entertainment are among other services rendered.
To its great advantage, Second Life is supported by a variety of corporations and educational institutions. Harvard and Oxford Universities provide distance education on branches of the game; IBM and Sun Microsystems have their offices for distance-workers there. NASA, CNN and Reuters have established departments on the Second Life Platform as well.
Critics often judge the Second Life Project owners for lack of content control and high in-game prices. In future it is possible that decentralized projects can solve such problems of the centralized form of management and modelling.
MARKET AND INDUSTRY REVIEW
The VR industry is of course a developing sectore. VR-glasses have become available for the general public recently. Developers have been creating much new content since that time. VR remains a cutting-edge activity among IT start-up companies.
Many marketing reports foresee a large growth of the VR market by the end of the decade. By 2020 the VR market will be worth more than $28 billion, according to The SuperData Company’s research. Statista state that it will be as much as $40.4 billion by the same date. We know that the market was assessed at $2 billion at the end of 2016.
If forecasts are true, the market for VR is due to have the fastest growth amongst all markets for technology within the next ten years.
TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE PLATFORM
According to the given Project development plans, the architecture will be changed in future. At the moment the platform functions with scripts processing written for the Unity game engine. Visualization works in any modern browser window.
At any time the UTXO data base (Unspent Transaction Output) shows the current state of the virtual universe. Actual fragment content is distributed via a torrent network in P2P mode.
According to the GitHub project page, there are several limitations on creating content:
- Only primitive meshes: Cube, Plane, Sphere, Cylinder and Capsule.
- Only Colors and 2D Textures (see notes).
- Hard limit of 1024 game objects inside the tile.
- Cannot place objects beyond the bounds of the tile.
- Not yet supported: Scripts, Animations, Shaders, etc.
The main information about the project is contained in the WhitePaper. The document reflects the main idea of the project – creation of the fully decentralized platform of the virtual reality. At the same time, information on technological solutions for any future content is not available. This is a negative point in our opinion.
There is a lack of financial model detail or description. The founders do not explain why they wish to attract certain funds, or their intended purpose.
You can examine the current platform capability on the project’s GitHub page.
Hard Cap: $20 million
Price: $24 USD = 1000 MANA
BTC, ETH, altcoins powered by ShapeShift, are acceptable
Crowdsale pool: no crowdsale pool
Token distribution scheme after ICO:
40% - ICO participants;
20% - Community and partners;
20% - Team and early contributors;
20% - Foundation
Funds received during the ICO wll be distributed as follows:
Development - 50%
Research - 20%
Marketing and community dev - 15%
Operations and Business Dev - 10%
Legal - 5%
The token is intended to be the currency within the project. Users will need to spend it on in-game products and services. For example, 1000 MANA = 10x10m of land within the VR environment.
Transactions inside the network are proven by public mining. As a result, miners get/ create new land plots in Decentraland.
PLANS OF THE PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
The Decentraland Project founders emphasize that there are four epochs of project development. From June 2015 – the Stone Age. During this period the world is a simple bunch card using a bitcoin-like pixel algorithm. From March 2017 - Bronze Age. The world is created in 3D with the Unity browser, blockchain, torrents, and editor.
The 4th quarter of 2017 is the beginning of the Iron Age. It is a multi-user mode world with avatars, chat, and opportunity to create objects and scripts.
2018 is the start of the Silicon Age. It is the epoch of blockchain-based virtual reality, with customizable physical laws.
Ari Meilich - Project Lead
Esteban Ordano - Technical Lead
Esteban Ordano is a Blockchain Veteran (as he calls himself.)
Manuel Araoz - Board Member
Esteban Ordano and Manuel Araoz are the founders of the Proof of Existence project. This is a project offering opportunity to check and prove documents dealing with the bitcoin blockchain. In May 2017 the Canaan Creative Company, a mining company, bought the Proof of Existence company.
Yemel Jardi - Board Member
The founders are active in online discussions; Slack is the project’s main communication channel.
There is also a developers’ blog on the Decentraland website. Information is available here on the platform’s functioning as well as details of the upcoming ICO.
There are several publications in blockchain periodicals. Here is a list of journals with articles on the project: coindesk.com, the-blockchain.com, and coinjournal.net.