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Original author(s)Ariel Meilich, Esteban Ordano[1]
Developer(s)Decentraland Foundation
Initial releaseFebruary 20, 2020; 4 years ago (2020-02-20)[2]
Written inC#, GLSL, and HTML
Available inEnglish (official)
TypeVirtual world

Decentraland is a 3D virtual world browser-based platform.[5] Users may buy virtual plots of land in the platform as NFTs via the MANA cryptocurrency, which uses the Ethereum blockchain.[6] Designers can create and sell clothes and accessories for the avatars to be used in the virtual world.[7]

It was opened to the public in February 2020,[2] and is overseen by the nonprofit Decentraland Foundation. In 2017, the platform raised $26 million in its initial coin offering (ICO);[1] by 2022 indy100 reported that it had a $1.2 billion market evaluation.[8] While DappRadar found that as few as 38 users performed currency transactions in a single day, Decentraland claimed that 8,000 people per day used the platform in 2022.[9]

Decentraland has received widespread criticism by technology and video game journalists for its technical bugs and mostly empty virtual world.[5][10][11][12]


Decentraland was created by Argentinians Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano,[1] and has been in development since 2015.[13] When it launched in 2017, parcels of digital land sold for about $20,[14] and mana tokens sold for $0.02.[1] The game's first map, Genesis City, was made up of 90,601 parcels of land.[13] It raised $26 million in its initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017.[1]

In April 2021, during a surge in popularity for NFTs, parcels sold for between $6,000 and $100,000.[14] Because of the relatively small pool of mana, the currency is volatile, spiking to as high as $5.79 after events like Facebook's rebrand to Meta.[5][15]

In November 2021 a virtual real-estate company purchased a plot of land in Decentraland for $2.43 million.[16]

Users have minted NFTs of avatars with slurs in their names, and at one point the name "Jew" was for sale for $362,000.[5] In November 2021 the community held a vote on whether to add "Hitler" to the banned names list, but there were not enough votes for the decentralized autonomous organization's (DAO) smart contract to execute.[5]

In late 2021 and early 2022, major brands appeared in Decentraland or bought "properties" in it. These include Samsung, Adidas, Atari, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Miller Lite. Sotheby's held its first metaverse auction, and in March 2022, Decentraland hosted Metaverse Fashion Week in which major fashion brands appeared, including Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, Elie Saab, Nicholas Kirkwood, Perry Ellis, Imitation of Christ, and Estée Lauder.[17][18][19][20][21] Music artists including Deadmau5 and Grimes held concerts in the platform.[22][23]

In October 2022, indy100 reported that Decentraland had a market valuation of $1.2 billion.[8]

In October 2022 the DappRadar tracking site reported that the Decentraland platform was seeing fewer than 1,000 users performing currency transactions on the site each day, with one particular 24-hour period having only 38 such users.[9] Decentraland later claimed that "active users" were only users that had unique blockchain wallet addresses that interact with its system, and that users that did not have wallet addresses weren't counted.[24] Sam Hamilton, Creative Director at Decentraland, said by their own metrics the platform was used by an average of 8,000 people per day.[9] The Verge compared this number unfavorably with the 2009 PC game Left 4 Dead 2, which had 18,000 active users playing the game at one point during the same month.[9]


In March 2020, Luke Winkie, writing for PC Gamer, described the game as "rickety", noting numerous bugs and the game's "brutally long loading times", as well as hard-locks related to the game's cryptocurrency-based authentication process. Winkie described the platform as having a strongly libertarian political bent, saying "Decentraland is a truly fascinating concept. It peels back like an onion, revealing a Randian fever-dream built with Roblox textures".[13]

According to Eric Ravenscraft of Wired, activity on the platform is unclear, with the world mostly empty and with a number of concurrent users of around 1,600 in 2021, a figure that might include inactive users who remain logged on.[5] Ravenscraft wrote that Decentraland was buggy with poor moderation, and said that it felt reminiscent of an early access game.[5]

In January 2022, a video clip of a rave in Decentraland was posted to Twitter by DJ Alex Moss. The clip went viral and was widely mocked on social media.[25][26][27][28] Zack Zwiezen, writing for Kotaku, unfavorably compared the clip to similar virtual concerts and parties in AdventureQuest 3D, Fortnite, Roblox, and VRChat, and described the look of the game itself as similar to “a fictional game that was tossed together in a few hours for an episode of CSI: Whatever City, in which the investigators are trying to solve a murder that involves some 'new' and 'popular' online world."[28] Prompted by the clip, Jason Koebler of Vice investigated other raves held on the platform, and described the experience as mostly empty and plagued by technical bugs.[12]

In January 2022, Zachariah Kelly, writing for Gizmodo, reviewed a virtual version of Melbourne Park created in Decentraland to promote the Australian Open. Kelly praised the 3D models created for the project, as well as the platform's ability to run in a browser, but poor draw distance and other issues made it feel "clunky" and lacking in activity. Kelly was also skeptical of the necessity for blockchain and NFTs.[29] Kelly revisited Decentraland's Australian Open space several days later, to review the closing concert. He said his experience was plagued by technical issues, and that footage of the event taken by others were unfavorably compared to online concerts held on other platforms, such as Fortnite.[10]

In April 2022, Business Insider review, Lisa Han praised the world's architecture and minigames, though criticized the emptiness of the world and its glitches and technical issues along with the game's removal of a quest log feature and the limitations of user interaction with Decentraland's architecture.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Russo, Camila (2018-06-13). "Making a killing in virtual real estate". Bloomberg.
  2. ^ a b "The gates to Decentraland have opened!". Decentraland. 2020-02-20. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  3. ^ "Decentraland Project Update — June 4th". decentraland.org.
  4. ^ Nico Earnshaw (Jun 3, 2019). "Build More, and Better, With the SDK 6.1". Decentraland. Archived from the original on 2019-10-03. Retrieved 2024-01-16.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Ravenscraft, Eric (2021-12-26). "The Metaverse Land Rush Is an Illusion". Wired. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  6. ^ NFTs: The Center of Attention at Sotheby's Virtual Decentraland Gallery Helen Holmes, Observer Media, June 7, 2021
  7. ^ Miranda, Leticia (15 August 2022). "Avatars need their nails done, too. Enter the metaverse side hustle". NBC News. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  8. ^ a b "$1.2 billion Metaverse project, Decentraland only has '38 active users', report claims". indy100. 2022-10-14. Retrieved 2022-10-18.
  9. ^ a b c d Lawler, Richard (13 October 2022). "Decentraland's billion-dollar "metaverse" reportedly had 38 active users in one day". The Verge. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  10. ^ a b Kelly, Zachariah (31 January 2022). "I Tried To Go to a Concert in the Metaverse. It Didn't Work". Gizmodo Australia. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  11. ^ a b Han, Lisa Kailai. "The cartoon-like Decentraland metaverse recently hosted the digital Australian Open. Here's why its virtual plots have sold for $2.43 million and why brands are building virtual headquarters there". Business Insider. Retrieved 2022-10-18.
  12. ^ a b Koebler, Jason (20 January 2022). "Was the Viral Metaverse Rave Fun? An Investigation". Motherboard. Vice. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  13. ^ a b c Winkie, Luke (19 March 2020). "Inside Decentraland, the surreal Second Life for crypto true believers". PC Gamer. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  14. ^ a b Marquez, Alexandra (2021-04-05). "Welcome to Decentraland, where NFTs meet a virtual world". NBC News. Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  15. ^ Howcroft, Elizabeth (2021-11-24). "Virtual real estate plot sells for record $2.4 million". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-02-06. MANA is highly volatile. It has gained around 400% this month according to Coinbase, spiking after Facebook's name change.
  16. ^ Rosen, Phil. "A plot of digital land was just sold in the metaverse for $2.43 million — more than most homes in NYC and San Francisco cost". Markets Insider. Retrieved 2022-10-18.
  17. ^ Tauer, Booth Moore, Adriana Lee, Martino Carrera, Kristen; Moore, Booth; Lee, Adriana; Carrera, Martino; Tauer, Kristen (2022-03-23). "Dispatches From Decentraland's Metaverse Fashion Week". WWD. Retrieved 2022-03-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ Lipton, Eric; Livni, Ephrat (2022-03-08). "Reality Intrudes on a Utopian Crypto Vision". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-03-27.
  19. ^ "Metaverse real estate prices are booming. This is why". World Economic Forum. 10 March 2022. Retrieved 2022-03-27.
  20. ^ "JPMorgan Predicts Metaverse Will Be a $1 Trillion Yearly Opportunity". The National Herald. 2022-03-24. Retrieved 2022-03-27.
  21. ^ Friedman, Vanessa (2022-01-20). "What to Wear in the Metaverse". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-03-27.
  22. ^ McDowell, Maghan (1 February 2022). "What fashion week looks like in the metaverse". Vogue Business. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  23. ^ "Tout comprendre sur les NFT avant la première Metaverse Fashion Week". Vogue France (in French). 2022-03-23. Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  24. ^ Decentraland (2022-10-11). "How Many DAU Does Decentraland Have?". Decentraland. Retrieved 2022-10-18.
  25. ^ Alston, Harry (20 January 2022). "I Spent A Day In Decentraland's NFT Metaverse So You Don't Have To". TheGamer. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  26. ^ Mercado, Mia (20 January 2022). "Here's What a Metaverse Rave Is Like, I Guess". The Cut. New York Magazine. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  27. ^ Ross, Gemma (21 January 2022). "Reviews are in for the metaverse 'rave' — they are not good". Mixmag. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  28. ^ a b Zwiezen, Zack (20 January 2022). "NFT Bro's 'Metaverse' Rave Looks Boring, Dead". Kotaku Australia. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  29. ^ Kelly, Zachariah (17 January 2022). "So This Is What It's Like Inside the Australian Open's Metaverse". Gizmodo Australia. Retrieved 4 February 2022.

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