Grayscale’s Deeper Dive into MANA and Decentraland

Last Update 12/10/2021


Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: Hi everybody. Welcome. For those of you that don't know me, I'm Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary. I head up investor relations at Grayscale. I am thrilled to welcome the members of the Decentraland Foundation to give us a tour and give our investor base a tour, an overview. This is a project that we are very excited about and given the launch of our trust and all the intention around non-fungible tokens, we wanted to really make this more tangible for you all. So the plan is to do a high level overview of the central land. We'll do a tour, and please feel free to send in questions through the presentation and the tour. You can use the question feature in Zoom, we'll take them as they come up, or maybe at the end. You can also send them to us at [email protected]. So I think we can kick it off. With that, I'm going to set…hand it over to Esteban, Nico and Eric to introduce themselves and to kick off the presentation and tour. Thanks for joining us guys.

Eric Schallock: Well, thank you so much for having us, Ray. It's a pleasure to be here. We're super excited to share the platform with you all and answer whatever questions you have. So just a quick agenda for the day. We really are excited to talk more about what Decentraland is, a very high level talk about what makes it special. We're going to talk about some of the technical foundations in brief, and why those matter, why those are important. We're going to talk a little bit about what Decentraland can be used for and then the different kinds of people and groups and organizations that are using Decentraland. And then obviously we're going to have a walking tour and we're going to show what Decentraland looks and feels and sounds like when you're there in the world. Obviously always chime in with questions throughout the presentation, and then if we have time at the end, we can go through a quick Q & A.

So I'm Eric Schallock. Sorry I didn't introduce myself before. I work in Technical Communications for the Decentraland Foundation. We're also joined by Nico Earnshaw who leads Developer Experience for the foundation. We've also got Sam Hamilton from Community and Events. Esteban Ordano, he's Decentraland's Co-Founder and Advisor, and we all work for the foundation. Good. There we go. Thanks Nico. So the foundation is an interesting organization. It's a nonprofit and it's really focused on the continual decentralization of the platform. It provides somewhat of a legal framework to help represent the DAO, or Decentralized Autonomous Organization. And the DAO is a platform that allows people who hold LAND or MANA to vote on particular important issues that help steer the shape and the development of the platform. And the foundation also protects a lot of the IP, the Intellectual Property, for Decentraland, since Decentraland is a decentralized open world. It is not, itself, a legal entity and it can't protect some of the brand assets that we have.

And then in addition to that, the foundation also oversees the homepage, documentation. We work on developer tools, the SDK, the builder, and then we also lead a lot of the bigger marketing efforts that evangelize this open world. Just before we dive in, a couple quick disclaimers quick. We use "players" and "users" interchangeably when we talk about Decentraland. Decentraland looks like a game, it feels like a game. There are games within Decentraland, but it is not exclusively a gaming platform. There are businesses and organizations that use it to create three-dimensional websites that are there to share information. It's a social platform, it's there for social networking. There's a huge range of things that you can do with Decentraland. And so it's a game, and not a game, at the same time.

It's another quick point. This is supposed to be a pretty relaxed conversational tour. So Ray, Esteban, Nico, Sam, myself, are all just going to be talking about the platform. It's not a super strict presentation. So if you do have questions or if there's something you're curious about, like I said, please chime in. And then finally we'd like to try to wrap up in time for the “WTF are NFTs” conference. There is a Conference Center in Decentraland where we have events and meetings, and speakers show up all the time. And all this week we've been running a conference about non-fungible tokens and the way those are being used to kind of revolutionize the digital art world, music, events, merchandising, all sorts of different things. And this is the final day of that conference and we'd like to finish up in time for you all to dive in and check that out, if you're interested.

So at a high level, explaining what Decentraland is, is tricky because there's a lot there, but we can break it down into three broad categories. First and foremost, it's a virtual world owned by its users. It's a platform for creating three-dimensional content and sharing that content with your friends and other users. And finally, it's a platform for socializing. And the virtual world is nothing without a community of users and players who are excited to be there and share that experience. So what does it mean to be a virtual world? I mean, we all play different video games that might be thought of as a virtual world, but there are certain qualities that make something truly world-like, even if it's online. For Decentraland, the ability to traverse and interact with this 3D environment is super important. This is a quality that we see in games like Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, all sorts of other social online games.

The fact that players can socialize, that they can chat and interact with one another, that they can form these social circles and organize as communities within the world, is super important. And something that's often overlooked is this notion of persistence. So with a lot of games they only exist and they only are serving content when there are players connected and there to actually see it, right? It's like the age-old question. If a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? Well, with Decentraland, the answer is yes, it does. The fact that it doesn't matter if anyone is connected or how many people are connected, the world is still there. It still exists, it's still evolving, it's still changing. And that's a really exciting notion in virtual worlds that hasn't been possible until recently.

And then the second part of that phrase is the fact that it's owned by its users. This is something that we all get really giddy and excited about. Anyone who's working in blockchain technology in the Ethereum space, the fact that digital ownership has come so far, can play a huge role in pushing the advancement of virtual worlds. So for Decentraland, the three-dimensional space of the world is verifiably scarce and unique, thanks to Ethereum. We'll dig a little bit more into LAND parcels and how those are represented by NFTs. But basically, like any cryptocurrency or crypto collectible, there's a finite number of parcels, the 16-meter by 16-meter chunks of land. And when those were minted, there was a set number and then the owner of each parcel, along with other helpful information like descriptions of the content that is on their land, all of that is recorded in a smart contract stored on the Ethereum blockchain.

So it's this immutable ledger of the ownership of LAND and the content that's there. And then finally, by giving users ownership of LAND, giving them the tools that they need to build and deploy whatever they want on their LAND, we give them ownership of the world. And so the community at large has a very real stake in the growth and the success of the platform.

Esteban Ordano: Cool. So I think that we've got the first question from one of our attendees, I think it links right with what you just said, Eric, regarding ownership of LAND. So the Decentraland Foundation is based in Panama and the DAO is-

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: Sorry, I just want to jump in. It's a little hard to hear you. Could you speak a little bit more loudly?

Esteban Ordano: Oh, one second. Maybe my microphone. One sec. Is it better now? Can you hear me?

Eric Schallock: Yeah, I think that sounds good.

Esteban Ordano: Okay, cool. So yeah, the DAO is based on Aragon. We work with the team on setting up the rules for the particular things that we actually wanted, especially creating a security advisory board just in case there is some urgent change that needs to be made. And the DAO sometimes... So the other question is, does the DAO sometimes make decisions that need to be executed by the foundation? What are the guarantees that the foundation faithfully executes the decisions of the DAO? So yes, the idea of the DAO is to take some of the decisions that need to be implemented in real life by human beings, that's the role of the foundation. Like you said, the guarantees that the foundation will faithfully execute on that is, well, that's the purpose of the foundation in the real world.

The mandate of the foundation is to improve and execute on all the decisions of the DAO on the behalf of MANA holders and LAND holders and the community in general. I hope that answers your question. If there's any other thing that you'd like to chime in, I'd be happy to. And from Trevor, can you elaborate on ownership of LAND?

Eric Schallock: Oh, is it just me or did we lose Esteban?

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: I think we lost him. Let's come back. When we get him back, we can come back to the question.

Eric Schallock: Okay, that sounds good. Okay. Oh, here. I think we're all caught up. Sorry about that. Are you back with us, Esteban?

Esteban Ordano: Yeah, I think so.

Eric Schallock: Okay, super.

Esteban Ordano: Cool. Awesome. So owning a LAND parcel allows you to deploy content inside in some way. It's encoding the user's attention of passers-by that happen to stumble upon your LAND, or it also provides you with a link for anyone to join there at that particular parcel. Other users don't have the same access to write on that LAND parcel, and they can't change the contents of your LAND unless you provide those access. But that will be a more advanced, similar to how Web 2.0 allows users to collaborate and add their value. You are still the owner of the server, even though you may have a second layer of user-generated content, I'll say.

Eric Schallock: Cool. And I think that ties into this other question. This came in, is from Ronald. Is this a game or does it have any real value? You said coins are property, is Decentraland also considered property from a tax point of view. So like we mentioned earlier, Decentraland is, and is not a game at the same time. Most importantly, Decentraland is a platform on which anyone could create a game and host a game. You can think of it, like Esteban said, as a new version of the web. It's a protocol focused around creating, hosting, and serving three-dimensional content.

The value of Decentraland is in that use. You might be able to make the argument that the value of the world is really dependent on the content that users put there. It's like asking if the internet has value, and that depends on the particular part of the internet that you're looking at. And in terms of from a tax point of view, I don't know the answer to that question. Not yet. It's not considered real estate, it's not subject to real estate law. But maybe, Esteban, do you have any thoughts on that?

Esteban Ordano: I guess it will enter in the same definition as any other NFT out there. You own this asset that may be similar to owning a piece of art or something like that. I wouldn't know anything further than that.

Eric Schallock: Yeah, it's early days still for NFTs. Cool. Let's see, what's our next slide there, Nico? Oh yeah, so there's just a little bit more that we wanted to touch on. Oh, do you want to back up one? Sorry, one more.

Nico Earnshaw: Sorry. Yes. Ah, sorry about that.

Eric Schallock: Oh, it's okay.

Nico Earnshaw: Looks like some keys are binded to Zoom. Okay, there we go. That's the one? No.

Eric Schallock: There we go. That's it.

Nico Earnshaw: This is the one.

Eric Schallock: That's it. There's more. There's more. That's okay. So there's a few other things that make Decentraland really exciting. The fact that all of the content is hosted in a decentralized fashion. So when, compared to a lot of other traditional virtual worlds games, any content online, the content that makes up the world and the code that's needed to run the world, is hosted and served through this network of community run nodes or servers. Anybody can start one of these up, you can just do it on your computer. Those nodes are all part of a network. And that network is approved by the DAO, Decentralized Autonomous Organization that we referred to before. So the community can decide to add or remove nodes from this network. The fact that we have this democratically selected network means that it's really very difficult to shut Decentraland down.

There's not a single entity that has control over all the servers. It makes it more robust, it makes it a little bit more just long-lasting. Secondly, it's open source. So the product, the tools that make Decentraland possible are all open source. Anyone can contribute code. And then finally, governance. We've talked about the DAO a few times. Anyone who has MANA or LAND is able to vote on issues through the DAO. Things like adding nodes to the catalyst network, things like banning usernames that might be offensive. Things like adding particular places in the map to a list of points of interest, things that we think lots of other people should know about, this curated list of exciting content.

And then also grant funding. So the Decentralized Autonomous Organization holds a considerable amount of MANA, and then that MANA can be allocated through the DAO to grant recipients. Okay. Let's see. So there are all of these tools that we use in Decentraland, and that users have available to create and share 3D content. This is the second exciting point about Decentraland, we have the builder. It's a very easy drag and drop editor for putting together pre-made models and assets to create your own scenes. And scenes are those 3D environments that are uploaded to parcels, those 16 meter by 16 meter chunks of LAND that are represented by an NFT. We also have the SDK, which is a much more advanced sophisticated tool set for developers and technical artists. It's got scripting support, so you can go in there and use the SDK to create games or to create more interactive content, like we'll see when we do our tour.

And then finally, the world itself is a tool for sharing content. It allows people to browse organically. Just as you can walk down the street and look at your neighbor's yard and see what they've done with their garden. You can go into Decentraland and browse organically and physically to see what kinds of things people have made. And that's a very different experience compared to say, going to Google and searching for different kinds of content on the web.

And so finally, that notion on socializing, it's very much a social platform. So creators and visitors are the most important part of Decentraland. Without creators and visitors, it's really not much to it. And these people are all drawn in to see different events and games and concerts. There's a lot of artists and DJs and creators that are using Decentraland as this platform for sharing the things that they're working on. And that gives people a reason to show up. Often what we're seeing is that people are creating these new social networks within Decentraland, and that gives them a reason to come back. And that closes the game loop. And then finally, this notion of being able to own LAND, to own your username, own wearables, that really improves retention. It gives people this commitment over the long term.

Nico Earnshaw: I think it's start time to actually get to show the real deal, what it's all really about. So if I just type this into my browser, I can just hop into Decentraland without downloading anything or any other source. Just go,, and I will just log into the world. If you're using MetaMask in your browser or some other browser inbuilt wallet, you can log using that and your wallet is your user. You log in using your wallet, directly. So this is what the world looks like. This is Genesis Plaza, this is what's in the center of Decentraland. And these are a few other users who are just jumping in. I can look at myself in third person view. In Decentraland you can always jump in between first person and third person. And actually, if you log in for the first time, the first time you will actually see is the avatar editor. So if I open my backpack here, I can edit different things about my avatar. I can wear different clothes, but this is actually a fancy occasion, so let's go for this little T-shirt that pretends to be a tuxedo.

Eric Schallock: The classic tux T-shirt.

Nico Earnshaw: Exactly. So several of these are the default kinds of items you can have. Can wear a kilt and show off my legs. But there's also several of these that are NFTs. These collectible items are all wearables that are actually NFTs in the blockchain. So these are all valuable and tradable in the marketplace. Some are more rare than others and some people are really into collecting them as well. And as you'll see later, several games also give these out as prizes. And that's a huge incentive for players to just keep coming and keep finding ways to feel more special, and that their character represents them better.

So Decentraland, as we said before, has a very strong social aspect to it.

Esteban Ordano: And Nico, I think that Ray wanted to say something.

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: Oh, sorry. I was just going to say, to give folks context, this world that we're in now, it's about the size of Washington DC, right?

Nico Earnshaw: Yes, exactly. So right now I'm looking at the whole map of Decentraland, and as you can see, it's pretty big. Each one of these squares here is 16 meters by 16 meters. Each one of these, by the way, is a parcel of LAND, which is an NFT, which can be bought and sold in the marketplace. And as you see, these gray areas are private sectors where people can actually own the LAND. But then the roads, for example, are public spaces that are maintained by the foundation. And the same goes for these green areas. For example, Genesis Plaza, where we're standing on right now, which is a space that is maintained by the foundation as a public space for everyone. The world is big, it's pretty damn big.

Eric Schallock: And there's an interesting question that just came in. What makes some LAND more valuable than other parcels? And do all LAND holders have equal voting rights in the DAO? You know, there's a couple of things that contribute to the value of LAND. Some of it is proximity to the center of the world. So when players respond, they're all, for the first time, they're dropped in Genesis Plaza, where we are now. It's coordinates, 0 0. Everything in Decentraland is laid out with Cartesian coordinates. So it's from -150 to +150 on the X, and same for the Y axis. So we find that parcels that are closer to the center of the map are worth a little bit more. And then also the value of the LAND is really dependent on the content that's there, in the same way that a domain doesn't have value on the internet until you put a website there that people care about.

And then for that last point, do all LAND holders have equal voting rights in the DAO? They do. And so the value of your parcel of LAND doesn't determine the weight of your vote, it's just the number of parcels or the amount of MANA that you have that weighs your vote.

Nico Earnshaw: Yeah, exactly. So I'm running around Genesis Plaza, just showing different corners of the plaza. There's a bunch of the different things, and some of these buildings have different purposes. We're going to stop by quickly by the Trade Center building. It has just some market information. It's just a place to do some live updates of different key metrics. For example, the MANA price is here, and the tokens from Decentraland that were in transaction in the last seven days, including LAND and wearables. If we go up one floor, we can see other numbers. What is the cheapest parcel sold in the day, the week. And actually someone here sold the parcel for under 800 MANA, which is really, really cheap. That's probably not a-

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: Is there apiece for sale for $80 million as well?

Nico Earnshaw: So if we take the most expensive single parcel here, the most expensive single parcel sold in the last 30 days was for 69,000 MANA.

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: Oh, for a single parcel. I was thinking of an estate, right? [inaudible 00:24:32] parcels together in the form of an estate.

Nico Earnshaw: Exactly. Oh, sorry about that. So this screen right here shows, for estates, of course the value's going to be a lot more because they might include quite a few parcels. And the most expensive one here was 300,000 MANA in the three days, which is around $300,000 right now, which is quite crazy. If we go one more floor up, you can see metrics about wearables and we can also see how many wearables are transacted. The last week, month, day, which is the most expensive one traded by name. Also have different rarity categories. So the mythic wearables for example, they're only 10 of each. So the fact that one of those sold for 1,500 MANA, is quite cheap. And the most expensive one sold in the last 30 days was 5,000 MANA. So this is a nice place to see some interesting metrics. I can just jump and not get any harm, because the game is designed so that players don't just die.

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: Yeah, sorry. MANA is around a dollar right now. Last I checked it was $1.08. So just for everybody listening, that should put it into context.

Nico Earnshaw: And as I was mentioning before, Decentraland is a very social place, so it's all about interacting with other characters. We can chat right here. We can also do voice chats with other players who are around us. There's friend features, I can grab... So some of these people seem to be stuck here. Oh, Eric is here. So I can just grab him here. And he's actually a friend already, but I could grab some random guy and add him as a friend. Let's hope he doesn't end up being an obnoxious guy. But if he does, I can also block him, by the way. And I can also do some Emotes, for example. I can wave to people and do other little animations that help make this a more interactive social experience. All right, so the tour now continues.

In one of the games that we have here in Decentraland, it's called WonderMine. And this was created by someone in the community and all these dots here are players who're there. The gray dots are players who have been there for a while, inactive. So they're there, but not quite moving around. As you see, this is a pretty popular spot because this is a game that enables a whole play to earn mechanic, and people have really taken to that. So it's generally quite simple game. It's all about just grinding and looking for different materials that are different rarities. And you can then use those in a crafting system to eventually create actual wearables, which are NFTs as well.

So all the game is about is, these meteors randomly fall around and you can come up to them and mine them, and you might get some random rewards from them. And as you collect more and more of these, you can eventually trade them in, as you would with an arcade gallery, and get something out of that. So in this case, I won a bunch of things. I can check my little backpack, which is specific to this game. And as you can see, I spent a while collecting these dumb little things. And if I come over to this trading machine, I can see that I can exchange my stuff for a better pickaxe to mine more, like get more out of it. And eventually I can also trade them for actual wearables. I could also buy some of these resources here for actual MANA, if I want to skip the whole grinding, or least a part of it.

And they made a nice display with the top prize, which is this really cool wearable that looks like a very cool robot. And as you can see, there's a very limited supply. And many of them, these have already been taken. Some people have spent a considerable amount of the time grinding away just to get this prize. So yeah, this is an excellent example of play-to-earn. And this scene always has quite a bunch of people who are always grinding away like mad. There's lots of other games. For example, this right here, called Coco Jones, is a really nice game. It was actually quite early on in Decentraland that they made this, but it still holds its weight really nicely. It's like a theme park thing. Just move it to first person, and I can just shoot these little monkeys for banana prizes. And yeah, it really feels like a ride in the theme park. Oh, not hitting anything, but that's just my fault.

Come on, here we go. So yeah, this is a nice little game to show off. This of course, is all done with the SDK. So the person who did this had to write some code and do some custom art, but they came out with something that looks really, really well polished. All right, so I'm going to jump off the cart, and let's move on to the next stop on our tour. This is going to be the Volterra District. So this is a region of the map which is all dedicated to different art galleries, and it's full of really nice places with a lot of art that keeps changing regularly. So you'll see that there's a number of buildings and they all belong to different major players in the NFT space. You got PixelChain, SuperRare.

What's the name? Yeah, KnownOrigin. What's the name of this one? MakersPlace? Sorry, there's music in this one, for example. Hope it's not too loud.

Esteban Ordano: Maybe you can mute yourself?

Nico Earnshaw: I could, yeah, but I also wanted to show off some sound in the game, but I'll just avoid stepping on this one, which has pretty loud music, for now. But yeah, all of these paintings you see on the walls in these buildings, are NFTs themselves. All of the info in them is being picked up from the blockchain. And if I click on any of these, I can also get directed to the pages where these are sold. In this case, SuperRare, decided to direct their audience to their page. But in other cases, they are directing the paintings to... Oh, sorry about that. I was walking into a window, literally. For example, see the price which is being sold, and if it is being on sale at all, and decide to check it out on Opensea and buy it, if you choose to.

So all of these creators are constantly doing little events here, and they sometimes include webinars, and whatever they chose to accompany the content they have here. So I think that's all we wanted to say about this district. So other than, this is a medium that can augment what you can do with NFT art, right? It can be more than just a JPEG, it can be a whole experience with music, with ambience, with a whole context that goes around it. So I think one of the most interesting things about Decentraland is that it is a context for NFT art and it can be more just because of being in a specific space and surrounded by other stuff.

Sam Hamilton: Sorry, can I just...?

Nico Earnshaw: Sorry, Sam. Yes.

Sam Hamilton: So with a lot of these art platforms, they hold monthly events like they would in the real world, like opening events, to promote emerging artists. And we have an annual event called Genesis City Art Week, which all of the platforms and also a lot of real world galleries, now, are getting involved in, where it's like an NFT art week like you would have in London or Paris or New York, but in the Metaverse. And that's coming up in June again. And the events around these art galleries bring a lot of people.

Nico Earnshaw: Yeah, that's going to be really exciting. All right, so next up on our tour is the White Rabbit Club. This is on, let me check the coordinates exactly. It's -63,86. So here we are. And this is a music venue, basically. It's a club and it's a space where DJs have already played before. It's also, it's got a, Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, kind of feel, which is quite cool. But since this is a nightclub, this actually does something that we haven't done yet, which is switch over to night mode. And this completely changes the aesthetic. Suddenly it's like nighttime and the lights look completely different and for certain places it's definitely more soothing. So yeah, this is like Alice in Wonderland inspired. You're going into this giant mushroom, which is the actual venue where stuff happens.

So as I was saying, this is a spot where musicians have played already. And me, being an admin of the scene, I can open this little UI and control some really nice effects that can also augment experience quite a lot. So these could be controlled live to keep the whole event fun and not be just a live stream, and be a bit more than that. This place also has some other cool little features, like you can certainly break the windows if you want. Oh, sorry. There we go. Hop onto any window. I can just break it or I can break them all like this. And that's a really nice effect. Also got a few,

Esteban Ordano: I think that the Zoom streaming is a little bit choppy, so the animations may not seem very, very well. So if you could please try not to move the mouse too fast because-

Nico Earnshaw: Oh, so sorry. Yeah. That's a great point. So sorry about that. And sorry if anyone there is feeling a bit dizzy here. On my machine, I'm seeing this stream super smooth at 60 frames per second. But yeah, of course the streaming over to your end could not be as smooth, and when things get choppy and move too much, it could be dizzying. But hopefully if you run this in your machine, you shouldn't feel it at all. Okay, so the other thing I want to mention here is that we've had a few very interesting live gigs already with some even award-winning musicians like RAC, who's won an Emmy recently, and also 3LAU, Dillon Francis. And there's quite a few other shows planned for the near future, which should be super exciting as well. We think that especially with all of this lockdown context where people are really missing live shows and opportunities to see their favorite artist live, this is probably not a replacement, but definitely the next best thing, I guess, or the best thing available right now.

Sam Hamilton: It's worth saying here, that the music industry have really woken up to the NFT space in the last couple of months and we've been approached by all of the major record labels, as well as AAA artists who, some of which are already in development. So events, again, over the next three to six months are going to be just incredible. And we also plan some music festivals to bring a lot of these big acts together in one weekend.

Nico Earnshaw: Yeah. All right, so I'm going to move on to the next spot on our tour, and this is going to be right at the other corner of the world in Dragon City. So Dragon City is maintained by a very tightly-knit Chinese community. And with this site, I just wanted to show that there's a whole huge range of diversity of people with different objectives and different ideas of what they can do here in Decentraland. And this place, it looks stunning. There's a lot of very nice art to check out. And the Chinese community is super active in Decentraland, even in spite of us not yet localizing the texts, and whole lot of other things that we plan to do in the near future. But even in spite of that, they're super excited and they're super active as well. As you can see, this is like eye candy. So yeah, the next spot on our tour is Crypto Valley. And Crypto Valley. Sorry?

Esteban Ordano: Oh, I just wanted to note that we've got users and content creators from all major regions of the world. We've been having some difficulties with deploying content inside of China because of the great Chinese firewall, but we're working with some people from the community who are running a server from inside of China, and we're trying to help them provide as smooth an experience as possible. That Dragon City experience, LAND parcel, has been created by one of the communities from China.

Nico Earnshaw: So now I'm diving into Crypto Valley and there's a spot where we have many businesses and business headquarters of many companies of the whole crypto space. This is anybody who is anybody, has some presence here. You see that we have a whole lot of different buildings and there's actually a very long queue of other companies that also want to have a presence here, and we are gradually enabling them to set up shop. So here we have Whale game credits. This here is a polygon and each one of these has some of it. This is actually the foundation building, which is just one more building in this whole ecosystem. And we like to think of these as 3D websites, institutional websites, just in a 3D format. So all of these have social links and a possibility of doing... Oh, this is a cool bizarre little thing, where these guys just follow you around.

Esteban Ordano: Could you provide some idea of how big are the landscape states that you need to set up these buildings? For example, this MakerDAO building, is it like 3 X 2?

Sam Hamilton: MakerDAO is 2 X 2.

Nico Earnshaw: Yeah. It seem-

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: Parcels?

Nico Earnshaw: Yeah, four parcels.

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: That's incredible that you can do this on that few parcels.

Eric Schallock: And then just another note on that, we mentioned that LAND is represented by an NFT, and then you can take individual parcels of LAND and connect those into estates. I think we've touched on that briefly. And then estates can be bought and sold as a unit, as well, on the marketplace, or traded. And so a lot of these bigger creations are built on estates, obviously, because they take up quite a bit more space. And I saw a question earlier asking if there are mineral rights? If there's anything under the LAND? There's not. You can't build below that base layer, but there are height limits to how high you can build. Off the top of my head, I don't remember how high that is. Nico, do you remember?

Nico Earnshaw: So it's proportional to how many parcels you've got in a scene.  I think if you just got one single parcel, I believe the height, was it 30 or 40? But as you add more and more parcels to the single scene, this grows at increasing rates, so eventually you almost hit a roof. But the roof is pretty high, if you got enough parcels.

Eric Schallock: And then the idea is that that is just another way to enforce that finite nature of the size of land. We don't want people to be able to build as high as they want and then they can fit whatever content they want on their one small parcel.

Sam Hamilton: Although it's worth noting that even though there's no underground level, there are ways of cheating it. And using visual magic, people have created basements and things like that. Very clever.

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: So if I own, for instance, which I do... This is really interesting. I bought parcels a couple of years ago and now I'm getting, people are writing in, bidding me, to try to buy my parcels. But if I have one disparate parcel, I could build a nail salon on that parcel if I wanted to, just with one?

Sam Hamilton: Yes. 100%. Actually one of the developers built something called an infinity engine, which means that he can turn one parcel into an infinite space. And he has a full game where you travel on a train for miles inside one parcel. Very clever. And that actually does involve mining rights, to answer the question. You have to mine gold in that game.

Nico Earnshaw: Yeah. So that works like a treadmill. It's like the ground is moving below your feet and simulating infinite space, without actually going beyond the limits of the scene.

Sam Hamilton: And we have to say, this came from the community and it blew us away. We didn't expect that ingenuity from what we'd built up until now, but the community takes things to places we never imagined.

Nico Earnshaw: There's a lot of creativity out there. They always blow us away. So this here is the Convention Center. And Eric was telling you before that we have this WTF and NFTs' conference. And yeah, this is the venue where that's going to happen. So this event will be starting in 15 minutes from now, and this event has a POAP and these POAPs are Proof Of Attendance Protocol. They're little tokens that represent that I was there at the meeting. So if I claim this, I should be getting an answer from this right now, so I can actually check and see that I, in fact, got this token from the event. If I go to, I should be able to use my MetaMask. Sign, and I should be able to see that I just obtained a token on layer 2, which was, by the way, was free of any gas fee. And yeah, I have something to prove that I was here at the event, as well as a bunch of other events.

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: That's really interesting because if there's likely a future state where something like that could be used for education, like trainings. Where everybody, you have to select certain POAPs and show that you had had a certain number, to get a certification.

Eric Schallock: Yeah, absolutely. There's a lot of groups who have talked about using Decentraland as an educational platform. A lot of people are attending lectures and classes on Zoom. There's no reason why you couldn't do that in Decentraland also, and have lecture halls filled with students.

Sam Hamilton: We have a Decentraland University, and the Bitcoin education network are very involved in that. And they run from Stanford and Cambridge and Oxford, and the biggest universities across the world. So they're actually super involved in the Decentraland University.

Eric Schallock: Let's see. There's another question that came up here that I think is quite important. Somebody was asking what the use of MANA is in Decentraland. Are there events that you can pay to attend, or things you can do with MANA in Decentraland? And the answer is yes, absolutely. MANA is an ERC 20 token, it's the native currency of the world. And you could definitely have content and you could charge an entry fee. You could definitely restrict the access to your land, I think, if I'm not mistaken. Nico, right? I mean you can...? What's that?

Nico Earnshaw: Yeah, yeah, it's absolutely done. Several scenes have charged admission fees, or have set up a virtual shop for wearables, or other tokens as well, in their scenes, paying MANA.

Sam Hamilton: A more common use rather than paying entry fee with MANA, is to buy an NFT that's a ticket, with MANA, and that NFT can be read in your wallet and can decide whether you get into the scene or not.

Eric Schallock: And then obviously MANA is also used to buy and sell land as well. So there's the separate Marketplace market at where people can buy and sell LAND, usernames, wearables, all sorts of different NFTs. MANA is the native currency for those exchanges.

Sam Hamilton: We should probably touch on usernames as well. The usernames, the passport as we call it, is also a URL, so that can actually point to a piece of land. Your username can be a URL that points directly to a piece of land as well.

Eric Schallock: Exactly. And that ties into the nature of sharing content with people. There needs to be relatively easy ways to tie your content into Decentraland with the rest of the internet, and that's a really useful tool for that. Let's see.

Esteban Ordano: Yeah, I think that my link dropped out.

Eric Schallock: Oh, you're back with us.

Nico Earnshaw: You were gone for a minute or two.

Eric Schallock: Does MANA have any value outside of Decentraland? It's another question that just came in.

Sam Hamilton: I was just typing the answer to that. We're about to open the first travel agency in Decentraland, where you can buy hotels and flights from inside Decentraland on a Skyscanner type platform. And many people are starting to integrate their own systems in using MANA. We're trying to integrate things like Shopify, as well, at the moment. So to use cryptocurrency-

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: A real flight, like a Delta flight? I can go into Decentraland, use my MANA, buy a Delta flight to-

Sam Hamilton: Yeah, yeah. This is two or three weeks away from us releasing this. Also, somebody recently built a Domino's Pizza and ordered pizza from inside Decentraland. It was delivered. And I think somebody even took a photo of it, and then made an NFT out of the photo of the first pizza delivery.

Eric Schallock: Yeah, I was just about to bring that up. That's a super fun example of things that you can do with a small amount of land. There's a lot there. There's a lot of possibilities.

Nico Earnshaw: And of course, MANA is also just like any other coin that gets traded on Ethereum network, it can be exchanged and traded completely freely. It's not restricted to the platform at all.

Eric Schallock: Another interesting question here, are there competing comparable virtual lands governed by the same principles, or is Decentraland unique? There are similar projects, in that other people are building virtual worlds backed by Ethereum. Sandbox is one example, but they all look very different. They're all governed a little bit differently. They might enforce that scarcity of space with the blockchain.

Sam Hamilton: I think it's also important to make the distinction that the others aren't decentralized.

Eric Schallock: Exactly.

Sam Hamilton: This is what really makes us unique is the decentralized nature of what we do.

Eric Schallock: And Decentraland is open source. So it's not just that the content is hosted in a decentralized way, but the code base is all open source. So it's decentralized in more ways than any other virtual world right now.

Sam Hamilton: I think this is going to get discussed a lot in the conference tonight, but yeah, the decentralized nature of it means that true ownership is really true. Nobody can take that away. We have this phrase, "No acts of God." Because in the past, virtual worlds have actually had the ownership of your assets, not you. And when that closes down or they change the rules, those assets get taken away.

Nico Earnshaw: So yeah, I think this conference that we'll start with now, will be a perfect place to know more about that as well. Sorry.

Esteban Ordano: Yeah, I was going to mention that there's an interesting question regarding assets and whether they live on the Ethereum Blockchain? So the world itself, we've got a network of servers run by community members. The foundation also runs some of those content servers. So the Decentraland Foundation is in a position of pretty much shutting down all of their servers. Well, maybe the Builder and the Events page. Those are run by the foundation and those are not decentralized, but the experience itself is served by the nodes of the network. There's a list of preferred nodes, you can connect your own, but there's a list of, let's call them basic DNS servers, where to connect. That is decided upon by the DAO.

And even if we shut down our servers, some of these catalysts and nodes, they've showed interest in writing this,, themselves, which we think it would be right for decentralization. So in summary, it's very centralized. Everything is open source and the content and communications happen in a completely peer to peer way. Okay. Some other questions. Decentraland being a better option than Sandbox? It's a nice question. So I guess that we are live already. We don't focus that much on gaming. We want this to be more of a social platform or social experience, for more serious kinds of use cases. Also, I think that, differently to Sandbox, we allow arbitrary shaped 3D models, not just boxes. So I guess in that regard, we are not so much a competitor. Okay. I've got to go because I'm a panelist in this conference. I think I got to connect to another call, but it's been great seeing all of you. And answering these questions have been super, super interesting.

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: Thank you.

Nico Earnshaw: Thanks a lot.

Esteban Ordano: Thanks a lot.

Eric Schallock: Thank you, Esteban.

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: Thank you so much for being so generous with your time. And I think we can start to wrap up. Feel free to hop off and I'm going to just wrap things up. First of all, thank you so much, Esteban, Eric, Nico, and Sam for sharing your time with us. I think everybody learned a lot, so thank you. Thanks everyone for joining us today. Everybody who dialed in. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the newly launched Grayscale Decentraland Trust. It derives its value from MANA, which is the only currency in Decentraland, and it has a finite supply. MANA are burned, and so the value proposition is that, as this ecosystem is built more and grows more, value will accrue to the token. And please don't hesitate to reach out to us with questions on the trust, on Decentraland in general. We love talking about it. And have a great weekend. Bye everyone.

Eric Schallock: Thank you so much, Ray.

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: Thank you for joining me.

Nico Earnshaw: Yeah, thanks so much for this opportunity. It was a lot of fun. So yeah, all of you're invited to check out this conference if you want to know more about Decentraland and the whole ecosystem as well. I think it's going to be a really interesting opportunity to learn about that a bit more. And after this conference, there's even going to be a live show that will involve some big time old school funk band thing as well. So yeah, you're welcome to hop in if you're interested and have the time.

Eric Schallock:And obviously if you're interested in following the project a little bit more, we're on Twitter, we have a Discord space, we have a blog, There's a lot of resources out there if you're looking for a little bit more technical details about the platform, or if you just have more questions. We have a thriving community that's excited to help newcomers. And then members of the foundation are pretty active in these channels as well.

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary: Okay, great. Well, bye everyone. Have an awesome weekend.

Eric Schallock: Thank you.

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