Read our beginner’s guide to buying MANA, the native token of the Decentraland virtual reality platform.
A virtual reality (VR) platform powered by Ethereum, Decentraland lets users buy virtual plots of land which they can explore, build applications upon and monetize.
MANA is Decentraland’s native cryptocurrency token, which people can use to purchase plots of land and to pay for goods and services in this digital universe. If you’d like to find out more about how Decentraland works and how you can buy MANA tokens, keep reading.
Where to buy Decentraland (MANA) in the US
MANA can be purchased from a wide range of popular cryptocurrency exchanges, including the following:
A step-by-step guide to buying MANA
Want to buy MANA tokens but don’t know where to start? Here’s the purchasing process in three simple steps:
Step 1. Register with an exchange that lists MANA
You can see a selection of exchanges that list MANA in one or more currency pairings in the table above. Choose the right platform for your needs, and then fill in an application to register for an account.
You’ll need to provide your email address and create a password. Many exchanges will also require you to provide your personal details and proof of ID in line with Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements.
Don’t forget to also enable 2-factor authentication (if available) on your account for increased security.
Step 2. Deposit funds into your account
While things change rapidly in the crypto world, it’s not likely that there’s an exchange available to convert your USD directly for MANA. If that’s the case, you’ll first need to obtain a cryptocurrency listed in a currency pair with MANA, such as bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH), and then exchange it for Decentraland’s native token.
To deposit BTC into your account, copy your exchange wallet address, and then paste it as the destination when transferring coins from your BTC wallet.
If your BTC or ETH tokens are already in your exchange account, move on to step 3. If they’re stored in a separate wallet, look for the “Deposit” link from your account dashboard and copy your wallet address. You’ll then be able to send the desired amount of BTC or ETH to that address.
Step 3. Buy MANA
Once logged into your exchange account, click on the “Markets” or “Exchange” link and search for your desired currency pairing, for example, MANA/BTC. In the “Buy” field, you can then specify the amount of MANA you want to buy or the amount of BTC you want to spend. Make sure you take a moment to review the full details of the transaction including any fees that apply and the total cost of completing your purchase.
How to sell MANA
The process for selling MANA tokens is very similar to the buying process detailed in step 3. However, the obvious difference is that you’ll need to look for the “Sell” field and specify the amount of tokens you want to offload along with the price.
Remember that crypto exchanges only list a limited range of currency pairs, so it may not be possible to directly exchange MANA to the coin or token you want.
Which wallets can I use to hold MANA?
If you’re planning on holding your MANA tokens for the long term, keeping them in an exchange wallet will expose you to the risk of hacking and theft. As a result, it’s generally a good idea to move your tokens into a secure, private wallet that lets you control your private keys.
MANA is an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, so you’ll need to choose a wallet that’s compatible with these tokens. There are numerous options available, including MyEtherWallet, Ledger Nano S, TREZOR and Eidoo.
How Decentraland works
A platform owned by its users, Decentraland connects VR with the blockchain. It does this by creating an immersive 3D virtual universe, a digital world where, in the words of the team behind the project, users “can create, experience and monetize content and applications”.
In Decentraland, LAND is permanently owned by the community. Users can buy plots of virtual LAND on a blockchain-based ledger of parcels, with each plot size set at 10 meters by 10 meters. Once you own LAND, you control what content is published on that portion of the digital world, and the Decentraland team claims you’re only limited by your imagination as to what you create.
Use case examples provided in the white paper include the following:
- Applications. Apps, games, gambling and 3D scenes can all be created using Decentraland’s scripting language.
- Content curation. Platform users will gather around areas of shared interest, and owning LAND near a high-traffic area will help LANDowners attract users to their content.
- Advertising. Brands can advertise on billboards near or in high-traffic LAND parcels.
- Digital collectibles. Users will be able to publish, distribute and collect rare digital assets issued on the blockchain and trade them with other users.
- Social. Online communities from forums, chat rooms and even other online multiplayer games could potentially move their communities into Decentraland.
LAND on the platform is a transferrable digital asset stored in an Ethereum smart contract. To buy it, you’ll need to spend MANA tokens. You can also use MANA to make in-world purchases of digital goods and services.
Decentraland began in June 2015 as a proof of concept, where LAND was modeled as a simple grid and a proof-of-work algorithm meant to allocate pixels to users. By March 2017, LAND was modeled in a 3D space, and Decentraland then held an August 2017 crowdsale that raised $24 million in just 35 seconds.
The first opportunity to claim LAND on the platform took place in December 2017, and Decentraland’s developer toolkit had its alpha launch in April 2018. This kit is designed to work on any platform (including all VR headsets and web browsers) and aims to make it quick and easy to create virtual environments and applications.
What to consider when buying MANA
Cryptocurrencies are complicated and speculative, and there are many factors that can have an impact on their price. With this in mind, make sure you thoroughly assess the pros and cons of each project before deciding whether you should buy any coins or tokens.
If you’re thinking of buying MANA, remember to consider the following:
- Supply. MANA is listed on most major exchanges. According to CoinMarketCap, the circulating supply of tokens at the time of this writing (April 2018) was 1,050,141,509 MANA out of a total supply of 2,644,403,343 MANA.
- Use. MANA must be burned to claim LAND on the Decentraland platform. You can also use the tokens to buy goods and services in this digital world, giving the token its utility value.
- Potential market. Global VR revenues are expected to reach almost $75 billion by the year 2021 as VR technology becomes more affordable and widespread, and it’s this booming market that Decentraland aims to tap into.
- Competition. The success of the Decentraland platform and the MANA token will also be affected by how it compares to other similar projects. Not only will Decentraland face competition from other blockchain-based VR projects like Cappasity but also from big tech companies like Facebook and Microsoft that are expanding into the VR space.
- Still being developed. Decentraland’s alpha software development kit was launched on 4/23/18, so the project is still some way off from completion. As a result, it remains to be seen whether it will be able to fully deliver on its promised potential and achieve widespread adoption.
- White paper. For more information about what Decentraland is, how it works and the architecture of the Decentraland protocol, check out the project’s white paper.
By doing your own research into the ins and outs of Decentraland, you’ll be well equipped to decide whether this blockchain project is headed for success.
Image source: Shutterstock
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, the author holds IOTA and XLM.