On Thursday (6 December 2018), Digital Currency Group (DCG), a blockchain-focused venture capital company founded by Barry Silbert, announced Metaverse Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary that will invest in companies building products and services for Decentraland, an Ethereum-powered virtual reality (VR) platform.
Decentraland's white paper describes it as a "blockchain-based virtual world," where "users can create, experience, and monetize content and applications." In this metaverse, land is "permanently owned by the community, giving them full control over their creations." Users are able to "claim ownership of virtual land on a blockchain-based ledger of parcels," and landowners can "control what content is published to their portion of land, which is identified by a set of cartesian coordinates (x,y)." Contents "can range from static 3D scenes to interactive systems such as games."
Land is "a non-fungible, transferrable, scarce digital asset stored in an Ethereum smart contract". It can be purchased by spending MANA, an ERC-20 token, which may also be used for making "in-world purchases of digital goods and services."
Here are a few more facts about Decentraland:
- "Each parcel of LAND within Decentraland is 10 meters by 10 meters."
- "The Decentraland SDK has been optimized for developers who want to build social games and applications on top of Ethereum. These take the form of 3D scenes, comprised of 3D models, textures, sounds, and scripts. Scenes can range from static and single-player, to interactive and multiplayer."
- Users will be able to explore Decentraland via a web client that is currently being developed.
- "Decentraland is not controlled by a centralized organization. There is no single agent with the power to modify the rules of the software, contents of land, economics of the currency, or prevent others from accessing the world."
On 5 January 2018, Silbert, the Founder and CEO of DCG, tweeted about how excited he and DCG were about Decentraland:
Decentraland is one of the projects I'm most excited about this year. Think of it as Second Life + VR + crypto ($28 mm of "virtual" land was just sold)— Barry Silbert (@barrysilbert) January 5, 2018
[Disclosure: @DCGco holds MANA and parcels of LAND] https://t.co/UvgBHrB7kC
On 22 February 2018, Silbert again expressed his enthusiasm for this project:
"Decentraland comes closest to the ‘Ready Player One’ virtual reality. Its advanced VR platform is powered by Ethereum’s blockchain and lets users create raw materials, construct buildings, objects, enjoy experiences, exchange goods and communicate." https://t.co/OD3k3lZphr— Barry Silbert (@barrysilbert) February 22, 2018
And then on 18 July 2018, as covered by CryptoGlobe, during an interview with CNBC's Fast Money, Silbert said that DCG had invested money in only five cryptocurrencies, and that he thought the others would go to zero:
"So, we have 50% in Bitcoin, 25% in Ethereum Classic, 15% in Zcash, 5% in Decentraland, and our newest one is 5% in ZenCash."
In the post published on December 6th on the "DCG Insights" blog, DCG says:
"We own MANA and LAND, and have been actively exploring other initiatives to accelerate the development of the decentralized metaverse. In that vein, we are thrilled to announce Metaverse Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of DCG that will invest exclusively in companies building products and services for Decentraland."
It also notes that Metaverse Ventures has already invested in two companies:
- Vegas City: "a district composed of 7000 parcels, which aims to provide virtual real estate for the construction of VR-based entertainment venues"; and
- Artie: "a new LA-based startup by Armando Kirwin and Ryan Horrigan that is creating an AI powered platform for content creators to make intelligent and autonomous avatars for AR and VR"
Featured Image Courtesy of Decentraland