We are getting ever closer to the open public beta of Decentraland (DCL for short), and I am among the many people who have already set up avatars and are eagerly awaiting their invitations to enter and explore this new blockchain-based virtual world.
And to encourage developers and artists to create interactive content and interesting places to visit, Decentraland is hosting a two-week hackathon starting September 2nd, 2019, with a chance to win a share of 2,500,000 MANA tokens and 200 LAND parcels worth an estimated US$275,000 in total:
Get your creative juices flowing for two weeks of intense online competition to produce interactive content that will form part of Decentraland – a virtual world powered by the Ethereum blockchain and owned by its users. You’ll submit your most creative interactive scenes, whether it be a multiplayer game, interactive art installation or a virtual shop. The only boundaries are the limits of your imagination…
You don’t need to be fully versed in the theory and mechanics of blockchain or own LAND to participate, just have a healthy dose of the creative spirit. Your work will be assessed and prizes awarded by a judging panel comprising Decentraland staff, community members and gaming industry figures…
You can either work on your own or in a team, it’s up to you. A team submission will be counted as a single entry. Once you’ve created your scene using the Decentraland SDK, simply share an interactive preview of it. If you create something great our team or other LANDowners will be able to upload your scene into the world. Plus, 200 LANDs will be given out as rewards to the top participants.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am choosing to participate in the Ambassador program for the upcoming Decentraland SDK Hackathon. Why? Two reasons:
- I want to be an embedded reporter as Decentraland moves from closed alpha to open beta to full launch. I want to be present to see what happens and how it all rolls out. reporting on both the good news and the bad news as it happens.
- To do that, I will likely need some money in my purse. As I do not wish to buy MANA on the cryptocurrency markets, an alternative is to take part in sponsorship events such as the Ambassador program. For every person who registers to enter the Decentraland SDK Hackathon using this link AND submits a qualified scene, I will receive 1,000 MANA (currently worth about US$41). They will in turn get 200 MANA (about US$8.23) for using my referral link. I will not be cashing out any MANA from the platform; I will only be using it in Decentraland as in-world currency (similar to how I use Linden dollars in Second Life).
I want you to know this right up front: this blogpost is a promotion for the Decentraland SDK Hackathon, in exchange for MANA. You can use my referral link (located above or at the very end of this blogpost), or use anybody else’s if you wish to award that bounty to someone else.
VERY IMPORTANT: Decentraland has two digital assets called LAND and MANA. LAND are the non-fungible, transferable, scarce parcels into which the virtual world is divided (each of which a digital asset stored in an Ethereum smart contract). MANA is a utility token which is redeemed for LAND during Decentraland’s virtual land parcel auctions. It’s is also intended to serve as an in-world currency that players can exchange for goods and services within the platform. For more information, please read the DCL white paper and this 2019 project update. I very strongly urge any investor to do every single scrap of their homework before investing in ANY cryptocurrency.
You can follow Decentraland via Twitter and Reddit, or via their blog. You can also join their official Discord server. To read everything I have written about Decentraland to date (including this one), here is a link to all my blogposts tagged “Decentraland”. I will freely admit that I have been skeptical in writing about this project in the past; however, it looks like Decentraland will indeed be among the first blockchain-based virtual worlds to have a successful product launch. I have had opinions about virtual world projects that I thought would fail, but thrived (Cryptovoxels), and opinions about other virtual world projects that I though would never fail, but died (Virtual Universe), so what do I know? Decentraland, despite all my skepticism, could prove to be a thundering success. We’re all going to find out what happens!
UPDATE July 29th: The Hackathon is now starting on Sept. 16th instead of Sept. 2nd, and running until Sept. 30th.