Decentraland: A First Look at Their Alpha

Decentraland has given us the first glimpse of their alpha platform at a presentation given today by company co-founder Esteban Ordano at the NIFTY conference in Hong Kong.

More information on the event comes from the DCLPlazas blog:

After many months of blood, sweat and tears from Decentraland developers, and with an ever growing community patiently waiting for their first real glimpse of the VR world, today Decentraland showed the alpha version of Decentraland which was presented by Tech Lead Esteban Ordano at the NIFTY conference in Hong Kong.

Judging by the reaction in the room it was very clear that after a long in time coming, nobody in the room was disappointed and it was well worth the wait.

As if the demo wasn’t enough, Decentraland have also opened up applications to get an alpha NFT allowing YOU to enter the world and have a look around.

If you want to get access to the Decentraland alpha, you can send an email request to Genesis@Decentraland.org.

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Decentraland and the Greater Fool Theory

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Image by Couleur on Pixabay

As I have written about several times before on this blog, I am extremely skeptical about the overheated land market in Decentraland. I believe it’s a financial bubble that is going to hurt a lot of investors when it pops.

Last week I read a CNBC article about Jordan Belfort, the famous “Wolf of Wall Street”, who is warning investors to get out of Bitcoin if they don’t want to lose all their money:

“[Bitcoin] is all based on the Greater Fool Theory,” Belfort says in a recent YouTube video. “I know this better than anyone in the world. I’m not proud of that, but I do.”

Belfort says bitcoin’s price surges are thanks only to a belief by buyers that there will continue to be ‘greater fools’ who they can sell the asset to at a higher price.

“There’s no fundamental value [with Bitcoin], it’s all based on the next guy and the next guy,” he says. “Get out if you don’t want to lose all of your money because … there’s a very good chance it’s going to crack. And when it really cracks, you’re not going to be able to sell on the way down, there will be no liquidity.”

I remembered what Belfort said when I came across a blog this evening called Decentraland Blogger, by a guy called Matty786 who describes himself as follows:

I got interested in the project back in January when I had no idea virtual land ownership was even a thing. I was just searching different blockchain projects and stumbled open Decentraland. A crypto blockchain project inspired by novels such as Ready Player One and Snow Crash.

After a bit of researching I was hooked and decided to jump right in buying my first couple of properties for around $500 USD each.

Now, 6 months later, I’ve bought and sold 100’s of properties and made close to $100,000 USD doing it!

And now Matty wants to share his knowledge with the world! For the low, low price of only 1 Ethereum coin (US$485/CDN$686), this guy will teach you everything he knows about flipping virtual land for profit in Decentraland:

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Witness the Greater Fool Theory in action!

The Land Price Insanity Continues at Decentraland

Someone recently posted the following offer to sell an 80m-by-60m parcel in the initial Genesis City region in Decentraland (each red square on the map below is one 10m-by-10m piece of virtual real estate, called LAND):

Land Bubble Insanity on Decentraland 4 Apr 2018.png

MANA is the cryptocurrency in use in Decentraland. According to this MANA to US dollar converter website, that asking price works out to:

MANA to USD 4 Apr 2018

That’s right, a million dollars for 4,800 square meters of land. Compare that with Second Life, where a 65,536 m² plot sets you back US$600.00 with a monthly fee of US$295.

The seller justifies his asking price by saying, “but there’s nothing else on the market of this size with this much land next to a road”. Keep in mind that proximity to a road is a moot point when you can usually teleport from place to place in any virtual world (but, of course, you can’t even visit Decentraland yet, let alone teleport anywhere).

The only active, functioning part of Decentraland at the moment is the land market, where people are frantically buying and selling virtual land in anticipation of making a huge profit when Decentraland actually goes live (and nobody can say when that will be, yet). Given how extremely competitive the virtual world market is, and how much further ahead most of the other platforms like Sansar, High Fidelity, and Sinespace are in terms of functionality, this is extremely risky speculation.

I notice that since my last blogpost about the Land Marketplace in Decentraland, the developers have turned off the website’s ability to sort and view the marketplace listings by most expensive first. So you can no longer easily find out what the most expensive land is selling for. Well, actually, it’s still pretty easy to see, you just select the sort by Cheapest option and scroll to the very end of the listings:

Decentraland Most Expensive Land Prices 4 Apr 2018.png

I just keep shaking my head, and I keep watching from the sidelines.

Decentraland Launches Their Land Marketplace

Decentraland has announced the launch of a website for people buying and selling LAND (what they call the 10m-by-10m parcels of virtual real estate in Genesis City, their first city). Here’s a recent Decentraland blogpost going into more detail on how it all works. Be warned, the website can take a while to load.

As I have written before, I am shocked at just how much money some people are asking for their LAND. I used the new Decentraland Marketplace website to find a piece of LAND for sale near the central square in Genesis City, for sale for 13,140,000 MANA (their cryptocurrency):

Decentraland Expensive Land 20 Mar 2018

According to this cryptocurrency converter, that works out to:

Decentraland Expensive Land 2 20 Mar 2018

And that’s not even the most expensive land for sale, according to a sorted listing of the most expensive LAND:

Decentraland Expensive Land 3 20 Mar 2018

Clearly, these people are not serious, and are probably only testing the boundary values of the system. This reminds me of the joker who placed this item up for sale in the Sansar Store:

Gold Box 20 Mar 2018.png

Still, it’s fascinating to watch the LAND auctions in Decentraland. Remember, Decentraland is a virtual world where the economy has been built first, before the actual world itself. This is pure speculation, with not a little greed thrown in for good measure.

You may wonder what the cheapest LAND parcel is selling for. It’s 8,500 MANA for one 10m-by-10m parcel of LAND, which works out to about US$740. This makes Second Life (a virtual world you can actually visit) seem like a bargain! It makes any other virtual world seem like a bargain.