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Decentraland will provide users a means to acquire and manage plots of virtual space and own the content and value that is generated in an Ethereum-powered virtual world.

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According to the IDC, the combined value of the VR/AR markets will reach $162 billion by 2020, marking a drastic uptick from the 2016 valuation: $5 billion.

The biggest consumer-facing tech companies are actively developing applications and platforms in the VR/AR space with the hopes of capturing the imagination of a user-base whose view of the subject has been shaped by decades of science fiction. The very fictions that inspired developers in this industry are the same that have prepared end-users for years. There is much to profit in turning fictions into commoditized realities.

While the competition between the giants of the industry will undoubtedly yield incredible products and services, the reality is that these players are simply moving from one monopolized space to another, bringing the same centralization of business practice. It is easy to imagine a Facebookland that owns all data and interactions within the space just as they do today. Emotional contagions in 3-D space.

Enter Decentraland, a project that seeks to shift control to the users (inhabitants?) of these virtual spaces rather than corporate entities seeking to dominate another vertical.

From the whitepaper:

Decentraland is a distributed platform for a shared virtual world that enables developers to build and monetize applications on top of it. The scarcity of land, on top of which applications can be built, creates hubs that capture user attention, which drives revenue to content creators. MANA tokens will be used to purchase land, goods, and services in-world. MANA tokens will also be used to incentivize content creation and user adoption, therefore bootstrapping the first decentralized virtual world.

Intersectional projects like this show the combined possibilities of two accelerating technologies in solving real problems in the techno-social space such as avoiding a corporate-dominant virtual world complete with its own Eye of Sauron (which could very well be modeled in virtual space.)

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