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Decentraland

Decentraland is a virtual world platform that's powered by the Ethereum blockchain. The world is approximately half the size of Manhattan divided into 90,000 parcels of LAND, a non-fungible token representing 16m x 16m x 20m unit of volume within Genesis City to build in. About a third of the city is composed of districts, community run themed areas. Landowners control what content is published to their portion of land, which is identified by a set of cartesian coordinates (x,y). Content on LAND can range from static 3D scenes to interactive systems like games, which users can monetize using MANA, the ecosystem's ERC20 token. Decentraland raised 86,206 ETH ($26.2M USD at press time) in an ICO during 2017 when the price of ETH ranged from about $200 to $400. Since then around half of the funds have been spent employing more than 30 people to build out the infrastructure of a decentralized virtual world. Most of the team is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

VR

Genesis City Art Week

Starting in June, there was a week long art festival with an event everyday showcasing a new cryptoart exhibition. The exhibitors included SuperRare, MakersPlace, KnownOrigin, Pixelchain, Mintbase, Josie Bellini, OpenSea, AsyncArt and Chain Guardians.

Majority of the events took place in SoHo plaza, a district that is located North East of the map just left of the massive cyberpunk district Aetheria.

All the galleries are located walking distance from each other, filled with NFTs from their website collections on the walls. It's a interesting experience to walk around the gallery instead of scrolling the website.

The artworks on the wall were interactive as well. Clicking on the cryptoart opened up a menu warning that you were about to open an external website. This is a safety precaution to verify you're going to the correct website and not a phishing scam. If you verify that the URL is correct, a nifty feature that Decentraland implemented is the ability to check a box to 'trust this domain'. Once checked, you can click any artwork on the wall and it will open up a link in a new browser tab for purchasing. After opening up a few links it started to feel like filling up a shopping cart.

Users got a free Proof-of-Attendance-Protocol (POAP) NFT for every event they attend. This basically means they showed up on time for the event. Collecting 10 of the POAPs gives all the collectors an exclusive NFT designed by Shibu, the art director of Decentraland, and a chance to win LAND in a prize draw.

The machines to claim a POAP were located around locations of the events. Since users are already logged in via their Ethereum wallet, all one needed to do was click the button and pay some gas for the transaction.

Now that the dust has settled, there were some good and bad things about Art Week worth mentioning.

Starting with the bad, it mostly came down to performance. During the launch of one of the galleries, we recorded <5 FPS at times. Wasn't the whole switch to Unity because of performance? Granted it's much better than how things were 1 year ago, but it's probably going to be a long time until DCL is ready for VR where any amount of lag can make a person quickly feel sick. 

Based on the roadmap and past interviews it seems like the native client is what is deemed to solve many of the speed issues, but will be at the expense of introducing more hurdles for people to jump into the world. This strategy might prove to be costly in terms of user acquisition, so hopefully the web client will continue to be maintained.

For the good, the galleries themselves looked fantastic. One of the nice traits about Decentraland is that it encourages people to design the facade of their virtual world. In many virtual worlds like VRChat, creators mostly concern themselves with only what's visible to the users like interior spaces since their world is isolated. In the case of Decentraland, worlds are connected to each other on the grid, so designing the outside of your building to be attractive for people to check out the inside is very important.

Looking forward to the next one!

VR

Consensus Distributed and Virtual

Where were we celebrating the great Bitcoin halvening of 2020? Staying home and exploring virtual worlds of course! During Consensus Distributed we teleported to the Crypto Valley Convention Center in Decentraland and picked up some sweet digital swag from DCG!


The entrance of the convention center greets guests with a story about the global events leading up to this years conference. From record breaking money printing to working from home, we are seeing a perfect storm playing out for both blockchain and virtual worlds.

"The very fabric of our financial system is being put to the ultimate stress test. Central banks are operating with the belief that there is "an infinite amount of cash." Is this true? Can central banks continue to prop up the system? What does this mean for the future of money? Will cryptocurrencies find their moment or will the future be ruled by central bank digital currencies like China's new digital yuan? Will we see a rise in decentralized governance solutions to fill the void left by waning confidence in major instituions?"

Inside there is a wide stage and giant screen playing the livestream from Consensus this year. A small crowd of avatars gathered together waiting for the DCL tour with DCLBlogger and Barry Silbert. Unfortunately technical issues got in the way. I guess streaming live demos in a fully digital conference requires extra blessings from the demo gods.

Next there was an after party event on the roof of the convention center. An elevator outside took you up to the rooftop lounge area where a spinning consensus logo can be seen above the bar where other avatars gathered.

Although the experience looked visually interesting, the interaction with other players only through a public text chat felt very limited. VOIP support to talk, spatial audio, and ability to chat privately seem like key ingredients for those serendipitous hallway experiences to naturally occur.

Right after the DCL event was a social money art walk through Cryptovoxels, hosted by Roll and Coindesk. The timing was tight so we missed it, but the art walk can still be explored. Follow the arrow signs by moving around with your mouse and WASD after visiting this url: https://www.cryptovoxels.com/play?coords=W@317E,67S

Conferences that take a full year of planning have been forced to translate that into a fully digital experience within a matter of months. Although video conferencing has exploded as a result of working from home, they still fall short of the ability to walk into the hallway and have a chat with someone. Luckily, this is the type of scenario that avatar embodied communication platforms can deliver. The year 2020 marks the beginning of a great experiment.

Humans are social creatures, but are unable to gather in large groups due to the pandemic. Now that WHO is saying that we may have to live with this virus forever, virtual worlds are being taken very seriously as the future of socializing and work (see: virtual studios). As we learn to live and work online we hope that people who migrate to these digital spaces will desire ownership or a stake in its future by becoming collectors of nifties.

In the meantime, CoinDesk has partnered with Gitcoin, The Giving Block, and Ethereal Summit to raise money for a handful of nonprofits to provide relief to communities that need it most. Some accept cryptocurrency payments, visit here if you want to help: https://www.coindesk.com/consensus-2020/NYBWGIVES

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VR

A Beginner’s Guide To DECENTRALAND Wearables

Guest Post by MetaverseNFT 

INTRODUCTION

Wearables… What are they? How do I get them? Why are people paying so much for them? These are all questions you may have if you are new to Decentraland. But as you become more familiar with Decentraland, you will quickly find that collecting, trading, and wearing wearables can be a fun and exciting way to be a part of the Decentraland community. Some users have even made businesses out of trading wearables and have been able to make decent amounts of money. But getting up to speed at first can seem overwhelming. So I have created this guide to help answer some of the basic questions I routinely see asked about wearables.

In this blog post, I will review various aspects of Decentraland Wearables including: what they are, the rarity categories, the mintage numbers, the various collections, and the options for buying and selling wearables. In future posts, I will delve deeper into the wearables market offering historical information and my thoughts on recent trends. Off we go then!

Connie Digital Decentraland Wearables

WHAT ARE DECENTRALAND WEARABLES

Put simply, Decentraland Wearables are the items that your Decentraland Avatar wears while in the World Explorer. Currently, wearables can be worn on an avatar’s feet, lower body, upper body, face and head.

Decentraland avatars come preloaded with a number of free wearable options to dress your avatar as you see fit which are native to the World Explorer and cannot be transferred. But there is also a large number of wearables that can be acquired for a price from other users or from Decentraland directly through a pre-sale (more on this below).

Those wearables are stored in a user’s wallet as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and can be sold to other users via various platforms; the two most popular being the official Decentraland Marketplace and Opensea.io. While the free wearables are certainly fun to experiment with, this blog post will focus on the NFT wearables.

 

RARITIES

Decentraland Wearables come in five different rarity categories. The rarity categories correspond with the maximum number of tokenized wearables that can be minted for each design according to the smart contract for each collection (more on collections later).

Each rarity also has a corresponding background color in the Decentraland Marketplace and in the Avatar Editor mode of the Explorer. The below table summarizes the various wearable rarity categories:

Rarity Maximum Mintage Color Example
Mythic 10
Decentraland Wearables
Legendary 100
Decentraland Wearables
Epic 1000
Decentraland Wearables
Swanky 5000
Decentraland Wearables
Uncommon 10000
Decentraland Wearables

 

 

COLLECTIONS

Decentraland Wearables are minted in collections, each with their own smart contract. As of the date of the writing of this blog post, there are 8 Decentraland Wearables collections. They are:

  • DCL Exclusive Masks: This collection consists of a series of masks that were given out to beta testers of the Explorer prior to the platform’s launch. Each mask has a maximum mintage of 100, but far fewer of each mask were actually minted.
  • DCL Halloween 2019: This collection consists of a number of Halloween themed items. Some of these items were minted and distributed to beta testers during an event around Halloween 2019. The vast majority of the wearables that have been minted in this collection, however, were bought through a pre-sale on Opensea.io. While many of the items in this collection are sold-out, nearly all of the higher maximum mintage items remain for sale directly from Decentraland through the DCL Halloween 2019 Store on Opensea.io.
  • DCL XMAS 2019: This collection consists of Christmas themed items that were distributed to beta testers during a multi-day event around Christmas 2019. While there are various items in this collection with /1000 maximum mintages, a relatively small amount of each item was actually minted and distributed. Unlike the Halloween Collection, the unminted items in this collection are not available for purchase from Decentraland and must be bought on the secondary marketplace from individual users.
  • DCL MyCryptoHeroes: A series of 15 different T-Shirts depicting characters from the MyCryptoHeroes game. 4000 of these T-Shirts were distributed to the first 4000 users who claimed an avatar name on Decentraland. Like the DCL XMAS 2019 Collection, the unminted items in this collection are not available for purchase from Decentraland and must be bought on the secondary marketplace from individual users.
  • DCL Launch: By far the Decentraland Wearable collection with the most items minted, this collection consists of a number of wearable designs that were distributed to users as part of a treasure hunt that took place in the weeks after Decentraland’s public launch on February 20, 2020. Like the DCL XMAS 2019 Collection, the unminted items in this collection are not available for purchase from Decentraland and must be bought on the secondary marketplace from individual users.
  • DCL Community Contest: A collection of wearables that were designed by the community and submitted to the DCL team as part of a contest prior to the public launch of Decentraland. The creators of each collection received 30% of the maximum supply of each wearable they created and the rest were distributed as part of the treasure hunt event.
  • DCL Stay Safe: A collection of 8 different wearable protective masks that were minted as part of a campaign to raise money for Binance’s #CryptoAgainstCovid charity fund. Each user that donated a specific amount of Ethereum to the campaign received an exclusive mask of the design they selected. The Decentraland team has confirmed that although each mask has a maximum mintage of 1000, no further items from this collection will be minted and thus, they must be bought from other users on the secondary market.
  • DCL DCG: A collection of items bearing the Digital Currency Group logo that were distributed to those affiliated with Digital Currency Group.
Decentraland Wearables Masks

 

MINTAGE

When people talk about the “mintage” of a wearable or other NFTs on Decentraland, they are referring to values related to the process of “minting” or bringing into existence the given NFT. There are 3 important values related to mintage to be aware of when considering whether to purchase a Decentraland Wearable and for what price:

  • Maximum Mintage: As discussed above, each rarity category has a corresponding maximum mintage that ranges from 10 to 10,000. But the fact that, for example, 5000 of a Swanky wearable can be minted according to the smart contract, does not mean that 5000 have or will be minted. In fact, in various collections (such as the DCL XMAS 2019 and DCL Exclusive Masks Collections), far fewer than the maximum mintage have been minted for particular wearable designs. While, as of the date of this blog, the Decentraland team has not made an official announcement as to whether those unminted wearables will be minted, for at least one collection (the DCL Stay Safe Collection), the Decentraland team has announced that no further items will be minted despite there being a large portion of the maximum supply remaining unminted. The number after the “/” in the picture below showing 10/5000 represents the maximum mintage for the Decentraland wearable called the Decentraland Launch T-Shirt. Mintage numbers are not currently displayed in the Decentraland Marketplace and can only be viewed on Opensea.io.
  • Mintage Number: This number represents the order in which wearables of a specific design were minted. The lower the number, the earlier the item was minted in relation to other items of that design. For example, if a Decentraland Launch T-Shirt has a mintage number of 10/5000, that means it was the 10th Decentraland Launch T-Shirt minted. Users have typically given higher value to earlier mints of a particular item with a premium being placed on the “First Mint” or “1/” item for a given design. Some users also value the “Last Mint” (for example 100/100), although they do not typically demand the same premium as early mints. Mintage numbers are not currently displayed in the Decentraland Marketplace and can only be viewed on Opensea.io.
Decentraland Wearables on OpenSea

 

  • Total Mintage: This is the total number of NFT wearable tokens that have been minted for a particular wearable design. While there are various ways to find this number, the easiest way is through a search on the Decentraland Marketplace with the “On Sale” feature switched off. Wearables with lower numbers minted are typically considered to be more valuable. In the example below, a search of “Christmas Red Hat” with the “On Sale” button disabled reveals that although 1000 can be minted, only 31 have been minted. This is why we see items like this sell for much higher prices than other Epic rarity wearables.

 

HOW TO BUY AND SELL WEARABLES

There are two main platforms that Decentraland users can use to buy and sell wearables: the Decentraland Marketplace and Opensea.io.

The Decentraland Marketplace

Main URL for Wearables: market.decentraland.org

Fees: Seller pays 2.5% of sale price in MANA. That amount is then “burned” (transferred to a wallet that takes the MANA out of circulation permanently). Buyer pays no fees.

Pros:

  • Lower fees for individual wearables.
  • Easy to use.

Cons:

  • No bundling of items.
  • No option for a private sale.
  • Mintage numbers cannot be viewed.

 

BUYING WEARABLES ON THE DECENTRALAND MARKETPLACE

Decentraland Marketplace

To demonstrate the functionalities of the Decentraland Marketplace, we will purchase a Decentraland Launch T-Shirt (one of Decentraland’s most popular items). We begin at the “Browse” page (pictured above) by following the link above. As you can see, the marketplace has a number of features, including the following:

Categories: Allows you to sort wearables by the corresponding part of the avatar’s body.

Filter: Allows you to activate additional search and sort functions.

On Sale: When on, only items that are on sale are displayed. When off, all items that fit the search criteria are displayed.

Rarity: Allows you to sort items by rarity.

Gender: Allows you to sort items by the gender that the wearable is available for. Many items can be worn by both genders (unisex), but some are gender exclusive.

Collection: Allows you to sort by a given wearable collection.

Sort Dropdown: Allows you to sort by Cheapest, Recently Listed, Newest (recently minted), and by Name

Now that we have seen what is out there, we search for the Launch T-Shirt by using the “Filter” button to activate the menu bar and type “Decentraland Launch T-Shirt” into the “Search” bar. We also sort by “Cheapest” to see the cheapest items first. We see the prices displayed in MANA below the pictures for each item.

We then click on the cheapest shirt which has a price of 444 MANA. That opens a new page. That page has more information about the Decentraland Launch T-Shirt. For example, it tells us that the item is of the Swanky rarity, that it is worn on the avatar’s upper body and that it is unisex (it can be worn by either gender avatar). The page also tells us information about the specific posting. For example the price of the wearable and the expiration date of the posting are displayed. A link to the owner of the wearable’s Ethereum wallet is also displayed.

Finally, we are given the option to “Buy” or “Bid” on the item. Buying the item purchases the item for the price listed. Bidding on the item sends the owner an offer for the item that the owner can then accept or reject. You can view and modify bids you have placed in the “My Bids” section as well as view bids on your items.

Decentraland Wearables Launch T-Shirt

Now we will purchase the Launch T-Shirt for the price displayed, 444 MANA. To do so, we click the “BUY” button. That brings up the following screen:

Decentraland Wearables Launch T-Shirt

We then click BUY and are prompted to confirm a transaction through our wallet. Here I am using the Metamask Wallet.

The “GAS FEE” determines how fast the transaction will be processed on the blockchain and requires a balance of Ethereum in the user’s account. The amount of gas offered for a particular transaction can be changed using the “EDIT” button. The less GAS, the slower the transaction will confirm. Here we will use the “Average” speed.

Upon confirming the transaction, you will be taken to an activity screen that will state that you have purchased the item but that the transaction is still pending.

Decentraland Wearables Launch T-Shirt

Once the transaction is confirmed, you will receive a notification through your wallet and will see the activity screen change to “Confirmed”.

CONGRATULATIONS! You can now wear your newly purchased Launch T-Shirt in the Explorer!

SELLING WEARABLES ON THE DECENTRALAND MARKETPLACE

To sell wearables on the Decentraland Marketplace, we begin by navigating to the “My Assets” tab, selecting “Wearables” and then activating the “Filter” button. We can then use the sort functions or search by name to find the items we want to sell. Here we will sell the Launch Shirt we just bought by searching for “Decentraland Launch T-Shirt”.

Decentraland Marketplace

Once we have found the item we want to sell and click on the item, we see the following screen:

We then have two options: “Sell” or “Transfer.” “Transfer” allows us to send the item to another wallet. “Sell” allows us to list the item on the Decentraland Marketplace. We will click “Sell” here:

We then input the price (here we will sell the Launch T-Shirt for 500 MANA) and click “List for Sale.” We are then asked to confirm the price. Once we do, we are prompted to complete a transaction through our wallet, and once confirmed, the item is listed to the marketplace. The following message is displayed in the activity section of the Marketplace:

Sell Decentraland Wearables

You can always access your listings to change the price or cancel the listing by navigating to My Assets -> Wearables -> “On Sale”.

Opensea.io

Main URL for Wearables: https://opensea.io/assets/decentraland-wearables

Fees: Seller pays 5% of sale price in MANA to Opensea. Seller also pays 2.5% of sale price in MANA to be burned. Buyer pays no fees.

*Note: Seller fees vary with the type of listing (see below).

Pros:

  • Option to sell through private sale with no fees.
  • Bundling is available.
  • Mintage numbers can be seen for each item.

Cons:

  • Higher fees for sales of individual items.
  • A bit more complicated to use because of the added features.

BUYING WEARABLES ON OPENSEA.IO

Decentraland Wearables on OpenSea

Purchasing wearables on Opensea.io operates much like the Decentraland Marketplace described above with a few minor differences. To demonstrate the functionalities, we will purchase a “MANA Hat.”

We begin on the main “Browse” page for wearables (pictured above) by following the link above. You will see there are two search bars. The grey search bar at the top of the page searches all of Opensea.io for the keyword. The white search bar directly below searches only the Decentraland Wearables. We type “MANA Hat” into the bottom search bar and hit enter:

Decentraland Wearables on OpenSea MANA Hat

This brings up a screen where all the MANA hats are displayed. As you will see in the top right corner, we have sorted by lowest price. In the top left corner, we have options for sorting further.

The most useful of the options are: the “On Sale” button, which displays only items that are on sale; the “Auctions” button, which allows you to view items that are being auctioned rather than sold for a fixed price; and the “Bundles” button which allows you to view bundles of items (more on this below). Here, we will click the lowest priced MANA hat. This brings up a screen containing detailed information about this particular wearable.

Decentraland Wearables MANA Hat

At the top of the screen, we see the basic information about the MANA Hat we are thinking of purchasing. We see that the hat is owned by Opensea.io user “Random.” In this case, that means that the owner of this wearable has set up an Opensea.io account and named it Random. Sometimes you will see just a wallet address (a series of numbers and letters). This typically means that the user has not set up an Opense.io account and thus, will not receive notifications from Opensea.io.

However, Opensea.io interacts with the Decentraland Marketplace, so even if a user does not have an Opensea.io account, his or her items that are listed for sale on the Dencentraland Marketplace can be purchased via Opensea.io. If we want to know more about the seller, we can click his or her name and get information regarding his or her wallet. We now scroll down and see more information about the item:

Above, we see that there are offers for this item. Currently, the highest offer is 35 MANA. We have the option of making an offer that beats that offer rather than purchasing the item outright, and then the owner can accept or reject.

Below the list of offers, we see the trading history for the items which lists sales, offers, and transfers typically dating back to the wearble’s birth. This information is useful to get an idea of what people have been willing to pay for the item in the past. We now click the “Buy Now” button at the top of the screen:

We see the above screen and are prompted to complete a transaction with our wallet, as described above. Once we complete that process. We are taken to a screen that tells us that we have purchased the item.

The item has been purchased and you can now view the item on your avatar in the World Explorer!

Bundles

One unique feature of Opensea.io is the ability to buy and sell bundles of Decentraland Wearables. Bundles are groups of multiple Decentraland Wearables that can be bought, sold, and offered upon. To view all bundles of Decentraland Wearables available sorted by lowest price, you can follow this link or use Opensea.io’s sort functions.

Decentraland Wearables OpenSea NFT

SELLING WEARABLES ON OPENSEA

Selling a wearable on Opensea.io operates somewhat similarly to selling a wearable on the Decentraland Marketplace. But because the fees are currently much higher (additional 5%) to sell individual wearables on Opensea.io, I would always recommend listing individual wearables for sale on the Decentraland Marketplace to avoid the higher fees. However, because the Decentraland Marketplace does not currently offer the ability to bundle wearables or the ability to do a private sale, which has no fees (see below), you can use Opensea.io for those features or simply because it may be more convenient than switching back and forth.

To sell a wearable on Opensea.io, we start by navigating to the “My Items” section of the platform. This can be found under the “Account” dropdown tab in the top right hand corner of the screen.

Once there, we see a list of the items that are currently in our wallet. There is a search bar that allows you to search for the item you want to sell. We are going to sell the MANA Hat we just purchased above. To do so, we type “MANA Hat” into the search bar and sort by “Recently Sold”

Decentraland Wearables OpenSea MANA Hat NFT

We then click on the MANA Hat we purchased (you can see it displays the previous price we paid). The following screen appears:

We can sell the item by clicking the “Sell” button. Or “Gift” (transfer to another wallet for no cost) the item by clicking the “Gift” button. Here we click the “Sell” button and the following screen appears:

Decentraland Wearables OpenSea MANA Hat NFT

On this screen you are given many options for selling your wearable. Set price will allow you to sell the wearable for a fixed price. “Highest Bid” will create an auction where the wearable will be available for bidding for a set amount of time and the highest bid will win the wearable. Bundle allows you to bundle the item with other wearables and sell them as a group as described above.

Directly below those options you will see the option to “Enter fixed price”. That is where you enter the price you want to sell the item for. The “Include Ending Price” feature is an advanced feature that allows you to set a starting price, ending price and ending date and the price will automatically be gradually adjusted down over time to reach the ending price and ending date. Privacy (discussed below) allows you to sell the item in a private sale with no fees. We will now enter a price of 80 MANA and click the “Post Your Listing” button.

After signing the request, our MANA Hat is posted on the Marketplace for 80 MANA. Depending on your account settings, you will receive an email when it is sold or when you receive an offer.

Private Sales

Private sales are one of the best features of Opensea.io. They allow you to negotiate a sale with another user ahead of time (for example on Discord) and conduct a private sale where you can sell the item to that user for a fixed price. The advantage is that Opensea.io does not currently charge any fees for private sales. To conduct a private sale, simply follow the same steps above but select the “Privacy” button and input the other user’s Ethereum address:

Selling Bundles

To create a bundle of items, simply select the bundle option from the sell methods.

Once you select the bundle option, you are given the option to include items in the bundle either by searching for them by name or sorting. Simply click on the items to select them to be part of your bundle.

Sell Decentraland Wearables OpenSea NFT

As you can see, fees for listing a bundle are only 2.5%. Once you have assembled your bundle, simply name your bundle and follow the steps above regarding selecting the price and privacy of the item. Then simply select “Post Your Listing” and your listing will be posted to the marketplace.

You can always access your listings to change the price or cancel the listing by navigating to Account -> My Items -> “On Sale” and then clicking the item:

Decentraland Wearables OpenSea NFT

 

 

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VR

Rendering Genesis City

Decentraland's vision of a shared virtual world owned by its community is grandiose in scale. The grid of NFTs is about 90,000 individual 16x16 square meter parcels big, which is about half the size of Manhattan. Over 3000 unique addresses that hold LAND all need a way to visit their virtual slice and attract traffic to them. It took several engineering revisions to build a robust main client to render the city before opening up the gates to the public, which may explain the delays of the platform's launch. To learn more about how its made, we revisited the various engines that are powering Genesis City.


The first proof-of-concept demo for Decentraland was originally released Summer 2017 and uses Unity3D's webgl export. Unity is a powerful but non-free engine that majority of games and VR experiences are built with. The demo accompanied the white paper to give people a taste of a what a shared virtual world owned by its users on a grid is like before the ICO in August.


After the ICO, Decentraland re-examined other web based rendering engines and decided on one that was based on threejs. During October 2017 Decentraland announced they had acquired Fontus and hired Ben Nolan (currently lead dev of Cryptovoxels) to their engineering team. Fontus is an A-Frame powered project that had land ownership as an Ethereum contract and multiuser voice chat. The decision to use A-frame to power the web client was stemmed from wanting to empower creators by making virtual reality development as easy as web development, and to make world exploration more secure.


During the middle of 2018 the world engineering team began experimenting with Babylon.js for faster and more efficient rendering. There were changes in the Decentraland SDK as well such as replacing Javascript with Typescript for coding dynamic scenes. Below shows an avatar standing in between two animated Ethermon characters, which according to this tech demo, could battle each other on-chain.

This period was by far the toughest effort by Decentraland to build a robust renderer for Genesis City. Changes to the SDK broke projects during the updates, causing some fustration within the dev community. The team's original roadmap for launching an explorable 3D world to the public with full VR support and physics was officially getting delayed.


The Decentraland SDK has been written in a way that it is entirely decoupled from the rendering engine. This means that there can be multiple renderers for the same world, and that these viewers can even be made from third parties without permission from Decentraland the company because the blockchain is readable by anyone. JanusVR made such a web client with VR support and a built-in editor back in 2018 using Janusweb, a web framework that uses three.js for rendering.


The world engineering team officially switched back to Unity for their main rendering engine in SDK 6.1 on June 2019, around the time that the first shipments for Oculus Quest headsets were getting delivered. Soon after the SDK was released, DCL launched a 200k prize pool hackathon to stress test and find bugs. After a couple hackathons to battle test the platform, DCL officially opened its doors to the public on 2/20/20.