No ‘Kill Switch’ in Decentraland. Will this Implode or Thrive? The True Decentralization Experiment

Decentraland recently came out with this post regarding furthering their decentralization efforts. Among the usual 100% ownership of LAND and MANA via blockchain, the below is a summary of their movement towards further Decentralization.

  • Decentraland Can Not Be Shut Down. Infrastructure no longer runs on a single company’s servers or its contracted cloud providers. Decentraland content is now hosted and replicated across a network of independent nodes, (hosts approved by the DAO), called ‘Catalysts’.

  • Source code of the Decentraland Explorer will be made public under the Apache 2.0 License. This will allow for any company or individual to tweak the client, making the reference client among a plethora of alternative clients that the community will create.


  • Decentraland is effectively owned by the DAO: Ownership of the LAND, Estates, and other important smart contracts, have recently been migrated into the DAO, including the two contracts that own the Decentraland Marketplace. The Wearables smart contract will be transferred at the conclusion of the Treasure Hunt. Why is this important? To avoid a single owner for the contracts, since that would introduce counterparty risk for all the asset holders.


  • DAO Decision Making. Decentraland DAO, (community), will now be in charge of decision making, policy updates, direction Decentraland will take. On chain and enabled by Aragon. This will replace Agora and will include decisions made on things like Auction dates, modifying market fees, whitelisting Wearable Artists, etc.


  • Communication is Direct P2P: WebRTC is used to enable users chatting with each other, seeing each other move, and are able to interact with each other. a peer-to-peer protocol for real-time communications.


  • MANA Contract is effectively Immutable: Back in November of 2018, the keys that had custody of the MANA smart contract were sent to a self-destructed address, the recommended method to “throw away the keys” in Ethereum. This effectively made the MANA smart contract forever immutable, with no ability to mint more tokens or pause it.


  • At the inception of the MANA token, the total supply was 2,805,886,393. Due to its utilization and burn in the Districts Terraform, LAND auctions, claiming unique Avatar names and marketplace fees, that figure has been reduced to 2,532,841,78 as at the time of writing. Out of this total, 1.3 billion (51.3%) is in the hands of private holders, while the development company and its affiliates control 1.232b (48.7%).


  • DAO Controls 222M MANA: The development company is hereby transferring 222M MANA to an irrevocable vesting contract that has the DAO’s multisig as a beneficiary. These tokens will vest over a 10-year period, guaranteeing a decade-long tenure for what is now one of the largest DAOs in the world.


  • Decentraland burnt an additional 333M MANA: The development company is hereby burning 333M MANA as a means to reduce concentration.


  • Decentraland Removing themselves: Involvement will persist not as a central point of reference, but rather as another member of the ecosystem that is committed to Decentraland in a manner that is consistent with a decentralized platform.


This is just the start. There is still more to come to move to a more Decentralized social experiment.

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