Decentraland, a virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain in which users can create, discover, experience, and monetize content and applications, has announced a crowdsale for its ERC-20 token MANA. MANA will let users buy and sell virtual real estate, called LAND, and participate in Decentraland’s virtual reality economy. The token sale, which will commence on August 8th 2017 and conclude on August 16th 2017, has a $20 million USD maximum cap and will be followed by a Continuous Issuance stage. Supporters can participate in the MANA crowdsale with all major cryptocurrencies via ShapeShift.

Project Lead of Decentraland, Ariel Meilich said: “As the virtual reality market continues its rapid growth, we are excited to launch Decentraland, a new virtual economy, where content creators are incentivized and fairly rewarded for their contributions. We believe Decentraland, which enables low cost, direct payments between content creators and users with its native token MANA, will radically change e-commerce and online content distribution “Already in development with prototypes available for public testing, Decentraland offers limitless possibilities for content creators to contribute to and shape the virtual world, from gaming to art installations to education and healthcare applications.”

Developers can build and monetize applications on the Decentraland platform and use MANA to buy LAND and other in-world goods and services. The value of LAND is based on its proximity to high-traffic hubs, and its ability to host in-demand applications. Decentraland has partnered with district0x, a collective of decentralized marketplaces and communities, to give users the ability to trade land in the secondary market. Although unclaimed LAND can be purchased at the same exchange rate (1,000 MANA = 1 LAND), differences in positions and traffic could potentially see LAND parcels trade at different prices on a secondary market.

Decentraland has constructed financial incentives to help bootstrap the utility value of the network. Contests for creating art, games, applications, and experiences will be held on in the world, encouraging content creators to compete for MANA by growing Decentraland’s in-world offerings. In addition, new users will also be assigned allowances in MANA, letting them participate in the economy immediately.

Meilich noted: “Ownership of LAND is recorded on the Ethereum blockchain, guaranteeing immutability, while interactions are noted on a network of nodes streams, giving users full control of their land and content sitting on it. Decentraland is designed to let everyone participate in its virtual world immediately. For example, communities hosted on offline and online forums like chat groups and centralized multiplayer games, can transition to Decentraland and integrate economic capabilities into their communities.”

Funds raised in the token sale will be distributed between various aspects: 50% will be reserved for development, 20% for research, 15% for marketing and community development, 10% for operations and business development, and the remaining 5% for legal costs.

A Continuous Issuance stage will follow the conclusion of the crowdsale event, allowing a decreasing percentage of the initial supply of MANA to be bought from the smart contract each year, with limited supply over time. Decentraland intends to protect the token from inflation by making users burn MANA to claim LAND.

Decentraland’s Board of Advisors includes Aragon project lead Luis Cuende, CoinFund Managing Partner Jake Brukhman, and n3xt creator Diego Doval.

Meilich remarked: “The gaming market has demonstrated a strong demand for a decentralized community virtual world. Decentraland is confident that with our illustrious team of gaming, smart contract security, and blockchain engineering experts, we will produce the first fully decentralized virtual economy that revolutionizes the gaming industry.”