Decentraland, one of the most well-known open metaverse platforms has announced plans to utilize its primary ENS domain (DCL.eth) in a big way. In this article, we will dive deep into what Decentraland is and how the Decentraland Domain and Ethereum Name Service (ENS) are helping to shape the future of this innovative platform.
The 2022 year will go down in history as perhaps the most memorable in Web3 for all the wrong reasons.
In a year filled with so many low points, one of the highlights was the emergence of ENS (Ethereum Name Service) as a must-have NFT for every wallet with use-cases including decentralized immutable identities, memorable names, hosting decentralized immutable websites, and community-driven subdomains.
Welcome to the world of Decentraland!
What is Decentraland?
Decentraland is a decentralized open source web3 platform – a 3D virtual social world, widely believed to be the most robust developer ecosystem built with the intention of being a public good. With development starting back in 2015, it is the first mover in the web3 virtual social world, launching its genesis lands with a total of 90601 parcels available across the open metaverse platform.
Over time, those parcels of land flowed into the hands of strong holders, and as of today, the entire 90601 land supply is owned by around 5000 holders – a ratio of almost 20 genesis lands to 1 owner. The limited supply of genesis lands and the very high demand for it led to a supply shock, and as a result, prices went upwards of thousands of dollars, creating a high-cost barrier for the average entry-level user.
The platform faced a sharp drop in user activity due to unaffordable land prices for the average user, hindering meaningful interaction. To restore the platform’s purpose as a virtual open-source platform for the public good, the team sought a solution through Ethereum Name Service (ENS).
On December 21st, just before the holidays, Decentraland published an article announcing the Decentraland Worlds Beta, which largely went under the radar.
Introducing Decentraland Worlds Beta 🌎
Worlds are your own 3D Space in the Metaverse
A place for Decentraland citizens to build, experiment, and host events and even interactive experiences without owning LAND. 🎉https://t.co/u0VBOzvCWe
How #DCLWorlds works ⬇️
— Decentraland (@decentraland) December 21, 2022
Introducing Decentraland Worlds
As described in the article, Decentraland “Worlds” is a personal 3D space tied to Decentraland names that exist separately from Genesis City and its system of Lands.
It is a product birthed from Decentraland utilizing the full reach of ENS subdomains via its parent domain DCL.eth, with the aim of expanding access to the platform, which may be the necessary component to drive community growth.
This new system ties an unlimited number of parcels of land (separate from the genesis lands) to every DCL subdomain, thereby reducing the cost of entry to just 100 MANA ~ $70. Now, with just a dcl subdomain i.e NAME.DCL.eth, anyone can create and customize their World and become a DCL creator!
However, there are 2 main limitations to “Worlds”
- You can only upload up to 100MB of information into a World
- You can only host up to 100 people concurrently on your land
Note that these limitations may be temporary!
“Worlds” is in beta, and any future changes can be expected, such as increasing the megabyte size limitations, and even allowing users to host their Worlds on their own servers.
Even so, both are very generous limitations, considering you can host very elaborate space experiences and exclusive community events with 100MB, and 100 participants.
There has been speculation of “Worlds” being enabled for ENS parent domains, and not just Decentraland subdomains, but this is yet to be confirmed.
Pricing & Structure of .DCL Subdomains
To mint a DCL subdomain, first, you will need to deposit 100 MANA and some Ethereum for gas into your. wallet. Note that all transactions in the Decentraland world are done via the platform’s native token, MANA.
Another important factor to note is that there are no renewal fees for Decentraland subdomains.
Once you mint or buy a dcl subdomain, you don’t have to bother about yearly renewal costs. Even better, you can mint any Decentraland subdomain, irrespective of character length, for the same price of 100 MANA!
This means that, unlike ENS parent domains that cost $640, $200, and $5 for 3, 4, and 5 character length domains respectively, DCL subdomains are insensitive to character length. As a result, SAM.DCL.eth will cost the same as SAMUEL.DCL.eth, and GM.DCL.eth will cost the same as GOODMORNING.DCL.eth!
It is also worth noting that although DCL subdomains can be traded, the DCL World itself cannot be traded on the open market.
How to Get Involved
The steps below outline a guide on how to get your own DCL subdomain on Decentraland
- Step 1: Go to the official Decentraland website – decentraland.org
[Please ensure to verify you are on the official website! To be sure, just follow the site link above, or on the official Decentraland twitter account handle @decentraland and then bookmark afterwards to avoid phishing attacks.]
- Step 2: On the official site, click the “BUILDER” icon highlighted in the top left corner of the page
- Step 3: Click on the “NAMES” icon on the right side of the page
- Step 4: After clicking “NAMES”, on the far-right side of the page, click on the “+” icon
- Step 5: Finally, on the mint page, you can now go ahead and type in the name you want to mint in the name tab. After you type in a name, you will be informed whether the name is available. Note that there is a max character limit of 15. If a name you desire is available, you will be asked to sign a transaction and pay the 100 MANA base cost, plus the Ethereum gas fee to process the transaction.
And that’s it! If a name you desire has already been minted, you can buy or place a bid for it on the secondary marketplace on Decentraland or on Opensea.
If you want to skip the steps outlined above, I have provided a direct link to the site to mint your DCL subdomain After minting your DCL subdomain, check out the creator documentation for all the technical details on how to set-up your personalized World!
As with all things ENS related, degens have begun forming communities within WORLDS – most notably the #999dcl club. There are about 300-400 still unminted in the 999 category, so make of that what you will.
Full disclosure: Not Financial Advice
Pros & Cons of Decentraland Worlds
Novel approaches such as Worlds come with pros and cons. The pros are already manifesting even in this bear market as we see more and more people utilizing their subdomains to build their worlds!
Although still in beta, around 300 Worlds have already been created and are being utilized by DCL users who previously may not have owned the genesis land. Even in a bear market, there is a newfound buzz around Decentraland post-Worlds announcement, and as time goes by and more and more users enter the market, activity in Decentraland will steadily increase, which will mean more demand for the Decentraland native token MANA which will in turn potentially result in the platform gaining more market share.
As for the cons, from my perspective, the elephant in the room is how genesis land will react to this new development. As more users interact through the subdomain Worlds, will that affect the demand for the genesis lands? Well, it remains to be seen, and only time can answer that question.
However, looking at the details, it can be said that the genesis lands and Worlds are 2 different products. They each have their own unique features and propositions. Over time, the genesis lands could largely hold their value, while Worlds could drive more users to the platform to host events, meetings, or just have fun leisure time. A win-win!
The Many Use-Cases of ENS domains
We are just barely scratching the surface of all the added utilities an ENS domain can give!
The fact that Decentraland implemented and executed this groundbreaking solution before the official ENS Name Wrapper was released is applaudable. As you can imagine, post-release of the name wrapper, it will become even easier to roll out community-driven subdomains that bring like-minded people with a common goal together. Irrespective of market conditions, the use cases of ENS will get stronger and stronger over time.
The ball has barely started rolling on subdomain utility and another use case has surfaced – Encrypted messaging & Decentralized communication.
But I guess I’d save that for my next article.