It's only been five years since Decentraland opened their virtual world to avid NFT creators, but since then have amassed over 300,000 monthly active users. Discover how they used aragonOS to bring their DAO to where it is today.
What is Decentraland?
Decentraland is a decentralized virtual world powered by the Ethereum blockchain and has used Aragon to build its DAO. The protocol is most famous for users buying and selling virtual land and wearables as NFTs online, but it also unlocks the ability to monetize digital spaces by building on top of the virtual land.
According to core team member Yemel Jardi, the platform was an initiative to create an open metaverse. “We are creating a common good, a shared virtual space for creators and users to explore and create.”
The finite, traversable, 3D virtual space within Decentraland is called LAND, sold as NFTs. Decentraland NAMES are tradable ERC721s, integrated fully with the Ethereum Name System. These unique human-readable names allow users to trade tokens between memorable addresses, e.g. ‘jane.dcl.eth’.
Land NFTs are divided into parcels that are identified by cartesian coordinates X and Y. These parcels are owned by members of the community and purchased using MANA, Decentraland’s native token. This gives users full control over the environments and applications they create within the parcels, which can range from static 3D scenes to more interactive applications or games.
What is Decentraland DAO?
The Decentraland DAO is the decision-making tool for every aspect of DCL holders in Decentraland’s virtual world. Through votes in the DAO, the community can issue grants and create proposals to make changes to the lists of banned names, add new points of interest, and add catalyst nodes. The DAO also controls the LAND and Estate smart contracts.
The DAO is in charge of directing the future of the project. Teams are funded from a treasury of ~200M USD, given out via a grants program to further the mission of growing and improving Decentraland.
How does Decentraland use aragonOS?
Decentraland leverages the battle-tested security of Aragon Client to store their treasury. With a warchest of nearly $200 million, it’s important that their treasury is held in a safe place.
“I would say the flexibility to set different authorization schemes is something to note about Aragon, also it's open source and well-audited,” said Jardi.
When a new proposal comes to vote, Decentraland holds a signaling vote off-chain. After the vote concludes, committee members execute the vote in Aragon Client. In the aragonOS you can allowlist wallets and run small votes like you would in a multisig. This saves gas and keeps the DAO moving quickly.
For smaller transactions that don’t require a dip into the treasury, the community votes off-chain on Snapshot and manually executes results via Gnosis safes.
“Gamers don’t want to pay to vote, only big whales,” said Jardi. So, having off-chain voting and on-chain execution to access the main treasury was a good combination for the community.
$174M in an Aragon vesting contract. $40M in Aragon's Finance App.
TLDR: Decentraland stores their main treasury in Aragon Client and other portions in Gnosis Safes. Proposals that need to access the main treasury, such as large funding proposals, are enacted within Aragon Client by a DAO Committee, a multisig controlled by three individuals.
“I can say if you are a dev looking to build a DAO that will hold assets, Aragon is a secure and battle tested option that supports Ethereum and Polygon networks,” Jardi concluded on why they use Aragon to secure their main treasury.
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