Obscure altcoin mana spikes 400% as Facebook’s metaverse pivot spurs bet on virtual property token

Cryptocurrency and business continuity line image for business concept.
Cryptocurrency and business continuity line image for business concept. Getty Images

Little-known altcoin mana soared in the past week after Facebook’s rebranding pivot sparked renewed interest in the metaverse.

The price of decentraland, whose ticker is mana, peaked at record high of $US4.16 ($AU6) on Saturday, according to CoinMarketCap data. The coin is now up 400% from the time Facebook announced it is changing its name to Meta on Thursday.

On Monday, the digital asset was trading 14% higher at $US3.21 ($AU4) as of 10:36 a.m. ET. It is currently the 36th largest coin by market valuation, according to CoinMarketCap.

Decentraland is an ethereum-based token that can be used to pay for virtual plots of land. This includes casinos, art galleries, and theme parks. Landowners have complete control over what they can do with their lots and can charge users who visit them, according to its white paper.

The virtual space within Decentraland is called “land,” a non-fungible, scarce digital asset maintained in a smart contract, which is an agreement stored and executed in the blockchain when predetermined conditions are met.

Decentraland is not controlled by a centralized organization, its white paper said. The team behind mana started working on it in December 2015 with the goal of providing an infrastructure to support a shared virtual world, also known as a metaverse, its white paper said.

The coin’s purpose fits with Facebook’s goal “to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.”

“The Facebook announcement created a rush to purchase land parcels in decentraland as a way to get exposure to the metaverse sector,” Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Tokens.com, told Insider. “As demand for this new asset class expands, you will see more demand for digital real estate, thus driving up the value of the currencies used in these metaverses, like mana.”