Last week, an NFT founder tweeted that the metaverse company Decentraland only had 30 daily active users, despite its $1.2 billion market valuation. After a cryptocurrency news outlet reported the numbers, this week Decentraland hastily corrected on its blog that its metaverse actually has 8,000 daily active users. For reference, $1.2 billion is roughly one-eighth of a Bethesda.
The data for the first claims of 30 daily users came from DappRadar, an app store that tracks NFT transactions. Decentraland refuted the numbers in a blog post, stating that they actually had 8,000 whole daily active users. Wow. Incredible. I think Kotaku has gotten twice as many retweets on a single tweet than Decentraland has active users?
If you read further in the blog (or I will so that you don’t have to), you’ll see that there’s some funky math going on here. “You might at first divide 56,697, the number of September’s MAU by 30 and come back with the number 1,866,” wrote Decentraland, acknowledging that is far from the 8,000 that they claim. “A large number of Decentraland’s users are repeat visitors, they are the Decentraland community and spend time on the platform on a regular basis.” So they’re not actually counting unique visitors. Decentraland has 1,866 unique visitors a day. This is so sad that I don’t even know that I have the heart to snark about it.
Haha, just kidding. That’s a bad number and they should feel bad. But feeling bad requires some self awareness, which the blog post seems to lack. “When discussing the number of DAU or MAU in Decentraland, it’s worth keeping in mind that Decentraland is not a company and that it doesn’t view users as a product by which to measure success,” wrote Decentraland. “Decentraland is a DAO and the only open source, Web3 metaverse platform that is owned and governed by its community.” (Kotaku reached out to Decentraland to ask what kind of metrics it uses to measure the platform’s success, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.)
Um… okay? I guess that would be plausible if Decentraland didn’t have a market cap of over a billion dollars. It feels like a good opportunity to remind folks once again that the crypto world is filled with scams, and not even Meta can really get the metaverse to take off even with its massive war chests filled with money.
Nevertheless, the not-company seems optimistic. Maybe overly so. “Decentraland’s goal is to be a fun and entertaining platform with a thriving community that educates and onboards people to the philosophies and tech of Web3 while empowering Creators in the hope that, when the masses realize why decentralization is important, a viable option will be available and the next iteration of the internet won’t be monopolized by a handful of corporations.”
I don’t think Decentraland will be an alternative to anything while only two thousand unique visitors are engaging with the platform per day. But hey, maybe I’ll be proven wrong by these forward-thinking revolutionaries.