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VR Platform ‘Decentraland’ Now a Patron Level ‘Blender’ Member

The blockchain-based virtual world platform’s membership will bring at least $135,000 in additional funding to the open source Blender project.

Blender movie Sprite Flight
Scene from recent Blender animated video, “Sprite Flight,” to demo the software’s capabilities.

Remember Second Life? Evidently virtual worlds are still a thing, and one of them, Decentraland, is now funding Blender, the popular open-source 3D computer graphics software used for creating everything from animated films to computer games (and yes, virtual reality), to the tune of $135,000 over the next two years.

The cryptocurrency/blockchain based Decentraland platform, in which virtual real estate is acquired through blockchain-based purchases and deeded as non-fungible tokens, announced on Monday that it’s signed up to be a top level Patron sponsor of Blender for a two year period. In doing so, they join such A-list Patron level contributors as Unity, AMD, Facebook, NVIDIA, Amazon Web Services, Epic Games, and Apple.

“This initiative was originally posted in Decentraland’s governance platform by a member of the community,” Decentraland said in a blog announcing the action. “The proposal quickly gained unanimous support from the entire community. As excitement and momentum built across a range of social media platforms, the original proposer connected Decentraland’s DAO Committee with the Blender Foundation to finalize the agreement.

“The Decentraland Foundation, the non-profit organization supporting the development of the Decentraland platform, joined the effort by matching the DAO’s original donation.”

Although not exactly a well-known name, Decentraland seems to be on the sort of roll that the pioneer virtual world platform, Second Life, was experiencing in the early 2000s.

When first launched as a beta in 2017, Decentraland land parcels were going for as little as $20, but since the recent NFT boom its most valuable real estate has been selling for more than $100,000. This summer art auctioneer Sotheby’s created a virtual replica of its London headquarters on the platform, to be used as a virtual gallery in which to show digital art.

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