The Emergence and Growth of DAOs
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) emerged with the advent of Ethereum in 2015, enabling organizations governed by code on decentralized networks. The ethos of decentralized decision-making is consummated from DAOs recording actions on-chain mostly centered on governance of their protocol or their treasury. This started with the launch of The DAO raising $150mn for venture capital in 2016, despite its eventual hack and compromise. Years later, DAOs have matured and facilitated decentralized decision-making, funding, and coordination across sectors such as finance, art, gaming, and governance. From MakerDAO’s governance of DeFi lending and borrowing yields to Constitution DAO’s failed attempt to buy the US Constitution despite raising $40M+ in 72 hours, the DAO concept has flourished accumulating over $18B in market cap across over ten thousand DAOs.
STP’s Ecosystem for DAOs
Having supported over 250+ DAOs and developed native DAO tools and infrastructure like Clique, STP has been on a mission to build an ecosystem optimized for DAOs. On top of governance and DAO creation & management, Clique V3 has improved daily workflows and efficiency in Web3 with its Workspace facilitating team & task management, a governance SDK, and on-chain profiles. STP’s ecosystem has cultivated various types of DAOs including Social, NFT, Gaming and Mission Oriented DAOs. As they continue to mature, their activity has only cracked the surface of what can be actualized on-chain. DAOs can enable fully on-chain ecosystems where everyone is not only a participant but also a decision maker.
From DAOs to Autonomous Worlds
DAOs are more than collectives of people who agree on values and share common goals. DAOs are cooperatives of people who congregate and strive for a shared reality. Our individual perspectives of meaning and desire exist in our own reality and we socialize and interact with others by traversing in each other's reality. Through shared reality, humanity can better progress socially, culturally and politically. Moreover, this is where the imaginative engine of Autonomous Worlds is significant in ushering a new paradigm in Web3. In this new possibility, the ability to express oneself through the personalized composition of a shared reality is the greatest form of civic duty. Beyond societal needs, the self-control of individualism is paramount in an increasingly globalized and governing digital world. Self-worth can be manifested through self-governance, evolving DAOs conceptually into Decentralized Autonomous Members for individuals to freely express and experience in blockchain society. When searching for its northstar, AW’s foundation consists of Collaboration, Composability, Self-governance and Individualism.
Autonomous Worlds (“AW”) is a decentralized digital ecosystem governed by a verifiable set of transparent rules enforced by blockchain. They are “multi-author, maximally persistent Worlds that can not only be experienced by multiple inhabitants, but also expanded by them”. Digital consensus is the key that enables both their existence and also their future evolution. DAOs at their core, exhibit the same qualities although at a more fundamental level. They collectively allocate resources and foster collective ownership, while facilitating and enforcing shared decision-making through blockchain. They function as a building block for AW that will progress into on-chain worlds, communities and games. This future will be in the minds of every individual contributing in a decentralized way as opposed to only a few.
The Current State of Autonomous Worlds
AW can transcend space and time by creating permanent digital worlds on-chain. Everyone’s history and thoughts can be appreciated through countless mediums and possibilities. Unlocked by AW technology, on-chain worlds will be shared, composable and self-governed to instill individualism in its greatest form yet. Enlightened by this, metaverses and games are emboldened to apply customized visualization using AW. Today’s metaverses are far from its potential - Sandbox and Decentraland offer land as part of a single rigid world. Although easily traversable, games like Animal Crossing universe are limited to its defined style. Game ecosystems are siloed into a single set of rules governing the physics and chemistry of a world. In the same vein, collaboration is clunky and full of friction, requiring technical skills and hacks to create a shared reality expressed by many.
The promise of blockchain and Web3 is for all meaningful activity and data to be recorded on-chain. However, the current state of ecosystems have not scaled cost effectively, which has hindered data migration on-chain. Therefore, games and metaverses are still progressing on-chain with the advent of new scalable blockchain technology such as ZK and Optimistic roll-ups. Dark Forest, for instance, is a fully decentralized, real-time strategy game built on the Ethereum blockchain. It utilizes zkSNARKs, a form of zero-knowledge proof, to create a "dark forest" in space where players can explore and conquer planets in an infinite, procedurally-generated, cryptographically-specified universe. Dark Forest represents a significant advancement in the use of blockchain technology for gaming, demonstrating the potential for complex, real-time games to be built on the blockchain. Even so, on-chain games are only the beginning of the overarching potential AW can be. JK Rowling’s imaginative world of Harry Potter has influenced millions of fans and only has one creator. AW allows for everyone to share in the existence and continuation of a world by having not just their activity on-chain but their reality. On-chain realities will be the foundation for everyone to express and extend their imaginative worlds.
STP’s New Initiative into Autonomous Worlds
The proliferation of DAOs and on-chain activity has paved the way for the emergence of a new paradigm of on-chain worlds, communities and games known as Autonomous Worlds. The current stage of AW is similar to the early experimental stages of DAOs back when the first DAO was launched in 2016. However, we envision that the future of DAOs is Autonomous Worlds and STP is committed to realizing this new paradigm.
STP will leverage our growing ecosystem of DAOs and tooling partners, existing resources of talent and research, and expanding infrastructure to become the backbone for on-chain games, communities and worlds. Our mission is to build and scale an identity framework for Autonomous Worlds by first cultivating the ecosystem for DAOs to evolve into Autonomous Worlds.To expand on research, we will continue to be at the forefront of all technology from applying account abstraction to integrating AI reinforcement learning, which will be instrumental in unlocking AW applications.
More details regarding our AW initiatives to be released soon!