An Autonomous World (AW) is a digital space owned, controlled, and operated by a decentralized network of individuals interacting on a blockchain, not by any centralized entities. This overarching concept, as explained in a Wired article, represents a shift from traditional online spaces governed by corporations to decentralized platforms where users have control and ownership. In short, Autonomous World is a self-governing, decentralized digital ecosystem.
The evolution of blockchain use cases has shown a clear trajectory towards more complex applications, all while maintaining the core values of transparency, predictability, and fairness that are central to the crypto community.
Bitcoin, the first successful implementation of a decentralized digital currency, was a direct response to the shortcomings of traditional fiat currencies like the US dollar. Fiat currencies are subject to inflation and can be manipulated by central banks. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has a transparent and predictable inflation process that is governed by code and not susceptible to manipulation. This ensures fairness and trust in the system, as every participant can verify the rules and the state of the system.
Decentralized finance (DeFi) represents a shift from traditional financial systems to systems that are open, transparent, and permissionless. A prime example is Uniswap, a decentralized exchange that operates on the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike centralized marketplaces, Uniswap allows anyone to trade directly from their wallet, without the need for an intermediary. This not only reduces costs but also increases accessibility and financial inclusion.
Fully on-chain games represent a new paradigm in the gaming industry. Unlike traditional games, which are controlled by centralized entities, fully on-chain games are decentralized and transparent. This means that players have true ownership of their in-game assets and can verify the rules and state of the game. A notable example is the creation of Ethereum by Vitalik Buterin, which was inspired by his experience with World of Warcraft. Buterin was frustrated by the centralized control of the game and decided to create a platform where such control could be decentralized.
AW is the ultimate form of decentralized application, encompassing both DeFi and fully on-chain games. Autonomous Worlds create an intersubjective reality, introducing the concept of communal sense instead of common sense. They also ensure community sovereignty, which cannot be achieved with off-chain control.
Ludens paints a detailed case for AW in the work THE CASE FOR AUTONOMOUS WORLDS: Blockchains as World Technology by LUDENS. Autonomous Worlds are not just about decentralization, but also about creating a new form of reality. They are about creating worlds that are not just virtual, but also real in a very tangible sense. These worlds are governed by their own rules and laws, which are enforced by the blockchain. They are worlds where the users are not just passive consumers, but active participants who have a say in how the world is run. In these Autonomous Worlds, users can own property, create and enforce contracts, and even form their own governments. They can create their own economies, with their own currencies and financial systems. They can create their own cultures, with their own art, music, and literature. In short, they can create their own societies, with all the complexity and richness of the real world.
This is the vision of Autonomous Worlds that the AGLD community is working towards. We believe that this is not just a possibility, but an inevitability. Autonomous Worlds are the ultimate form of complicated applications in a decentralized manner, ensuring sovereignty for its community.
Autonomous Worlds are at the forefront of pushing technological advancement. They are pushing the frontier of both decentralized applications and decentralized infrastructure. We can also trace back to see how blockchain's infrastructure has been pushed to the boundaries and beyond, by previous use cases.
Bitcoin, as the first successful implementation of a decentralized digital currency, has inspired a generation of blockchain innovation focusing on scaling payments. This has led to the creation of various other blockchains such as Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, which aim to improve upon Bitcoin's scalability. Bitcoin also inspired the concept of colored coins, which eventually led to the creation of Ethereum, which supports turing complete smart contracts and allows for a much wider range of applications.
DeFi's adoption has highlighted the scalability issues of Ethereum, leading to the adoption of various scaling solutions. These include optimistic rollups such as Optimism and Arbitrum, and zkEVMs such as ZkSync and Scroll. These solutions aim to increase the transaction throughput of Ethereum, allowing for more complex and resource-intensive applications to operate in a more affordable and efficient way for the average crypto user.
Autonomous Worlds represent the next step in this evolution. AW will be the use case that tests the boundaries of the new generation of blockchain infrastructures. In fact, we are already seeing early signs of that.
Dark Forest, for instance, is a fully decentralized, real-time strategy game built on the Ethereum blockchain. Dark Forest utilizes zkSNARKs, a form of zero-knowledge proof, to create a "dark forest" in space where players can explore and conquer planets. This for the first time, enables asymmetric information as the "fog of war" on the blockchain. Dark Forest represented 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.
MUD is a framework for ambitious Ethereum applications. It compresses the complexity of building EVM apps with a tightly integrated software stack. MUD comes with an on-chain database, an entry-point kernel that brings standardized access control, upgrades, modules, and blazing-fast development tools. It has been used to build some of the most complex applications on Ethereum, including OPCraft, a fully on-chain voxel world.
Dojo is a verifiable game engine and toolchain for building on-chain games and autonomous worlds with Cairo 1.0. These projects are not only pushing the limits of game design but also driving the development of new blockchain infrastructures.
Beyond the mentioned ones above, we are seeing a new generation of general blockchain infrastructures, such as ultra-scalable Layer 2s, Layer 3s, and cross-chain communications protocols such as state-proof technologies. They are designed to handle complex computations and large amounts of data. Autonomous Worlds, with their complexity and flexibility, are the perfect use case to push these infrastructures to their limits and drive their further development.
The Adventure Gold (AGLD) DAO has its roots in the Loot community, which is the first world-building community on the blockchain. Loot was the first game-themed NFT with on-chain metadata state. The metadata embedded in Loot NFTs contained the logic of Loot NFTs and served as an invitation for creators to innovate. Unlike most other NFT projects, where the derivatives (such as new NFTs series) and content for NFTs (such as PFPs, stories, and games) are produced by the project team, Loot's derivatives and content are entirely built by the Loot community. There is no "Loot team", which makes the Loot community a leader in the first NFT-seeded, decentralized, and community-collaborated world-building attempt. The world Loot community created is the Lootverse, which now has a range of exciting projects listed here.
The Loot project was launched on August 27th, 2021. Its simple yet elegant design lit a bulb and created an immediate unlock for the decentralized community. The consensus and commercial acceptance of Loot is a proof of concept for autonomous user generation, which will prove to be the foundational theory behind the future of AW.
Therefore, Lootverse and AGLD are innately designed for the adoption and integration of AW. Leveraging years of experimentation and innovation in Lootverse, AW can build and grow at a more rapid pace in a community that is already activated. From game developers to middleware infrastructure, the Lootverse ecosystem is prime to lead the paradigm shift of AW.
AGLD's mission is to incentivize the Lootverse. To achieve this, we are launching the Loot Chain, an EVM Layer3 for the Loot community. This chain will provide all the necessary developer toolkits, creating an environment that fosters innovation and creativity.
The Loot Chain is designed to be a home for builders in the Lootverse. It will become the go-to place for building new games, tools, and worlds within the Lootverse. No longer will creators and builders have to look elsewhere for the toolkits they need. The Loot Chain will provide an execution environment for Lootverse games, allowing developers to operate their games on the Loot Chain to take advantage of the low gas fee. They can run in-game assets on the Loot Chain as tokens or NFTs, and even run the entire logic & state of the game on the Loot Chain.
In addition to providing cutting-edge infrastructure, we are also planning to support all sorts of inspiration on Autonomous Worlds. We will soon be releasing details about upcoming efforts, including hackathons and ecosystem grants. These initiatives will further stimulate creativity and innovation within the Lootverse, bringing us closer to the realization of AW.
AGLD is committed to building Autonomous Worlds that embody the principles of decentralization, transparency, fairness, and most importantly community sovereignty. We believe that this is the inevitable next step in the evolution of blockchain adoption and we are excited to be at the forefront of this revolution.