Star Atlas launched its three tier DAO governance system this week. And though only the first tier is live, the main Star Atlas DAO, this marks the beginning of what should be an interesting series of sub-DAO launches and player governance.

Player DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) for games are not new, though only a few projects have actively implemented them. Now Star Atlas joins that list, with the release of their Star Atlas DAO. Players lock POLIS tokens in the ‘locker’ for up to five years to receive voting rights in the DAO.

Star Atlas DAO

DAO staking chart

Governed by the POLIS token, players gain voting rights in the DAO by locking POLIS in the Star Atlas staking system. Voting weight, or Polis Voting Power (PVP), is based on the number of tokens locked, and the amount of time they are locked away. Stakers will also receive passive income in the form of POLIS tokens. In the future, active participation may be required in order to receive these rewards.

The DAO will govern via POLIS Improvement Proposals, or PIPs. The Star Atlas team is drafting PIP-1, which outlines the creation and processing of future PIPs. Passing of PIP-1 will lead to several other PIPs detailing the organization and framework of the DAO. The DAO will have voting power over a wide variety of game development decisions in the future, including new features, partnerships, etc. But, most likely, the areas of immediate interest will be the taxation rate of game activity, and usage of the DAO treasury, which currently sits at over 200 million ATLAS tokens!

Within the game, there are also Faction and Regional DAOs. Regional DAOs cover one star system, while Faction DAOs make decisions for an entire Faction. These will come later, and will likely have some of their rules defined by the overarching DAO. And on top of that, guilds and other player groups will function like mini-DAOS in-game!

This could all lead to some interesting developments. But it could also result in toxic politics and suffocating layers of bureaucracy. It will be very interesting to watch as both a game and social experiment!

Dual Token System

Star Atlas features two tokens, POLIS and ATLAS. ATLAS functions as the in-game currency, while POLIS exists on-chain for participation in the Star Atlas DAO.

In some of my other articles I’ve questioned the need for two tokens on some gaming ecosystems. But yesterday, it finally clicked for me. In some countries, every cryptocurrency transaction is considered taxable. And legally, users are supposed to record and report on every single one. Now, if the primary in-game token was a cryptocurrency, then ALL of those in-game transactions, whether it be upgrading a sword, or buying goods from the market, or spending currency to finish your battleship, would be taxable! And that would be a nighmare for everyone involved.

And so, if you have a token that is in-game only, and allow players to swap it out for the related blockchain currency, then players only see taxable events when they convert and cash out. It makes total sense and also shows how ridiculous some tax laws can be!

What is Star Atlas?

Star Atlas is an upcoming space-based, massively multiplayer game. Built on the Solana blockchain, all game logic, transactions, and ownership are stored on-chain. Star Atlas will be a grand strategy hybrid space game with serverless MMO gameplay. All gameplay runs in real-time, and uses the blockchain to give players ownership over in-game items. Star Atlas plans to add economic-based gameplay mechanics and implement an economic system inspired by decentralized finance.

All ships, space stations, and land installations have weapons and shields for attack and defense. Gamers upgrade space stations and installations through community efforts. While space ship commanders assign crew members to improve the ship’s performance. The choice for your crew influences your career, ranging from data runner to bounty hunter.

Even though the official AAA game release is some ways out, players can already choose sides and stake their ships to earn rewards.

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