It is not enough to just use the word Governance.
It is not enough to just say Community.
It is not meaningful to regurgitate the phrase Digital Nation.
It is not enough to simply hope and pray things will work out.
We must provide our best attributes, employ our relentless efforts, and find our highest wisdom to bring this effort into reality.
When I joined the Axie Infinity Community in March 2020, I began to read and research everything I could about Axie Infinity. Its plans. Its proposals. Its failures. Its dreams. Its mind, its heart, and its soul. I was already a convert to the concept of digital currency and had longed for digital asset rights and ownership. After nearly two months of dabbling, I decided that it was a place for me. During those two months I got to know the heart: the Community. I got to know the mind: the Development team, Sky Mavis. And I got to know the soul, which was a combination of roadmaps, concepts, art, discussions, ideas and the like. It was a beautiful combination, a thought experiment turned into reality through the power and facilitation of web3.
Fast forward more than two years. Some of it has been painful (Ronin hack, economic downturn, development delays). Some of it has been utterly joyful (explosive DAU, asset prices on the rise, Community growth). And still we are not much closer to 1) “governance” and 2) access to the Community Treasury. And, while I am as impatient as anyone, I think that allowing things to develop – to brew, or distill, or percolate (choose your metaphor) – has actually been a very good thing. Conceptually through the efforts of members of the Sky Mavis team, particularly the Community liaison Syntax, we have started a new pathway forward.
Governance Concepts and Innovation.
Traditionally web3 governance has been almost a complete failure. Just as Axie Infinity has been an innovator in the web3 gaming space, I see an incredible opportunity to innovate the failed opportunity that has been “web3 governance.” How can this difficult task be rethought, reshaped and renovated?
For several months the group known as the “Town Builders” have been hard at work tackling exactly this issue. For example, too much authority given to uninvested community members results in improperly vesting power to non-stakeholders. On the other hand, too much authority given to asset holders who simply amass tokens results in giant stakeholders voting their own positions through typical web3 governance, usually resulting in selfish decisions that can devastate a project or community. While all of these potential problems have yet to be fully weighed and measured, the Axie Infinity Contributors Initiative has been carefully crafted to address the onslaught of governance elements that will face Axie Infinity as it transitions into a digital nation. The Axie Community is resilient, inventive and creative.
So, enter the Contributors of Axie Infinity.
Axie Infinity Contributors.
I expect that the role of Contributor is something that will evolve and change over time. Some ignored the call to the Contributor role, and future opportunities will allow those who missed out on this “season zero” to become involved and engage with this initiative. Anyone who makes meaningful contributions to the Axie Infinity Community should eventually qualify to receive the role of Contributor. This will only be the beginning of what will be possible through the Contributor Initiative.
Gating meaningful governance activities to Contributors is highly sensible. This ensures that those who are actually, actively engaged in the Axie Infinity Community are those who are among the pool of participants who qualify to participate in higher level governance activities. For example, it will become necessary to define many terms, conditions, rules, obligations, rights, privileges, expectations, powers, and so forth for the Axie Digital Nation that is only just now nearing birth. We have been in embryo and the fetal stage until now – but the time is nearing for our transition.
Before continuing to discuss some ideas and concepts that are likely to be important for governance in the future of the Axie Infinity digital nation, I would like to share some points of my own personal philosophy. In co-creating AxieChat and as I have engaged with the Axie Infinity Community, I am rather opinionated, involved and can be somewhat obstinate. However, my goal is not to coerce opinion or generate mindless followers. I care little for engagement for the sake of engagement. Instead, AxieChat was created so that those involved and the dialog within consist of free thinkers, with independent thoughts and ideas. While I fully expect people to be integrous and follow through with their word and their promises, I am extremely opposed to dogmatic systems or giving an idea credence simply because it came from a revered source seen as being important or having authority. Therefore, the thoughts I now share are to be thought about and considered. I dearly hope that you might find yourself aligned with them, but they are not sacred or infallible.
How, then, do we move forward with governance as a digital nation?
Fundamentally, it is important that Contributors naturally find themselves gregariously forming into areas of interest. In Axie Infinity, this will likely mean that some of the Contributors will be most interested in one or more of the following areas (not an exhaustive list): Axie Treasury (Executive), Axie Core, Axie Origins, Axie Land, Axie Builders Programs, Axie Governance (Rule Proposals), Axie Economics, Axie Content and Axie Rare Assets. As people tend to group into one or more of these subjects, it feels sensible that councils will naturally (or by design) arise from these groups.
The need to define terms, structures and governance tasks will be crucial very early on in this process. In this regard, having a Constitution or Magna Carta would make a lot of sense. In this document, terms could be considered and formal structures – including the manner and method for amendments – would be laid out as a governing document with principles. For example, a “lunacian” might be anyone who is Axie curious and/or owns any Axie assets, whereas a “contributor” might be a full citizen with the ability to fully participate in Axie Governance, which might be required in order to sit on any Governance councils. An outline of Axie Score could be determined and described as well as methods for implementing AXS voting and modifiers based on the Axie Score. Each of the various councils could be described and their interactions with one another could be outlined. Minimum and maximum numbers of council members and their makeup (example: one-fourth or one-third being Sky Mavis team members, but never a majority) could be determined and put into effect. It would make sense and be good practice to include and have checks and balances between the various interest groups and councils of Axie Infinity. Determining the manner and method for AXS voting and, potentially, for delegating AXS to others for voting, needs to be considered, debated and decided on. These are just a sampling of governance topics that need to be considered.
All of this leads me to the hope that one of the largest events for the next season (and maybe for the history of Axie), Contributors Season One, would be to select delegate representatives from the Axie Contributors and hold a Constitutional Convention. This will allow us to have a baseline, governing foundational document for the future of the Axie Infinity Digital Nation, created by the Axie Infinity Community.
This information is presented in the spirit of inspiring cooperation, joint vision and alignment on the potential first steps for the Contributors. I hope that this might be helpful in generating thought, discussion and action within the Axie Community! I would be more than happy to discuss these and other thoughts surrounding Axie Governance, please do not hesitate to chat with me in the Axie #Contributors channel!