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On MoonDAO's Unending Ambition to Decentralize The Space Industryby@penworth
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On MoonDAO's Unending Ambition to Decentralize The Space Industry

by Olayimika Oyebanji February 25th, 2022
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MoonDAO, a crypto collective founded last November, made history as the third-highest funded DAO on JuiceBox, a leading crypto funding platform. Its mission, a short declaration of intent, is oriented towards the decentralization of the space industry. There is a growing tendency to put DAOs under the microscope as justified by the question of whether a DAO is truly an autonomous entity or a mere fad. But if it fails it will potentially serve as a case study on DAOs or an inquiry into why they fail.

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Following a funding round that amounted to a whopping $8.3 million in January, MoonDAO, a crypto collective founded last November, made history as the third-highest funded DAO on JuiceBox, a leading crypto funding platform. Its mission, a short declaration of intent, is oriented towards the decentralization of the space industry. But how far can it go?


MoonDAO will stop at nothing to decentralize the space industry, or so it seems, and with a consortium of 1,000 crypto investors throwing the weight of its 2,620 ETH behind it, chances are that the days of space monopoly are numbered and that the age of the DAO is upon us.


There is now, however, a growing tendency to put DAOs under the microscope as justified by the question of whether a DAO is truly an autonomous entity or a mere fad. Aren’t DAOs supposed to function like autonomous robots once they reach their full potential? At what point do DAOs become self-governing and unmanned?


DAOs by their very nature are autonomous organizations that are built on the notion of blockchain governance. They are backed by smart contracts, a set of self-executing codes sitting on a pile of assets, and they distribute tokens to their members as voting rights. At best, they build crypto communities of like-minded people and rally them to a cause or create shared investment opportunities.


The capacity of DAOs to identify as autonomous entities at the very beginning is an unoffending attempt to call attention to the autonomy clause on their roadmaps. What does this signify? That DAOs do not automatically become autonomous in their early days owing to the need to set them on the path of true decentralization and autonomy, something which is often the outcome of dedication rather than lip service.


To this end, what is basically true of MoonDAO is also, for example, true of HyperscaleDAO, a web3 project financing DAO that recently built a vast community of contributors in seven days. In MoonDAO’s case as in HyperscaleDAO’s case, leadership is of paramount importance in bringing the founders’ vision to life. This, notwithstanding the differences, establishes a case for a purpose-driven DAO leadership that neither arrogates power to itself nor claims credits for the DAO’s success in any ramifications. After all, the unwritten rule to remember is that a DAO must be a blockchain collective with a shared treasury and vision.


Since its founding, MoonDAO has accentuated the quality of being an internet collective and it has a fixed deadline as to when its leadership will be dissolved. According to the team’s disclaimer, the responsibility for MoonDAO is a fiduciary one or what in legal terminology is called "locus parentis", and expires upon its maturity. In other words, there is a need to guide the DAO until it can find its own feet and walk on its own without denying its intended purpose.


MoonDAO’s 2022 Outer Space Mission


From the very first day that Corey and Kogero founded MoonDAO, the purpose it is destined to serve in the space industry has been crystal clear. But it must first make true of its capability to pose a challenge to what is currently a monopolized industry. To do this, it seems it must first accomplish its 2022 goal of sending multiple members of its DAO to outer space and then become the first to ever do so in the crypto space.


There is, as one may suspect, a strong likelihood that embarking on such an ambitious space travel project presages yet another DAO boom implying that the initiative was carried through the conspicuous failure of Constitutional DAO last November. Nonetheless, as MoonDAO’s ambition in the space industry is in no small measure, there has to be a vast army of naysayers and anti-crypto enthusiasts to unleash a FUD that will run its course.


If it succeeds, its mission statement, “one small step for a DAO, one giant leap for DAO-kind”, will finally come to life unleashing a torrential amount of disruption in the space industry. But if it fails it will potentially serve as a case study on DAOs or an inquiry into why DAOs fail as one of the least possible options.


Its chances of succeeding, although threatened by the legal hurdles it must overcome, are on the high side. And there is now a growing tendency to see DAOs running into legal pits when the question of whether they function as legal personalities is broached. At the end of the day, the law wants to determine the legal capacity of DAOs to make a contract or enter into any corporate agreements. This, rather than being an exception, is the stark reality in MoonDAO’s case.


A community treasury protected against crypto volatility, a well-organized community of volunteers and space enthusiasts across the world, and a DAO inching closer to overcoming its legal hurdle. These vivid pictures are those of MoonDAO’s status quo and they are no mere figments of anyone’s imagination. They are, in point of fact, the sweet-bitter experiences of its $Mooney-holding members who are eligible for MoonDAO’s POAP(Proof of Attendance Protocol).


The Rough Road To Soft Reservation

In late January, MoonDAO was finally able to secure what was termed as “soft reservation’ after two rounds of negotiations with the Blue Origin team. Although there were NDAs, the two issues that came to light and stalemated the first round of negotiation were the mode of payment for Blue Origin’s space tickets and the legal standing of MoonDAO in the scheme of things.


As a policy, Blue Origin does not recognize crypto as a mode of payment for its tickets and it is not disposed to do business with an entity that lacks a legal capacity of its own. In point of fact, the tactical handling of the negotiation by the Blue Origin team can be regarded as a calculated move to avoid swaying public opinion in favour of crypto. It can also be seen as an informed decision that was the result of understanding how the media would readily pounce on Blue Origin if it adopts crypto.


Notwithstanding the rough road to the soft reservation, MoonDAO’ is undeterred in its ambition to become the first decentralized space travel and exploration DAO in the world and has a demonstrated willingness to pursue it through a new policy direction which will enable it to form a company and covert a significant amount of its Ether to USD. This, rather than being an exemption, is the rule it must comply with to formally execute a transaction with Blue Origin.


MoonDAO’s Philosophy Simplified


MoonDAO’s anti-monopoly posturing has some truth to it when it is viewed as a reaction to the overwhelming control blue-chip companies such as Space X, Blue Origin, etc., exercise over the space industry. In other words, the reality of space travel in 2022 is that it is the game of the rich and the powerful when it ought to be within everyone's reach.


To quote Pablo, a leader of the collective, "So far in history, space exploration has been gated to the rest of the world — accessible to only the privileged. MoonDAO changes this for the first time in history”


Also published here.