This post introduces our proposed governance mechanism for Taho.
The heart of the mechanism is competition between subDAOs for $TAHO emissions. Users will primarily interact with the mechanism through Subscape, a browser-based map control game in which each subDAO occupies territory on the map.
Subscape takes place in a virtual world, The Island, made up of 24 federated Realms. Each Realm is governed by an elected Guarda and shares borders with other Realms.
Realms compete with each other for $TAHO emissions, which are released four times a year, at the end of each 3-month Seasons. Realms compete both indirectly (through having more Stake), and directly (through Sieging one another).
Within each Realm, Guardians control how experience points (XP) are distributed amongst that Realm’s Citizens. Citizens receive a share of their Realm’s $TAHO in proportion to their total XP. They can choose which Realm to join and elect their Guardians.
A Realm is one of the 24 territories of The Island.
Each Realm has a Guarda (elected by that Realm’s Citizens), which receives a fixed-size allocation of XP that they can distribute to their Citizens. The Guarda decides on what sort of behaviors/actions are valuable to their Realm, and then publishes a Merkle drop to distribute the XP accordingly.
Realms have Levels which follow a progression of Frontier → Outpost → City → Metropolis. Each step requires their Citizens to stake more total $TAHO to reach. Any Realm can have an Outpost with sufficient staked $TAHO, but in order to have a City, none of the adjacent Realms can have a City. In order to have a Metropolis, none of the adjacent Realms can have a Metropolis. If a Realm is successfully Sieged, it resets back to a Frontier. Realms are incentivized to siege adjacent Realms so they can uplevel and maximize their share of $TAHO emissions.
We expect there to be a steady state ~13 Outposts, ~6 Cities, and ~5 Metropolises.
$TAHO supply inflates by 5% annually, split into 4 Seasons (~1.25% every ~3 months). These end-of-season emissions serve as the main reward and motivators for play. Outposts cumulatively receive 25% of emissions. Cities receive 30% of emissions. Metropolises receive 45%, all split evenly.
Example: The current $TAHO supply is 3B. Seasons this year emit 37.5M $TAHO. Outposts would split ~9.4M evenly, Cities would split 11.25M evenly, and Metropolises would split ~16.9M evenly.
If there are 13 Outposts, each Outpost receives ~720K. If there are 6 Cities, each City receives ~1.9M. If there are 5 Metropolises, each Metropolis receives ~3.4M.
Citizens can earn XP by completing Quests. Quests are behaviors deemed valuable (and XP-worthy), by their Realm’s Guarda. The Guarda is in charge of creating and maintaining their Realm’s Questline.
At the end of a Season, a Citizen can claim a portion of their Realm’s seasonal $TAHO emissions based on the amount of XP they hold. If they wish, Citizens can also trade XP–to either divest from a Realm or double down and claim more $TAHO. Each Realm’s XP is unique, and not fungible with other Realms’ XP.
Example: A public goods-centered Realm might award XP for Quests relating to working on grants, funding grants, and staking in the Realm. During a season, Citizens will complete Quests to Earn XP. At the end of a season, they will claim $TAHO based on the amount of XP they hold.
Each Realm has 5 elected Guardians decided by a Citizen vote. Guardians serve a term of 2 seasons, and elections are staggered so that half of the Guardians are up for re-election each season. A Realm’s Guarda governs their Realm, making choices like; how XP is distributed, what they would like their Realm to be called, and any decisions involved in a Siege.
All of the Guarda from all of the Realms combined form The Council. The Council is in charge of governing Subscape as a whole. They are in charge of game-wide parameters, like the percentage of emissions each Level of Realm receives and how much to inflate the supply every year. This is ‘the DAO’, effectively, and it controls the treasury and the revenue.
Citizens have the opportunity to veto changes made in their own Realm, as well as any change The Council makes.
The Guarda of a Realm can attempt to Siege another Realm, which carries both risk and reward. We expect Realms to siege adjacent Realms of the same level (Outpost, City, Metropolis), so they can level up and earn more seasonal $TAHO emissions.
For a Siege to begin, attackers first choose a day for the Siege to take place. Then, both Realms have 24 hours to burn $TAHO before a battle takes place. Each side attempts to independently secure three objectives—success at securing these objectives is resolved randomly based on $TAHO burned relative to the other Realm:
- Burned <= 1x Opposition: 50%
- 1x < Burned <= 1.5x Opposition: 60%
- 1.5x < Burned <= 2x Opposition: 70%
- 2x < Burned <= 3x Opposition: 80%
- 3x < Burned <= 4x Opposition: 90%
- 4x < Burned: 100%
If the attackers secure at least as many objectives as their opposition, the opposition’s Realm is reduced to a Frontier. Regardless of outcome, for each objective a Realm secures, their Guarda may pick one of the following options (they may pick the same option multiple times):
- Capture: Steal 10% of the other Realm’s XP.
- Loot: Steal 5% of the other Realm’s end-of-season emissions.
- Raze: Delete all XP earned in the other Realm.
- Guard: Prevent a Capture result.
- Fortify: Prevent a Pillage result.
- Ice: Prevent a Raze result.
Splitting up the population into 24 Realms achieves several design goals simultaneously:
- It creates a mosaic “overworld” view of web3’s various communities (at least those communities sponsoring Realms), and enables users to select their “home” within it.
- It fosters Realm vs Realm competition via the border tension implied by neighbors limiting each other’s progression.
- It fosters intra-Realm competition via per-Realm XP leaderboards.
We aim to provide a sense of choose-your-own-adventure (since different Realms offer different opportunities), and we expect each Realm to have their own strong identity (and their own Discord server, etc). The hope here is for this to play out like Guilds in MMORPGs and have those control regions (with the associated drama) like in EVE Online.
Players can buy $TAHO, use that $TAHO to vote themselves into a Guardian position in a Realm, and then use their Guardian position to decide how XP is earned (and consequently how much $TAHO via end-of-season Emissions). This means that web3 projects are providing the price utility for the $TAHO token.
This effectively makes the $TAHO token a way to buy user’s time and attention, similar to how $CRV is ultimately a way to direct the user’s liquidity to your token.
Having emissions that aren’t based on stake rate means that the less stakers there are, the more profitable staking is (and the more there are, the less profitable staking is). A 33% stake rate implies 15% APR, a 50% stake rate implies 10% APR, and a 66% stake rate implies ~7.5% APR.
By emitting $TAHO seasonally, there is a fixed amount of $TAHO in play for a particular season. Since $TAHO payouts are only at the end of a season, Citizens and Guardians are incentivized to nurture their Realm for the whole season to maximize their end-of-season reward.
A Realm’s Guarda proposes and publicly publishes a Quest that scrapes (mostly on-chain) data from wherever they want (likely Dune), and uses that to distribute a capped supply of 1M XP each week per Realm.
$TAHO is only emitted seasonally, so we need an interim currency to reflect ongoing work and contribution. Having this additional token (which is Realm-specific, unlike $TAHO) also allows users to speculate on the end-of-season $TAHO emissions.
The amount of $TAHO a Citizen receives at the end of a season is based on how much XP they’re holding, as well as the Level of the Realm. If a user predicts that their Realm will level-up before the end of the season, the future value of their XP is higher than the current value, and so they might want to buy other’s XP. If a user predicts that their Realm will be Sieged and end the season at a lower level, they might want to sell their XP.
Finally, having the extra token gives us more options for objective rewards during a Siege.
Our governance system is heavily inspired by bits of the US government. Direct democracy works well for small, politically active, homogenous populations. Otherwise, it leads to tyranny of the majority and we’d like to make sure that minority views are getting adequate representation. Representative government is just one way to accomplish this, but is exceedingly clean and efficient.
Since each Realm has its own Guarda, each Realm can react to the evolving web3 ecosystem in their own way, at their own pace, with similar benefits as having different local governments within a federal government.
Sieges are what turn Subscape from a gamified utility mining platform into an actual game. Since it is likely that both sides of a Siege secure at least one objective, and since the rewards are asymmetric and highly impactful, we expect this to create high drama and espionage. We expect communities to enlist spies and other subterfuge in order to improve their objective reward criteria and pick strategic times to launch Sieges.
Since participating in a Siege requires liquid $TAHO, this creates financial games where it can be rewarding to own all of the liquid $TAHO, so that one’s rivals have a hard time defending themselves.
Finally, this serves as a countermeasure against inactive junk Realms attempting to passively earn $TAHO.