Part 1: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This is Part 1 of a three part series by our founder Pablo Moncada-Larrotiz on how MoonDAO will get to the Moon. Read Part 2: The Mission or Part 3: The Plan.

MoonDAO has been in operation since late 2021 and it’s been a long time since we’ve had the opportunity to reflect on our journey so far. Now, nearly two years later, it feels like the right time to share some reflections and lessons learned at MoonDAO and some of the big picture developments and trajectory of our organization, especially in light of the passing of the executive branch, a big change in the operational structure of MoonDAO. 

MoonDAO is incredibly lucky to have such a talented and faithful group of people that have been through thick and thin, and I’m honored to be elected the first leader of the DAO. I can look at every individual here and say with confidence that we would not be here today without every single person who has given us a unique perspective and aid in crucial moments. Although I’m honored about the outcome of the election, there are a lot of things on my mind in accepting the position and what it means for MoonDAO. I’d like to paint a picture of where we’ve been, where we are today, and where we’re going together.

My aim is to recount some of the stories, achievements, and lessons we’ve left behind us, and illuminate the path before us to hopefully dispel some of the shadows that cause people uncertainty or worry, and restore the faith that comes with certainty in our Mission and Values.

I try to address all the questions that I get about MoonDAO here, and reading it back now, I think it’s the most important piece of writing I’ve done for MoonDAO, being the culmination of nearly two years of conversations with the community about the path forward for MoonDAO.

The Good

We have survived the crypto downturn. This is no easy task, and required a high level of fitness to ensure we could continue to operate within the volatility of the market. Many other DAOs did not fare well. The DAO herd is very thin from the peak of the crypto cycle, very few have been able to sustain themselves through the downturn.‍

Through a prescient and simple treasury strategy we were able to diversify into stable coins before the downturn took full effect, and conserve a decent portion of the ETH we started with, having ~1/3 of the total ETH still in our treasury, after spending ~1/3 on purchasing our tickets to space and sending someone to space, and using the other ~1/3 to operate for nearly two years and fund a multitude of other initiatives. We’ve been able to operate with a very low burn rate, and as things stabilize in the market we have an opportunity to look further towards the horizon and future.‍

In the depths of a downturn market, we’ve been able to focus on building a foundation that can scale up, but before getting into those plans, let’s look back on our path.‍

In the beginning of 2022, we raised 2,600+ ETH within a month with the dream of sending people to space. With over 2,000 people participating from all over the world, we were able to purchase two seats to go to space and successfully sent the first DAO-voted person into space, a first of its kind internet movement.‍

From that high, we built a strong core group of contributors through a decentralized model for funding projects at MoonDAO, becoming one of the most sophisticated and mature DAO structures using quadratic voting and retroactive reward systems for decentralized compensation to support teams that have pulled us forward across multiple initiatives from our community like our first mission to the Moon, and ZeroG tickets with three astronauts (including a Moonwalker).‍

We launched a new tokenomics and governance model with vMOONEY, provided funding towards nonprofits, and engaged the broader space community with talks at the largest space conferences in the world. This allowed us to not only break into the crypto sector, but also get a seat at the table with some of the biggest players in the space ecosystem.‍

We’ve been able to find alignment through a Constitution and a method of delegating work to core groups through our Project system, all while hosting one of the largest sweepstakes the crypto world has ever seen to send someone into space.

We funded teams working hard to create the platform for us to coordinate on future missions, including a new web application and MoonDAO marketplace, a foundation that will help us scale.‍

We worked hard for over a year to try and get the first Chinese national to participate in the US space program, what would have been a huge win for peace between two superpowers, but ultimately were not able to get him into the USA. Even with that setback, there is opportunity, and we will have the chance to redraw for another winner to go to space.

Today, with all these milestones under our belt, we are one of the leaders in DAOs and DeSci, and the largest space DAO by an order of magnitude with nearly 12,000 token holders, trailblazing forward into green pastures, but also entering a dark forest of novel problems that few other DAOs have solved before us.

The Bad

We have faced a lot as a community. We have faced naysayers, scammers, accusations of being scammers ourselves, and people that don’t take us seriously when they hear that we are going to the Moon.

We do mean it, though. We are going to the Moon. Although this may invite the ridicule of some, I think it’s worth addressing the gravity of the Mission and how seriously we take it.

I’d like to direct my attention briefly towards some of the criticism we’ve faced about our Mission, even if we don’t agree with them here, because they are noisy and fill the ears of some around us, and I hope that this can clear some things up about who we are and what we are doing.

Firstly, there are some people that simply regard the mission as too ambitious and difficult. For them, it’s impossible. They say to us:

“How will you actually go to the Moon? Isn’t that only something governments and billionaires can do? Don’t you need billions of dollars? Technical know-how? Where is that coming from? What does a group of random internet people actually do when it comes to Space? Just talk about how cool the Moon is? What can you do to make this possible? Why are you anything but charlatans trying to pump a crypto token?”

These are the voices that circle around, distracting us and breaking down confidence in ourselves, and we can ignore these voices, but I’d rather face them head on. 

They might go on: “The most likely explanation given they’re in crypto, is that they are nothing more than a scam artists that are trying to steal money from others so that it all goes into their own pocket, misleading people with a mission that is not only impossible, but might be grandiose enough to lead the blind true believers into moving money into their own pocket. Why else would they use crypto, right? Sending money to large organizations simply to send a YouTuber to space? What does that achieve? Nothing. It’s a joke.”

Add on top of these types of naysayers the mass of people that hate space in general, thinking it an escapist fantasy, an ego-driven delusion of grandeur, wanting to win and conquer in their name and leave the rest of us to pay the bill through taxes or climate catastrophe. Maybe space is just an elaborate national propaganda to launder money from the taxpayers and into the pockets of a few defense manufacturers.

So, even if the so-called Mission were possible, then doing so would be at the expense of all of our problems here on Earth — or maybe, the most doomer blackpill of it all, space is just another lie that our government tells us, simply a means of lying to the people, Hollywood creations to deceive the masses into thinking that their money is being put to interesting use and not just funneled to the bankers, politicians, and CEOs in bed with them. A psyop to keep us from the real truth of the world. We’ve become so accustomed to our own government lying to us that space itself comes into question. The Earth? Flat. Space? Fake. Aliens? Hmm.

The Ugly

Those voices exist, but they are usually outside of our organization, however we face another set of criticism from within. Even though they are within our own community, many of the crypto gamblers that initially started with MoonDAO laugh at the lunatics that think they can overcome human nature and escape the gambling and stealing of the hordes of crypto degens. These are the hardest voices to overcome.‍

I will freely admit when MoonDAO started it was lighthearted, we aimed to simply purchase an asteroid or send someone to space, and we had far-off dreams of someday being something much more serious. Today we have achieved those first goals in our roadmap, and it’s time to shift into a more serious organization, and it’s time that we take ourselves seriously too.

There is a problem of faith even within some of the token holders in our organization, that are here to make money from a token rather than here for the Mission. This is the hardest pessimism to overcome, because it is internal. It is a fight for the soul of the organization, are we really going to the Moon, or is this just a pump and dump?

We have dealt with all kinds of scammers and unscrupulous people. We’ve dealt with token pumpers, social engineering hackers, even death threats, and we have actively tried to drive those people out and set up better gatekeeping mechanisms to prevent people from steering MoonDAO towards being the crypto norm. Working in crypto is not for the faint of heart, and just as these tools have immense power to make the world better, they have power to destroy too.

We’ve dealt with all kinds of people that try to manipulate our organization for their financial advantage, and worked hard to root them out. It was not easy though, it seems like it’s an upstream battle to have a totally open and transparent community and not let a few bad apples in that try to wreak havoc.

To address some of these issues we were able to pass a constitution that put voting power into the long-term optimists versus the short-term speculators through our new tokenomics model. We were also recently able to pass the Executive Branch proposal that allows a focused team to work and operate the core functions of the DAO, and although this has centralization risk it is held accountable by the Senate, the leaders of all the diverse projects at MoonDAO, like: Credibly neutral lunar communications, the internationalization and translation team, our first Mission to the Moon with Lifeship, our Marketplace team, our MoonDAO App, and many other great initiatives in the DAO. The leaders of those projects alongside the token holders have the power to keep the executive team in balance as they navigate the way forward.

The most important part when it comes to the executive branch is to move the DAO forward towards the ultimate vision, and to illuminate the path forward towards our Mission. This is what I am attempting to do with this article.

To believe in the Mission of the organization requires a perception shift not just from the outside, but within too, and it’s a difficult one to achieve. Those with the technical know-how of the traditional world outside of crypto often have the perception that crypto is a scam, and those within it have lived to see the scams with their own eyes. There are many that simply want to pull their money out right as the lunacy is at its peak. Who can blame them? There are too many examples of crypto being simply a game of cheating, and why should we be any different? For the crypto degens, despite using the tools of crypto, they do not necessarily share the values. They’d rather use the tools to make money and go back to the current world. In their mind, crypto is nothing more than a fast money making scheme, and the people talking about values are just propaganda on top.

How do we make this perspective change to use crypto as a tool to coordinate towards a shared Mission? How do we restore faith in DAOs? How do we restore faith in the Mission of our organization?


Yes, these are all the criticisms we face as a community, all the reasons why people think we will fail, and now as its leader this weight falls heavily on my shoulders as their so-called king of the lunatics. They want to shame us and to take down what we’ve built, and prevent us from actually believing that we can change things and do something positive.

I’m here to respond to their accusations, and to prove that not only is our Mission possible, but that there is a fear that we might actually prove them wrong and succeed past their wildest imagination.

However, before I discuss where they’re wrong, I’d like to give them credit where they are due, and discuss where they are right. Sometimes the criticisms are not only true, but true within the highest levels of our organization that we’ve trusted to help secure us. There have been many cases where someone claimed to want the best of the community, only to run off when it’s convenient and leave others to pick up the pieces. To cheat and take money. Yes, we have had to deal with multiple people close to us that also believe that we are nothing more than a money moving organization, a pot of gold that should be maximized to go into their own pocket over the next, with little faith that we will achieve our long-term objective.

Sometimes, the criticisms get into the heads of our own leadership, and switch them into a mindset of scarcity, and of maximization for themselves at the expense of the whole. The noise from outside gets into their heads: This will not work, it will not grow, so I need to take it for myself. To be candid, sometimes these doubts have found their way into my own mind, especially when it comes from those close to my ear, and it takes someone to snap you out of it to realize that we are letting the pessimism of the masses corrupt the faith of the organization.

I’m here to restore faith in the organization.

However, we don’t want blind faith, I want to lay out a full vision for how we can actually achieve our mission of reaching towards the stars. A roadmap, an attitude, and an ultimate vision that pushes humanity forward just a little bit more. Again, I’m not asking for blind faith, just an open mind.

There are three things I want to achieve here:

  1. Our Mission is worthwhile.
  2. Our Mission is possible. It’s difficult, but possible.
  3. The Plan.


First I’ll start with why our mission is worthwhile.

In general, the common thread among all these attacks and accusations stem in part through a mentality of scarcity — an ingrained perception of our limits — but also a perception of reality — of the common outcome, what usually happens. And why should anyone expect differently? Why would MoonDAO be any different?

There are many people in this world that believe there is a finite set of resources. The pie is what it is, and what someone else has is something that necessarily must be at the expense of someone else.

So if someone is spending resources to go to Space, then it must be at the expense of problems that need to be fixed here on Earth. Like a bucket of crabs where one is trying to aim higher, the rest of them pull them down.

The fixed-pie perspective is an anti-diversity worldview, since there is a finite set of resources we must all align on what is right and fund that, and anything else is a distraction to be shut down. Those who step out of the mainstream are doing so at the expense of their core initiatives. Those with different beliefs should be shamed. Believing that there is a set amount of scarce resources and production that can occur, and that we cannot create value from nothing, so it must come from somewhere or someone else: The capital must be extracted at the expenses of The Earth, The People — and as a result, so they believe, the capitalist system that we have must be extracting from others and just a sophisticated form of centralizing the money into the hands of a few people at the expense of everyone else.

Many of these people believe in degrowth, limits on growth, limits on consumption. Total decarbonizing of the economy. Controlling what people buy to reduce consumption. Top-down control is necessary. We need the whole globe on board. We must march in lockstep. Mandated, for your own good.

Some of the people in that camp want us to reduce consumption to be living like our ancestors in accordance with nature — not in our hyper-capitalist extractivist climate destruction — but actually: To their credit, this I partially agree with, we should absolutely live in accordance with nature.

‍We should respect the knowledge of our ancestors. We should respect the Earth, the Moon, the divinity of our Food and our Water. We should preserve and sustain all life on Earth. There is no disagreement there. However we should do something that our ancestors also did: Cultivate a garden on Earth and grow her seeds. Earth has the incredible maternal property of abundance when properly cared for, we should Steward the Earth. Grow its resources and potential. She wants to see her children thrive. Seek new frontiers. Go out into the unknown.

‍Fundamentally, I agree in the absolute protection of Gaia, Mother Earth, Pachamama, whatever you may call her in your own tongue or belief system. However, I am asking that people stop thinking that they run the Earth, that they are Gods to dictate what is best, and realize that they Steward the Earth, but are not in control of it. She can sustain us all if we care for her. She can grow, and we should plant her seeds on new worlds.

‍I am asking people to look towards abundance. Look towards optimism. See the magnificent potential in front of us. And move towards that, to stop focusing on all the reasons why we can’t do something, and start looking at the possibilities of “What if…”

‍The people who think you can’t do it, that think we are potentially doomed, that think we are stagnant, they want to limit our growth. Limit our potential. Keep control, and humiliate or castrate anyone who dares to question or step out of line with the conformity or the top-down mandated plan. Those who know better than you. They laugh at those in the Arena attempting to change things, and criticize them to oblivion for even trying.

Look at the Moon-men, the lunatics, the ones who think they can go to the Moon. Idiots. They are doing it out of Male-dominance, ego, their penis-shaped rockets piercing the sky to rape other worlds as they have raped our own. Tyrants and fools driven by their insecurity.

‍Who can blame those accusers though? When they have so many examples of people doing just that. Colonizers coming to destroy natives, kill them off, and install machines that extract and don’t replenish the Earth. They might be shocked to hear that we have a common enemy. We are not colonizers, we are settlers.

‍Yet, let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater, not all people who want to explore new worlds are bad. Not all people are here to extract unsustainably to fuel their never-ending ambition for more wealth, status, and power. Some want to Steward the Earth and see her expand to other planets.

‍Fundamentally, we must grow the pie. We must continue to expand and grow just like everything in nature is doing all the time. Things that are not busy growing, are busy dying.

‍Most disagreements on Earth are because of the perception of scarcity, yet there is abundance all around us. We must grow a garden that sustains us, and there are multiple methods of addressing the scarcity we face: there are plenty of things here on Earth that we can do like using more Nuclear and Solar, but another is to grow our ability to access more resources and bring them back for the benefit of Earth.

‍We need growth, sustainable growth, and a new clean slate to see the world anew again. As we go out into the unknown, onto new planets, it gives us the chance to rethink things. This is why the frontier has been so compelling and romanticized. It’s a place where cowboys and pirates alike go out and reconstitute a new dream. Something new.

‍The Moon will be a launch point for us to explore the rest of the cosmos. Once we are outside of Earth’s gravity well we can use the Lunar resources to cheaply send probes to other worlds. The Moon will be the foundation for getting to Mars and other planets, being only three days away versus three months away, we can quickly iterate on habitats, life support systems, and in-situ resource utilization

‍So far I hope I’ve convinced you that pushing humanity forward into the stars is a worthwhile goal on its own, and it does not need to happen at the expense of other issues here on Earth, and in fact could help mitigate some of those issues by bringing back useful resources and technology that helps us be more sustainable here on Earth — there is a huge precedent of technology that has come from the space program solving unique challenges that could then be commercialized on Earth to improve how we live here on the surface.

The Problem

So, you might be convinced that the goal is worthwhile, now we should look at if it is possible. Is it a pipedream? Can we actually get there? What does success look like? Can we even survive there? Is it a gimmick? Even if we agree that humanity should extend Earth’s consciousness to the stars, how can random people on the internet help? What’s the problem MoonDAO solves?

‍In most cases, I’d agree that the umpteenth space startup will have a marginal if not literally zero impact on the acceleration of a lunar settlement. Still though, the experimentation from all those companies is important, but they all suffer from fundamental constraints outside of the competency of a business to solve. The problem is not with the motivation of individuals, there are plenty of incredibly competent and motivated individuals that want to make a positive contribution towards getting us into space. 

‍MoonDAO is aiming to solve a problem deeper in the stack than a company.

‍Let me be clear, MoonDAO is not a startup, MoonDAO does not aim to become a company, MoonDAO is solving a deeper problem: Coordination.

‍If we look at the stack of human coordination in the legal sense (typically you must have legal definition to access significant capital - since the Nation and Capital have been defined in an intertwined way since Bretton Woods) to get people to collaborate effectively within the capital markets it looks something like this:

  1. A set of contracts that define a Business, within the context of
  2. A set of contracts that define a Nation, within the context of
  3. Whoever has the Bigger Stick

These lines are very blurry. Businesses can exist within multiple Nations, and in some cases one Business can dominate over the Nation itself. Ultimately though, unless you are a criminal and want to operate outside of the rules of a Nation, you are constrained by the next level in the stack.‍

Since the solving of the Byzantine Generals problem we have created a method of accounting in a decentralized way, that has been generalized into a Turing Complete scripting language that can define smart contracts that are no longer enforced by the Bigger Stick, but instead consensus is arbitrated through Work (energy converted into solving a difficult problem in the case of Proof of Work), or capital stake (in the case of Proof of Stake) systems.

As a result, the consensus between Nations no longer necessarily relies on the Bigger Stick. Instead it relies on the consensus of many people from all over the world keeping each other accountable through a decentralized protocol.‍

This is a fundamental change at the lowest level of the stack. Separating Money from Nation. There have been periods in human history where this was also the case, and the result is usually a lower influence at the level of a Nation, and a disbanding of monolithic empires into smaller jurisdictions that locally serve their people better. The long arc of human history can be viewed through the lens of fractionalization and reconsolidation of people from large empires into smaller city-states and back to an empire. Usually the deciding factor was the capacity for offensive violence (e.g. stealing another person’s property) versus the capacity for defense against violence. Encryption protocols have greatly increased any one individual’s capacity for defense against information in a database being manipulated, or in other words the freezing or extraction from a bank account at the behest of the Nation.

Within this new context of collaboration, we can look at the great problem of Lunar Settlement. Something that has been within the domain of nations, is now possibly in the hands of the Network. Rather than large governments being the primary source of funds, the Blockchain has usurped the pole position, and companies that realize this first will stand at a great advantage when it comes to competing in the market. Today a company can access more capital through Blockchain than through a government grant.‍

MoonDAO is here to expand this access. Not as a singular node of control at the command of the biggest faucet of resources, but as a network where the whole becomes larger than the sum of its parts.

We are creating a new economic game. A new platform for companies to collaborate and access the largest network of capital, people, and information to achieve their goals.

Instead of a singular company — we’re building a coordination platform for many companies and individuals from all corners of the world to work together productively. An economic gradient for collaborative competition. Open sharing of resources when it’s necessary, but providing meritocratic incentives to accelerate our progress.


Fundamentally the game we are trying to set up is a collaborative competition.‍

We are not here to fund noncompetitive people doing useless things, or to coordinate politically as a think-tank or NGO to lobby governments, we are here to create games where we define goals up front and then provide funding towards the most efficient and competitive teams from across the world.

We aim to create economic models that blend the competencies of crowdfunding of capital with free-market competition, where money does not go to the best storytellers, but to the most competent that can deliver.

The military aspirationally operates in this way, to some extent, releasing requests for proposals to the contractor that can most efficiently and productively meet the need, this model is relatively opaque for security reasons, and limits access to everyday civilians.

‍Usually it’s a market that drives the machine of progress, but right now we face a large faceless bureaucracy that has goals outside of exploration. As we are creating a separation of power between Nations and Money, this separates Exploration from the grip of the military industrial complex and the occult coercion under the specter of the public eye.

‍Many of the commercial companies today are dependent on these types of grants that come with many strings attached, including that it is illegal to cooperate or receive external funding from foreign adversaries, talk to any engineer in the space industry and they will have tons of stories about the bureaucracy involved with handling strict arms-trafficking regulations, or accessing public markets through strict regulation that keeps control in a tightly-knit group of individuals. 

‍Space technology was born out of nuclear technology. It was birthed from the belly of destruction as a defense technology to send nukes across the Ocean to annihilate our adversaries. This is the lens through which Space still operates. Space is something to be controlled, not to be opened.

Like anything in government, it works slowly, and there isn’t currently a market-driven incentive system to accelerate progress. Usually it would be the domain of venture capital to push this forward, but often the timescales for projects as large as lunar settlement are too long and risky for venture capital, although we are starting to see some positive change here.

‍The largest accelerant of the National agenda is fear driven pressure of foreign adversaries, the same fear that acts as an anxious accelerant also expresses itself through a tight control and bottleneck on any technology or innovation that comes from the siloed companies. Do we need a Manhattan project for Lunar Settlement? Or can we coordinate openly?

‍So, how do we change this? In one word: Accelerate.

‍We must create a game that accelerates progress among those who share the principles and values of open collaboration, and respect the divine rights of human freedom that have resulted in the most prosperous age in human history.

‍There is some risk here to open-sourcing a lot of this technology, but the bet is that by opening the technology to more people we will see collaboration push the speed, and in some cases overcome the large centralized actors, and prevent any one tyrannical actor from having a dominant position of control. The argument has a lot of parallels to the current political issues that are being discussed when it comes to AI regulation, where the baptists and bootleggers shake hands to limit innovation through fear.

‍I want to be clear, this is not an East v.s. West issue, there are good people from all over the world that share common principles no matter their country of origin. We must not be fear driven, we must be awe-driven. In the final balance, Good outweighs.

‍There is an overwhelming fear from the west that East will exploit Western innovation to further their goals and dominate the West. To some extent, it must be understood that the intelligence and surveillance apparatus is going to get the plans from Western companies through the backdoor or the front door. Secrets shared between more than two people get out, information wants to be free.

‍Our only way to combat centralized actors thay may capture control is through the unbounded acceleration of technological progress where individual contributors can align within a framework to overcome the fear driven stagnation of the West. We need to accelerate our space program. We need to move fast to develop Lunar capabilities before top-down authoritarian systems do — the Moon is of incredible strategic importance and the West may not like to hear this, but it seems that the East is poised to win the space race having already launched multiple Moon missions and an independent space station.

‍This is a case where a centralized actor may move much faster than the West, and has many echoes of the previous space race between the USSR and USA. The west is not sharing information or talking openly, they are bottlenecked by political issues, crushing arms-trafficking regulations preventing small organizations from entering — all stemming from the fear and scarcity mindsets from the top levels of our Western nations.

‍We lack strong leadership from the political apparatus, but there is a hope within companies like some private organizations that are making tremendous progress despite the hurdles, and have been able to achieve the scale to put up with the regulatory burden. However they are still fundamentally limited — they cannot hire the brains outside of the USA. Today they are not constrained by money, but by talent that has the right information to contribute. So how do we compete? Open up the frontier. Expand access.

‍We should be allowing every-day citizens to contribute to space. They should be able to allocate their funds directly into space companies, and collaborate on open source problems that get us closer to the ultimate goal of a base on the Moon. Not just people from whitelisted countries, but from all corners of the globe to pull us forward.

‍This requires new thinking from first principles about collaboration between people. Economic, business, scientific, and information models that allow people to compose on one another in an open and collaborative way.

‍Today, companies in the US have the largest access to financial resources, and companies based in the US have two choices:

  1. They remain private. This means that everyday people cannot necessarily access the equity in the company because of regulations preventing those without a multimillionaire background from participating. The companies are remaining private often to maintain control over long enough time horizons that require a lot of capital with no clear sign of economic return. Some are personally financing the entirety of their private space organization. Some have multiple investors, but again, their constraints are not economic, the constraint is intellect.
  2. They become public. Where they are then owned by a handful of mega-owners, and others with activist intentions, destroy the ability of the companies to operate efficiently and productively over long periods of time, at the whims of quarterly reports. Public markets work great for some things, and some companies even elect to use a dual-class voting stock to retain control and be able to focus on long term initiatives, some media and tech companies are an example of this. However, the political apparatus controls them through other means as has been made evident through recently made available files, and our own lived experience in the last decade.

Either way, if they become serious enough and start to fund main-line government plans, they have to make a deal, a deal that increasingly is not making sense.

‍So what does MoonDAO intend to do?


MoonDAO must create a foundation that can scale to thousands of people working collaboratively on the most pressing technological challenges to accelerate a lunar settlement.

Today, most DAOs, including MoonDAO, are centrally planned, where the whole DAO needs to weigh in on a proposal. This does not scale. We need a new model, a model that rewards people for working quickly and efficiently, and makes space for different solutions and teams to compete towards a problem. The model must be able to reinvest in itself to create an economic flywheel where success reinforces on itself.

What we are describing is collaborative competition. This requires the introduction of a new layer within the DAO. What we’re calling the DePrize.

The DePrize aims to solve some of the issues mentioned above by constructing a competition for an objective. It aims to create a flexible framework for people to receive funding for coming up with solutions, letting the community allocate towards promising solutions, and then having the teams compete on the execution of the objective. In return for choosing the correct solutions, funders receive a share in the revenues generated from the resulting product or service. It is inspired by other open-innovation ideas like the X-Prize.

For those that have never heard of these types of prizes, they work something like this:

  1. You raise money towards an objective from donors.
  2. An announcement is made that the first to do X wins the money.
  3. People compete, first to achieve it wins.

These types of prizes have inspired a lot of new technology, however there are a few flaws: They’re operationally difficult to set up, they don’t necessarily produce economic value long term, they’re not trustless, and despite the name they’re not necessarily open to anyone.

What we’re trying to achieve is to take the best from DAOs and the best from the current state of open-innovation and create a protocol that:

  1. Incentivizes fast capital formation towards a well-scoped objective. Clearly stating the problem that needs to be solved.
  2. Incentivizes multiple teams to ideate on solutions to those problems and receive funding to work on those solutions.
  3. Incentivizes teams to compete on executing on those solutions, with the first team to complete the objective winning the rest of the prize pool.
  4. Incentivize long-term maintenance of the project through revenue distribution to the winning team, those that allocated capital towards that team, and the people who contributed to the prize overall.

Furthermore, this model creates an abstraction layer between the core operating system of the DAO through it’s governance and the people that are receiving funds through the DAO. Teams competing within the DAO model do not need to read lengthy documentation, they can plug into the ecosystem and start building.

The DePrize abstraction layer will allow teams to plug into the MoonDAO ecosystem without requiring them to submit lengthy proposals for funding, or read documentation like a developer. They can pick the problems they want to solve and immeditately jump in to compete towards the solution.

Through this model we are balancing collaboration towards a shared goal, and competition for those who can achieve it first.
‍ What we’re trying to construct is an economic flywheel where free-energy in the form of labor and capital can be put towards initiatives that get us closer to the Moon, and the benefits of the technology and innovation created create a stable attractor for the DAO. In other words, we fund initiatives, and for each initiative we intend to capture a portion of the created economic value to store a long-term financial and data-generating asset for MoonDAO, this creates an attractor for more members to use the created data for future initiatives, and reinvest the capital towards more initiatives that get more members to want to contribute towards MoonDAO for the long-term growth that this creates.

To be more specific, we’re trying to create a flywheel where we crowdsource towards DAO-identified objectives. The capital will then be used to launch a competition where a portion of the funds will be distributed by the funders directly to the teams that show the most promise towards solving the problem, and the rest of the pool will go towards a competition that is set up where the first to objectively solve the problem gets the prize.

We’re calling that the DePrize. It will use blockchain to create a fund where members get a token in exchange for their contribution. Then the members of the fund can vote with their tokens to allocate towards the teams that have the most appealing solutions to the problem. A portion is left as a competition for the first to complete the requirements as arbitrated by the DAO. Finally, the IP that is generated is co-owned by the community and the winning team, where a portion of the data and income from the IP go towards both the financiers of the IP and back to MoonDAO.

An early construction of the DePrize, the details may vary from this initial design.

We can use this feedback mechanism from funding of open-source data and technology to allow everyday people to contribute to the most difficult problems that we face towards lunar settlement, and use the cash-inflows to both redistribute capital towards those that helped finance the initiative, and also to fund future missions.
‍ The last component of this is creating a free-market where anyone in the world can create or purchase a space asset within our community. This may seem non-obvious at first, but since we’re cultivating a strong community of space enthusiasts, we can use the attention that this brings to market some of the most exciting opportunities in space. People can use our open-source data to create new markets and then we can use the free-market intelligence of the crowds to get a signal on what products and services create the most value here on Earth.
‍ The marketplace will allow people to purchase things in the native token MOONEY and a portion of the transaction is burnt on each transaction, creating a deflationary mechanic on our supply.

In three steps, the flywheel looks like this:

  1. We crowdsource towards specific initiatives to set up competitions and fund the companies and individuals that are doing the best work to accelerate our goals. Direct blockchain funding from the people that want to make those goals possible.
  2. We release open-source data and technology from the companies we fund to allow everyday people to contribute to the most difficult problems those companies are facing.
  3. We build open markets to allow those companies to directly offer products and services to everyday people that want to propel our goals. Building a feedback cycle to generate revenue for MoonDAO and get direct market feedback on initiatives.

The Economic Flywheel in a nutshell.

Like I mentioned, the first thing to get right is #1. We’ve been working hard on an open protocol for direct funding of missions from people through blockchain that incorporates a quadratic mechanism to fund multiple companies that compete over a prize pool. We will create multiple prize pools to address critical bottlenecks and technology that must exist to support a settlement.
‍ Technology that gets created from #1 will be open-sourced so that more companies can build upon the foundation that’s created. Data and a portion of the proceeds that are generated from that technology will be re-invested into our community to allow the decentralized science and engineering communities to co-build the future.
‍ The innovation that comes from open-sourcing the technology from #2 can then be re-sold within a marketplace at MoonDAO that fosters a space-based economy where anyone from around the world can participate. ‍


Since I have a “who, what, when, and how” I thought I’d also add a “where” — in MoonDAO’s case, being a decentralized and nation-agnostic set of coordination tools, maybe a “where” doesn’t even make sense.
‍ However, when dealing with the traditional business and legal word, usually the first piece of definition is “where,” what jurisdiction are you operating within?
‍ For a lot of MoonDAO’s life, we have been “everywhere and nowhere” only using a legal entity for very specific one-time use cases like our Ticket To Space Sweepstakes which was managed out of an entity in Macau for their favorable crypto and sweepstakes laws.
‍ However, to make our legal side more defined and make it a little easier to bridge into the “traditional” world where necessary, one of our projects went out in search of the best jurisdiction that would fit our needs.

We landed on incorporating in the Marshall Islands, a small island nation that has its own seat at the UN and sets its own laws. They have recently created a legal framework to recognize DAOs, and they are a very special nation to incorporate given their history.
‍ The Marshall Islands are the second most utilized nation in the world to register international shipping boats. They have favorable taxes, a favorable business relationship with almost every other nation on Earth, and the protection of the U.S. military when at sea. Historically the Marshall Islands have been an experimental testing ground for the U.S., where they would test nukes near the Bikini Atoll. Today MoonDAO has the opportunity to be an experimental testing ground for how DAOs will play a role in space exploration.

Return To Space

Legal and economic frameworks aside, space should also be about fun, right?

At MoonDAO we’re also about direct experience of the unknown. In 2022 we launched a sweepstakes for our second astronaut to go to space. He was from China, and unfortunately was rejected three times to get a visa to come to the United States.
‍ This was frustrating, and eventually we had to move on to someone else to take the seat. As part of our competition rules we selected 9 other backups, and so we tried reaching out to all of them a year later.
‍ We were shocked when after a month of repeatedly messaging them, none of our backups reached out to us. We even created a bounty in our community if anyone could get ahold of the old backups, to no avail.
‍ On top of that, as was outlined in our privacy policy, we threw out the identity data that we used to figure out who had which NFT. So this puts us in a position where we need to redraw again from our members.
‍ Last time we did a sweepstakes like this, we had a bunch of bots that joined. We had the strictest method of KYC asking people for their ID and a live image of themselves that matched it, despite the strict requirements we still had thousands of bots.
‍ This time, we’re limiting access to the sweepstakes to members that join our community through our onboarding verification process. No ID required, just verified as a real human by joining an onboarding call and saying hello to one of our DAO onboarding specialists that will verify that you are indeed a unique person. No biometrics or doxxing. This is a much more difficult problem than you’d think, so doing it manually like this is our last resort.
‍ They will also be required to have a US Visa to be able to travel for Astronaut Training and the flight, and will need to meet all of Blue Origin’s functional requirements to ensure they are able to go to space.
‍ Our initial goal in creating MoonDAO was to send a regular person to space, and through all the trials and tribulations we’ve faced as a community we will re-run this selection, and this time we’ll succeed.


MoonDAO has a roadmap for accelerated Lunar Settlement by 2030. Why 2030? Because we want to push the envelope, and move faster than the timelines other large organizations have, driving them to move faster.

In broad strokes, let me paint a picture of a timeline for what success looks like for MoonDAO. It will not be a straight line. In 2022 we reached a peak of 100M+ in our Treasury, and 10,000+ token holders.
‍ The crypto markets are extremely volatile, so we will require an antifragile system that can take large shocks upwards and downwards, something that we have already proven to have the fitness to mitigate. ‍

While large centralized organizations and exchanges have over-levered and caused cascading liquidation during the market downturn, MoonDAO has been able to maintain a simple and understandable economic model that has been able to scale up and down with the crypto market.

So, with that in mind, here is a timeline for accelerated lunar settlement with key growth milestones that MoonDAO aims to achieve.
‍ None of this is guaranteed to happen as is described here, but at the very least it’s a plan to start moving towards, and as we get better information we’ll adjust. ‍


Disclaimer: These are the ambitious goals of our community, not a promise that these will be completed on this exact timeline. None of this is guaranteed to happen as is described here, but this acts as a plan to concentrate our effort. We set ambitious goals to inspire our organization to reach higher and push us out of our comfort zone. Why is the timeline so accelerated? Because we want to accelerate progress towards lunar settlement. If these goals inspire you, join us to help!

2023: Foundation

  • 100s of engaged members. 
  • Announce the flagship DePrize to fund critical technology for the long-term habitation of the Moon, with MoonDAO credibly-neutral technology, evangelizing people from all over the world to collaborate.
  • Inception of the MoonDAO Marketplace with flagship products and services listed.
  • Select someone from our community to go to space from our community.

2024: Scale

  • 1,000s of engaged members.
  • Open-source collaboration on technology and datasets generated and gifted to the MoonDAO community from partners and organizations working on our first DePrize.
  • 10s of products and services listed on our marketplace.
  • More DePrizes are set up to address other foundational elements of a lunar settlement and credibly neutral infrastructure.

2025: Seat at the Table

  • 10,000s of engaged members.
  • Fundraise for the ownership of a Starship or equivalent launch vehicle, and guaranteed refuel missions.
  • Multiple data- and income-generating IPs generated for the MoonDAO community.
  • Large Scale Coordination through an open-sim of Lunar Settlement, setting up DePrizes for each component required.
  • 100s of products and services listed on our marketplace.

2026: Settlement Design Completed

  • 100,000s of engaged members.
  • Design of major components have been completed, ready for manufacturing on Earth to begin simulations and testing.

2027: Settlement Manufacturing Completed

  • 1,000,000s of engaged members.

  • Selection of our first group of Moon settlers.

  • Manufacturing of key components on Earth with Earth-based simulations. Prototypes built out and ready to test.

  • MoonDAO has a manufacturing facility that operates in a decentralized way receiving designs from all over the world.

2028: Components tested and Ready for Launch

  •  10,000,000s of engaged members.
  • Fast iteration on infrastructure, testing with Earth-based simulation complete.

2029: Minimum Viable Settlement Construction Begins

  • Infrastructure is sent to the Moon and the first crew begins construction on the Moon.

2030: New Year’s 2030 - Lunar Party

  • The first minimum viable Lunar Settlement is complete and can sustain multiple people for long-term habitation.
  • Host a New Year’s Eve party on the Moon, inviting nations committed to peaceful activity on the Moon and Earth to celebrate the accomplishment of MoonDAO’s first mission.
  • Next: Expand Lunar Base footprint, set up infrastructure to extend life to Mars.
Link to original


We’ll need a lot of help. I’m lucky to call many of the people along this journey with us friends. Ultimately that is the most important part of this all, the relationships we build together that unite us and find kindred spirits.

I am not really worthy to lead a mission of this magnitude, but I’ll try my best. I have faith, and I think that there are forces larger than us that want us to succeed. It’s up to us to try to always do the right thing and be honest and work hard.
‍ Power has a way of corrupting people, and I hope that this does not become me. I think many here so far have seen how hard we’ve been tested as a group and as individuals. I think we are extremely lucky to have found the amazing people we have right now in our organization — it really is a blessing.
‍ MoonDAO has pushed me to grow tremendously as a person, it’s the most rewarding and difficult thing I’ve ever had to do. It has tested my abilities in all dimensions of life, and sometimes I have tripped, but have always gotten back up and learned from mistakes. I am sure I will have missteps along the way, but I promise to listen to the community, which has a deep wisdom of its own, to help guide us when there is uncertainty, and to help pick us up when spirits are low, or caution when spirits are high.
‍ Like I said, I know that I am not worthy for this grand mission, it would be insane to feel confident that I am the right person for this job, but I will try my best, and all glory if we achieve things should go to the people that have made this possible and the spirit of exploration and awe that inspire us.
‍ I think it’s worth noting why we have decided to have an “Astronaut” or executive branch as a DAO. Some think it is hypocritical or that there is no need within a DAO to have executive office. 
‍ We tried running this experiment in headless government for a while, not allocating any funds towards executive operation, and we found that there are basic issues that need constant care and attention, like a gardener that looks over all the growing fruit. The fruit grows on its own and does not need to be commanded to grow, but someone needs to be there to plant the seeds, provide water, and pluck out weeds or harmful pests.
‍ This is the role of the executive branch, it is to give the constant attention to the little things that keep everything functioning. The role is not that of a ruler with an iron fist, but someone that comes in to get their hands dirty tilling the soil and plucking the weeds so that the most fruitful members can focus on what they do best.
‍ The organization is not a pyramid, and it never intends to be one, it is a circle. There is a center and a boundary, and the executive branch creates the center and defines the boundary, but it is only a point, and the majority of the circle is made up of all the Project members within the Senate and Moonsettlers, and vMOONEY token holding Members within the rest of the DAO.
‍ If those members want to point in a different direction, the executive branch will move with the whole, and if the executive branch is no longer serving the rest of the whole, they have it within their power to swap for a different leadership.
‍ There are to be three leaders in the future of MoonDAO that jointly serve as a triumvirate. This, like all our governance, is an experiment. It seems evident to me that not one person can fill this role and have an understanding of all the cultures, technologies, and wisdom required to operate MoonDAO, so three heads that are harmonized will be much better than a single one, and much more difficult to turn tyrannical.
‍ I am the first, and I hope that I will guide things to make way for a second, and a third, as we mature and bring more people on to share the power within the Constitution.
‍ On my end, although I recognize my limited ability compared to the ambition and size of our mission, I pledge to continuously improve and learn so I can best serve the DAO. I pledge to remove vice from my life and refine my virtues so that I can serve the DAO honorably, truthfully, and without force but with persuasion. Having the courage to be firm when necessary to resolve conflict, and the caution and wisdom to avoid unnecessary meddling in things that do not require intervention. I cannot offer that I will be perfect, but I will try to learn quickly from those that know more around me, and to improve every day.
‍ I believe if we continue on our path, we will find success. We just need to continue putting one foot in front of the other and keep working hard day by day.

Thanks if you’ve made it this far.

I hope you help take us further.