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Last week, I took part in the Star Atlas token drop. Star Atlas is a play-to-earn strategy game built on Solana.

I vied to win lottery tickets that would give me two different types of tokens: a utility token to use in the game called ATLAS and a governance token to vote on the future of the game called POLIS.

The process is outlined here and it’s fairly involved. To qualify for the lottery tickets, I did the following things.

  1. Wired USD to a cryptobrokerage.
  2. Converted USD to SOL (Solana).
  3. Downloaded the Phantom wallet.
  4. Transferred the SOL from the brokeareg into the Phantom wallet.
  5. Visited Raydium and converted SOL into RAY.
  6. Staked RAY for 7 days before the drop.
  7. Converted SOL into USDC (stablecoin backed by US dollars and Treasurys).

I learned three things in the process. First, logging in to applications will never be the same again.]( Second, not all USDC is the same. USDC on the Ethereum chain is different than on the Solana chain.

Third and most importantly, the process opened my eyes to the power of incentive mechanisms in crypto. Solana is relatively early L1 chain (database). Raydium is an early Solana-based liquidity protocol. Star Atlas is a pre-launch game.

All of them want to succeed and the success of one reinforces the other.If StarAtlas grows, more people will convert dollars into SOL or RAY to buy ATLAS or POLIS tokens. All of those transactions will be recorded in Solana (which should increase the value of SOL), and many of them will be executed on Raydium (generating trading fees and increasing the value of RAY). That’s a flywheel.

The StarAtlas launch leveraged this connectivity for mutual gain. By releasing lottery tickets on Raydium, I use Solana and Raydium even before the game launches. I become familiar with the mechanism