The Xai Blockchain Project Structure and Team

Xai Foundation
6 min readDec 5, 2023

Xai is a decentralized gaming ecosystem that focuses on developing and publishing blockchain games and supporting their underlying infrastructure. The ecosystem has no central team or authority. The project was kicked off by a few key entities, each with distinct roles. As the project grows, it is expected that many more entities will support the project in various ways. Here is a brief outline of the project at its inception that summarizes key groups and individuals involved.

Xai Foundation — Cayman Foundation: Xai Foundation is the entity that serves as the custodian of the blockchain infrastructure that underlies the games developed by game developers deploying to the chain. Additionally, the foundation is responsible for issuing and managing the Xai network’s native token, known as “XAI”.

What Xai Foundation Does:

  • Blockchain Strategy: Xai Foundation creates the strategy for the blockchain network that supports the blockchain games developed by Ex Populus. This ensures the stability and security of the network, allowing seamless gameplay experiences.
  • Token Issuance & Management: Xai Foundation is responsible for creating and distributing the XAI token, which serves as the native currency of the blockchain ecosystem. The foundation also oversees the token’s governance and ensures a fair and transparent distribution process.
  • Community Development & Governance: Xai Foundation focuses on fostering a supportive and inclusive community around the blockchain games. It will allow the Xai community to participate in the governance of the network in stages, ensuring that important decisions are made collectively.

The Directors of Xai Foundation stay anonymous for security purposes.

Website: https://xai.games/

Ex Populus — USA Based Labs Entity: Ex Populus is the USA-based labs entity responsible for the research, development, and innovation of blockchain games. It was Ex Populus game development that inspired the creation of Xai. Ex Populus is the primary labs entity that serves the ecosystem under direction of the Foundation.

What Ex Populus Does:

  • Research & Development: Ex Populus conducts extensive research on blockchain technology, exploring its potential applications in the gaming industry. The staff works to create innovative gaming experiences that leverage the transparency, security, and decentralized nature of blockchain networks.
  • Game Development: Ex Populus designs and develops exciting blockchain-based games that offer players unique opportunities to own, trade, and monetize in-game assets.
  • Marketing & Community Engagement: Ex Populus actively promotes its blockchain games and engages with the gaming community to foster growth and adoption.
  • While Ex Populus may autonomously develop any games it wishes, any initiatives related to Xai are done with direction from Xai Foundation.

Ex Populus key team includes:

Tobias Batton — CEO, Ex Populus

Tobias Batton is a 20 year digital product & marketing executive that has founded 3 companies and exited 2. Prior to Ex Populus, Batton was responsible for nearly 1B app installs delivered to top mobile game publishers with his Signal Zero publishing and loyalty platform. In 2012, He was hired by the Emerge Digital Group to build a mobile division for the organization which helped Emerge be named America’s 8th fastest growing company in the USA (Inc. 500). Prior to that Batton was tapped to build the real time event tracking system and temporal search engine Live Matrix, which was adopted by Facebook to serve as a foundation for Facebook Live.

Batton was also a founding leader of IGN’s Indie Open House which helped indy game developers create and release their games for desktop and console. Batton also founded Resistor where a variety of popular web and mobile games were published including the widely played Clan Wars and the cultural phenomenon iGirl. Batton’s first company which helped independent filmmakers publish their films digitally was launched in 2006 and acquired in 2008.

He was responsible for millions of R&D dollars building a loss prevention platform for digital advertising while managing several million in quarterly marketing budgets. As a result, nearly 1B installs were driven to top mobile game publishers while simultaneously preventing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of loss for ad technology companies that represent billions in annual market share. He has led the development of a mobile SSP, built a mobile promotional platform with 60MM+ users and was a part of the launch of thousands of games and apps. Because of his work promoting games, he was featured on Fox Business Risk and Reward. He has guest lectured doctoral candidates from Stanford, MIT and INSEAD on the above topics. He is intimately familiar with mobile devices, information theory, Shannon entropy, device fingerprinting and a variety of other related concepts.

Batton has designed and published several best selling mobile and social games. This led to his published game design framework “Variable Dopamine- Wavelength Mapping Theory” — a system based on Dopamine spikes in the brain, applied directly to an overlap of both Maslow’s pyramid and Pavlov’s trigger-based framework — has been featured at numerous conferences and articles, including Forbes. He has been profiled by Forbes, Fox Business Network, the New York Times, WIRED, IGN, Cnet and VentureBeat among many others.

Soby @SobyLife — Head of Strategy, Ex Populus

Soban Saqib leads strategy and works with third party games at Ex Populus. Soby is a futurist and digital asset veteran whose career is defined by a pattern of being early to emergent trends. Within the space, Soby is known for being one of the few NFT collectors with deep technical understanding. Prior to co-founding Ex Populus, Soby led strategy at an AI start-up focused on Natural Language Processing founded out of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has been responsible for onboarding high profile people into Web3, such as Odell Beckham Jr. He is an active delegate in Arbitrum governance. He is an angel investor with a strong track record including investments in Berachain, Parallel, and Offchain Labs.

Mark C. Harris — Chief Creative, Ex Populus

Mark C. Harris has contributed to some of the animation industry’s most recognizable films with its most prestigious studios. As a veteran animator, Harris’s work covers 14 titles and includes an Annie award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Character Animation in a Feature Production for his work on The Good Dinosaur. Harris has been tapped by Pixar in various leadership roles including Directing Animator for Cars 3, Supervising Animator for Pixar’s first longform episodic Win or Lose, and is currently directing a Pixar born short film. In 2015, Harris was integral to the team that received the Oscar nomination for best animated short for their work on Borrowed Time for which Harris was Supervising Animator and Co-Writer. Harris was also the Head of Animation for Crow: The Legend, a cinematic VR experience which received several Emmy awards for animation and an Annie Award for Best Virtual Reality Production. Harris is looking forward to taking his animation, direction and story-telling skills to the fully interactive medium of game development.

You can read more about the Ex Populus team here.

Ex Populus Website: https://expopulus.com/

Offchain Labs — USA Based Labs Entity: Offchain Labs works under the direction of the Xai Foundation and focuses on the development and continued technical support of the Xai Blockchain. Offchain Labs is a key strategic technology partner of the Xai blockchain project and Xai Blockchain was developed in an effort to solve problems Ex Populus experienced with other blockchains when attempting to deploy their games.

Offchain Labs is responsible for:

  • Focusing on the core development and technical support of the Xai blockchain under the direction of Xai Foundation.
  • Providing marketing support for the Xai project and its various initiatives.

Offchain Labs team includes: You can read more about the Offchain Labs team here.

Website: ​​https://www.offchainlabs.com/

Additional Core Contributors — The project boasts a diverse group of core contributors, and we anticipate this list to expand as the ecosystem evolves. Presently, key contributors include:

  • Team Secret: Undertaking the responsibility of reviewing and endorsing games deployed on the Xai platform, subject to their merit. Additionally, actively participating in the Data Availability Comittee (DAC).
  • Thirdweb: Specializing in the development of custom account abstraction technology and payment systems tailored for games and decentralized applications (dApps) deployed on the Xai platform.
  • Paima Studios: Developing best-in-class web3 games for the Xai blockchain

Many additional groups, including game developers, infrastructure providers, and various other contributor types, will soon be announced and added to this growing list. We invite you to join this vibrant community and play a pivotal role in reshaping the gaming landscape. Together, let’s redefine the gaming experience.

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Xai Foundation

The Xai Blockchain, developed by Offchain Labs and overseen by the Xai Foundation, was developed to address the needs of web3 gaming at scale.