As we continue through the digital revolution, new forms of organizational structures and mediums for collaboration are beginning to surface, disrupting conventional business paradigms. Among these cutting-edge innovations, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) stand out, combining the power and trustlessness of blockchain technology with the principles of democratic governance. Leveraging these groundbreaking frameworks for fostering collaboration, sourcing capital, and democratizing decision-making is much easier than it sounds. Let’s dive deep into the world of DAOs and the future of human coordination.
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are blockchain-based entities governed by self-executing rules, removing the need for traditional bureaucratic processes and legal enforcement mechanisms. Their streamlined setup and global accessibility make them an efficient alternative to traditional organizational structures. DAOs rely on blockchain technology’s immutability and cryptographic certainty to facilitate trustless interactions among participants. This allows stakeholders to interact and make decisions transparently without needing a centralized authority or complex legal agreements, making DAOs a significant innovation in global human coordination.
Several types of DAOs can be easily made on almost every smart contract blockchain. All that’s required to start a DAO is a name, members, a voting process, and some basic rules. On Ethereum and Polygon, the most popular DAO tooling is Aragon, whose no-code interface can get a DAO spun up in less than a minute. All of the DAO’s features, including if it has a token, voting parameters, and even the name, can be changed after launch with a vote.
Another DAO service, DAOHaus, allows for the creation of Moloch DAOs, which provide interesting properties such as a voting and non-voting token, the ability to “ragequit” with your proportion of the DAO’s treasury, and high flexibility. For those more keen on a non-EVM experience, NEAR’s Astro DAO provides a highly-detailed DAO creation process that can be used within the NEAR ecosystem, which has one of the best user experiences for those unfamiliar with blockchain and Web3 wallets.
Now that you have a DAO, what can you do with it? The possibilities are nearly endless — anywhere a legal organization would previously be needed can now be replaced with a DAO. You could find strangers online and create a joint investment venture with them, such as creating a fund, investing in property, collecting NFTs, etc. and know that there is no way for them to scam you or take your money. Several DAOs have taken this approach, including Krause House, which plans to buy an NBA team. ConstitutionDAO, a project that became very popular in mainstream media, raised money to buy a copy of the U.S. Constitution but was outbid at the last second. Instead of going through a complicated process to return user funds, they could easily do so thanks to the blockchain’s history and the ease of smart contract operation. Another option is to create a community around a common interest or goal, like the golf-focused LinksDAO, whose membership rewards users with special perks from top golf brands and the promise of membership at the eventual DAO-owned golf course.
The great thing about DAOs is once their goal is complete, they can easily be dissolved. They are the perfect vehicle for quick coordination for those who do not want to go through the complicated process of creating a legal structure. Then, if a venture expands, a DAO can expand alongside it to host as many people as necessary. For DAOs that want added legal protection, they can incorporate in the states of Tennessee or Wyoming, where DAOs are recognized legal entities similar to LLCs.
The DAO is one of the most under-utilized components of blockchain and smart contracts and will likely be one of the hot topics during the next bull run. When that would be remains to be seen, but it’s never a bad idea to get ahead of the curve by understanding and maybe even creating a DAO.
By Lincoln Murr