🤔 WTF are DAOs???
Short for “Decentralized Autonomous Organizations”, DAOs are a new type of organization, enabled by blockchain technology. Decentralized organizations are nothing new, what makes DAOs different from “just” decentralized organizations is that they are constituted on the blockchain and their governance is, at least in theory, controlled by smart contracts.
This allows people to start organizations with complete strangers from around the world and not worry whether one of them will run away with the money, where will the organization be formed and how will they govern the treasury. The ownership of a DAO is usually tokenized and distributed among members, with its issuance not centrally controlled by anyone.
There are multiple types of “decentralizations”. Some will say “A DAO” only implies architectural decentralization; the technology itself. While one may have “a DAO” whose governance is centralized in a single or a few big shareholders, we do not consider those true DAOs.
If you ask most of us, a DAO should be both architecturally AND politically decentralized to truly be considered a DAO. For a DAO to be considered politically decentralized, it’s voting power should be sufficiently decentralized among its members. How much is sufficient? Well who the hell knows, we’ll figure it out.
If you ask me, DAOs are here to enable us to build a world of cooperatively ran organizations and collectively owned platforms & infrastructure.
- There is no centralized control in the DAO. There is no “CEO” and no single individual may dictate direction.
- There isn’t a hierarchy in any traditional sense, no “managerial” & “executive” layers.
- Members allocate resources and make decisions about the direction and initiatives through voting on proposals or practicing other decentralized decision-making methods, eg. Holacracy’s Integrative Decision Making Process
- There is complete transparency in every transaction.
These are the frameworks for launching DAOs on the Ethereum network:
- DAOHaus - Magic internet communities for all. Share resources & get shit done. Together.
- Aragon - Aragon gives internet communities unprecedented power to organize around shared values and resources.
- Colony - Organizations, for the Internet. Colony makes it easy for people all over the world to build organizations together, online.
- MetaSys - A meta framework for DAOs; a combination of tools & a philosophy put together by MetaGame.
- Coordinape - Scale your community with tools to reward contributors, incentivize participation and manage resources
- Govrn - Easily track, record, and own your DAO Contributions
- Sourcecred - A tool for communities to measure and reward value creation
- Collab.land - A bot helping manage memberships in token curated communities
- Uniswap - An automated market-maker, for making your token tradeable
- Balancer - An automated market-maker with more options
- Gnosis Safe - A multi-signature wallet/treasury for DAOs
- KALI - Spin up legal structures. Own anything anywhere together.
- Otonomos - Otonomos helps the crypto communities form offchain and onchain legal entities
Some DAO Examples
For a full list of Ethereum based DAOs, check DeepDAO.
- 🏠 DAOhaus - DAOhaus is a platform for launching DAOs, which also happens to be a DAO itself.
- ⚪ Deep Work - Deep Work is a distributed product design studio that helps highly technical teams move to product-market fit, faster.
- ⚔️ Raid Guild - A Decentralized Collective of Mercenaries Ready to Slay Your Web3 Product Demons - also slaying their own demons.
- ⚖️ LexDAO - The decentralized legal engineering guild.
- 🌶️ MetaCartel - An ecosystem of builders giving grants to decentralized applications, scaling solutions & DAOs on the Ethereum blockchain.
- MetaCartel Ventures - A for-profit, venture capital DAO.
- The LAO - A global group of Ethereum enthusiasts and experts supporting the work of Ethereum builders.
🏃Get started DAOing
Some useful pieces of writing for getting started building teams & communities.
For actually deploying a DAO on Ethereum, there are framework-specific guides available in framework-specific rabbit holes.
These are some of the books that might come in handy when interested in building decentralized organizations.
Here are a few newsletters to keep you in the loop on the latest developments from the DAO ecosystem.