In layman’s terms, present-day DAOs can be thought of as an internet community with a shared treasury where participants decide on how to use the money together. As a rule, DAOs financially incentivize their members via a native token. One can either buy it or earn it. If DAO expands, tokens can be sold with a profit. Unlike centralized businesses, a DAO doesn’t have a top-down hierarchy in place. Any changes made within a DAO are absolutely transparent, the consensus mechanism is the norm, and finances are allocated most fairly.
To be a full-fledged DAO, an organization requires such elements as:
Who coined the moniker? The first DAO was an ETH-based German startup slock (2016), a decentralized community for helping hosts find short-term tenants. Eventually, this equivalent of Airbnb turned out to be a failure due to exploited vulnerabilities in its code (3.6 million ETH in total losses). Nevertheless, it didn’t prevent the term itself from finding a way into contemporary dictionaries without the negative connotation. Quite unusual when you think of it. The concept is just really inspiring as it comes with an impressive list of potential upsides despite all the unknowns and challenges.
Viable alternatives to traditional business models, DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) allude to a hard-to-define concept in Chinese philosophy for a reason. Although it is a bold comparison, the natural order of things (The Way) can be likened to a smart contract that obliges everyone involved to follow a set of clear rules for achieving common goals.
New types of DAOs get launched regularly, which makes any classification complicated. That said, most organizations of this kind fall into one of eight general buckets. Let’s briefly define each one.
The most common of all types, it covers businesses designed to govern decentralized protocols. Examples of Protocol DAOs include:
– lending apps like Market Maker (MKR tokens);
– decentralized exchanges like Uniswap (UNI tokens).
These are community-focused DAOs whose primary selling point is creating a platform for like-minded people. One of the most prominent social DAOs is known as Friends with Benefits (FWB), a community of creative professionals and thinkers.
While traditional media can rarely be called unbiased since advertisers or third parties can influence the agenda in one way or another, media DAOs revolutionize the state of things in this sphere by producing content that is 100% driven by the community. Decrypt can be singled out as a successful media DAO that lets users vote on the kind of content they would like to see.
These projects emerge with the purpose of investing funds into web3.0 startups or gaining access to portfolios that can’t be accessed otherwise. A notable example of Venture DAOs is Krause House that wanted to become the owner of a professional NBA team.
Such projects are launched to use Web3.0 for making and receiving donations a breeze. They include separate entities like MetaCartel that helps early-stage dapps, as well as extensions of larger projects like Aave Grants, launched to fund the development of Aave Protocol.
Philanthropy DAOs get created to raise funds for a variety of causes exceptionally fast. For example, UkraineDAO makes it easier for anyone to support the Ukrainian Army to bring closer the defeat of Russia.
These projects allow their participants to unite their efforts to buy expensive NFTs and other collectibles. For example, ConstitutionDAO was launched with the mission to purchase a first-edition copy of the U.S. Constitution. This Collector DAO raised a staggering $47 million worth of ETH in a single week.
Yes, you’ve got it right: it’s a mini DAO within a DAO. These projects are launched with a focus on a specific goal. For example, to facilitate the decision-making process so that certain proposals get passed without the participation of all DAO members.
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