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#20 – a DAO crisis, a fundraising success, several Web2 integrations, and more
9 min read

#20 – a DAO crisis, a fundraising success, several Web2 integrations, and more

#20 – a DAO crisis, a fundraising success, several Web2 integrations, and more

Hello and welcome to DAObase, the home of DAOs and the OrgTech powering them. If you're new here, check out this introduction to DAOs, this introduction to OrgTech, and subscribe using this link.

📺 Previously on DAObase

🛠 OrgTech


1Hive's DAO explorer/leaderboard, Apiary, now has a Profiles feature, which enables Aragon DAOs (editors they have delegated to) to attach richer identifying details to their on-chain address. The implementation of this is an interesting example of how permissions in Web2 platforms like GitHub, Ghost, or Discord could be integrated with DAO voting. The DAO controls the Web2 platform through a neutral proxy, who owns the root account of the Web2 service and enforces delegation of permissions on behalf of the DAO.

1Hive's Conviction Voting app is now live on the Rinkeby testnet. It supports voting on the execution of fund transfers or signaling to order lists. This has been bundled with a bonding curve app called Marketplace, and the Redemptions and Dandelion Voting apps from the Moloch DAO inspired Aragon app suite, as part of a "Gardens" Aragon DAO template.


1UP launched a bot for rewarding points (1UPs) to valuable community members, who can redeem their points for DAO tokens and NFTs. Moving forward, 1UP plans to build integrations with all available DAO platforms and a wider range of communication tools like Discord, to offer native support for communities to create their own rewards, and to gamify 1UP itself.


Abridged published a retrospective and look forward at their experiments with DAO Ops, driven by the goal to eliminate the frictions and information asymmetry that lead to low voter participation and thereby usher in a world where "voting is the new like". Their journey into building Telegram-native DAOs started with the Signal DAO, integrated with a Moloch backend, and now they're applying their learnings to the Collab19 DAO, integrated with an Aragon backend (more on this in Orgs below).


Aragon's SDK team have begun work on an API, Aragon Connect, that will enable developers to make Aragon the backend for their own custom governance interfaces, no longer relying on the official Aragon client.

Aragon Court has resumed operations on its Precedence Campaign, with several rulings on the App Mining program (the replacement for the Nest grant program for funding Aragon third-party apps).

In other news: Aragon's brand got refreshed, they launched a community-focused website redesign and "Powered by Aragon" campaign, MESG connected Aragon DAOs to webhooks, Placeholder Capital wrote a primer on Aragon DAOs, as did John Light (Aragon Association's Head of Governance), and Tenderly launched an integration for real-time monitoring, alerts, and troubleshooting of Aragon DAOs.


BlockScience published a retrospective on their open source release of cadCAD, the complex systems modeling tool, and the community's accomplishments since then.

Cl(ea)r.Fund have been working on a trust-minimized public goods funding mechanism that builds upon Gitcoin Grants' quadratic funding system by using BrightID for sybil-resistance and MACI (Minimal Anti Collusion Infrastructure) for collusion-resistance. They introduced themselves on the ETHresearch forum; they're currently working on a proof of concept and seeking grant funding.


Colony released a new version of their mainnet, implementing functionality from the new version of their whitepaper, such as Expenditures, a payment primitive that will make it easy for users to build extensions and plug-in custom governance mechanisms to their colonies.

In other news: a custom app to manage colony reward payouts, a dashboard of on-chain Colony activity.


meTokens integrated their "Synthetic Labor" token primitive with Aragon, making it easy for DAOs to tokenize their services. "Synthetic Labor" tokens are coordinated through bonding curves, providing DAOs with a vehicle to sell their services to the highest bidders and open themselves up to investors interested in profiting from the DAO's revenue growth.


The Raid Guild launched two major features for Moloch:

  • Moloch Minion, a smart contract account that can run any arbitrary contract transaction on behalf of the DAO (aka Aragon Agent but for Moloch)
  • NFT badges and certificates that Moloch members can earn for completing certain actions


Reddit has launched a new initiative called Community Points, which introduces many DAO-like features to subreddits: tokens are a measure of community reputation, which community members can use to vote and tip other users, and communities can vote to remove bad actors from current and future token distributions. "Liberated from control, they could express themselves freely, collaborate on decisions, and determine their own future". Community Points will be tested on the r/Cryptocurrency and r/Fortnite subreddits.


AraCred has made a lot of progress integrating SourceCred's reputation algorithm with Aragon. Points are earned in community platforms such as GitHub, Discord, and Discourse, according to how much other community members engage with your contributions, measured by the Google PageRank algorithm, then AraCred mints tokens in Aragon proportional to these points.

For more details on how SourceCred's reputation could help DAOs, check out this blog post and this forum thread.

🦠 Orgs

The dxDAO became the first decentralized continuous organization when LevelK and dOrg finished its fundraising dapp, using the Fairmint bonding curve smart contracts, and the DAO voted to resolve its domain (dxdao.eth) to the fundraising dapp. It has currently taken in more than 5k ETH. More details here.


BrightID were featured as the first case study on Aragon's website, with good reason. They were the first DAO to use a Membership structure, they pioneered a multi-DAO structure with a non-profit LLC wrapper, and they were the first DAO to take out an unsecured loan using DeFi.


Coinbase are using an Aragon DAO to gamify internal dogfooding of the Coinbase app and enable recipients to self-organize to reinvest the rewards.


Collab19 launched to make it easy to coordinate resources towards COVID-19 relief efforts. Using the Abridged platform, the DAO is completely Telegram-native (demo here). The team hopes that this will serve as a new model for philanthropy.

HelpDAO is a similar initiative designed to help people launch grassroots squads for supporting their local communities during the pandemic. Each squad is an Aragon DAO coordinated through Telegram and the HelpDAO itself will use AraCred.

Tackling a different COVID-related problem, the Research Collective is an “Expert DAO” that aims to curate scientific resources, conduct experiments, and fund clinical development.


Cyber is a decentralized Google built on Tendermint and IPFS, using Aragon for governance of both the developer organization building the protocol (cyber~Congress) and the DAO that will govern the protocol (cyber~Foundation, being tested here). As part of their development, the team are building two new Aragon apps: an Auction app and a Vesting app.


lexDAO continue to introduce novel DAO-powered workflows and business models:

  • Banknote is a Chai stablecoin wrapped into a smart contract that assigns lexDAO (a DAO of legal engineers) the rights to manage the asset, so that the lexDAO can resolve disputes and recover Banknotes for a user when they’re misappropriated or lost.
  • LXCHAT is a write-access token which determines who can post to the lexDAO forum contract.


The Melon Protocol introduced an account validation workflow that enables them to restrict access to a private Telegram channel to Melon fund managers. This could be an interesting workflow for other DAOs using Telegram.


  • MetaCartel is evolving into a DAO incubator, promising to leverage their experience launching DAOs and building DAO tooling to support new projects looking to launch their own DAOs.
  • MetaFactory launched their first product auction for “The Worlds First Community Owned and Operated Brand”.
  • MetaClan rose and completed their first quest.
  • MetaGame finished an Initiatives plug-in for SourceCred, which enables them to recognize contributions that aren’t measured by SourceCred, launched a new Quest system that will recognize future contributions in the same way, and are planning to launch a DAO using the 1Hive Gardens template. Details here.
  • MetaCartel Ventures announced their first investment, in MetaCoin.
  • MetaCartel's Virtual Dragon Hackathon had a number of DAO-related submissions: use conference NFTs to vote on speakers, Estonia DAO, DAO RPG, interest-earning DeFi DAO, and more.


DeversiFi injected a boost of funding into the necDAO (800 ETH / $150,000).


The LAO opened its doors, limiting membership to up to 100 members depending on how many shares the first-comers purchased. It now has 3,600 ETH  (~$856k) under management.

The LAO is using a token-curated registry called Scout to enable community members to signal projects that The LAO might be interested in funding. More details here.


Outlier Ventures launched ZIPdao to govern the ZIP protocol, a cross-chain multi-network gas station that uses a collateral pool to maintain a stable "cloud credit" for crypto. The hope is that this will enable them to "blitzcale" the community and facilitate the industry wide coordination required to make this an open standard.

Other DAOs

ArtDAO, Centrality CENNZnet Grants DAO, Co-op DAO, DAOsquare, Machi X DAO

🧠 Brain Food

🎨 Design

  • Governance mechanisms should be designed with Credible Neutrality as a guiding principle, i.e. preference aggregators should be neutral to the identity of participants, should not be designed to produce specific outcomes (which would be biased by the preferences of the designer), and should be transparent enough to enable participants to verify this.
  • Semaphore released, enabling anonymous authentication and voting. Technical explanation here. Examples of private voting and private whistleblowing here.
  • Minimum Anti-Collusion Infrastructure (MACI) allows voters to change their keypairs so that they can't be bribed/forced to vote a certain way. In use by

🔬 Research

  • Blockchain Governance: What We Can Learn From the Economics of Corporate Governance. Just like firms, blockchains have both explicit and implicit contracts; explicit as defined by the (endogenous) consensus mechanism, which distributes bargaining power across token holders and nodes in the network, and implicit as defined by all other (exogenous) governance processes, such as founder leadership, foundation stewardship, and the reputation of open-source contributors. However, whereas the manager's role in a firm is to coordinate implicit contracts, DAOs have no managers in principle, no-one with a fiduciary duty to coordinate implicit contracts for the good of the organization, which creates a difficult governance problem. This is complicated further by the fact that blockchains' implicit contracts are in flux as decentralization is bootstrapped, are often at odds with idealist decentralization philosophy, and exist in a constant state of tension and mutual evolution with their explicit contracts. Due to uncertainty about future outcomes and the need to bootstrap the network, it is impossible to explicitly define all control rights and therefore impossible for on-chain governance models to be complete. Protocol designers should therefore design their on-chain governance to account for the inevitable truth that the off-chain world will influence its evolution.
  • Blockchains and Constitutional Catallaxy. Blockchains are constitutions, where constitutionalism is an emergent mutual adjustment (catallactical) process through which political entrepreneurs attempt to optimize governance mechanisms, such as to improve the efficacy of the blockchain. If enforcement and adjustment processes aren't adequately defined, constitutions will fail and governance will revert to the de facto authority of the endogenous consensus mechanism, such as happened with EOS.

💭 Thoughts

  • In the era of fake news, traditional credentialism has failed us. Expert DAOs, bottom-up clusters of experts who can sign, stake, and vote on facts, offer a new method for curating the truth.
  • DAOs are communities, so we should go where internet communities already are to accelerate mainstream adoption. Telegram has 400m users who would benefit from turning their groups into DAOs.
  • DAOs possess data such as public keys and pseudonyms, which could be considered personal data due to their potential to be linked to real-life identities, in the same way that the EU ruled dynamic IP addresses are personal data. GDPR therefore most likely applies to DAOs, which is problematic especially for DAOs that have no linked legal structure and therefore unlimited liability. DAOs can't forget due to the immutability of blockchains, but perhaps the data could be anonymized.
  • The most significant short-term impact that DAOs will have is as new productivity software (e.g. integrating DAO bounties with Asana boards).

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