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The Rise of DAOs

Oct 31, 2023
9 min read

This blog post will cover:

  • What are DAOs?
  • How do DAOs work?
  • Creating a DAO 
  • Benefits of DAOs
  • Challenges of DAOs
  • Examples of successful DAOs
  • Conclusion

Decentralization is more than a buzzword; it's the transformative wave altering the landscape of various industries, including the realm of crypto. At the forefront of this revolution is the DAO — Decentralized Autonomous Organization. But before diving into the subject in depth, let us first explore the basics of the concept, as well as look at why it is the subject of so much attention and admiration in the crypto space. 

What are DAOs?

DAOs are self-managed organizations that are defined by a transparent set of rules written in a computer program. The unique aspect of a DAO is that they help to minimize the costs and time efforts for traditional hierarchies, as the rules are embedded into the code. This allows the organization to function independently from the organization’s members. This means that people can make organizational decisions collectively and autonomously through a process of decentralized governance, different from traditional centralized organizations, in which the dipropionate degree of power often lies within one or a few individuals or interested parties. 

How do DAOs work?

In order to function, DAOs need a blockchain - a decentralized online ledger which keeps track of all transactions across various devices. The blockchain allows for transparency and security in the decision-making process of the DAO. Members of a DAO can propose changes to the organization’s rules or vote on proposals made by others. Once a proposal is approved by the majority of members, it is automatically executed by the code.

Mechanics of DAOs

The foundation of DAO functionality lies in its smart contract, a set of programmed instructions which specify the rules of the agreement, like with real contracts. Such conditions can include executing financial transactions, introducing new tokens, and structuring the voting rights. Such a system gives various opportunities for the distribution of the voting rights. They may be determined by the magnitude of one's investment, segregated according to cryptocurrency wallet categories, or perhaps be based on a logarithmic scale to curtail the overwhelming influence of major investors.

This framework ensures that DAOs aren't inundated with numerous proposals. A proposal is approved only when it gets the approval of most stakeholders. The criteria for what constitutes a majority can differ across DAOs and is explicitly outlined in their respective smart contracts.

Because of the fact that DAO are usually working with open-source blockchains, DAOs are known for their transparency and autonomy. Their underlying code is accessible to anyone to access at any time. Similarly, thanks to the blockchain's ability to record all financial operations, their internal treasuries are open for review by anyone.

In parallel to its technical infrastructure, a DAO must be well-equipped legally. As per the directives of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, any crypto tokens associated with a DAO has to be registered under securities. In the USA, states like Tennessee and Wyoming have expressed interest in recognizing DAOs as entities with legal standing. 

Creating a DAO 

Starting your own DAO is a lengthy process, but can be done by almost anyone with enough research and time. If one is thinking about the first steps on how to begin the process of setting up a DAO, some of the steps may include:

  • Defining Smart Contract Rules: an individual developer or a team sets up the smart contracts that will guide the DAO. Once the DAO starts, any changes to these rules can only be made thanks to its own decision-making process. So, it's crucial to test these contracts thoroughly to avoid future issues.
  • Gathering Funds: After setting up the smart contracts, the DAO needs money to run. This is usually done by selling tokens. People who buy these tokens typically get a say in the DAO's decisions.
  • Starting the DAO on the Blockchain: With everything ready, the DAO is launched on the blockchain. After this, the direction of the DAO is in the hands of its stakeholders. Even the people who created the DAO don't have more power than anyone else involved.

For a DAO to gain traction, its advocates need to effectively communicate its vision and allure potential backers and collaborators. The nature of involvement can vary — it could be direct investments using cryptocurrencies or contributions in the form of validated work via specific platforms or resources. It can be an innovative app for environmental surveillance that could incentivize users to supply relevant data. Alternatively, a storage solution might offer rewards to those extending storage capabilities using protocols like the interplanetary file system.

Engaging in a DAO's operations might offer participants the satisfaction of acquiring a unique item or championing a meaningful cause. Yet, it doesn't just stop at altruism. A DAO, while making a positive impact in the world, could also generate returns which are then translated into the foundational cryptocurrency supporting its token. Consequently, participants might witness their token's value surge, receive compensation in the form of the DAO's token, or even get payouts through Ether or other digital currencies.

Benefits of DAOs

Compared to traditional organizations, DAOs offer several benefits:

  • Transparency: DAOs operate through blockchain, which promotes transparency during the process of making decisions. Members can see all proposals made by others and how they voted.
  • Decentralization: DAOs reduce the need for managers or traditional hierarchical structures, as decisions are made collectively and autonomously through a process of decentralized governance.
  • Security: DAOs operate on a blockchain, which provides security against fraud or hacking attempts.

Challenges of DAOs

While DAOs can be helpful in some ways, they also face several challenges:

  • Complexity: DAOs can be complex to set up and maintain due to their reliance on smart contracts and blockchain technology.
  • Governance: DAOs are in great need of a working governance structure, which will increase the chances that decisions are made considering the best interests of all parties involved. 
  • Legal issues: The legal status of DAOs is still unclear in many jurisdictions, which can create regulatory challenges.

DAOs are changing the way people collaborate and create value in the crypto space. They offer several benefits over traditional organizations - for instance, transparency, decentralization, and security. However, they also face several challenges, including complexity, governance issues, and legal uncertainty. As more successful DAOs emerge in the future, it will be interesting to see how they continue to evolve.

Examples of successful DAOs

There are several successful DAOs that have emerged in recent years. Here are some examples:


Possibly one of the most widely recognized DAOs, MakerDAO stands behind the creation of DAI, a stablecoin that mirrors the U.S. dollar's value. Governed by its community, it showcases how a decentralized entity can manage a global currency.


While it's remembered largely due to its infamous security breach, The DAO, an investor-directed venture capital fund, showcased the potentials and pitfalls of the model.

Kyber Network

It exemplifies decentralized finance, enabling users to transact tokens directly without intermediaries. The KNC token holders have a say in its governance.


A project aiming to make the creation and management of DAOs easier for users. Aragon provides the tools and groundwork necessary to establish these entities on the Ethereum blockchain.

The Road Ahead: DAOs in the Future

As technology continues to advance, several anticipated developments could shape the next steps for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). For instance, platforms like Aragon are paving the way for the evolution of DAO frameworks, making it simpler and more efficient to create and manage these organizations. But the potential impact of DAOs isn't confined to just the crypto sphere. The foundational principles behind DAOs have the potential to revolutionize various other areas, from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and grassroots community groups to potentially redefining traditional corporate structures. Furthermore, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with DAOs is a promising field. Merging the capabilities of AI with the decentralized structures of DAOs are set to enhance decision-making processes and set the stage for technology and governance. 

To DAO or not to DAO?

For those who value community consensus, transparency, and decentralization, DAOs are the future. However, potential adopters should be aware of the complexities and challenges involved, from code vulnerabilities to governance complexities. It’s always a good idea to monitor the news and choose the strategies that work for you.


In an ever changing world of digital currencies, where power dynamics are constantly being challenged, DAOs emerge as a beacon of collaborative potential. They represent a future where organizations operate transparently, where decisions are made collectively, and where intermediaries don't control the value.

As with all revolutionary concepts, the road for DAOs is filled with both enthusiasm and caution. As crypto enthusiasts and ambitious professionals, it's vital to understand, adapt, and innovate with these changes., with its finger always on the pulse of the crypto universe and will continue to guide you through these news.

SimpleSwap reminds you that this article is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide investment advice. All purchases and cryptocurrency investments are your own responsibility.

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