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Exploring the DeFi community further

A discussion of ways to explore the DeFi community further
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(gentle music)
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<v ->DeFi is a financial technology,</v> but there’s a lot more ways to get involved with DeFi other than just making financial exchanges. To talk about some of those, I’m joined today by Professor Ellie Rennie and Kelsie Nabben. Ellie, Kelsie, hi. <v ->Hi, Chris.</v> <v ->Hi, Chris.</v> <v ->Kelsie, I’m gonna start with you.</v> What is a DAO or more interestingly, why are DeFi communities so involved with the DAO ecosystem? <v ->Yeah, great question Chris.</v> So, DAO stands for decentralized autonomous organizations, and it’s really a way to organize in a politically decentralized manner, to govern different blockchain protocols and processes, which is also mediated by the technology that people are aiming to govern.
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So it makes sense then, that in DeFi protocols, when people are trying to use these decentralized finance mechanisms, that they also want the governance and management of these mechanisms to be done in a more decentralized way.
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<v ->It’s really interesting though, isn’t it Kelsie,</v> because we’re used to financial products, the financial system being governed by corporations, but instead now we have all these DeFi products that are being governed by sort of communities. How do these communities operate in practice? <v ->That’s correct.</v> So, oftentimes it’s organizing in quite a permissionless way. So anyone can come and join and contribute to these communities, as well as using the DeFi protocol itself. And then this works in all different ways, depending on the specific context of the community or the DeFi protocol.
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So, in sum, you can contribute any kinds of skill, you can contribute capital as well, and knowledge and expertise in different areas to actually be part of that community, and this is all occurring online as well. So there’s Discord which is a particular chat app. There’s Discourse which is a type of forum and other such tools that people use to collectively organize. <v ->Ellie, you’ve studied how these communities function,</v> but how would one actually get involved, apart from just jumping on the Discord channel? Well, what would you do to be involved in a DAO?
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<v ->First of all, I think it’s important to recognize,</v> that just because they don’t have formal HR departments, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy to pitch work to a DAO. You need to prove yourself often, and that can mean doing voluntary labor. To actually go through the process of getting work, that might entail submitting a proposal to a community, possibly first through something like their Discord channel, and then through more formal processes, such as a Discourse proposal and voting system. So that could be any kind of work that you might choose to pitch, that you see as important, but there will be a process of having to convince that community that they need you and why.
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<v ->So Ellie, I guess the question is,</v> are DAOs the future of work? Are we all eventually gonna end up working for a DAO? <v ->It’s possible Chris,</v> particularly if DAOs keep evolving in ways that we can’t imagine right now. If we think about the gig economy, for instance, that took off very, very rapidly. However, I think there will always be certain industries and jobs that’ll require face-to-face work and interaction, which is a bit more difficult through a DAO, but they will work incredibly well for infrastructures and industries and organizations, where you have people located in different parts of the world, who need to coordinate. That’s essentially what they’re good for.
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<v ->Ellie, Kelsie,</v> thanks for talking to me about DAOs and the future of work. I think the real lesson is, that here, is just a jump straight in, hop on the Discord, read the rules, understand the community, and then get involved, debate and discuss about the future of DeFi. So thank you. (gentle music)

As you prepare to explore the DeFi community further on your own after this course, it’s important to know where to find the community and how it functions. Watch Associate Professor Chris Berg discuss ways to further explore the community with Professor Ellie Rennie and Kelsie Nabben.

Now it’s your turn

We have seen some of the ways that DAOs are disrupting governance in DeFi. What are some other industries DAOs could disrupt by decentralising governance? What positive and negative effects might this disruption bring?

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Decentralised Finance: Blockchain, Ethereum, and The Future of Banking

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