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Notable DAOs

Notable DAOs
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The article introduces examples of notable DAOs from some of the largest DAO categories and sets the practical background to understanding the DAO landscape.

The first and fundamental category is DAO Operating Systems. They are DAOs that provide platforms to create and manage new DAOs. Aragon is the largest DAO in this category, and currently, there are over 1900 DAOs built on Aragon. It allows users to develop their DAOs on the Ethereum blockchain and Rinkeby test network. Aragon offers templates to create new DAOs that can be customised to fit the organisation’s purpose and design. Aragon suite includes products like Aragon Client (the framework with DAO templates), Aragon Govern (that automatically executes the proposals unless challenged), Aragon Court (the plug-in arbitration and dispute resolution platform) and Aragon voice (for the verifiable and gasless voting).

MakerDAO falls under the Protocol DAO category. It is a decentralised credit platform that is famous for the creation of the largest decentralised stablecoin DAI and is also one of the oldest DAOs. It was created in 2014 as an open-source project on Ethereum. In 2017 they introduced DAI (a stablecoin pegged to USD) and expanded the number of Ethereum based assets that could be used as collateral. MakerDAO is now considered DeFi’s largest “central bank”. MakerDAO continues to develop, including through onboarding real-world assets (RWAs). There is now more than $48 million in DAI backed with real-world assets.

Another DAO category is Collector DAO, where members come together to collect, sell and issue NFTs. An exciting example is PleasrDAO, which was formed to raise capital to buy pplpleasr’s Uniswap V3 NFT. It was a milestone moment in DeFi history that heralded the new digital native way of crowd finding and owning culturally significant pieces. In other words, it was the point when the online community realised the opportunity and the power to raise substantial funds in days or even hours and enable collective ownership. Where no individual member could afford to buy the piece of art before, now they can own one as a member of a DAO.

A prominent DAO in the Social category is FWB which stands for Friends With Benefits. New York Times named them the “V.I.P. lounge for crypto’s creative class”. Trevor McFedries launched FWB in 2020 to bring together his friends from the arts and music industry, and it soon became an exclusive digital social club. Membership costs 75$FWB, which is DAO’s native token and is equivalent to around $9000 today. The value soared after several investors decided to contribute substantial amounts to FWB, including $10 million from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and $1.5 from the managing partner of Kindred Ventures. The FWB DAO amassed 6000 members, including musicians like Erykah Badu and Azealia Banks.

Flamingo DAO is focused on owning and investing in blockchain assets such as NFTs. It falls under both Collector and Investment Category. However, unlike Pleasr DAO, it collects NFTs primarily for investment rather than cultural value. Flamingo was launched in October 2020 and collected 60ETH (approx. $23,000) from its members. Only a few years later, it collected some of the most well-known NFTs, such as over 200 CryptoPunks and over 20 Bored Apes. The whole portfolio’s value is worth an estimated $1 billion as of February 2022. Flamingo membership is exclusive and capped at 100 members at each given time. It offers its members the ability to deploy NFT investment strategies such as combining NFTs into token sets or using them as collateral for lending and stablecoin protocols.

We introduced you to just a few examples of hundreds of existing DAOs. See the figure below for the DAO landscape, which sorts the most notable DAOs into categories or the DeepDAO website, for a more extensive list of DAOs.

© RMIT 2023
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Introduction to DAOs: Decentralised Autonomous Organisations

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