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Researching DAOs

Researching DAOs - How and where to find out about DAOs that might interest you
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© RMIT 2023

Finding the ideal DAO or DAOs doesn’t have to be overwhelming, it just requires an understanding what motivates you, what you’re looking to accomplish, and awareness of some useful checks along the way.

DAO channels

Here are a few suggested channels for finding out about DAOs that you may be interested in:

DAO ‘explorers’ and dashboards

There are several websites, such as DAOstack’s Alchemy and DAO Data, that allow you to browse and search for DAOs on the Ethereum blockchain. You can filter by category, popularity, and other criteria to find DAOs that align with your interests. Some dashboards even assess the technical integrity of the DAO platform.

Social media

Many DAOs have active communities on social media platforms like Twitter, Telegram, and Discord. Discord is arguably the most popular social channel for DAO communities. You can search for and follow relevant hashtags, join groups, and search for DAOs on social media to learn more about them and connect with other community members.

Events and meetups

DAO and DAO members often participate in events and meetups related to decentralized technology and governance. Attending these events can be a great way to learn about new DAOs and meet the people behind them.

Research and publications

Researchers, academics and industry experts often produce research and analysis on DAOs and their impact. Some good resources for this are the DAOstack whitepaper, MolochDAO whitepaper, Aragon whitepaper, and DAOincubator’s report.

Referral from friends or community

Often, people you know who are interested in crypto and blockchain will have already heard of and/or be members of a DAO. Ask around and see if they have any recommendations.

Things to consider when looking for a DAO

When looking for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to invest in or join, there are several things to keep in mind:

Transparency

Look for a DAO that is open and transparent about its operations and decision-making processes. Avoid DAOs that lack clear information about how they are governed and how decisions are made.

Token economics

Understand the token economics of the DAO, what the token represents, how it’s (meant to be) used, what rights attach to ownership and what incentives are incentives associated with it. Most DAOs will have a white paper that describes in detail the token issuance scheme and the tokenomics of the DAO. You can also go to the DAO’s social media channels (eg Discord) and ask. If the white paper isn’t readily available you might try looking for it on aggregator sites like allcryptowhitepapers.com

Security

Where possible, ensure that the DAO’s smart contract code has been audited by reputable third-party companies. This can help identify potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious actors.

Funding

Be aware of how a DAO is funded and by whom. Some DAOs rely on funding from a small group of individuals or organizations, which can increase the potential for centralization and conflicts of interest. If you are looking for a DAO with a social purpose, you might also want to ensure that the funding source is consistent with the mission of the DAO and perhaps more importantly, aligned with your values.

Community

Look for a DAO with an active and engaged community. This can help ensure that the DAO is responsive to the needs and concerns of its members.

Jurisdiction

Be aware of the jurisdiction where the DAO is based and the laws that govern it. This is important to understand the potential legal implications of being part of the organization.

As always, and especially in the largely unregulated world of DAOs, it’s vitally important that you do your own research and due diligence and consult legal and financial advice when applicable.

© RMIT 2023
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Introduction to DAOs: Decentralised Autonomous Organisations

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