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DAOs are the foundation of Web3, the creator economy and the future of work

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DAOs are the foundation of Web3, the creator economy and the future of work

Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) started out as a simple concept envisioned as organizations, created by an idea and fueled by developers, that automate business functions and processes by leveraging smart contracts and all the fundamental tenets of blockchain. The core idea was to flatten the complex business process that various organizations are mired in and facilitate movement of assets to a very future-oriented digital interaction that needed no intermediaries — promising faster, cheaper and more transparent transaction processing. 

By replacing many intermediaries, the DAOs themselves acted as digital intermediaries that provide transparency and scale, giving them the stature of an organization without the traditional organizational constructs of entities, groups, management, charters and other forms of collective action. While the traditional centralized organizational structure is being challenged, the key organizational elements that remain are fueling a new economic revolution that is giving birth to a new creator economy and bringing artists, lawyers, developers and creators together from all around the globe to create ideas and monetize them at global scale in permissionless crypto economic systems built upon blockchain and Web3 technologies — and essentially defining the future of work.

Reduced dependence on trusted parties, tokenization of assets, and new stores of value enabled by blockchain technology can themselves enable new types of organizational structures and reduce the power of intermediaries. Ronald Coase’s famous essay on the raison d’être for the firm, “The Nature of the Firm,” explored why firms exist and what elements comprise them.

From a transaction cost perspective, the firm creates an economic structure where the transaction cost within its boundaries is reduced by greater control of standardized contracts with its employees and ownership of resources. As the cost of internalizing resources increases, contractual arrangements with other firms in specialized areas result. Transaction costs associated with contracting can be drastically reduced by the decentralized verification and smart contracts enabled by blockchain.

While this was the initial thesis behind DAOs, with speed, efficiency and costs bring primary objectives, DAOs now represent a significant piece of the mindshare governing and the primary driving force behind value extraction from the base layer, or layer one blockchain platforms. These layer one blockchain platforms represent the emerging Web3 technologies that aim to provide greater control to participants by fundamentally decentralizing computing, storing, and interconnecting. Many DAOs will emerge that represent the collaboration of a global talent pool, digital natives, and the ingenuity of a community that shares a common belief system — and bring the term “organization” to life.

Related: DAOs will be the future of online communities in five years

DAOs: Pillars of the creator economy

A broad definition of a DAO would be an organization that records its membership, rules and responsibilities on an immutable ledger enabled by blockchain technology. Its charter and evolution are public and unchangeable. Generally, joining requires resources and community membership of sorts, in the form of tokens, to either participate or vote as a participant. Tokens are denominated in monetary assets (fungible or nonfungible tokens), whether crypto or fiat. Acquisition of tokens, in most cases, requires either time and talent participation, or a buy-in using fiat or crypto.

DAOs provide a unique structure that naturally supports a creator economy, in which an economic model supports a structure through which you rent your talent and time, obtain flexibility and earnings, and leverage it to facilitate fractional ownership in the system supported and governed by the community. Blockchain and, by association, DAOs embody a natural governance structure for borderless online collaboration on crypto-native projects by digital natives which, incidentally, can be leveraged by traditional organizations that embrace the principles, similar to how brick-and-mortar businesses found an on-ramp to digital equivalents in the Web 2.0 era.

While the issues around regulatory clarity and a framework for investor protection persist, these digital entities embody a digital reality like that of a nation — the state attempts to attract talent, capital, and innovation. Although the governance and rules of engagement may not be perfect, they are an ongoing experiment with innovation aiming to change the way we live and empower every willing community’s participation. While the arguments for autonomy and collectivization are employed to defend the lack of regulation, the ability to purchase voting power and the lack of protection provide a strong counter to this argument. If DAOs become digital analogs to existing corporate and organizational structures, will they continue to serve as an avenue to, or promoter for, a creator economy and support Web3 principles?

Related: Bull or bear market, creators are diving headfirst into crypto

The future of work

Web3 as a technology paradigm aims to provide rails for creation, tokenization and movement of value and assets. The Web3 aim to solve content ownership and provide portability of digital assets by tokenizing them paves the way to trade this tokenized value for other fungible tokenized assets, thereby enabling creators to monetize their work effort. These work efforts may include (but are not limited to) mining and the creation of content, such as art, music, and other forms of nonfungible tokens, that represent a stake in an ecosystem, much like game tokens.

In a future where dynamic, borderless organizations without hierarchy can undertake much of the value creation, a supply of services is more conceivable with interconnected value networks, exchanges and bridges providing connectivity between these ecosystems. These decentralized exchanges or asset bridges not only provide an avenue to exchange various asset classes but also facilitate the global movement of assets, thereby creating truly global economies that attract digital natives and a talent pool.

The innovation driven by decentralized and transparent token economic models aims to deliver great end-user and employee experience, while ensuring that the organization reaps the cost savings and competitive benefits of superior participant experiences. DAOs involved with DeFi, NFTs, and various other Metaverse projects deliver just that, where a handful of developers or founders conceive initiatives and pursue decentralized development via platform projects or crowdsource development with token incentives and participants who are not only consumers, but also earn from their meaningful participation.

Related: DeFi and Web 3.0: Unleashing creative juices with decentralized finance

DAOs represent the emerging trend that is driving a deep, long-lasting transformation of the workplace that combines cultural, digital, and philosophical belief systems. This is attracting investment from other token projects and talent from digital natives from across the globe, thereby creating an experience for all participants that results in a more resilient and empowered workforce and more community participation.

This article was co-authored by Ananth Natrajan and Nitin Gaur.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Ananth Natrajan has over 18 years of experience worldwide in several roles, including research and development, business acquisition, systems engineering, product development, construction management and project management. His startup is building cybereum, a blockchain based platform for collaboratively managing complex projects with multiple stakeholders. He holds BEng & MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA from IESE, and an MSc in major programme management from the University of Oxford. He is a professional engineer (PE) and project management professional (PMP). He has led multi-disciplinary teams in several complex projects and technology/product development efforts. Ananth has several patents in offshore wind turbines and blockchain technology.

Nitin Gaur is the founder and director of IBM Digital Asset Labs, where he devises industry standards and use cases, and works toward making blockchain for the enterprise a reality. He previously served as chief technology officer of IBM World Wire and of IBM Mobile Payments and Enterprise Mobile Solutions, and he founded IBM Blockchain Labs, where he led the effort in establishing the blockchain practice for the enterprise. Gaur is also an IBM-distinguished engineer and an IBM master inventor with a rich patent portfolio. Additionally, he serves as research and portfolio manager for Portal Asset Management, a multi-manager fund specializing in digital assets and DeFi investment strategies.

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Wait, what? Former Bitcoin bull Raoul Pal only owns one Bitcoin?

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Wait, what? Former Bitcoin bull Raoul Pal only owns one Bitcoin?

Former Goldman Sachs hedge fund manager and cryptocurrency bull Raoul Pal claimed in a tweet that he now only owns a single Bitcoin.

As the claim was made in the heat of a Twitter fight with self-proclaimed “Bitcoin Strategist” Greg Foss it’s not entirely clear whether it’s an exaggeration or an accurate statement about his holdings. Pal is the founder and CEO of Real Vision and Global Macro while Foss is an executive director at Validus Power Corp.

The revelation of his apparently small holding certainly caused uproar and angst among Bitcoin true believers, who’ve looked at Pal askance ever since he started calling Ethereum “the greatest trade” and predicted that ETH and altcoins will eventually outperform BTC.

Fascinating to see that since inception ETH has outperformed BTC by 250%. It only fell below its initial price in BTC for the first 5 months of its existence in 2015.

Let that put rest to the idea that all other tokens trend towards zero in BTC terms. pic.twitter.com/ulCpsjG8up

— Raoul Pal (@RaoulGMI) April 7, 2021

Pal first purchased BTC in Nov 2013. He sold for a 10X profit in the so-called “fork-wars” of 2017 (missing out on an even bigger gain later that year) before adding to his collection in 2019 through 2020. In May 2021, he confirmed that he owned more ETH than BTC. At time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is worth $40,925.

The barney was instigated by Foss, who tweeted “Raoul is soft” followed by another intellectual tweet, “Raoul sucks and blows” shortly after. After some back and forth between Pal and the Bitcoin maxi, Pal posted that people like Foss and the Bitcoin community’s exclusionary ideology are why he only holds one Bitcoin.

And that is your issue. I don’t share your philosophy, so you attack me? Really? This is why I hold only one bitcoin, the community has lost sight of inclusion and you sir, are helping reduce the network effects by excluding people who dont share your view from the network.

— Raoul Pal (@RaoulGMI) January 20, 2022

This upset the Bitcoiner community, many who claimed he had let emotion cloud logic. “His feelings are hurting his future,” commented one user Emanuel in a reply to Bitcoin Meme Hub tweet. “I knew when he started to sip Vitalik’s coolaid he was a goner,” added another user, Jalan Foster.

The founder of Synaptic Ventures Marc van der Chijs complained that the fact Pal only owns one BTC based on the makeup of the community and not on the potential return “goes totally against the gospel he preaches on RealVision.”

However, some defended Pal, pointing to his impressive track record and reminding followers that he is in fact a trader, not a holder. Crypto analyst and founder of Crypto My Way “Coach T” wrote that he appreciates Pal’s “diverse views and intelligent thinking.”

Foss vs. Pal: a Twitter feud

It appears that the argument was in response to a disagreement on Pal’s stance on inflation and bonds as a trading vehicle. Foss explained that he didn’t support Pal promoting his trading strategy to others who don’t entirely understand how it works.

Pal disagreed, explaining that his views on bonds are “a trade, not a philosophy.” Despite this, in a following comment on the thread, Pal claimed that he doesn’t own any bonds.

Ok, lets do math. If Im right and bonds can rally 20% in 12 months (just use TLT) that is faster than the balance sheet expansion, thus its a net win to your purchasing power. If you hold bonds to maturity you lose. Issue?

— Raoul Pal (@RaoulGMI) January 20, 2022

Three hours after posting the original tweet attacking Pal, the argument eventually culminated in Foss tweeting an apology saying that he “regrets his actions,” adding that he “made a rookie error” and that he has “bigger battles to fight.”

Related: Raoul Pal says ‘reasonable chance’ crypto market cap could 100x by 2030

Just weeks ago, Pal said that he believes there is a “reasonable chance” that the crypto market capitalization will increase 100 times by the end of this decade. Hoping he’s right about that is perhaps something on which we can all agree.

Cointelegraph reached out to Raoul Pal via Real Vision and will update the story with any response.

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Multichain hacker returns 322 ETH, keeps hefty finders fee

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Multichain hacker returns 322 ETH, keeps hefty finders fee

Owing to a security vulnerability in six tokens, Multichain users lost more than $3M over the week. A white hat hacker returned 322 ETH, but in excess of 527 ETH is still exploited.

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Multichain hacker returns 322 ETH, keeps hefty finders fee

In a dramatic twist, one of this week’s Multichain hackers has returned 322 ETH ($974,000 at the time of writing) to the cross-chain router protocol and one of the affected users.

However the hacker kept 62 ETH ($187,000) as a “bug bounty”, and a total of 528 ETH (worth $1.6M) remains outstanding after the exploits.

Earlier this week, news emerged of a security vulnerability with Multichain relating to the tokens WETH, PERI, OMT, WBNB, MATIC, and AVAX, and $1.43 million was stolen. Multichain announced on Jan. 17 the critical vulnerability had been “reported and fixed.”

However, publicity about the vulnerability reportedly encouraged a number of different attackers to swoop in, and more than $3 million in funds were stolen. The critical vulnerability in the six tokens still exists, but Multichain has drained around $44.5m of funds from multiple chain bridges to protect them.

Yeah, bridge contract need pause function. https://t.co/lPjLsE5EtR

— Zhaojun (@zhaojun_sh) January 20, 2022

One of the hackers, calling himself a “white hat” has been in communication with both Multichain and a user who lost $960,000 in the past day or so, to negotiate returning 80% of the money in return for a hefty finders fee.

According to a Jan. 20 tweet from ZenGo wallet co-founder Tal Be’ery, the hacker claimed they hadbeen “saving the rest” of the Multichain users who were being targeted by bots, in an act of defensive hacking.

The funds were returned across four transactions. On Jan. 20 the hacker returned 269 ETH ($813,000) in two transactions directly to the user he stole it from and kept a bug bounty of 50 ETH ($150,000).

The relieved user responded to the hacker:

“Well received, thank you for your honesty.”

Overnight, the hacker also returned 50 ETH ($150,000) across two transactions to the official Multichain address, and kept a bug bounty of 12 ETH ($36,000).

Related: Multichain asks users to revoke approvals amid ‘critical vulnerability’

Multichain (formerly Anyswap) aims to be the “ultimate router for Web3.” The platform supports 30 chains at the moment, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Avalanche (AVAX), Litecoin (LTC), Terra (LUNA), and Fantom (FTM).

In a tweet on Jan. 20, the Co-Founder and CEO of Multichain Zhaojun conceded that Multichain bridge contracts need a pause function to deal with similar incidents in future..

Cointelegraph has contacted the project for comment.

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Australia’s plan to create a crypto competitive edge in 12 steps

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Australia’s plan to create a crypto competitive edge in 12 steps

In October 2021, the Senate Committee for Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre released its much-awaited recommendations for how cryptocurrency should be regulated. The 168-page final report boils down to 12 recommendations aimed at striking the right balance between creating legitimacy without stifling innovation. 

This is a landmark report that demonstrates Australia’s clear efforts to put itself at the forefront of crypto investment globally. The chair of the committee, Senator Andrew Bragg, believes that “Australia can be a leader in digital assets” and is confident that it can particularly “be competitive with Singapore, the UK and the US.”

Four key recommendations

First, the introduction of a range of new crypto-specific licenses and regulations. For too long, regulators around the world have been trying to put square pegs (cryptocurrency) into round holes (traditional financial regulation). This approach underestimates the fundamental differences that exist as well as the potential that digital assets have to transform the world. This report acknowledges crypto’s potential and calls for a range of bespoke cryptocurrency licenses in Australia. It recommends a specific market licensing regime for digital exchanges as well as a bespoke custody regime for digital assets. Details will still need to be fleshed out but if we get these frameworks right, then this will create the legitimacy that the sector needs to take off into the mainstream.

Second, the introduction of a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) entity type into Australian corporate law. This recommendation is a very big deal, as it shows that the Australian government is open to decentralized finance (DeFi) as well as crypto innovation. Wyoming is the only region I have heard of that has something like this in place, so this could put Australia on the front foot. If approved, DAOs could provide a unique utility that may bring the Australian economy a decade ahead into a decentralized future. However, this will also be the hardest thing for the Committee to get approved, as changes to the Corporations Act are infamously rare in Australia. If anyone can do it, it’s Senator Bragg though.

Third, improved tax rules for crypto-to-crypto transactions. Recent Finder research shows that over 17% of Australians own cryptocurrency — the third-highest rate of adoption in the world. However, this growing group has had to grapple with tax rules that are confusing at best. Historically, crypto-to-crypto transfers have been considered a capital gain by the Australian Tax Office. The new recommendation calls for tax only when there has been “a clearly definable capital gain or loss.” Again, the devil will be in the detail on this one but active Australian crypto users could be the real winners.

Fourth, new tax incentives to encourage green crypto mining. The Committee recommends a 10% company tax discount for crypto mining businesses that use renewable energy. This looks like a smart move to support two high-growth Australian industries: renewable energy and cryptocurrency. This will be especially important as the Committee tries to get these recommendations signed off against a backdrop of COP26 and rising concerns about climate change.

Related: Crypto staking rewards and their unfair taxation in the US

Three tough issues

  • Timelines for turning recommendations into law. Right now, these are all just recommendations, and are worth as much as the political will that exists to enact them. As with other countries, politics in Australia moves slowly and this will be no different. Senator Andrew Bragg is bullish that he can get all the recommendations passed in 12 months and I back him to get it done. His cause could also be supported by a growing view that crypto innovation could be a vote-winner with young Australians in a looming federal election, as nearly a third of Generation Z already own cryptocurrency.
  • Implications for crypto businesses during the pre-reform period. If it takes a year to introduce new laws then there are still questions about what crypto businesses can do in the meantime. Many submissions called for a “safe harbor” against regulation until rules had been finalized but this was not explicitly recommended by the Committee. However, the direction of travel has been set and there is clear support for crypto innovation and an acknowledgment that new rules and licenses are needed. I would be surprised if we saw much in the way of regulatory action until then.
  • Specifics for the licensing and tax proposals. Many of these recommendations were light on detail and it looks like the Australian Treasury will now lead on these matters. The industry will be very interested to know what the requirements for being a custodian or digital exchange will be, particularly when it comes to capital requirements. If there’s too much regulatory burden, then businesses will move offshore. Likewise, consumers will need more clarity on what a “clearly definable capital gain or loss” is for tax purposes. In many ways, the work starts now.

Related: Crypto makes history in 2021: Five instances of governments embracing digital assets

Learnings for governments around the world

The crypto industry is ready to talk policy. It’s fair to say that this Select Committee was inundated with engagement from crypto businesses, academics, peak bodies and regulators. More than 100 written submissions contributed and there were three full days of public hearings. It’s not often that an industry is asking for more regulation but that is what is happening here. The crypto industry around the world wants clarity and is ready to have a conversation about policy.

Broad reviews are more effective than siloed approaches. One key reason that this consultation had so much engagement was that it looked at the digital asset industry holistically rather than from one angle only. A problem we’re seeing around the world is regulators interested in looking at crypto assets from their specific regulatory view, but broad innovation shouldn’t be assessed through such a narrow lens. This consultation managed to look at the industry holistically while still getting into the specific issues. I welcome more reviews like it around the world.

Bespoke digital asset policy approaches will be needed. Digital assets have hit critical velocity and the revolution can no longer be ignored. Piecemeal changes to legacy financial services policy will not work. We need policymakers around the world to work together to create bespoke policies that are fit-for-purpose. Coinbase captures this well in pillar one of its Digital Asset Policy Proposal (DAPP). The DAPP calls for “a new framework for how we regulate digital assets” that “will ensure that innovation can occur in ways that are not hampered by the difficulty of transitioning from our legacy market structure.” These recommendations in Australia are an attempt at doing exactly that which many can learn from.

What is clear is that the world is changing. This Senate Committee in Australia should be applauded for taking a holistic approach and recommending bespoke policy instruments. It’s time for policymakers around the world to follow suit and take a broad look at their approach to digital assets.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Fred Schebesta is an Australian-born entrepreneur and early-stage investor, founder of global fintech Finder, now worth over half a billion dollars. Fred recently launched blockchain investment fund Hive Empire Capital and co-founded Balthazar, a DAO platform for NFT gaming. With 22 years of experience in building businesses, Fred just released a Number One Amazon Best Selling book, Go Live! 10 Principles to Launch a Global Empire.

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