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.
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?
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.
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.
Alchemy and Infura block access to Tornado Cash as Vitalik Buterin weighs in on debate
U.S. persons and entities must comply with the Treasury’s sanctions or face possible criminal consequences.
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According to Twitter user @0xdev0, on Monday, Web3 development platform Alchemy and Infura.io blocked remote procedure call (RPC) requests to cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash, preventing users from accessing the applications. The day prior, the U.S. Treasury placed 44 smart contract addresses linked to Tornado Cash in the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) list. U.S. persons and entities are prohibited from blockchain or business interactions with Tornado Cash under t sanctions, with the possibility of criminal liabilities for violations.
The move came after the U.S. Treasury alleged individuals and groups had used the privacy protocol to launder more than $7 billion worth of crypto since 2019, including the $455 million stolen by the North Korea-affiliated Lazarus Group. Almost immediately after the announcement, stablecoin issuer Circle froze USD Coin funds held within Tornado Cash’s smart contracts. Meanwhile, programming repository GitHub took down the project’s main page and blocked developer access.
Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, claimed that he used Tornado Cash to donate to Ukraine. The intent, as told by Buterin, was to protect the financial privacy of the recipients so that their enemy, the Russian government, would not have full details of the transaction.
I’ll out myself as someone who has used TC to donate to this exact cause.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) August 9, 2022
Others have also pointed out the mixer’s privacy applications, such as for an individual getting paid in crypto who doesn’t want an employer to see their financial details, or paying for a service in crypto who doesn’t want the service provider to see the past transactions from their wallet. On the other hand, the tool has, in part, acted as a hotspot for enabling anonymous hackers to launder stolen funds from protocol exploits particularly cross-chain bridges. More than $2 billion worth of funds has been stolen from such applications year to date.
Reddit partners with FTX to enable ETH gas fees for community points
With the new integration, Reddit users will be able to purchase Ether from supported Reddit apps via FTX’s payment and exchange infrastructure platform FTX Pay.
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After moving away from Bitcoin (BTC) payments years ago, online forum Reddit now seems to be inching closer to embracing cryptocurrency payments via a new partnership with the FTX exchange.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX and Reddit announced in a joint statement on Tuesday that the platform intends to integrate Reddit’s Community Points in the United States, the European Union, Australia and other markets.
The partnership features the integration of FTX Pay as a payment and crypto exchange solution to unlock new crypto-enabled perks for Reddit Community Points. Introduced in May 2020, Reddit Community Points are a measure of reputation in communities or subreddits, allowing users to own a piece of their favorite communities.
“As a unit of ownership, points capture some of the value of their community. They can be spent on premium features and are used as a measure of reputation in the community,” Reddit said when launching the Community Points two years ago. Reddit Community Points are based on Arbitrum, one of the most Ethereum scaling solutions.
With the new integration, users will be able to purchase Ether (ETH) from supported Reddit apps via FTX’s payment and exchange infrastructure platform FTX Pay. The cryptocurrency can be used to pay blockchain gas fees, or network fees for their Community Points transactions on-chain.
“We’re always working to empower communities and introduce new ways to use Reddit, and decentralized, self-sustaining blockchain technology allows us to do that. By working with FTX, we’re able to do this at scale,” Reddit staff software engineer Niraj Sheth said.
Bankman-Fried noted that the partnership with Reddit marks FTX s commitment to empower online communities to harness the power of blockchain. “FTX Pay’s payment and exchange infrastructure integrates with Reddit Community Points, making the customer experience a more seamless process,” he added.
The news comes amid Arbitrum developer Offchain Labs launching the Arbitrum Nova chain on Tuesday. Arbitrum Nova, the second chain launched in the Arbitrum ecosystem, is designed to serve as the premier solution for Web3 gaming and social applications. Apart from Reddit and FTX, other firms like Google Cloud, Consensys, P2P and QuickNode participated in the launch by becoming inaugural members of Nova’s “Data Availability Committee.”
One of the most popular websites in the United States, Reddit has been largely involved in the crypto and blockchain industry for many years. The discussion platform is known for once allowing users to pay for their premium membership in Bitcoin but removing the opportunity in 2018.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has been widely involved in crypto, launching a $100 million Web3 investment fund last year. Ohanian subsequently launched another $200 million Web3 and social media fund in collaboration with the Ethereum scaling solution Polygon.
Is your SOL safe? What we know about the Solana hack | Find out now on The Market Report
On this week’s episode of “The Market Report,” Cointelegraph’s resident experts discuss whether your SOL is safe or not.
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On this week’s episode of “The Market Report,” Cointelegraph’s resident experts discuss the latest updates concerning the recent Solana (SOL) hack.
To kick things off, we broke down the latest news in the markets this week:
Bitcoin realized price bands form key resistance as bulls lose $24K, significant whale activity between $22,000 and $24,800 adds to the complexity of the current spot market setup. Bitcoin (BTC) consolidated lower on Aug. 9 after familiar resistance preserved a multi-month trading range. When will we finally break out of this price range and make the move towards $30K?
Institutions flocking to Ethereum for 7 straight weeks as Merge nears: Report, “Greater clarity” around the Merge has driven institutional inflows into Ethereum products, according to a CoinShares report. Is the ETH merge finally around the corner and will it bring new all time highs to ETH or has the price already been factored into the current price?
Circle freezes blacklisted Tornado Cash smart contract addresses, Crypto data aggregator Dune Analytics said that, on Monday, Circle, the issuer of the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin, froze over 75,000 USDC worth of funds linked to the 44 Tornado Cash addresses sanctioned by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) list. Could this mark the end for Tornado Cash or is there a way they can redeem themselves?
Next up is a new segment called “Quick Crypto Tips,” which aims to give newcomers to the crypto industry quick and easy tips to get the most out of their experience. This week’s tip: Have some funds ready to buy further downturns.
Market expert Marcel Pechman then carefully examines the Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) markets. Are the current market conditions bullish or bearish? What is the outlook for the next few months? Pechman is here to break it down. The experts also go over some markets news to bring you up to date on the latest regarding the top two cryptocurrencies.
After Marcel’s market analysis, our resident experts discuss whether your SOL is safe and the latest updates on the Solana hack. We also discuss why the network has been victim to so many hacks and downtimes. What exactly do these exploits mean for the Solana platform and if you should be worried.
Lastly, we’ve got insights from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, a platform for crypto traders who want to stay one step ahead of the market. The analysts use Cointelegraph Markets Pro to identify two altcoins that stood out this week: Radicle’s RAD and DigiByte’s DGB.
Do you have a question about a coin or topic not covered here? Don’t worry. Join the YouTube chat room, and write your questions there. The person with the most interesting comment or question will be given a 1 month free subscription to markets Pro worth $100!
The Market Report streams live every Tuesday at 12:00 pm ET (4:00 pm UTC), so be sure to head on over to Cointelegraph’s YouTube page and smash those like and subscribe buttons for all our future videos and updates.
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