A decentralized autonomous experiment


What do we need a DAO for?  … and other snippets from today

7 mei 2019

This Tuesday we discussed ideas for participation in  Dutch Blockchainweek, two presentations to be held by members this week, as well as the larger question: For what do we actually need the DAO, we keep talking about?

Dutch BlockChainWeek

The Dutch BlockChainWeek will take take place in the first week of June. The idea of the organisation is to bottom-up organised events throughout the Netherlands, to showcase the diversity and resilience of the community during the bear market. We’re here. It’s spreading. It is diverse.

Henk van Cann is working on a special program to be organised in one of the rooms of the Beurs of Berlage, while at the same time the regular BLOCKDAM co-working day came up with the idea to be even more open and welcoming then usual,  offering speed dates to newcomers with several of our members. These are first thoughts. More details will follow.

What do we need a DAO for?

Last week I was asked the question about the kind of questions the community would like to resolve would we use a specific DAO technology stack (DAOstack). I found myself rather unable to answer that question. Hence a lengthy discussion which resulted in a list of seven groups of questions, to be listed below.

Proposal based

First it is important to note two things. We’re talking about a proposal based DAO. A member writes a proposal for something that he or she wants to do or change. The community can then vote on that proposal. The outcome of the vote is a consensus whether to proceed or a abort with the proposed action of change. Being able to force a vote on issues, as well as involve members that are not present every Tuesday in those votes, would – so is the promise – speed up the evolution of the community.

Distribution of resources

Second, when we vote, we distribute or change a resource that before the vote is part of the commons of the stewarded by the community. The most obvious example of such a resource is a  fund holding currency.  When a proposal to allocate funds to specific goal is approved, that common resource is being distributed, put to use.

Time can also be seen as a resource. When we determine the agenda for our co-working day we distribute a shared resource, the time that we spent to together. I could argue that within the framework of the co-working Tuesday time is currently the most valuable resource we have.

Other type of resources can be ‘rules’, ‘roles’ and ‘relations’.  Rules as a shared resource can be changed by a vote. We could for example vote on the long lingering issue of an obligatory or voluntary participation fee to amongst others partly cover for our use of the meeting room.

An example of a role is the function of minter of the BCD token, currently fulfilled by John. The power to mint tokens is a common resource and we distribute it to John. A relationship would be  a more formal partnership agreement with another organisation.  When we formally permit an organisation to use BLOCKDAM in their PR, what happend is that we distribute the reputation of the community, which is a shared resource.

Long story short, the notion of a common resource being distributed by votes has helped me to conceptualize my thinking on the matter. Does it work for you too?

List of topics we could vote on

Part of the experiment is to figure out when to use hard governance, i.e. force a vote, and when to rely on soft governance. It’s unlikely that it will be very efficient nor fun to start voting on everything. Having said that here is the list we came up with today, which was then categorised by me with the above described types of resources.

Shared resource is ‘rules’:

  • A vote on introducing a financial contribution for participation in the co-working day, which will be used to compensate the venue owner. (We are now permitted to use a meeting room in the Beurs of Berlage when it is not booked. There are doubts how sustainable this is in the long run.)

Shared resource is ‘time’:

  • Votes on the agenda proposals for the Tuesday co-working day. Presentations, topics for discussion, a workshop should be submitted up front with a short outline and can be voted upon.
  • Votes on proposals to organise events outside the regular Tuesday. There is no general consensus on whether such events should be organised by BLOCKDAM or as separate initiative by one or more BLOCKDAM members. Being able to vote on such proposals on a case by case basis will help us answer this questions.

Shared resource is ‘funds’:

  • Votes on expenses during the Tuesday co-working day. For example to rent a beamer.
  • Votes on expenses for PR / communication. The debate here is whether these expenses should include people’s time and skills or only costs paid to third parties.

Shared resource is ‘roles’:

  • Vote on appointing roles and responsibilities within the community such as the minter of BCD tokens.

Shared resource is ‘relationships’:

  • Vote on possible partnership agreements with other organisations/DAO’s.

What do you think?

So? What did i miss? Or misrepresent? Let’s continue the discussion thoughts in  discord, where i will link to this post. (

Ah, and you may tip me some BCD tokens using the functionality in the sidebar. Metamask needed.

Leave a comment ...