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What is a DAO: All You Need to Know

Photo Credit: Bitnovo

Participating in the world of Web3 requires that you become conversant with a couple of terminologies and one of such is the term DAOs which is short-form for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. In this blog, we try to break down what a DAO is, how it works, how you can start one as well as the advantages and disadvantages of DAOs. Let's jump in!

What is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)?

A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is a group of people who come together to form a decentralized organization. The members of the DAO will be able to make decisions through voting, and they can hire contractors to take care of tasks that have been delegated. In order for this structure to work, there needs to be a way for everyone involved in the DAO to agree on what should happen with their money and resources.

Decentralized organizations are not new ideas; they have existed since ancient times when villages used consensus-based decision-making processes. What is new is the use of blockchain technology which allows digital currencies to function without any kind of central authority or banks acting as intermediaries between parties transacting with each other online. This means that all transactions are transparently visible on public ledger systems such as blockchains where anyone can see them at any time without needing permission from anyone else!

This is what makes decentralized organizations so powerful. They are not controlled by any one person or group, they cannot be shut down if they break the law because there is no central authority to do so, and their transactions are free from corruption because they cannot be interfered with by anyone.

How does a DAO work?

A DAO is run by rules encoded as computer programs called smart contracts. The smart contracts are enforced using a blockchain and help to organize the activities of the DAO.

To be more specific, a DAO is fully autonomous, self-governing, democratic and very transparent. Everyone who owns tokens (or coins) of this organization has voting rights in it and can influence its future development. These features make them an attractive alternative to traditional companies managed by humans only.

How to start a DAO

  • Get a team together. You’ll need people with the skills to develop, market and sell your DAO.

  • Decide what you want your organization to do and how it will work. This will help you form a strategy for getting funding, as well as set up your governance model.

  • Come up with an idea for funding your business through crowdsourcing or selling tokens that represent ownership of the organization. You can also create rewards for users who contribute content or services to the platform by distributing tokens through an initial coin offering (ICO).

  • Choose whether to use Ethereum as your blockchain platform or another one such as NEO, Cardano or EOS

  • Get started creating your DAO!

Advantages of DAO

The most obvious advantage of the DAO is that it's a decentralized organization. With no central control and no owner, the DAO is an autonomous digital entity on the Ethereum blockchain. It runs smart contracts, which are self-executing computer programs that can operate as funds or other types of businesses.

In addition to being autonomous and self-executing, the code that runs a DAO is immutable and cannot be changed once deployed into existence. This makes it difficult for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in their code because they can't alter anything after deployment. The immutability also means that once you've invested your money in a DAO, if you want out before its life cycle ends (called "maturity"), then there will be no investors willing (or able) to buy out your shares at any price less than what's originally invested into them—meaning no loss for latecomers but potentially very high gains for early adopters!

Disadvantages of DAO

As a concept, DAOs are still in their infancy. They are not widely used and there are only a few that have been successfully launched. Because of this, there is not yet enough information available about how to develop and maintain them effectively. Additionally, with such a new technology comes the possibility of flaws or vulnerabilities in the code that could be exploited by hackers or other malicious actors.

Examples of DAOs

The DAO is perhaps the most famous example of a DAO. It was an investment fund that held Ether tokens, and people could buy into it by sending Ether to its smart contract. The creators of this project had good intentions: they wanted to create a way for investors to pool their money so that they would have more control over how it was used. Unfortunately, because this “decentralized autonomous organization” did not have proper security measures in place (it didn't require users to sign in with their own private keys), $50 million worth of Ether was stolen from its digital wallet.

Another example is EtherDelta, a decentralized exchange platform that allows users to trade cryptocurrency without having to sign up or rely on a third party. The platform is fully decentralized, meaning that it’s not owned or operated by any single person. It’s also open source, so anyone can use the code to create their own exchange. The downside of a completely decentralized system is that there are no security measures in place to protect users from theft or fraud—a problem that was recently highlighted when EtherDelta suffered a hack that resulted in the loss of $200,000 worth of cryptocurrency.


In this article, we’ve explored what a DAO is and how it works. We have also looked at the advantages and disadvantages of creating a decentralized autonomous organization. A DAO can be an effective way to run your business but you should definitely take into consideration some of the points highlighted within this article before you launch one.

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