State of the DAOs #1 | October 20

You're reading State of the DAOs, the high-signal low-noise newsletter for understanding DAOs.

State of the DAOs curates high-quality content from the DAO ecosystem and delivers it to you in an easily accessible form.

This week we headline How to Join a DAO with a stack of additional resources to get you started on your DAO journey. Then we survey the DAO ecosystem with perspectives on community building, governance, and merging with the off-chain world. There's a lot to dive into, let's get started!

Authors: BanklessDAO Writers Guild (Samanthaj, siddhearta, scottyk, Alvo von A, Theophile, frogmonkee)

This is the official newsletter of BanklessDAO. You are subscribed to this newsletter because you were a Premium Member of the Bankless Newsletter as of May 1, 2021. To unsubscribe, edit your settings here.

How to Join a DAO

Author: Samantha Marin

You want to join a DAO. Welcome! You’re in good company. In this newsletter, we’ll outline a few first steps for starting your DAO journey. Then we’ll wrap up with some DAO FAQs and action items to send you on your way into the wild west of decentralized work, profit, and community.

Step 1: Research the DAO ecosystem

There are many types of DAOs, including social DAOs, protocol and project-based DAOs, and even former-companies-turned-DAOs. Since there’s not one repository of all DAO information, you’ll have to comb through the internet to find the DAO that’s right for you. Included below are some resources to help you get started.

Step 2: Pick the DAO that best suits your goals

You won’t be able to pick up on the true vibe or pulse of the DAO until you join. But, if you don’t want to buy the number of governance tokens required for voting, you can likely join without voting powers. Every DAO is different, but many have an option for exploring the scene without purchasing the token.

Most DAOs operate through Discord, so be sure to do your research through Twitter to find out how to join. Additionally, some DAOs have websites or repositories of information that are accessible to the public. For example, the Bankless DAO’s Notion page is the home base for all important resources.

When you join a DAO, the first thing you should assess is the vibe. DAOs are all about community. It's the people that make DAOs such a wonderful place to work. Unlike a traditional job, there are very few switching costs with hopping from one DAO to another, so be sure to find a place where you fit in with your peers and reflects the values that you hold.

There’s a lot going on in DAOs, and that activity will only increase. We recommend starting with one DAO before you commit to multiple. You may even find yourself working full-time for a DAO, so don’t over-commit too early!

Step 3: Start working

Now you’re in the DAO! Congrats. Your first task is to not get overwhelmed. DAOs are a flurry of activity, mostly in Discord. It's tempting to read up on everything you can, but it's nearly impossible to follow every single workflow. You will get discouraged going this route and eventually burn out.

The best way to get started is to find one specific place where you can add value. Pick one thing to do. Whether it’s taking notes for a meeting or popping into a channel to help some members brainstorm a topic. Keep it small at first, but once you get your feet on the ground, you can build from there.

Attending a meeting is usually the best entry point. That's why there's a calendar at the bottom of this newsletter! It can be tough to get a pulse on what’s happening in the DAO just by reading the Discord text channels. Hearing other members talk is the best way to get to know your DAO co-workers. And it’s easier to introduce yourself there, so your message doesn’t get buried in the channels.

Although it might seem scary, jumping into a project ASAP is important. It can be all too easy to read the channels, listen to a few meetings, and then never make the leap to contributing. Rip the band-aid off early with a low-stakes project. Ask the other DAO members what a good first project is, and get on it! Asking for help and advice as you go is welcome, so you can get up and running quickly.

Step 4: Contribute to governance

At this point, you're basically a DAO member, now it's time to partake in governance. To vote, you’ll need to hold a certain number of their governance tokens. You can outright buy the token, often on Uniswap or SushiSwap. But another way to start accumulating it is just to get your hands dirty and get to work. DAO workers often get paid in their DAO’s governance token, so you can work your way up to being a voting member. Nearly everything you do is rewarded with tokens in a DAO, so the more work you put in, the faster you’ll become a voting member.

The types of projects your DAO takes on (and pays you to do) will depend on the DAO that you’re in. For example, in the Bankless DAO, members get paid to write articles, design graphics, work on our inter-DAO products, create videos, and more.


Do you have to pay to join a DAO?

It depends on the DAO. Some DAOs offer unpaid entry into their community. In others, you have to buy the token outright. For example, Bankless DAO has a guest pass system and read-only Discord channels, so potential members can get a feel for the DAO before making a monetary commitment.

Do you need to be a crypto expert or a developer to join a DAO?

No. DAOs need people with just about every skill set and knowledge base. For example, many DAOs have writers, graphic designers, marketers, software developers, translators, artists, videographers, community leads, and more.

How many hours a week do you need to commit to a DAO?

As many as you want—that’s the beauty of open-source projects built through a grassroots community. Instead of a strict, 9-5 work schedule, you can contribute 2 hours a week and still be a beneficial, helpful DAO member. Or, you can contribute to tons of projects and end up making a full-time salary on-chain. (Quitting your normie job? Yes please.) It’s really that simple!

Joining a DAO Action Items:

  • 📚 Research the DAO ecosystem to see which organization is the right fit for you.

  • 👀 Check their social media and online resources for guides and helpful links to get started.

  • 🙋 Join the Discord and start contributing to your area of interest. Don’t spread yourself too thin too early. Hop in a meeting if you can!

  • 🤑 Get paid on-chain and reap the benefits of being a voting member of a cutting-edge organization.

DAOs at a Glance

Hand-picked articles to understand the current state of the DAO ecosystem

How To DAO From Day 1

Author: Fancyyyyyy_

An introduction to how a new member should get more involved within a DAO and how a DAO should be structured to ease that process. From lurking on Day One all the way up to quitting your job and going full time. This article gives the play-by-play.

  • Level 1 - Check the vibe and open up a dialogue.

  • Level 2 - Create value by contributing to the community.

  • Level 3 - Make a long term commitment for a full season.

  • Level 4 - Quit your job and work full time for a DAO by being a core contributor.

How to DAO

Funded: DAOhaus UberHaus

Lead Facilitator: Stephen Reid

This series of online videos, readings, and lectures are equivalent to a university-level 101 course for DAOs. The four sessions cover a lot of material, including foundational knowledge for beginners, an overview of the DAO landscape and basic governance structure, as well as perspectives on DAOs and the future of work. Each session includes preparatory material as well as homework. Sharpen your pencils, this course is a prerequisite for the future of work! Join the waitlist here.

  • Session 1: Introduction to DAOs

  • Session 2: Introduction to DAOHaus

  • Session 3: Deeper into DAOHaus

  • Session 4: The Future of DAOs

Working for DAOs

An hour-long video featuring Gaby Goldberg, Cooper Turley, and Alex Zhang for the "Working for DAOs" panel at the Governance & DAOs Summit, part of ETHOnline 2021. This conversation is a behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day of working for a DAO - specifically Friends with Benefits. They dive into the details on how they entered into the DAOsphere and when they decided to take the leap to work for DAOs full-time. The conversation included topics such as:

  • The challenges of transitioning from web2 companies to the web3 world.

  • How concepts of salary and equity work in DAOs.

  • How the future of work favors skillsets capable of working for a handful of DAOs rather than a single company.

  • Clarifying the path to contribution and how to get involved in communities.

Pods: The DAOnfall of Token Voting

Authors: Maria Gomez, Julia Rosenberg, and Chun Poon

Orca Protocol wants to help DAOs scale by addressing token voting with a unique organizational structure for DAOs to build both vertically and horizontally by utilizing sub-DAOs within the larger DAO system.

  • Decentralization tends to make the organization more chaotic.

  • Keeping operations organized means compromising on decentralization.

  • Token voting can fundamentally misalign incentive structures within a DAO.

  • Orca Protocol's solution to token voting is to set up "Pods" as sub-DAOs within a larger DAO.

  • Each Pod will control its own operations and fundings in its own multisig.

  • Pods will vote on DAO governance, abstracting governance processes away from token holders.

MakerDAO Ponders the Unthinkable as Members Debate Incorporation and Paying Taxes

Author: Brady Dale

MakerDAO is having a conversation about how it should relate to the governments of the world. This would have far-reaching implications, the least of which is compliance with paying taxes. Here are some of the concerns raised:

  • Concern about liability has been an ongoing concern with proposals such as a self-insurance fund.

  • The tax implications after fully transitioning to a DAO from the Maker Foundation.

  • If they were to incorporate, which jurisdiction would they choose to register in?

  • MakerDAO currently has no legal structure. There is a need for clarity regarding how DAOs should be classified.

  • Concern about liability has been an ongoing concern with proposals, such as a self-insurance fund.

Ecosystem Takes

🔥 and 🧊 insights from across the DAO ecosystem

Governance as a Source of Value

Author: Sam McCarthy

🔑 Insights

  • "Value" can be understood from economic, sociological, or linguistic perspectives.

  • Actions and objects become meaningful or valuable to humans when they are incorporated into a social system.

  • Tokens carrying governance rights allow people to freely express their ideas and beliefs by contributing to and voting on community proposals in an open forum.

  • In web3, the value of a governance token comes from its ability to influence the evolution of a new system, define the impact it will have on society, and accrue the associated status and reputation.

  • The governance premium equals the value of open participation in protocol governance and reflects the degree of perceived control an investor has over a project's future.

  • Variables that affect the governance premium include project growth, "assets under management" (AUM), and community strength.

DAOs Are Taking Over, With New Wyoming Law

Author: Navid Ladani

🔑 Insights

  • Wyoming is the first US state to legally recognize DAOs and grant them the same rights as limited liability companies (LLCs) in a law that went into effect this past July.

  • BLOCKS made history becoming the first DAO LLC in the state, continuing its goal to merge enterprises with blockchain.

  • Now the group intends to roll out its services in the state and throughout the world.

An Introduction to The Bounty Economy

Author: Richard Patey

🔑 Insights

  • Bounties provide a relatively frictionless way of matching passions with projects.

  • The Bankless community is one of many groups credited with developing a repository of tasks and commensurate rewards to drive the group's mission forward.

  • Goodbye resume! Now your wallet is proof of skill and achievement.

Why Chief Community Officers are the New CEOs

Author: Alejandro Navia

🔑 Insights

  • Community managers are moving towards "Chief Community Officer".

  • As the metaverse grows, so too does the importance of community management.

  • Chief Community Officer is different than Chief Marketing Officer, communities come before social media.

  • Communities aren't about the business, it's about the people. The Chief Community Officer guides members beyond their limitations so that the impossible becomes possible.


Authors: Kiran Cherukuri and Gaby Goldberg

🔑 Insights

  • Decentralized Autonomous Media Networks aka DAMN, are DAOs that purely focus on media content creation and curation.

  • DAMNs will emerge by building a niche community from which to expand outwards to new markets.

  • With a singular focus and governance minimization, the organization can streamline workflows.

  • With tokenomics directly aligned to content creation, the token price directly correlates to the content's quality.

Get Plugged In

🗓️ State of the DAOs - Beginner Friendly Events

🛩️ Event Highlights

  • Permissionless Conference - Tickets are on sale for one of the biggest DeFi conferences! Over 5,000 people will be attending in total and every two weeks 250 more tickets unlock. Once 250 tickets are purchased, registration closes and you’ll have to wait until the next release. Speakers include Ryan Sean Adams and David Hoffman from Bankless, as well as many others. Join us on May 17 - 19, 2022 in sunny Palm Beach, Florida for the event.

  • UberHaus's How to DAO Course - How to DAO is a four-week, better-than-free live online course designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to start and run a successful DAO. Join the waitlist for the next session!

  • NFT NYC - NFT.NYC brings the Non-Fungible Token community together in NYC for debates, talks, workshops & briefings from the leading names and brands in blockchain. This conference kicks off from November 1-4, 2021. If you're FOMO-ing, get your last-minute tickets!

  • LA Blockchain Summit - LA Blockchain Summit is the leading conference & expo focused on blockchain investing, building, and mainstream adoption. An exclusive, curated, high-impact, informative, and thought-provoking event presented by some of the world’s foremost innovators, change-makers, and prominent leaders in the blockchain ecosystem. This in-person and virtual conference runs from November 2-4, 2021. Sign up for free!

💼 Job Opportunities

DAO Spotlight: CityDAO

Putting land on the blockchain! Crazy idea right?

Meet CityDAO - The community with a bold ambition to build a city on the blockchain!

Where is this happening?

In the vast, resource rich state of Wyoming! Here’s another fun fact about Wyoming - Wyoming is the first state that has recognized DAOs as legal entities.

CityDAO’s mission is to build a city where each parcel of land is an NFT that can be collectively owned by the DAO or individuals. The governance of the DAO is directly linked to citizenship status. What does this mean?

Citizenship in the CityDAO is tiered with different levels of exclusivity. Citizens of CityDAO get first dibs on NFT drops representing land and also have exclusive access to private Discord channels. There are three different citizenship NFTs:

  1. First Citizen NFT - This is the most exclusive tier with only one NFT in supply, granting exclusive naming rights and first access to land drops in addition to voting power and general Citizen Discord channel access!

  2. Founding Citizen NFT - This tier has 50 NFTs in circulation and affords the holder land drop rights that follow the First Citizen, voting power and Citizen Discord channel access.

  3. Citizen NFT - This is the mass NFT token with a total supply of 10,000. This follows the Founding Citizen and First Citizen with regards to land drop rights. The Citizen also has voting power and access to Citizen Discord channels.

Interested in learning more about CityDAO? Check out their website and join their Discord.