[Review] Voluntary Governments

You can find said article here. This was first written by John Palmer in 2016 where he published the article as a thought experiment on what software might do to governance systems.

Article Summary

Consider disruption in the business world, where there may be an existing organization dominating an industry. When a group of people has an idea for a new organization, they can build it and put it into action. Once it’s started, people or other businesses can test it and decide how much to use it in the future. If it’s a better business, it can steal the market away from the industry incumbent.

The article laments the sad state of government around the world that optimise for stability rather than innovation. It suggests that software would eat governments (and organisations in general too) because the exchange of value can now be conducted digitally in a reliable manner.

Survey of Decentralised Autonomous Organisations

Enter the DAO. These Decentralised Autonomous Organisations are now the de factor governing norm for several blockchain organisations.

Cooper Turley shared a DAO landscape map on twitter and its absolutely brilliant:

Common ideas

DAOs are a decentralised format for individuals to come together around a common cause. Some aim to collectively decide on the fate of the shared protocol such as MakerDAO which decides on fees and Maker Improvement Proposals. Others aim to collectively own assets much like PleasrDAO as they support artists that create on-chain content such as NFTs. A common thread amongst these DAOs is the possibility of organising the shared interests of its participants. It is reminiscent of the cooperatives and may even share similar governance structures or even be outright called a cooperative like IndexCoop.


It is common to utilise the idea of Improvement Proposals. Here’s one by YamDAO which governs Yam Finance, proposing a new type of pool called a ‘fuse pool’ which is a new product by Rari Capital, making use of the composability of these DeFi products.

You can keep up with DAOs through snapshot’s service where you can observe what is being voted and even take part in voting directly.

Voting ‘power’ or ‘weight’ is usually represented in the form of tokens such as Gitcoin’s GTC. A retroactive airdrop was conducted for people that took part in Gitcoin activities prior to the creation of a DAO and you can immediately use that for voting.

Or, you can delegate your tokens to another user. Compound let’s you do this delegation so that you can, in a sense, assign your voting power to another user you trust.

Either way, it’s incredible that hundreds of people are now taking part in decision-making processes without the need for the cumbersome human resources processes most of us are straddled with. Instead, community organisers can grow these new token communities.

Keeping updated?

In the spirit of learning as encouraged by 1729, I thought I’d like to share in this blog post some of the twitter handles to follow to keep up with these ecosystems. These are community leaders of these DAOs and they spearhead the growth of these ecosystems. The list is definitely not exhaustive!

  1. Here’s a list of women to follow on twitter by Simon from indexcoop. Don’t forget to follow Simon too!
  2. The protocol DAOs themselves, such as MakerDAO, Compound, Uniswap, Aave, Yearn, Synthetix, Index coop, PieDAO, Lido, Sushi, Curve, Pool, tornado, keeperDAO, BadgerDAO, hDAO and, raribleDAO. These are some of the largest DAOs around.
  3. Understand how DAOs function! Take a look at colony’s whitepaper and look at Aragon’s tools. Colony really describes how a DAO may look like in the future while Aragon let’s you actually build it. (Colony probably can let you too!) Colony even proposes a decaying reputation system to incentivise user to be honest players in the DAOs they take part in.
  4. There’ll always be new ideas coming up, so do take part in the forums as these decisions are being made. Its a once in a lifetime opportunity to really see how people can self-organise and work together.

That’s all folks!



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