Decentralized Autonomous Associations (DAAs): A Variation on the DAO Concept
There is no shortage of experimentation in trying to apply blockchain technology to organizational dynamics [this is different than governing technical blockchain protocols, reference: Let’s Be Clear About What is DAOable and What is Not. Decentralized autonomy in organizations (DAOs) is one popular metaphor that has seen a surge of entrepreneurial activity especially in the past year.
Recent interpretations of the Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO) concept have lead to several implementation approaches, including notable ones by Aragon, MolochDAO, MarketingDAO, MetaCartel, LAO and others.
The differences between each DAO implementations abound, but the most common denominator is the desire to inject smart contract technology into how organizations/processes are run. And each one of the above named examples (and other unnamed ones) assumes a different set of assumptions as a starting point.
One new variation is the concept of Decentralized Autonomous Associations that takes roots from the Swiss Association legal structure (recently popularized as the choice for the Libra structure).
In my opinion, any successful “decentralized autonomy” initiative needs to be able to simultaneously satisfy the three key pillars:
The Swiss Association has lower startup hurdles than a Swiss Foundation. In the context of the DAA, the autonomous activity focuses on certain membership-related functions, which is a realistic scope that doesn’t risk slipping into the abstract during implementation.
Swiss legal firm MME (who pioneered the implementation of the Swiss Foundation structure for launching blockchain protocols) has documented a process to allow DAAs to exist, aided by a set of smart contracts that Validity Labs has started to codify.
Along with Luka Müller and Thomas Linder of MME and Sebastian Bürgel of HOPR Network (formerly co-founder at Validity Labs), I will be discussing the DAA and many of its aspects tomorrow Thursday May 28th at 10:30AM EST / 16h30 Central European Time during a Zoom virtual session. You can register (free) by using this link.
I’m interested in diving further into the DAA concept. I don’t pretend to have all the answers pertaining to how this might evolve, but it’s definitely an area that deserves experimentation and implementation.