Vive la metaverse, and all hail DAOs!
Most do not quite grasp the potential of web3 yet since it is so new. It is decentralised and permissionless and censorship-resistant. Tokens are the oil in the machine that align incentives among groups of people who don’t have to trust each other.
DeFi is the backbone of a new financial system that displaces legacy banking. Bitcoin is money and a store of value which cannot be debased or controlled. NFTs revolutionise ownership rights but also a sense of belonging as shown by social and gaming NFT groups that have sprung up like mushrooms.
DAOs are a new form of networked capital that allow people to cooperate around a shared mission while scaling up. We are still so early.
DAOs as universities
DAOs are decentralised autonomous organisations or decentralised communities where any token holder has voting rights and a shared ‘bank account’. The rules by which it operates as well as its financial transactions are recorded on the blockchain for anyone to see. There are many different types of DAOs (financial, social, etc), but the common thread is that there is no central governing entity of the organisation that makes decisions for everyone. Instead, community members drive governance through democratic processes. Universities are top-down while DAOs are bottom-up.
DAOs can deploy L2E courses, credentials, and manage a learning environment for their community. Quite a few DAOs as learning classrooms already exist. One example is Crypto, Culture & Society which is a course built on Mirror that used crowdfunded crypto to launch. Backers received an NFT for membership and tokens for voting on syllabus, scholarships, and guests.
Over time, more young people may join DAOs instead of going to university. The benefits are immense. You can access the DAO from anywhere in the world, learn while you earn, and build your on-chain resume as you contribute.
Uni social experience?
But it has been asked whether DAOs can provide a social experience that rivals universities. The answer is maybe yes. One can already simulate a classroom setting where you can visually engage with each other. Of course, tech such as Zoom and Webex are largely replacing in-person office meetings. With technologies akin to Oculus Rift and increasing bandwidth, the visuals will eventually become so lifelike, the brain won’t be able to tell the difference between sitting in a virtual room where each participant sits somewhere on the planet, and IRL (in real life).
The web3 parallel of university student organisations is that DAOs use Discord channels for specific interests. Discord worlds can be intensely real and addictive. Some live out separate lives in Discord through their alternate ego or avatar.
If we view DAOs themselves as clubs utilising social/community tokens, participants would be financially incentivized to contribute to the sustainability of their DAO over time, even after they ‘graduate’. As long as a member holds the tokens, they will be invested in the DAO and contribute in the hopes of increasing the token’s value and receiving individual rewards. Some may sell, but. given the social cohesion that emerges within Discord channels, this is less likely. Indeed, this token-based model introduces a financial incentive that strengthens personal incentives to contribute to the community.
Participation would be transparently recorded such as receiving different NFTs for attending and hosting events. The DAO’s activities would be driven by community members’ voting power through the utilisation of tools such as Snapshot. Individual incentives would be aligned more effectively within the organisation with superior blockchain transparency of membership, internal processes, organization history, traditions, etc.
DAOs also solve the problem that many uni clubs deal with on a regular basis. In web2, they have to follow the rules that the university imposes on spending, membership, and utilization of community spaces that may hamper quality and speed. With DAOs, those trying to organize community activities and those enforcing rules and regulations would act in consensus by vote.
The birthing of the L2E (learn-to-earn) DAO puts vital stats on the blockchain. It’s not just the name of the organisation that lends you credibility, or what your resume says you did, but what you actually did. The blockchain can play a key role to one’s future resume while the DAO can tailor optimal job fits to applicants. Stay tuned.
But what about one’s credentials? Status signalling is inherent to human nature which establishes exclusivity and desirability. Top universities carry much weight when it comes to securing a job. In a web3 world, a similar status hierarchy can emerge. There will be DAOs that are more elite and desirable than others. In this sense, there would be a web3 equivalent of university credentialing.
Web3 organisations are also likely to be more meritocratic, so they are more effective when matching people with the right skills to the right roles. One will no longer be able to pad their resume to get jobs from employers who arbitrarily define their hiring processes and job requirements. In a web3 world, finding roles that fit your interests and experiences is much more straightforward.
One could join a DAO of interest and start doing work to prove yourself, as well as witness first-hand how these people work together and how the DAO functions internally. If you did this with company DAOs, it would be like getting to know the workplace before signing a job offer there. Your personal branding would be based on your on-chain work history and accomplishments while getting to know a company beyond what their website, employers, and recruiters tell you.
Ultimately, if the early 1980s are any clue, the birth of the 300 baud modem spawned hundreds of Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs), multi-way phone conference calls, and group chats via text across the US. Countless groups and friendships, some hacking, some code breaking, some pirating, some phone phreaking were born — #theuntouchables #theinnercircle. While no one could see each other, speaking over phone, emailing, and texting was sufficient to create lasting bonds much as we see today in the hyper-decentralised communications between the millions playing various MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing games). Vive la Metaverse!
(͡:B ͜ʖ ͡:B)
Dr Chris Kacher, bestselling author/top 40 charted musician/PhD nuclear physics UC Berkeley/Record breaking audited accts: stocks+crypto/blockchain fintech specialist. Co-founder of Virtue of Selfish Investing, TriQuantum Technologies, and Hanse Digital Access. Dr Kacher bought his first Bitcoin at just over $10 in January-2013 and participated in early Ethereum dev meetings in London hosted by Vitalik Buterin. His metrics have called every major top & bottom in bitcoin since 2011. He was up in 2018 vs the median performing crypto hedge fund at -46% (PwC) and is up quadruple digit percentages since 2019 as capital is force fed into the top performing alt coins while weaker ones are sold.