Community Spotlight: Is It Time for NEAR DAOs? A Review in Context


DAO’s or Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, have existing in crypto since the launch of Ethereum and the numerous community pioneered projects built on top of the platform. Now, more than 4 years later, DAO’s remain a fascinating and important community vehicle for funding and supporting new projects in any crypto ecosystem. 

First Things First: What is a DAO and How Can DAO’s Help Grow the NEAR Ecosystem?

Back in September, at the Hack the Rainbow Hackathon, the NEAR Team sat down with a number of experts in the DAO space to go over the state of DAO’s and how a DAO might be useful within the framework of NEAR. The full transcript of that talk can be found here. Meanwhile, the main takeaways include:

“All a DAO really is in my mind, is a multisig with different voting schemes. And so if you can create that function and that voting scheme you basically have a DAO. It’s basically people coordinating whether you own all of those keys to that account. Or its multiple people on the internet – the code doesn’t care about the ownership part of it – and if you have these access permissions you can vote to add people or add methods or remove methods, at a high level – you actually have a DAO.”  

DAOs Generally Defined, NEAR Hack the Rainbow Session 9.

NEAR’s Account Model is Well Suited for DAOs:  So if I were to make an analogy, on Ethereum you have a computer that is only root access, whereas on NEAR the account system is like an ACL essential? An access control list, where you can have different levels of permissions on – so it’s almost like halfway there in terms of becoming a DAO itself.” The NEAR Account model, allowing for function-call limited permissions is well suited for accommodating multisignature activities, from different accounts on the NEAR ecosystem. James, a participant in the panel goes so far to say that NEAR’s inbuilt model is ‘half-way there in terms of becoming a DAO itself.’ 

DAO’s Democratically Fund New Projects Within an Ecosystem: Depending on the amount of funds committed, DAO’s have the opportunity to democratically fund new projects within an Ecosystem based upon the votes of the different members of the DAO. This funding can operate either in an all-or-nothing fashion similar to Moloch DAO, or in an incremental time-dispersal fashion, similar to Colony. The choice is for the community to make! 

There are MANY Different Models for DAO’s Depending on the Interests of the Community: DAO’s are ultimately community run entities for fostering ecosystem development and growth. As such, the community will have to decide on the complexity of the DAO model, the different voting rights and thresholds built into the mechanism, as well as the manner in which projects are funded and how automatic or hands-on the structure itself is. Regardless of the many different model of DAO’s that the NEAR community will have to choose from, what is clear is that DAOs represent a serious upgrade for finance opportunities, within the NEAR ecosystem itself! 

The Time For NEAR DAOs? 

Recently, there has been a proposal put forward for DAO’s on NEAR titled: “DAO Implementation in Rust for NEAR”. As the document goes on to detail: 

“The goal is to implement the Rust version of LAOLAND so anyone using NEAR can use it to manage a DAO. This is also an opportunity to write a standard interface for this architecture so anyone can upgrade their DAO on NEAR or Ethereum.”

In context, this means that a proposal has been put forward to create DAO’s on NEAR. As community vehicles of investment, such an opportunity might be critically important for allowing projects building on NEAR to access capital in their early stages, as they get off the ground! This would also apply for the NEAR Guild program, the Sandbox and future community initiatives, that may need to be funded over time. 

Key questions that the NEAR Community Can Start With: 

Would you be interested in investing in a NEAR DAO to support early ecosystem projects like Plantary

What kind of an entity structure would you like to have a NEAR DAO possible have? 

Are there any early stage ecosystem projects that you think would be key to fund right now? 

Do you have other friends or investors who would be interested in supporting the launch of a NEAR DAO?

Let’s get the conversation going!