Over the past year, we’ve seen DAOs emerge from crypto fad into mainstream consciousness. Not only are their numbers growing, they are also raising more money and they expand into many new areas.
DAOs are decentralized autonomous organizations built on blockchains that offer an alternative to the traditional, centralized governance structure implemented by most companies today. They are run entirely by their communities, which come together to pursue a common goal. Some of the simplest DAOs are simply a group of like-minded people looking to pool their resources to purchase an artwork, while others have far more complex goals.
A common feature of any DAO is the governance token, which grants the holder the right to submit proposals to the DAO and then vote on them to decide what action it will take next.
When DAOs first appeared, they were mostly seen as an interesting experiment in democratic governance and little more. But with their rapid rise, they’re already impacting mainstream culture in many ways, as evidenced by our list of the five emerging DAOs to watch in 2022.
It is no longer easy to become a crypto millionaire. Some of the early investors in Bitcoin have made millions, but these days it’s not easy to identify a token that is likely to increase in value by 10,000 times and go to the moon. The problem is that most of the tokens available on exchanges have already reached a price that means they are unlikely to make such huge profits. Meanwhile, crypto launchpads, which allow investors to buy brand new cryptocurrencies before they are listed, typically insist that users stake thousands of dollars of tokens before participating.
That’s the dilemma UpLift DAO believes it can solve. It’s a DAO-based launchpad with a difference – the difference is that anyone can join in the fun regardless of how much capital they have. It is possible to get away with staking as little as 100 LIFT tokens (around $15) to participate in the early token sales of projects it supports, making it far more accessible to novice investors than similar platforms.
Like other Launchpads, UpLift DAO carefully reviews all crypto projects it supports, making sure that not only is the technology sound, but that the team leaders are real people with a clear idea of how they want their project to go to market. It also ensures that the projects also address viable use cases, so investors can rest assured that any new token they acquire is legitimate.
Additionally, because it is a DAO governed by a community of investors, UpLift DAO strives to ensure that the projects it launches have every chance of success. Therefore, it not only supports the projects before they start, but also helps them further afterwards by providing access to its community, technical and marketing support and even introductions for venture capitalists when the time is right. So, UpLift DAO’s crypto projects have everything they need to get their ideas off the ground.
Targeting Metaverse, GameFi, DEX, DeFi and infrastructure projects, UpLift DAO has completed five launches to date and has raised over $1M in total.
With so many enthusiastic investors in the crypto space just waiting for the chance to back some innovative new projects, the only way up for UpLift is DAO.
Balancer DAO is one of the major DAOs involved in an emerging trend known as “Treasury Swaps” in which DAOs are taking a more active role in other crypto projects alongside their own.
It is the government agency of equalizer, a popular AMM, DEX and liquidity pool protocol and portfolio manager in the DeFi space. It’s popular because it spins the concept of an index fund – instead of paying fees to portfolio managers, users actually charge fees to traders.
Balancer DAO made headlines recently by trading some of its own governance tokens to take a position in other DAOs. The first treasury swap happened with Fei DAO when the community voted in December to exchange 200,000 BAL for an equal value of Fei’s two tokens – FEI, the stablecoin, and TRIBE, the governance token. As part of the transaction, Fei DAO committed to deposit BAL into Balancer’s BAL-WETH liquidity pool. At the time, Balancer DAO said the transaction would allow it to lock some of the value of its treasury into a stablecoin. It also has the ability to generate returns through incentives on Fei if the community votes for it.
BalancerDAO has also done treasury swaps with mStable and PrimeDAO. It recently exchanged 20,000 BAL for the same value as mStable’s MTA governance token, giving it a major say in mStable’s governance. This means that Balancer DAO has a big impact on mStable, as the community first votes to support or reject a proposal, and then votes on mStable’s proposals with the full weight of the MTA tokens it owns.
Equally interesting is the exchange of Balancer DAO with PrimeDAO, a project that aims to build a DAO-to-DAO collaboration. PrimeDAO sought the swap, saying the deal would allow the two DAOs to share operational insights and workflows. As part of the transaction, PrimeDAO acquired 25,000 BAL for the same value of its PRIME tokens. Half of the purchased BAL was immediately returned to Balancer DAO’s cash register for it to benefit from trading fees and BAL rewards.
Balancer DAO is one to watch to see how its strategy of diversifying its holdings plays out. The idea is to gain leverage with other projects across the DeFi space to encourage them to move in a direction that benefits themselves.
One of the newest yet one of the most easily recognizable DAOs, anyone who knows anything about crypto and blockchain will surely know what TRONDAO is about.
It is of course the official DAO of TRON, one of the most well-known blockchains ever. TRON was launched in 2017 and its native token TRON has been consistently ranked among the top cryptocurrencies for years. It is a key platform for DeFi with more than $1.3 billion in total value locked.
TRONDAO was formed to replace the TRON Foundation that previously governed TRON. With TRONDAO now operational, it means that the TRON community can now participate in all decisions – so everyone involved in the project can ensure their voice is heard.
The founders of TRON had always planned to hand management over to the community at some point, and they say it will bring a big boost in user engagement. It will be interesting to watch because of the size of the TRON community alone – it has more than 70 million unique TRON wallet addresses and 4,765 nodes.
TRONDAO has already caused a sensation with the community vote on the winners last grand hackathon, where developers and entrepreneurs competed to try to create the most innovative new applications on the TRON blockchain. The community gave away prizes ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 for the most impressive submissions in areas such as Web3, DeFi, GameF, and NFTs.
Perhaps the most intriguing new DAO perspective this year is the newly created one by Syscoin DAOSYSwhich is described as an attempt to create an entirely new standard for decentralized autonomous organizations.
Syscoin is one of the oldest crypto projects ever and was started in 2014 via a Bitcoin fork. Like its predecessor, it is designed as a real currency that aims to remove the middleman from the financial world and put money in the hands of consumers and merchants by allowing them to trade directly. To benefit from near-fee transactions, users can simply use Syscoin to pay for goods and services.
Syscoin is of opinion that most DAOs have not kept their promise. According to Jag Sidhu, President of the Syscoin Foundation, the problem is that most DAOs retain control of their users’ funds and keep them in a treasury managed by just a few people. He also believes that the governance systems of existing DAOs are inconsistent with stakeholder values, as they have no direct control over the protocol they are supposed to govern. Rather, they act as advisors to Multisig, which controls the funds in the treasury.
According to Syscoin, DAOs should operate more like an automated market maker, using a permissionless and autonomous protocol that allows anyone to use its services. To that end, Syscoin says it has iterated on the AMM model, making its treasury more akin to a liquidity pool. It also applies “antifragile tokenomics” and integrates with DeFi protocols to enable financial management without the need for a governance token and voting. According to Syscoin, the result is a risk-mitigating funding mechanism that shifts the primary risk of funding new projects to the opportunity cost.
DAOSYS’ technology is known as the Autonomous Service Engine and was released as a reference architecture for other DAOs wishing to enable self-sovereign wealth management on the Syscoin blockchain.
Alpha Venture DAO
Alpha Venture DAO is the management company of Alpha Finance Lab, a project launched in 2020 that aims to drive innovation in DeFi. The result of these efforts is the Alpha Universe, an ecosystem of interoperable DeFi products aimed at helping crypto investors earn richer rewards while minimizing their risk. Its flagship product is Homora V2, the cryptosphere’s first leveraged yield farming platform. Other products include an NFT marketplace and standards.
As for Alpha Venture DAO, it is a venture capital fund which uses a portion of the profits generated by Alpha Universe to incubate emerging Web3 projects that have the potential to boost its own ecosystem. The great thing is that Alpha’s community of 100,000 will be able to bring their own expertise and skills to incubated projects. Alpha also has its own Alpha Network, which is a group of 50+ thought leaders, influencers, investors and crypto experts to advise incubators. Alpha’s venture partner Terraform Labs offers further expertise.
In exchange for their support, Alpha Venture DAO members can become shareholders in some of the most promising new projects in areas like DeFi, GameFi, and NFTs.
Alpha Venture DAO has already done a lot of work, launching Web3 projects like GuildFi, pStake, and Beta Finance, which have since received funding from top-tier venture capitalists and launched their own crypto tokens.