In theory, smart contracts and decentralized autonomous organizations were discussed during the early years in cryptocurrency. Many people now consider The DAO, which was launched in 2016 by members from the Slock.it team, to have been the first smart-contract-based DAO. There will be many more DAOs in 2022. Statistics show that $10 billion of DAO treasuries are held.
Tens of thousands of DAOs, $10 Billillion in Treasuries, and 1.7 Million Governance Token holders
Smart contracts and decentralized autonomous organisations (DAOs), were already in the minds of some cryptographers long before these concepts were even invented. After Satoshi Nakamoto’s great invention, blockchain technology and smart contracts opened up the door to decentralized organizations.
Slock.it members and Ethereum developers created what many refers to as the first decentralized autonomous organisation. After Stephan Tual and Simon Jentzsch had announced the DAO in 2016, the project raised $150 million through token sales.
Due to flaws in the code base, the DAO was hacked. The attacker was able to siphon millions in ethereum ( ETH). Vitalik Buterin stated that “this is an issue that affects only the DAO specific; Ethereum itself is perfectly secure.” in June 2016. Consensys published a report in September 2021 that showed “978,000 DAO members” despite the DAO attack.
Consensys reports that “current projects include many which focus solely upon token services, governance and treasury risk management, growth community, operations, development for DAOs”
Academic Paper on DAOs: Concept “May Introduce a New Era In Organizational Economics”
According to statistics from the web portal deepdao.io, there is $10 billion worth of Treasury holdings by the most decentralized autonomous organizations. According to metrics, $7.1 billion is liquid. $2.9 billion is vested at the time.
There are 1.7 million governance token holders and 669,000 active vote-makers and voters among the top DAOs. Uniswap’s DAO holds the largest treasury, at $2.2 billion. Gnosis has $1.5 billion.
Uniswap has 332,900 governance token holders, making it the largest. Decentraland and Compound are the next most prominent governance token holders, followed by Synthetix, ENS, ENS, Aave and Synthetix. Below Uniswap and Gnosis’s treasury holdings is Bitdao ($1.3B), Polkadot (441.9M), UXD protocol (406.9M).
Today’s top DAOs hold multiple tokens, while Polkadot holds DOT. UXD protocol uses five cryptos in its treasury. This includes the project’s algorithmic stabilitycoin, based on Solana blockchain. Deepdao.io statistics show that only 8,400 of the 332,900 governance token holders at Uniswap are active.
Gnosis’s governance token holders have 17,700, but there are only 1,500 active members. Metrics showed this. Uniswap currently has 83 governance proposal, Gnosis 43, and Bitdao 10 proposals that users can vote on. Pancake Swap and Decentraland are the most popular, with 3,300 proposals from Pancake Swap while Decentraland has 1,200 governance suggestions.
While DAOs are a reality, there is a lot of debate about how autonomous and decentralized they are. A academic paper about DAOs states that, despite some setbacks “DAOs may bring a new era to organizational economics. They will transform the corporate landscape from hierarchical organisations to democratic and distributed organizations, powered by organizational innovation and entrepreneurship.”