DAOs are a club and their 'provable' membership can be leveraged

I wrote a piece about DAOs and why I think that the idea that you can prove that you ‘belong’ is one of the most powerful aspects of a DAO, which is something I haven’t seen talked about much (this could simply be a result of being new to crypto). My background is philosophy and creative writing, not computer science or finance, so this is not a technical piece, but philosophy and psychology.

I don’t think I made any incorrect technical assumptions, but it’s entirely possible given my crypto-noob status.

We don’t really have a writing repository yet, but I figure that we will one day…a DAO blog of sorts. This would be better suited for that, but such is life.

  • How does this resonates with you, the reader?
  • Is there a better place to post this?
  • Do I have it all wrong or am I on the right track?
  • Has this idea already been heavily discussed and ‘figured out’?
  • How can the idea of ‘wanting to belong’ be leveraged to make BanklessDAO and crypto better?

DAOs are a Club

        DAOs are the ultimate, grown up version of a kid’s club. Think about it. When you were a kid, you and your buddies formed clubs. You had passwords and code names and secret knocks and all sorts of ways to prove that you were in the club. Like Vitalik talked about, you needed to be legit.
        But, here’s the rub: how did you prove that legitimacy? It was easy when things were good, when everyone was happy. But things got sticky when Timmy stole your favorite baseball card and told everyone that it was actually his and that you’d stolen it from him. This worked because Timmy was sort of a bully and because you were a bit shy and didn’t really want to confront him because he was bigger and had a habit of wiping his snotty boogers on people that annoyed him (not that he knew what that word meant).
        This certainly put you in a pickle. How could you get your card back without getting icky boogers on your cheek, which was also the precursor to getting booted from ‘the club’? Tricky tricky.
        Well, if your club had been a DAO and instantiated on the blockchain, then this problem wouldn’t be a problem (the booger thing though…that would still be a problem). If you and your 12 year old buddies all had your names entered into smart contracts, then you couldn’t get booted from the club just because the biggest guy felt threatened by your boyish good looks and charm and intelligence.
        But, alas, Satoshi hadn’t yet changed the world and you weren’t able to inscribe the club membership into digital stone, which meant that when you finally tried standing up for yourself, you ended up covered in snot, losing forever your favorite card, and getting a swift kick in the butt as you were unceremoniously booted from the clubhouse.

        That bit of history out of the way, let us think on DAOs for a moment.
      
        They aren’t exactly new, but they’re still new. There are many that exist and many that have lots of money, but they still haven’t really proven themselves to be important as evidenced by doing *something big*, which equates to ‘something that makes large ripples in the pond’.
        I think that will change in the near-ish future. BanklessDAO is on the right track. It’s a club that was created on purpose (as opposed to sort of just stumbling into it), with a few set goals and the intention of bringing in members with varied skill sets and characteristics, all in the hopes of making the world a little better, a little more bankless.
        Combining the proven skills of RSA and Hoffman with the talent and enthusiasm they’ve managed to gather around them (both those of the LLC and the new DAO members), I think the BanklessDAO will grow in both strength and influence and start to accomplish its goals, though the timeline is still a bit hazy to my inner eye.
        So, those two things, the ability to wield influence (aka power and money) and the ability to literally prove you are part of ‘the club’ while Joe Blow in the next cubicle isn’t (but wants to be), make DAO membership both desirable and, to a degree, scarce, which, given human psychology, actually increases its attractiveness to outsiders (this is different from the monetary aspect of BANK tokens...money is important, but prestige plays a huge role as well).
        Obviously, BanklessDAO isn’t meant to be exclusive, but there are certain criteria which must be met before joining and I think this is a good thing. I want fellow members to share the goals and to have some level of education on the topics of finance and crypto and blockchain because this allows for a common group picture, which lowers the friction that we’ll encounter while trying to move forward and create positive change in the world.
        At the same time, this little analogy isn’t about BanklessDAO specifically, but DAOs writ large and human psychology. People, at base, are tribal. They thrive on and instinctively seek out group inclusion, whether it’s based on blood, philosophy, musical taste, hair style, or any of infinite subset of parameters. But, what blockchain tech now gives us is the way to definitely prove that *you* are part of the group, no matter what that group is.
        I think this feature, this ability to definitively prove you are legit, will prove to be one of the most important features of a DAO.
        At the same time, this idea, this strength, is not without a dark side. As I said, humans are tribal and this leads to everything from idiotic cliques and jealousy to murder and war. These negative side effects are somewhat inevitable, but they can be largely muted through thoughtful, compassionate, and competent leadership.   
        We all believe that crypto and blockchain tech are the way of the future and that it’s all largely still in its infancy. This includes DAOs, with their ability to organize around smart contracts (which help blunt some of humanities idiotic and counterproductive ways) and provide provable inclusion. This latent power is largely untapped and unseen.
        For BanklessDAO, we just need to figure out the best ways to maximize these traits so as to tap that power and unleash it upon the world.

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hahaha…I have no idea why that text is in a separate box. :man_shrugging:

{Reprinting to fix formatting}

DAOs are the ultimate, grown-up version of a kid’s club. Think about it. When you were a kid, you and your buddies formed clubs. You had passwords and code names and secret knocks and all sorts of ways to prove that you were in the club. Like Vitalik talked about, you needed to be legit.

But, here’s the rub: how did you prove that legitimacy? It was easy when things were good, when everyone was happy. But things got sticky when Timmy stole your favorite baseball card and told everyone that it was actually his and that you’d stolen it from him. This worked because Timmy was sort of a bully and because you were a bit shy and didn’t really want to confront him because he was bigger and had a habit of wiping his snotty boogers on people that annoyed him (not that he knew what that word meant).

This certainly put you in a pickle. How could you get your card back without getting icky boogers on your cheek, which was also the precursor to getting booted from ‘the club’? Tricky tricky.

Well, if your club had been a DAO and instantiated on the blockchain, then this problem wouldn’t be a problem (the booger thing though…that would still be a problem). If you and your 12-year-old buddies all had your names entered into smart contracts, then you couldn’t get booted from the club just because the biggest guy felt threatened by your boyish good looks and charm and intelligence.

But, alas, Satoshi hadn’t yet changed the world and you weren’t able to inscribe the club membership into digital stone, which meant that when you finally tried standing up for yourself, you ended up covered in snot, losing forever your favorite card, and getting a swift kick in the butt as you were unceremoniously booted from the clubhouse.

That bit of history out of the way, let us think on DAOs for a moment.

They aren’t exactly new, but they’re still new. There are many that exist and many that have lots of money, but they still haven’t really proven themselves to be important as evidenced by doing something big, which equates to ‘something that makes large ripples in the pond’.

I think that will change in the near-ish future. BanklessDAO is on the right track. It’s a club that was created on purpose (as opposed to sort of just stumbling into it), with a few set goals and the intention of bringing in members with varied skill sets and characteristics, all in the hopes of making the world a little better, a little more bankless.

Combining the proven skills of RSA and Hoffman with the talent and enthusiasm they’ve managed to gather around them (both those of the LLC and the new DAO members), I think the BanklessDAO will grow in both strength and influence and start to accomplish its goals, though the timeline is still a bit hazy to my inner eye.

So, those two things, the ability to wield influence (aka power and money) and the ability to literally prove you are part of ‘the club’ while Joe Blow in the next cubicle isn’t (but wants to be), make DAO membership both desirable and, to a degree, scarce, which, given human psychology, actually increases its attractiveness to outsiders (this is different from the monetary aspect of BANK tokens…money is important, but prestige plays a huge role as well).

Obviously, BanklessDAO isn’t meant to be exclusive, but there are certain criteria which must be met before joining and I think this is a good thing. I want fellow members to share the goals and to have some level of education on the topics of finance and crypto and blockchain because this allows for a common group picture, which lowers the friction that we’ll encounter while trying to move forward and create positive change in the world.

At the same time, this little analogy isn’t about BanklessDAO specifically, but DAOs writ large and human psychology. People, at base, are tribal. They thrive on and instinctively seek out group inclusion, whether it’s based on blood, philosophy, musical taste, hair style, or any of infinite subset of parameters. But, what blockchain tech now gives us is the way to definitely prove that you are part of the group, no matter what that group is.

I think this feature, this ability to definitively prove you are legit, will prove to be one of the most important features of a DAO.

At the same time, this idea, this strength, is not without a dark side. As I said, humans are tribal and this leads to everything from idiotic cliques and jealousy to murder and war. These negative side effects are somewhat inevitable, but they can be largely muted through thoughtful, compassionate, and competent leadership.

We all believe that crypto and blockchain tech are the way of the future and that it’s all largely still in its infancy. This includes DAOs, with their ability to organize around smart contracts (which help blunt some of humanity’s idiotic and counterproductive ways) and provide provable inclusion. This latent power is largely untapped and unseen.

For BanklessDAO, we just need to figure out the best ways to maximize these traits so as to tap that power and unleash it upon the world.

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I like how you write. It’s good prose, fun to read.

1 Like