Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) started out as a simple concept envisioned as organizations, created by an idea and fueled by developers, that automate business functions and processes by leveraging smart contracts and all the fundamental tenets of blockchain. The core idea was to flatten the complex business process that various organizations are mired in and facilitate movement of assets to a very future-oriented digital interaction that needed no intermediaries — promising faster, cheaper and more transparent transaction processing.
By replacing many intermediaries, the DAOs themselves acted as digital intermediaries that provide transparency and scale, giving them the stature of an organization without the traditional organizational constructs of entities, groups, management, charters and other forms of collective action. While the traditional centralized organizational structure is being challenged, the key organizational elements that remain are fueling a new economic revolution that is giving birth to a new creator economy and bringing artists, lawyers, developers and creators together from all around the globe to create ideas and monetize them at global scale in permissionless crypto economic systems built upon blockchain and Web3 technologies — and essentially defining the future of work.
Reduced dependence on trusted parties, tokenization of assets, and new stores of value enabled by blockchain technology can themselves enable new types of organizational structures and reduce the power of intermediaries. Ronald Coase’s famous essay on the raison d’être for the firm, “The Nature of the Firm,” explored why firms exist and what elements comprise them.
From a transaction cost perspective, the firm creates an economic structure where the transaction cost within its boundaries is reduced by greater control of standardized contracts with its employees and ownership of resources. As the cost of internalizing resources increases, contractual arrangements with other firms in specialized areas…