The rise of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs): a first empirical glimpse
25 Pages Posted: 11 May 2022 Last revised: 12 Sep 2022
Date Written: June 7, 2022
Blockchain technology and smart contracts are catalysts for decentralization and disintermediation. These new technologies reduce transaction costs, agency costs, and offer a basis for trustless social and economic interactions. They are fueling new business models for decentralized platforms and have revolutionized crowdfunding. A recent trend, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), stands to fundamentally transform organizing and governance. DAOs are blockchain-native, decentralized organizations that are collectively owned and managed by their members via smart contracts. In this note, we assess the promises and challenges of DAOs, with a focus on decentralized governance and disintermediation, and offer a first empirical glimpse at the rise and functioning of DAOs. Overall, DAOs may introduce a new era in organizational economics, transforming the global corporate landscape from hierarchical organizations to democratic and distributed organizations powered by organizational entrepreneurship and innovations.
Keywords: DAO, Decentralized Autonomous Organization, Blockchain, Ethereum.
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