Should our political systems move towards being a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)?


Blockchain technology is being hailed as the enabler of great things to come. At the heart of the blockchain technology are “smart contracts.” Smart contracts are, in layman’s terms, pre-programmed rules that describe the activities of a system. Among other things, smart contracts can be used to effectively “run” a system on its own. This means that we can set rules like a computer program and the system will run on its own. The only difference here is that the “system” is far bigger and exponentially more complex than a computer. Here, the system is an entire government!

The earliest experiment to create a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) started and, unfortunately, failed in 2016. In fact, its success would have been hard to imagine so its failure did not come as a shock. However, it laid the foundation for the idea that this could work. What was needed was to make the idea more robust and more foolproof. A DAO was created with a set of pre-defined rules using smart contracts on a blockchain. Anyone with an internet connection can join the DAO. All DAO participants are given DAO tokens. The participants can then vote on which projects to “fund.” If I have a unique program that can help the DAO grow and prosper, I can put forth my “proposal” in front of the DAO participants. If participants find value in my project, they will “crowdfund” my project with DAO tokens. This means that a DAO funds its own growth and everyone is accountable to it.

A DAO is a unique way to guarantee democracy cryptographically where all “partners” (participants or stakeholders) can vote on adding new rules or change existing rules and create consensus (like voting in a democracy) to fund projects or for any other activity that pertains to the betterment of the DAO.

So why did the initial experiment with the DAO fail? Security. At the heart of a DAO is an immutable code. So once the smart contracts are deployed onto the blockchain, they are difficult to change. This is good, to an extent, as a single person cannot tamper with the rules. However, if there is a bug and it gets discovered, it becomes extremely difficult for developers to change the code. The first DAO was hacked and attackers syphoned off millions of dollars. The lead developers at Ethereum, however, reversed the transaction history to return the funds to their legitimate owners. But this action created a rift in the community and the project collapsed.

The failure notwithstanding, the basic idea behind a DAO is too exciting to be shelved as a dream. With technological advancements and more robust security measures, this can become a valid idea to run an organization, even a government, without human intervention. What can this do? It can free up precious resources that can be used for the betterment of citizens by providing utility services to the people.

Problems and hiccups will arise and naysayers will abound. But the future is nigh. We are here to witness something radical. The fall (or maybe an evolution of a Westphalian State) and a complete overhaul of the governmental system is inevitable. Equality in the truest, most unadulterated, sense of the term will become a reality.

History is replete with stories that tell us how technological advancements made human imagination possible. If we imagine a governance model, howsoever inadequate it might seem now, rest assured that it is only a matter of time before technology makes it possible. Democracy on a blockchain is very much possible.

#AGICHAT #futurism #artificialintelligence #debate #singularitynet #emergingtechnologies #futureofpolitics


I would like to see a big part of the governament dutys done over a DAO. As much as we humans like to be efficient, (we are not).

Things that prevent us from being efficient are many. A simple example is paperwork, did you ever find yourself saying I will do this tomorrow and a weeks has passed by. We dislike monotony. I can well imagine that a combination of Blockchain and Smartcontract in an advanced form without critical bugs can better our efficiency.
Specially if we talk about a huge machinery like a governament.

Another example is finances of a governament. If a big part of the finances would be transparent and instantaneous delivered exactly there where it is needed, then I’m sure lost fundings would nearly be something of the past.

A governament would also increase the control over the finances. Waiting for month for a detailed finances report is practically loosing money over an extended amount of time. The countries economic can be fine tuned simpler. Decisions can be made on facts rather than on opinions. Strategical and political interests can be diminished and applied where it counts the most.

Real facts will become valuable, false facts will be devalued. Simply how the governaments people’s always wanted how their country needs to be run.

On trust and facts


That’s my dream, and I’ll prove it is possible.
Finish with lobbies, personal interest and second intention.


Well that’s a relief ha! I do believe we should of course continue to pursue the goal despite the security issue, as this is a known problem in blockchain as a whole. Although I don’t know the specifics, I know there are people working tirelessly on the tech side to solve it. DAO is certainly a better governance model than anything else we’ve attempted thus far (short of the ever elusive peaceful anarchy heheh).

My main concern would actually be what we put into the embedded code, even with voting, how can we be sure these are really the rules we want to lock in for time to come? With full automation we’d have to be very certain it was the “right” way.


Hi, I think that it could be reachable, if the programmers avoid malicious intention and personal opinion.
Isn’t easy don’t let person details interfering, but is needed.
Most important is to remind that people are different and have different beliefs and that is the challenge.
In my personal experience 3 R’s should rule any social change : Respect, Responsibility and Reciprocity.


Nice article. I imagine crypto adoption happening when the first country truly embraces it. After some cautionary period, once businesses flood in, other countries will race to keep up.

The same could happen when the technology moves from being used under the government to being used in and as the government. When proven more efficient, the greater model will survive – if all other things are equal. This condition, however, is a difficult one. For those within the government or who control it would resist this in both their country and in others.

The solutions for this, as I imagine Dr. Goertzel would say, may be trivial to AGI. Potentially even a non-intuitive tangent.


Machiavelli’s warning on resistance to change may not carry the same weight whilst existential/environmental risk appears significantly out of balance… Perhaps :slight_smile:


I know that incentivisation can represent a new economy. Like the sharing economy which is a sucessfull expirement with the scooters, bikes, uber, ect.

I’m looking forward to the new economies that can arise out of this new technology.

Economies like incetivsation that can make an impact on society (structurally).


Insentivization could represent something like the sharing economy.


Hi, only to give a perspective, my perspective under a professional and real experience.
I’ll talk about UBER, it came as a solution for the taxis, initially it works but suddenly people connected directly or indirectly with taxis companies started to work as UBER drivers and started a new company, but they don’t do it for they only increase their profit, because they found a legal absence to explore more people who need work.
The decentralized system should start in government with a autonomous system that avoid bad intentions.
I don’t want a system that allow people and companies explore the needs, I hope that an autonomous system avoid bad intentions.


I would hope that a more prevailing & pervading egalitarian democracy eventually comes over the world that extends to the economic oligarchs that now rule much of our social reality. Maybe DAO can be perfected & generalized enough to bring that about.


Yes for the goal of global and local consensus.


That seems to be the main slip up though, I mean maybe when machines are able to program themselves, we might be able to avoid some of the human error that seems all to pervasive in the programming industry, whether that’s client side stuff or more server side stuff like social networks ( * cough Mastodon ).

I harp on leadership style, mainly because it seems like for the time to come it seems like it’s mainly going to be humans programming the stuff. ( I personally know a guy elsewhere where it seems like he lets his opinions and self-importance get in the way of the larger picture of the ego system, and nobody else’s opinions are really valued in the slightest. )

I want to note that the rules made are ones widely agreed on, and not just deliberately vague rules created on a whim, by someone that has a paranoia complex, and likes projecting their issues on people that obey them. I’d like to think a machine could avoid some of that.

But not entirely sure.

And this should go without saying, the people programming the stuff should not be anti-technology. I’m mainly thinking about some of the Anarcho-Primitivists that seem to be anti-anything futuristic.

Or worse, they’d treat any kind of user-autonomy created by technology as being authoritarian, even though technology is almost entirely dependent on those who use the thing. I’d like to see the human equation removed almost completely, except for creative fields, so this includes governance.

It’s one of the reason I’ve stopped paying attention to people that casually use the word authoritarian to mean anything they want it to mean.


I think our current elites won’t voluntarily give their power to any other entity. But a really good DAO or cooperating DAOs can over time make current governments less and less important.


Yes for DAO


DAOs cooperating… Associations perhaps? Corporations put a lid on that… so far… time will tell how far and fast we can flatten the towers, sorry, silo’s…