The DAO unleashed: a futurist dystopia

Thursday 09 June 2016

The year is 2019. The DAO has come of age and proven the profit-making capacity of a decentralised organisation, but its business model favours a certain kind of clientele.

The DAO - the first true Decentralised Autonomous Organisation - launched on Ethereum in May 2016. It was a new entity, existing of code running in cyberspace. The purpose of the DAO was to generate revenues by investing in profit-making projects, submitted by independent contractors. Its bylaws were smart contracts, its consciousness a hive-mind of its assetholders’ minds: a truly free market of ideas and values exactly mirroring those of its owners.

To begin with, The DAO struggled to achieve consensus. Many projects were proposed, but its decentralised decision-making process made it hard to holders to agree on the viability of any of them. The DAO declined in value until new buyers took advantage of the low price of both DAO and ETH to enter the market or increase their stakes.

The DAO finally reached borderline agreement on a project to finance but was almost immediately burned when the contractor took the money and disappeared. And in this event came its rebirth and its new purpose and identity.


It is The DAO, my little droogies, and it doesn't mind a bit of the old twenty to one

A message from a contract killer on a darkweb messageboard proposed to hunt down the rogue contractor and execute him. The DAO, composed of thousands of individuals around the world, angry at the deception and anonymous behind the screens of their computers, agreed. The task was completed and the funds released. It did not take long for further proposals to be submitted. This time, they were enforced not only by smart contract but by the knowledge that failure or betrayal would meet with harsh consequences.

The DAO funded organised crime, new drug markets, fraud and financial schemes. As the profits rolled in, it attracted new investors - those who understood that beyond the reach or view of governments and law enforcers and protected by its diffusion of responsibility among holders, money could be made with impunity.

At the end of 2018, The DAO placed a bounty on the head of a senior politician who campaigned for the imprisonment anyone found to own DAO tokens. The contract was completed within a week.

The DAO had spoken. It was successful. It was powerful. It was not to be threatened.

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