TRON 101 | Interesting Use Cases of DAO (I)

October 14, 2022

From merely technical jargon, DAO has become a buzzword on social media for the past year and has impacted mainstream society in areas such as art, sports, law, real estate, and finance. Today TRON 101 will introduce some interesting DAOs to show how they can affect our lives.

ConstitutionDAO

ConstitutionDAO was a DAO committed to purchasing an original copy of the United States Constitution. You may not have heard of it, but you must have heard of its native token, PEOPLE.

Founded on November 11, 2021, ConstitutionDAO raised over $5 million within just four days by issuing PEOPLE tokens (1 ETH = 100,000 PEOPLE) to over 2,300 contributors. By the time of the auction on November 19, 2021, ConstitutionDAO had amassed $46 million from its over 17,000 contributors.

It all started from a joke on Twitter. In September 2021, Sotheby’s announced it would auction one of the 13 original copies of the U.S. Constitution. After the news release, someone joked on Twitter that they would be interested in the bidding, a joke that received massive support online. As more and more people joined the discussion, the original joke was transformed into an important mission: “to put the Constitution in the hands of the people”.

Had ConstitutionDAO won the bid, the community would have attained governance power over this legal document. with community members having a say about how to deal with it, such as in which museums to display the document. And ConstitutionDAO promised to fully refund the contributions if it failed in the auction.

Eventually, ConstitutionDAO lost the bid. However, the price of PEOPLE skyrocketed after ConstitutionDAO became dysfunctional, making the token more like a Meme. This failed DAO experiment has made the word DAO well-known to the world.

CityDAO

On July 1, 2021, the State of Wyoming passed Wyoming Senate Bill 38, titled Decentralized Autonomous Organizations Supplement, which gives Wyoming DAOs protected legal status and allows them to incorporate as limited liability companies (LLC) under Wyoming’s Limited Liability Act. The co-founder of AirGarage, an online parking project funded partially by a16z, Scott Fitsimones initiated a blockchain-backed crypto city project called CityDAO in Wyoming.

Through the tokenization of land, ownership, and governance, CityDAO aims to “build a blockchain-native network city of the future”. The project offers three levels of NFTs that grant their holders citizenship. CityDAO raised about $250,000 in community funds by late August 2021 and subsequently bought 40 acres of land (approx. 161,874 square meters) in Wyoming on September 28. Now, this genesis land has been marked on Google Maps.

In November 2021, the concept of CityDAO received open support from Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum. He not only bought a citizenship NFT but also suggested that “crypto cities broadly are an idea whose time has come”. With endorsement from celebrities represented by Vitalik, the floor price of CityDAO surged. The once-neglected NFTs were soon sold out, bringing in about $8.5 million for the community.

But the dream of building a decentralized city on a piece of wasteland quickly foundered after all the buzz: problems such as the prohibitive construction cost and crawling pace of progressing governance embrangled this ambitious project. Moreover, questions have been raised about whether the project is truly decentralized, as its creation was legally endorsed by a centralized institution: the government. It is yet unknown if this project can be duplicated outside the State of Wyoming.