This Week in DAOs - June 17, 2021

Boardroom's DAO Screener, UMA Range Tokens, a DAO Merger, and Potential Curve Litigation,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

This week in DAOs: a new tool from Boardroom, a DAO merger, a potential DAO lawsuit, and more. Keep scrolling to learn more.

If you want to get involved in Stateless - a community-driven resource covering digital and distributed organizations and their governance - or are interested in learning more about Boardroom, reply here or join our Discord. We’d love to hear from you.

By the way, in case you missed it, check out the Stateless podcast episode from earlier this week:

🎙️ Stateless #7 - Integrity, Participation, & Reputation in Decentralized Governance w/ Marcus Phillips

📰 This Week’s News

Boardroom’s New DAO Screener

Last week, we announced our new Treasury integration with MultiSafe that allows users to review DAO treasury balances, activity, and payment details directly on a project's page in the Boardroom Portal.

This week, we’re very excited to share our new DAO screener!

With the Boardroom Screener, you can:

  • View a “leaderboard” of active DAOs, sorted by Treasury size and Number of Proposals.

  • View high-level ecosystem details such as the combined USD value of all DAO treasuries, the total amount of proposals that have been made, and the total of amount of voters who have participated in decentralized governance.

  • Compare DAOs by governance frameworks (such as Compound, DAOstack, Moloch, Snapshot, and more).

Check It Out on Boardroom

This is just the beginning of what the Boardroom Screener will be able to do, so stay tuned for more. We’re excited to help participants in and observers of decentralized governance keep track of this fast-growing ecosystem.

Have feedback on how we can improve? Ideas for what we should do next? Join our Discord and tell us!

UMA Range Tokens

On Monday, UMA kicked off the week with a bang by introducing a new token primitive, called Range Tokens, that has potentially big implications for DAOs and their treasuries.

Essentially, Range Tokens are designed to enable DAOs to borrow funds to fund operations and initiatives or diversify their treasury, without the risk of liquidation. One can think of Range Tokens as similar to convertible debt in the traditional finance world.

For a very clearly written explanation of how Range Tokens work, with some easy-to-follow examples, check out UMA’s announcement blog below:

Read UMA's Medium Post

Range Tokens are an exciting new tool for DAOs to use to achieve their core objectives and, potentially, get more creative with their (often large and relatively inactive) treasuries.

As an example, take Uniswap’s soon-to-come Proposal #5, which would establish a DeFi Education Fund to mount a “regulatory and political defense of the decentralized finance ecosystem.”

As discussed in this newsletter, part of the controversy about this proposal is that it would represent the largest DAO treasury distribution (excluding liquidity incentive programs) ever made. With Range Tokens, the Uniswap DAO could assuage concerns from some of the proposal’s opponents that such a big ticket expenditure could put downward pressure on the price of $UNI by borrowing against their large treasury instead.

There has been much progress in the sophistication of DAO treasury management in recent months. We’ll be watching with interest to see if Range Tokens are picked up as a new tool going forward.

Curve’s Intellectual Property

An interesting proposal surfaced in the CurveDAO forum this week. Initiated by HydroSam, a lawyer, the proposal would “engage competent counsel both in the USA and other relevant jurisdictions” to “protect its position in the marketplace with enforcement of [its] IP rights.”

The motivation behind the proposal is that Saddle Finance has been accused of “copying” Curve’s code and some in the Curve community believe that is in their interest to defend their intellectual property. Notably, however, any action taken by Curve here would not be solely focused on Saddle but would be an “ongoing anti-infringement campaign.”

There are some fascinating implications here for the open-source, decentralized ecosystem, which has concepts like forking built into its ethos.

Indeed, the aim of the proposal is to engage lawyers to see if Curve is even able to take such action against Saddle and others.

However, as opponents of the proposal point out in the forum post, there also needs to be a discussion around whether Curve should in the first place. As noted in this CoinTelegraph article on the topic, if Curve decides to assert rights over its IP, it could open itself up to other thorny regulatory questions regarding its status as a legal entity (and presumably the $CRV token’s status as a security under U.S. law).

These types of questions will undoubtedly continue to arise as DAOs mature and the dollar amounts at stake (no pun intended) continue to increase. As more lawyers enter the space (see Uniswap’s Proposal #5), these topics will get more and more attention. This is definitely something to watch for DAO members and other participants in the ecosystem.

NuCypher and Keep Merge

Some history happened this week with the “first-ever on-chain network upgrade to combine two decentralized networks,” NuCypher and Keep.

The new project will be called KEaNU - a nod to who else but Keanu Reeves, of course - and according to the Keep Medium post will “create a powerhouse platform for threshold cryptography and decentralized bridges between blockchain networks.”

Approximately 93% of individual Keep stakers and 100% of NuCypher voters agreed to the decision, which was simultaneously proposed in both governance forums (Keep here and NuCypher here).

Here’s how it’ll work:

Will we see more DAO mergers in the future? Maybe! Either way, this is a cool piece of DAO history to make note of.

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