Use Cases and different Types of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO)

After covering the basics of DAOs in the first blog post, we now introduce you to a lot of examples, use cases and many different types of DAOs.
Michael Schranz
Michael Schranz
March 31st, 2023

Examples of DAOs

Since this market is very dynamic, it is always a bit tricky to name use cases since it is possible that they may not exist one year later. However, some well-known examples of DAOs are:

  • Uniswap (decentralized crypto exchange)

  • MakerDAO (solutions provider for new crypto startups)

  • Aragon (allows other platforms to introduce their DAOs)

  • Lido (PoS staking)

  • GnosisDAO (decentralised infrastructure)

  • ENS DAO (governs the ENS - Ethereum Name Service protocol)

  • CityDAO (DAO laws)

  • MolochDAO (funding/grants/charity)

Types of decentralized autonomous Organizations 

A DAO is a digital organization that is powered by code and exists on the internet. It is an organization that runs on a decentralized platform, eliminating the need for a central authority. DAOs are still in their early stages of development, but they hold a lot of promise for the future. Their decentralized nature makes them much more resistant to corruption and abuse than traditional organizations, and their democratic processes ensure that everyone has a say in how they are run.

There are many different types of DAOs, but they all share certain characteristics. For example, DAOs are decentralized, meaning they are not controlled by any central authority. They are also autonomous, meaning they can operate without the need for human intervention. DAOs are powered by smart contracts and run on decentralized networks such as Ethereum.

They are highly resilient to external attacks and can rapidly adapt to changing conditions. Additionally, because they are not bound by geographical boundaries, DAOs can operate globally without being subject to local laws and regulations. Finally, DAOs have the potential to radically democratize decision-making by giving all members an equal say in how the organization is run.

There are already several DAOs up and running, and many more are being created all the time. If you're interested in learning more about them or even starting your own, there are plenty of resources available online.

The 8 most important types of DAOs 

The first DAO was created in 2016 by the Ethereum Foundation. Since then, numerous other DAOs have been created, each with its unique governance model. Not all DAOs are created equally and serve a variety of different purposes.

The best type of organization for a particular situation depends on the specific circumstances and goals of the organization. When choosing a decentralized autonomous organization, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of each type to choose the one that is best suited for the task at hand.

DAOs can be categorized into various types such as:  

1. Protocol DAOs

Protocol DAOs are a type of decentralized autonomous organization that is based on a protocol or set of rules such as a borrowing/lending application. They are designed to provide a decentralized way of governing a network or community.

Protocol DAOs can be used for a variety of purposes, such as managing a cryptocurrency, developing a new protocol, or even creating a decentralized marketplace. MakerDAO, Uniswap and Yearn Finance are examples of protocol DAOs. 

2. Collector DAOs

Collector DAOs are decentralized organizations that allow members to pool their money together to purchase and co-own valuable assets. This type of DAO is open-source to those who want to invest in rare or expensive items, as it allows them to spread the cost across a group of people.

Flamingo DAO and Constitution DAO are collector DAO examples. 

3. Philanthropy DAOs

Philanthropy DAOs are designed to use blockchain technology to fund charitable projects and causes. They work by pooling donations from users and then using smart contracts to distribute the funds to approved projects.

Philanthropy DAOs have the potential to revolutionize the way that charities raise money. They can provide a more efficient way to fundraise, as well as allow donors to track where their money is going.

Big Green DAO and Ukraine DAO are philanthropy DAO examples.

4. Investment DAOs

An Investment DAO is a decentralized autonomous organization that allows individuals to pool their money and invest it in a variety of assets. Investment DAOs are transparent, and decentralized, and allow for a high degree of control by the members. 

Krause House DAO, MetaCartel Ventures, and BessemerDAO are investment DAO examples.

5. Grant DAOs

Grant DAOs provide funding for nonprofit donations and expand capital assets throughout the web3 ecosystem, Grant DAOs use funds from donors to give grants to projects that fit their criteria.

Aave Grants DAO and MetaCartel are grant DAO examples.

6. Social DAOs

Social DAOs offer digital democracy where everyone can give their opinion. Social DAOs focus on the self-organizing community aspect by bringing together like-minded people in online communities.

Developer DAO and Friends with Benefits are social DAO examples.

7. SubDAOs

SubDAOs are a new form of DAOs. It consists of a group of DAO members that are organized to manage specific functions such as partnerships, marketing, treasury, and operations.

Balancer Protocol is a SubDAO example.

8. Media DAOs

Media DAOs strive to reinvent how content creators and consumers engage with media. DAOs use token inducement to reward producers and consumers.

BanklessDAO and Decrypt are the media DAO examples.

Recap on types and examples of DAOs

Each type of DAO has its unique benefits and drawbacks. They are cooperatives, collectives, commons-based peer production, and self-organized systems. While there is no perfect organization type, each has the potential to provide value in certain situations. It is important to carefully consider the goals and context of an organization before deciding which type is best suited for it. If you are looking for help in this subject, do not hesitate to visit our services section for Strategic Consulting in Blockchain Tech & Web3