A DAO, in its purist form, is a collective group of tokenholders who use tokens to interact with a smart contract that controls a protocol and/or treasury.
The most common way for tokenholders to interact with smart contracts governed by the DAO is by voting on on-chain proposals.
From an operational standpoint, DAOs require human input to prepare and advance executable proposals that can be voted on and executed in a trustless way. Proposals are not prepared in a vacuum — instead, DAOs rely on people to coordinate, submit, and action proposals.
As a result of the need for human input, new social environments have emerged alongside DAOs. Participants in a social environment related to a DAO consist of both tokenholders and participants or individuals who may have no voting power in the DAO itself.
This post was first published on my blog on July 29, 2021.
Until about a month ago, I had never thought deeply about public goods. The last time I was exposed to the concept was in an introductory economics paper, many years ago. Despite its importance as a key source of market failure, it is the sort of concept that is glossed over in a single lecture and never spoken about or considered again. For the most part, it is an academic public policy problem that does not warrant consideration from the average person. The average person pays taxes and rates and expects the government to use some of that money to pay for public goods that cannot be efficiently funded by private enterprise.
My understanding of public goods has been helped greatly by participating as an applicant in the recent Gitcoin Grants Round 10. My goal in participating was to raise a small amount of money for a podcast I host that gives a conversational platform to builders and participants in web3. Any money raised would be used to offset some of the ongoing expenses incurred in creating the content. This, of course, raises the question, can a podcast be a public good?
Going into the grants round, I had a vague understanding of what a public good is. It is obviously possible to deduce from the name that a public good is something that is good for the public. However, just because something is good for the public does not necessarily mean that it is a public good.