This phase is an experiment to educate the public about DAOs.
I've been providing legal and tax advice about blockchain and digital assets (web3) predominantly via law firms and recently via my own company (also a legal practice). This has been a niche area of speciality with a lot of risk and uncertainty so contributing to global policy development over the last 5 years has been just as critical as doing the work. All the confusion and legal uncertainty that does surround DAOs, notwithstanding how important the innovation and the movement is, has endeared the "DAO-first" model to me and as a result I take a "DAO-first" approach to a lot of my thinking and the way I'd like to contribute in the world. One of the reasons I started my own law firm was to enable the freedom of a distributed law firm model where I was able to consult and educate various lawyers and law firms about blockchain and digital assets. The demand is already too overwhelming to keep up with and I'm not sure innovative start-ups should have to repetitively bear the cost of expensive and still somewhat uncertain legal advice.
So I'd like to recognise or launch a DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation) and release a token. Many people also want to do this and don't know where to start.
The DAO would initially focus on areas of effort that I already have underway: web3 policy advocacy based on deep legal and tax experience in blockchain and digital assets. I'd like the token to represent a person's alignment with the DAO's values for as long as they hold the token - whether they intend to actively participate in the DAO or not. The token should also represent an entitlement to cast votes on proposals or sign support for policy documents as well as an obligation to collect sentiment and feedback from the members before submitting a proposal for voting on or a policy document for signing support. These are common features of "governance tokens".
Being a values-based token to coordinate policy development, I lean towards it being distributed for free (i.e. someone should not have to pay to have access) which is often referred to as an airdrop or a type of fair launch. This would mean the need to self fund but if someone cannot self fund then a commercial case must be made for up front contributions or donations to financially support a person allocating time to the cause, and remunerating core contributors, for a period of time until the funds run out. A free distribution model means a lost opportunity to raise capital but not necessarily a lost opportunity to define an economic proposition from which a commercial return can be earned from network efforts.
There are economics, legal, tax, ip, hr and operational questions involved in launching and operating a DAO. Instead of solving it in private, I'd like to do as much as possible in the open. The trouble is, I already try to conduct myself as transparently as possible, contribute open-source submissions to policy consultations around the world and have a global network of people I trust and consult with before making recommendations to clients, government and policymakers.
In some ways, I've already created the beginnings of a DAO but is this something separate or part of my existing business (a pty ltd company)? Why don't I just issue more equity in my company? The simple answer for me is that I don't think I identify with private company profit models anymore and traditional equity is not composable with blockchain technology nor natively digital or global.
The DAO would initially be centralised because I take responsibility for financial decisions and settle documents before they are made public and sourcing talent to contribute and make up an initial governance council before a sufficient size community can vote in representatives based on a voting process.
The ultimate goal is to support minimum standards as web3 develops. One day we may be able to economically value the impact achieved from capital invested or value contributed to the world because of the policy advocacy over the last few years and years to come. Until then, here is a place for an interesting experiment and education journey into web3 with DAO-first thinking. Welcome.
The demand for digital skills and literacy is only going to increase as the world becomes more digital. Professionals like accountants, lawyers, financial planners, bankers and brokers are the trusted advisors, the human advisors, at this frontier who will increasingly need a foundation of digital skills and literacy to explain what this means to their clients.
In 2021, as I launch this passion project, it is still rare to find these professionals and especially women in leadership and senior positions with digital skills and literacy. Across the board it is hard to find people with digital skills and that are committed to continuous learning. I am feeling the brunt of a rising tide of requests seeking me out for the cross-section of my digital skills and perspectives, lived experiences as a woman in law, and legal, accounting and policy knowledge. I can't do it alone and am running out of contacts to recommend for interesting, purposeful and rewarding projects. The world needs more good people with digital skills.
So here I am, launching digital skills workshops and a dedicated website to help you to start your digital skills journey and to bring you along the ride of mine. I've spent the last decade working as a tax lawyer and accountant to understand how I'd simplify the tax system if ever given the chance, and the last half decade exploring and advising in blockchain and digital assets. Upon learning about the Ethereum network, I drew an immediate connection between it (or something like it) and a future state of the tax system fit for the digital economy - micro auto taxing of digital transactions. What connections will you make?
Welcome to the beginning of your digital skills journey.
All comments and views are my own and may or may not represent the views of other organisations I am employed by or volunteer with.
Any content provided through the workshops, this website or in communications does not constitute legal, tax, financial or accounting advice or any endorsement of anything referred to for illustrative purposes only.