The Hidden Shortcomings of (D)AOs -- An Empirical Study of On-Chain Governance

23 Feb 2023  ·  Rainer Feichtinger, Robin Fritsch, Yann Vonlanthen, Roger Wattenhofer ·

Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are a recent innovation in organizational structures, which are already widely used in the blockchain ecosystem. We empirically study the on-chain governance systems of 21 DAOs and open source the live dataset. The DAOs we study are of various size and activity, and govern a wide range of protocols and services, such as decentralized exchanges, lending protocols, infrastructure projects and common goods funding. Our analysis unveils a high concentration of voting rights, a significant hidden monetary costs of on-chain governance systems, as well as a remarkably high amount of pointless governance activity.

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Computers and Society Cryptography and Security


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