As the metaverse unfolds, communities are finding even more power in gathering in online spaces. Online communities already have a hand in shaping the culture; with DAOs, these communities may take on a larger role in the zeitgeist. With new capabilities and additional resources, they can fuse technology and socio-psychology to build autonomy and expand collective agency.
Because DAOs are essentially blockchain-enabled computer programs, online communities can use them to enforce agreements in a more democratic, decentralized way — made possible through smart contracts. Once a core group of members encode the smart contract, DAOs raise funding by issuing crypto-tokens based on participation, contribution, and investment. Holding tokens means you can submit proposals, vote, and ultimately share rewards as a member of an online economy. This fundamental technology at the core of DAOs moves around the blocks within bureaucracies: DAOs eliminate the need for bigger institutions in favor of more democratized, self-contained organizations.
Decentralized & self-governing: power to the people.
Plenty of organizations have already begun learning how to elevate community participation using DAOs, such as Friends With Benefits. FWB, a cultural DAO, brings together “Web3 artists, operators, and thinkers by shared values and shared incentives.” Unlike in the traditional art board where bureaucracy might stall resources and plans in motion, FWB harmonizes editorial content, artist grants, NFT ephemera, and IRL galleries into one collectively-led system. They also recently hit the art circuit by organizing a spectacular Art Basel party. Attendees saw performances by Azealia Banks, Erykah Badu, and were treated to an exclusive NFT drop, capitalizing on the art world’s curiosity for crypto x culture. The physical nature of the pop-up party is only a microcosm within FWB’s ever-expanding universe. In a sense, it’s a model of community wherein the creative directors are truly pioneering the evolution of digital <> physical experiences.