The DAO And The Art Of Herding Cats



“The DAO” is a decentralised autonomous organisation (program) running on the Ethereum blockchain that was crowd-funded by the Ethereum currency ethers. The crowd-funding phase ran from 30/04/2016 until 28/05/2016, and raised 11,725,223.90 ETH (USD 162,394,351.07 currently) in the main The DAO account + 344,907.73 ETH (USD 4,776,972.17 currently) in the extraBalance account. 1,172,519,071.47 The DAO tokens were issued to the ether contributors, with the rate initially commencing at 1 ETH = 100 tokens and ending at 1.5 ETH = 100 tokens. The ethers were contributed from 23,605 unique addresses in 79,067 transactions. Refer to – The DAO.

“Contractors” can submit proposals to this DAO and the token holders will vote on whether to fund the contractor’s project. See the list of proposals at DAO Proposal Report.

The DAO is a revolutionary investment vehicle, with the investments most likely being used to build up the Ethereum ecosystem. The first proposal has just been updated – see – Ethereum Computer and Ethereum Network Platform. Version 1 of the proposal can be found at Universal Sharing Network – Proposal #1.

The main forum for the discussion of these proposals is at the Forum.

Reading the forum posts, the first obstacle the DAO has to overcome is to unite the views of the token holders. Getting agreement from the token holders would probably end up being an art of herding cats. But this is the first of it’s kind and will probably lead to exciting developments. Some individuals have proposed a structure, with teams composed of people experienced in the different area. The crowd have however stated that they would not want to see centralised control of The DAO. The DAO Token Holders (DTH) have been debating some of the issues with the diversity of DTHs – there seems to only be a small proportion of females and minority groups represented.

I have invested some ethers into The DAO so I have two post on The DAO’s source code – The DAO – Source Code – My Notes and The DAO – Source Code – Source Code And ABI.

See theDAOVoter, A Command Line Tool For Listing And Voting On The DAO Proposals for the current list of proposals.

Who Owns The DAO Tokens

Because of the pseudonymous nature of accounts in the Ethereum (and most other) blockchain, it is hard to gauge the number of individuals that hold The DAO tokens, and the amounts that they control.

At the end of the crowd-funding period, The DAO – Balances shows that 23,605 unique accounts hold The DAO tokens, and The DAO – Token Holders Chart shows that the top 50 holders collectively own 41.34% (484,763,099.00 tokens) out of the total supply of 1,172,507,994.54 tokens.

Many individuals would hold more than one of these accounts holding tokens, and some groups representing many individuals would hold less accounts than the number of individuals represented.

The DAOHub Forum – Users page currently shows 3,077 users. Some of these users would own more than one account and some none.


Official site:
The Technical Forum:
The DAO Proposal report:
Contract address: 0xbb9bc244d798123fde783fcc1c72d3bb8c189413
Token page:
Source code on 0xbb9bc244d798123fde783fcc1c72d3bb8c189413
Source code on github:
How to audit the source code matches the deployed binary:

Querying The DAO Smart Contract Data

I have created a simple tool to view the proposals and vote on the proposals – see theDAOVoter, A Command Line Tool For Listing And Voting On The DAO Proposals.

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