WEF publishes new in-depth guide to DAOs to air issues, encourage development

The World Economic Forum’s “Decentralized Autonomous Organization Toolkit” is the fruit of the labor of over 100 experts in a concise discussion format.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) released a “toolkit” for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) on Jan. 17. More than 100 experts contributed to the document’s attempt to provide “a starting point for DAOs to develop effective operational, governance and legal strategies.”

The 37-page so-called toolkit is explanatory in nature, with concise but encyclopedic entries on DAOs and related topics. It described the toolkit as “a set of adaptable resources for key stakeholders to help realize the full potential of this emerging form.” DAOs have “the potential to address many of the shortcomings of the traditional firm while also realizing more equitable governance and operations,” according to the document.

The discussion begins with a section titled “What are DAOs” and goes on to cover DAO operations, governance and legal structures. That was followed by recommendations for each of those areas, which were also provided in a discussion format and tended to be somewhat generalized. For example:

“Empowering local ‘ambassadors’ or community managers with specialized knowledge of a DAO community can help facilitate onboarding and other key operational processes.”

The discussion did not mince words when it had points to make, however:

“Creating adequate policy and legal frameworks for DAOs is crucial to realizing the benefits and mitigating the risks of this novel organizational form. The creation of such regimes is complicated by the existence of several proposals, such as the Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework proposed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the US Infrastructure Bill, which could create competing requirements for DAOs.”

Related: WEF introduces cyber resilience framework, index to increase organizational security

This is not the first look WEF has taken at DAOs, or even its first toolkit. The WEF published the “Decentralized Finance: (DeFi) Policy-Maker Toolkit” in June 2021 and a follow-up report in June 2022.

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