In this episode, Nick interviews the entire team from Flamingo DAO. Aaron, David, and Priyanka discuss their community, its upcoming projects, and why the DAO structure is the future of crypto governance. They are on the frontline of developing DAO technology and are excited about helping others do the same.
“I do think that there is growing recognition are the organizational form for the internet.” (Timestamp: 9:42)
“Every technical revolution tends to come with some sort of innovation when it comes to how people organize themselves for purposes of work, or for purposes of raising capital.” (Timestamp: 10:12)
How Flamingo DAO was founded
- Background in crypto: David and Aaron have been involved in crypto for several years. Aaron was able to play a role in launching Ethereum and helping with some of the legal questions. David worked on Ethereum and with some of their clients. The ecosystem was meant to include Bitcoin as a store value or for payment. Smart contracts were starting to enable things like DeFis and DOAs.
- Getting involved with DAOs: They were interested in contracts interacting with Ethereum. They developed a robust protocol to handle recording contracts. That technology was also focused on creating DAOs. They’ve gone from the legal layers to creating new ways of using a ledger to help to manage agreements and contracts.
- Searching for use-cases: They wanted to find good use-cases. Managing the DOAs became a clear way to do that. To start a DAO and understand the technical and community sides of it. To make it move forward and bring value to the industry is energizing for the team. The goal is for the entire ecosystem to move forward.
The vision for a DAO community
- The original DAO: For Pria, Openlaw can be applied to many structures including DAO. Creating the original DAO in 2016 was ambitious but was met with technical and legal issues. The technical improvements since then have animated the team to bring their vision to light. Technical and legal aspects of LAO community help things move forward. It started in April 2020.
- Creating a community: The LAO supported Superrare. At the time it was just emerging. The community was engaged with NFTs and saw the vision of visual property and digital art. The conversations in the LAO were asking if NFTs should be invested in.
- Structure of DAOs: There is growing recognition are the organizational form for the internet. Over the last 30 years and with the globalization of businesses, structures have emerged to finance new projects. DAOs are the blockchain’s way of doing that. Intuitively it makes sense to create a structure with partners who have the expertise and are responsible for hiring, administering capital and other activities.
The beauty of the DAO
- Hive-mind approach: The DAO is a headless organization with no leader. You can tap into a network of people with their own networks, interests and ideas. It sources information. What the LAO showed is that when people are on crypto Twitter, they already know about upcoming projects. The hivemind approach seemed more effective and community-driven.
- Addressing industry limitations: The approach has worked well in the content of NFTs and backing crypto projects. The space has two limitations: the technical and the legal. On the technical side there is a limit to the number of members and achieving consensus can be a challenge when making decisions. In the US, there are constraints with raising capital and the size of the entity. With over 100 people, you can resemble a mutual fund and that requires public disclosure.
- Vision for the future: Ownership stake and security questions become relevant. DAO tends to limit the number of investors. The hope is that in the future, by showing that this is a productive model and a viable structure for the internet, the company hopes it can expand its membership.
Concerns with US restrictions
- Big potential for profit: There are many regulatory issues around decentralized finance. Questions around NFT are also present when it comes to the US. This creates incentives for people with aggressive approaches and they tend to not respect the law. Outside of crypto, companies like Uber and YouTube have taken aggressive positions and have had success in the US in the long run. It can be a challenge for smaller groups like DAOs.
- Community engagement: Legally Flamingo DAO can have up to 99 members. The LOA has 65 members currently and Flamingo has 66. Conversations are managed through Discord. Participation also happens in weekly calls. Members talk about different projects and NFTs. People are fairly engaged. It depends on the DAO.
- Members as decision-makers: The team helps distill information through weekly agendas. They also include topics members want to hear about. The community decides what they want to talk about. Governance and decisions are led by members. Legal structures and accounting and other technical maintenance issues are done by the team.
Investing for the future
- Investing in early NFTs: DAO investments in projects have used strategies like commissioning NFTs from emerging voices on other platforms. They have commissioned seven or eight works like Pak and Hackatao. They are also focused on early NFTs with a vision for the broader future. They will be culturally significant and will increase in value. Cryptopunks and other early NFTs have been acquired.
- Their collection: The DOA is investing in parcels of major metaverse land. They have a handful of Bored Apes and have looked into Topshop as well. Inside Flamingo conversations about hyped projects is more muted and unless there is consensus around something, they don’t make a move.
- Creating new DOAs: Decision-making is evolving into other DAOs. Flamingo has acquired a valuable Cryptopunk, an alien. Members have requested an Alien DOA for this new acquisition. They have turned it into a 3D being, created zoom skins for it, and manifested it in metaverses. It’s also playing games. This is a new experiment of having a group-owned NFT.
Ensuring the process
- Consensus-building: The DAOs are evolving, and decisions are becoming easier to make them quicker. This allows the community to respond quickly to new opportunities. Some consensus is done through governance proposals, and some are done through Discord.
- Adapting to the DAO: Mechanics are evolving within the DAO. To meet in person would be great. In New York, some members have met up. Problems are being sorted out and the new DAOs have the ability to expand. Silicon Valley is being built in the cloud. The goal is to make the process agile and flexible. Tooling must be adaptable to the DAO and not the other way around.
- Building a flexible space: The idea is to have a modular approach where each part of the DAO protocol can be decided by the committee. This adds flexibility in setting it up and during its life. For example, one big issue is gas cost. On the technical side, pushing the DAO narrative forwards makes it easier to add new modules and ideas.
Supporting future projects
- Supporting Other Developers: The ecosystem of DAOs they are supporting, and the technology is open-source, it’s modular and allows developers to run with it. The framework will already be built. This approach is changing the structure of crypto organizations. They work better than traditional venture capital structures.
- Exciting projects: They are building an internet museum and thinking about the preservation of NFTs and internet archives. DAOs could be an interesting way of managing the future MOMA or Louvres. In that spirit, they are launching a project called Museo. As an artist or collector, your work can be preserved when you donate it. You become the curator.
- To connect with Flamingo: To visit their website you can go to https://flamingodao.xyz/.