DAO Liabilities

The future of crypto is an existential crisis around what may be the worst of all worlds.

When looking at what web3 means to our futures, how it taps into the rising stakeholder economy, and how it exemplifies the prospects of collective ownership (first spotlit back in Issue 12), the view was positive. Exciting. Empowering.

One obscure DAO and charges from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) later, and there are “existential implications for a burgeoning sector of the crypto industry.”

Why? DAOs are owned collectively by their members rather than by a central governing body. This means “their tokens are similar enough to corporate shares to be subject to securities laws but different enough to create unlimited liability for their holders.” In other words, if the CFTC takes action on your DAO, you must lawyer up and pay up. There are no centralized bodies protecting you.

The stakeholder movement is building incredible strength. As I see it, while the risks rise, DAOs — and crypto overall — will continue evolving into new frontiers of success.

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Brent is a member of the executive team for Opus Agency, partner to world-shaping brands.
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