True 'Autonomy' in DAOs

Hello everyone,

We’d like to present a potential solution to a recurring issue in DAOs - the challenge of maintaining ‘autonomy’ while dealing with off-chain processes.

Currently, trusts are often used to handle manual tasks such as approving contributor applications, verifying completed work, and processing payments. These trusts operate in a largely manual manner which, while functional, contradicts the principles of decentralisation and autonomy that DAOs strive for.

Instead, we want everyone to start thinking about shifting these responsibilities to elected councils within the DAO, similar to how the Synthetix framework functions. These councils, elected by the Electors each six months, and compensated automatically at the end of each epoch, would handle the tasks currently managed by trusts.

Here’s how it would work:

  1. Contributors submit applications via a process integrated into the blockchain.
  2. At least two council members pre-approve these applications, and a vote is held to finalise approval.
  3. Upon approval, contributors carry out their work.
  4. Once completed, council members vote to approve the finished work.
  5. If the work is approved, payment is automatically processed on the blockchain at the end of the epoch.

In this way, the entire process from application to payment becomes automated and fully transparent on the blockchain, removing the need for manual, off-chain tasks currently handled by trusts.

This system maintains the integrity of decentralisation and autonomy while effectively managing tasks that traditionally required manual intervention. By adopting this method, we bring DAOs closer to the ideal of being truly Decentralised and Autonomous Organisations.

We’re eager to hear your thoughts on this proposed solution. Do you think an automated council system, could be the key to achieving true autonomy in DAOs?

The Future of Autonomy in DAOs?

We also want to explore another potential path to expand autonomy in DAOs further – leveraging artificial intelligence.

Imagine a specialised AI tool trained specifically for DAO operations, replacing all Electors and Council Members for enhanced autonomy. This AI, let’s say a “dYdX AI” for instance, would be trained with one fundamental goal – to act in the best interest of the protocol and avoid any actions that could potentially harm it.

Here’s how the dYdX AI could function:

  • It pre-approves all proposals that are beneficial or necessary for the protocol to advance, after rigorously analysing each one for associated risks.
  • These pre-approved proposals then go to the validators for final approval.
  • The AI then presents requirements for the approved tasks to be carried out by contributors. The contributors then apply, and the AI approves these applications and verifies their completed work.
  • Once work is approved, payments are automatically processed.

The same processes can be applied to a Grants AI, Marketing AI and so on.

These AI-driven systems would eliminate the need for electors and council members, leading to complete autonomy. We’re a wee way off from implementing something like this, but it’s a direction worth considering.

However, it does come with its own set of challenges. For example, there’s a single point of failure in relying on one AI. One possible solution could be having multiple AI systems, each trained with the same goals but able to analyse situations from slightly different perspectives. This could provide a more robust, failure-resistant system.