Are DAOs The Future Of Governance?
World governments have shown a growing interest in blockchain technology in recent years due to its potential to simplify the complex process of governance. Thus far, the examples include implementing blockchain into the electoral process, digitizing land registry whereby a blockchain can record detailed information on a sales transaction, adopting blockchain to improve the efficiency of public healthcare systems, and even using the technology to combat corruption.
Asian countries have long been early adopters of new technology encouraging people to embrace new innovations and opportunities. Perhaps among the first to investigate the potential of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) is the Japanese government. At the beginning of November, the Digital Agency of Japan announced its intentions to convert its Web3.0 Study Group initiative into a full-fledged DAO. The goal is to grant a study group the means to explore the functions and roles of DAOs, and in turn, influence the Japanese government’s further investment in Web3 technologies and systems.
What is a DAO?
A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is an entity with no central leadership. DAOs are a ground-breaking use case for blockchain technology, representing an innovative approach to business management. Decisions get made from the bottom up, governed by people organized around a specific set of rules enforced on a blockchain. It is collectively owned and controlled by its members. In other words, DAOs allow Web3 communities to scale and grow without the risk of falling into an oligarchy, where the few rule over many. Smart contracts, used by DAO members, serve as a set of rules which is enforced in a trustful, objective manner due to blockchain technology.
Japanese DAO Exploration Initiative
The study group’s overall purpose is to better understand the application of blockchain technology. In October, the Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida announced that the country would work to promote Web3 services, especially those related to NFTs and the metaverse. The newly established Digital Agency of Japan aims to investigate aspects of digital assets and DAOs that could potentially be used for “cross-border crimes that exploit blockchain technology” and threaten user protection.
Japan’s DAO initiative is part of a government agency-led program and therefore, its goals are to enhance the Japanese government’s capabilities. It means that the DAO hopes to serve as “a role model in the future,” and promises to publish its “establishment template” along with any other pertinent documents, according to the Digital Agency of Japan’s announcement. Among the crypto-focus tasks, the study group aims to open a digital wallet and coordinate gas charges, which are the fees behind crypto transactions. In addition, voting methods will be determined in a sense of how the DAO should be organized.
Are DAOs the Future of Governance?
DAOs are seen as a potential solution to corruption and bureaucracy in governments worldwide because of its purported transparency and efficiency. Today, most countries provide public services through the internet since it enhances government productivity and efficiency. However, current electronic government services are still centralized and rely heavily on people to control or oversee them. Thus, the system is extremely vulnerable to external assaults due to its lack of decentralization. Since the operational process of e-services depends on individuals, there is a risk of collapsing and room for corruption and bureaucracy.
With a blockchain-based government-DAO (eGov-DAO) people will be able to monitor and evaluate e-government services in real-time. Moreover, it will bring transparency, better efficiency, and resource management. Blockchain allows also to protect all records for auditing, reducing litigation between parties and speeding up contract allocation and execution. Regarding security, e-Gov DAO would help to prevent the system from hackers while lowering IT infrastructure costs.
Overall, this approach has plenty of benefits for both governments and the people. However, to adopt any Web3 technology, like DAOs for instance, a state needs to have smart regulations. Governments, globally, should devise rules that support a level-playing field for all providing the environment for innovations to flourish. Blockchain opportunities could remain untapped without a robust regulatory framework. In contrast, a set of adequate regulations will allow us to get the unique benefits of blockchain technology, such as total transparency and the ability to automate important activities to cut down on human error, bureaucracy, and corruption.
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