What does Jack Torrence and Jack Dawson have in common? Truly, both are the famous movie characters; both are played by great actors; and they are well remembered for their portrayal in The Shining and Titanic, respectively. But yes, they do share a common first name, that is Jack. So what if the first Jack tried to kill his family under the influence (of a spirit?), and the other one heroically died protecting his muse’s life during a ship-sinking tragedy, they both are still the same, right?
DAO.Casino has lately been treated like Jack Torrence, when it is actually the Dawson, Jack Dawson.
Many people wonder why do we have DAO in our name, when the term has previously been associated with a “hacked” investor-directed venture capital fund. They think — and we don’t blame them for it — that DAO.Casino is somewhat an extension of an organization whose security loop could’d cost them millions worth of Ether.
Only a couple of days back from the time of this writing, a journalist reached out to us with a very concerned question. He asked:
How did the Ethereum DAO catastrophe influence your business model? Did you create this before or after Ethereum’s?”
And this article responds to him, and similarly many others, including individuals from decentralised enthusiasts communities and media houses who want to know the kind of relationship we share with the infamous ‘The DAO’ catastrophe.
To them we reply: None. And we have a few points to make our case. But before that, let us understand what DAO exactly stands for.
DAO stands for Decentralised Autonomous Organization, which includes any organization, group, company that is run through rules encoded as computer programs called smart contracts (Source: Wiki). Ethereum, and even Bitcoin, are among many examples of the DAO. Their financial record and program rules are maintained on a public ledger, aka blockchain. That being said, DAO only represents a specific type of organization. While the business models that are based on DAO may vary.
So, with this said, please observe the following points that clearly explain how The DAO and DAO.Casino differs from one another:DAO.Casino and The DAO business models are entirely different; they serve different purposes. There is a word DAO in the nameThe DAO was the part of one Slockit Project. DAO.Casino has no relation/association with them.The DAO was a software designed in a form of investor-directed venture capital fund (thanks Wiki for this).DAO.Casino, on the other hand, is a socio-technical system for gaming and gambling industry, and is not an investment fund.Everything of DAO.Casino — design, architecture, purpose and goal of the software that we are working on — is just radically different from The DAO. Keep Calm and Love DAOs
How far can we let a terminology typecast things that are actually meant for greater good. Why is there even a question that using DAO is somewhat giving us bad publicity? We will try to explain by using this homebrewed example:
Think of Decentralised Organisation (DOs) and Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAOs) as a category of software which can express a business logic. DOs and DAOs can represent any governance model and any business logic, with the only difference from a “normal organisation” that execution of this business logic is not done by a “trusted” third party. Instead it is hardcoded — done by the protocol which executes automatically. Participants can decide whether they want to be a part of the system or not, but once they are, no single party can change the rules.
In a simplified, non technical way, one might think of it as a constitution, codified in Solidity. Traditional constitutions use separation of powers, so that tasks are assigned to different institutions in such a way that each of them can check the others. As a result, no one institution can become so powerful in a democracy as to destroy this system.
It is sensible to apply the similar principles to organisations. In DOs and DAOs on Ethereum separation of powers is greater, if by the logic expressed as such in Solidity code and is enabled and partly by cryptography partly by incentive mechanisms for the participants in the system.
Ethereum is a place where such software can run — because instead of a server that someone can have a control over, Ethereum is a giant decentralised multi-user computer and no single party will be able to change this protocol.
So we can say that there can be million of projects that can be implemented in both DO and DAO form — investment funds, consumer’s associations, it can be a steering fleet of sailing hackerspaces, or a republic. Just two years back, an artist David Bovill came up with a DAO art project inspired by Plantoid — a bionic sculpture that raises money, in cryptocurrency, to build itself. This idea has been taken forward and developed further by Primavera de Filippi.
Would it make any sense to compare Plantoid with The DAO project?
We can never run short on examples. Here’s this one: If you develop an application which is, lets say, an egg timer. And someone else developed an application which is, lets say, a shopping list. And that someone messed something up and the app got exploited and all the private shopping lists were stolen. Would you stop calling your egg timer app an app? Just because of of the gazillion of possible apps got hacked?
We do understand the prevailing concerns with our project. Right now not even Wikipedia knows that DAOs can come in an infinite shapes, forms and architectures, and states ‘The DAO’ as the only example. We hope that will change soon. But that doesn’t change the fact that DAOs can represent anything from a hedge fund to a workers union, to a fleet of transatlantic catamarans.The DAO Failure was Sad
One of our team members had penned acritical piece on The DAO fiasco. Even then, our take on the entire matter was the same: that The DAO issue had nothing to do with its operating system, i.e. Ethereum. That project’s architecture just centralised a lot of ether, the vulnerability of which became unavoidably tangible. It is likely that no one would have exploited this contract, even in the presence of an exploit, unless the contract held so much Ethers.
But once again, The DAO was an experiment, not a service. It could very well have been a service that hadn’t raised enormous sums, but still would have got exploited without making a fuss. The problem was in the architecture and implementation.
We have a lot of respect towards experiments such as The DAO, because any kind of drawback is an opportunity to learn. The monetary loss will always be a sad thing, but let us not brand the term DAO as an intrinsically flawed concept; it has relevance.
What our team are working on now is, to enable a high degree of autonomy in our software, and its ability to cater for a social & economic system in a particular context. So the concept of DAOs is kind of dear to us. It just doesn’t feel right to start inventing new terms for something that has been already described. Specially if you were following the theoretical developments in this field since a while back, and finally designing and building one.
Long story short, we just decided to keep the name that we like. And it will probably be slammed in the mainstream media by some. For more details you will be able to check the the architecture that we will publish on this blog this month and see for yourself. We are sure you will be able to differ one Jack from another.
Though, The DAO didn’t murder anybody. Just saying!