Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) as an emergent institution Event as iCalendar

(Commercial Law)

16 April 2019

12 - 1pm

Venue: The University of Auckland Business School, Case Room 1 (005), Level 0, 12 Grafton Road

Decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) offer a tantalising prospect for radically changing how organisations are structured and how they operate. DAOs have been described as entirely new and could not have been conceptualised prior to the advent of blockchain technology. Yet they build upon theories, practices and technology including, code is law, the commons, teal organisations, futarchy, liquid democracy, game theory, as well as open source software, distributed computing and public key infrastructure. DAOs decentralise decision making and disrupt governance: participants in the DAO’s ecosystem generate and make the decisions, not managers or directors (or occasionally shareholders). The participants in the DAO’s ecosystem are also the DAO’s owners, thus breaking down the division between capital and labour and potentially reducing inequality. Other novel features abound. In particular, DAOs have the potential to remove, or at least greatly decrease, many issues inherent in firms and institutions generally: people do not always follow the rules; people do not always agree what the rules are; and even if the rules are enforced it is either expensive or impossible or both to restore people and property to their pre breach state. This presentation will provide a glimpse into the future of organisations as well as showing how a DAO’s tokens (a cryptocurrency) are a vital component of its operation.

Alex Sims is an Associate Professor in the Department of Commercial Law at the University of Auckland Business School. Alex’s primary research area is blockchain and in particular DAOs. She is part of a team looking at the use of blockchain in the construction industry. Alex was part of a research team that last year released a report on Regulating Cryptocurrencies in New Zealand. Amongst other things Alex is on the Executive of University of Auckland’s Cyber Security Foundry.

View Alex's full bio.

For more information contact:
Julie Cassidy
Ext. 83918