What is "DAO" and other glossary


Dear experts,
in several #dgov discussions, we’ve run into a problem of not having clear terms to operate. What is DAO, what is governance and what is not. So I’ve started to form some draft on the glossary here, that we can together improve and refer to when needed.

Please share your feedback and contribute :wink:


Some thoughts:

  • dOrg – what does this mean taxonomically? Does it encompass all of the discussed definition? Is it another term in its own right that refers to more human-centric (ie. co-op) DAO strutures? @dOrgJelli

  • Your definition of “DAO” seems fairly narrow to me. Curation DAOs don’t necessarily “hire” individuals – a great example is Subreddits. There’s no ‘payment’ for upvoting/downvoting content (a primitive form of curation). People just ‘do it.’

  • Legitimacy is an interesting topic – in my opinion it highlights the divide between different voting systems, e.g. tokens vs. reputation. People who support reputation systems probably find economic governance (tokens, stocks) to be illegitimate in some sense; others may feel governance through wealth is perfectly legitimate. Would love to see this fleshed out.

  • I love your definition for Platform – and it’s very relevant to Genesis’ future duties as a “Coordinator DAO.” As Coordinator it will (probably) manage 40m GEN and align ecosystemic incentives. I would love to see/learn about other examples…

I hope you find these helpful!


@Pat Are you looking for a formal definition of the term “dOrg”? If so, myself and others working within the dOrg collective haven’t given “dOrg” a strict definition or set of standards. Rather just using the term as a shorthand for any type of (Digital / Decentralized / Distributed) Organization. I do however love the definition you’ve started to articulate, as this is very aligned with how we plan to operate (more on this below). I do think it could be a great term that encompasses things at a higher order of abstraction (ex: DAO & DAC are both dOrgs). dOrg as a set contains any [Decentralized Organization, Digital Organization, Distributed Organization].

Additional disclaimer: the dOrg collective is not claiming to have coined, or is seeking own the term dOrg. If the collective’s developments & practices end up aligning with a formal definition, then so be it.

Here is an excerpt from an early README where we try to explain our early thinking behind the term:
We wanted something that was easy for anyone, inside or outside the blockchain community, to remember and become familiar with. We think that the term dApp was extremely successful in doing this for Decentralized Apps, which brought us to thinking dOrg for Decentralized Organizations was a good fit.

The term DAO has become a standard in the blockchain community, and we do not aim to replace. We plan to use the term DAO in all technical documentation, and will only use dOrg as an up front “new user friendly” term.

We have however started to formalize how we plan to operate going forward:
A freelancer cooperative committed to enhancing the means of coordination.

dOrg is owned and controlled by its contributors, not external investors. Our representational forms— both on and off-chain— are designed to harness our collective power while protecting each agent’s autonomy. We aim to leverage economies of scale without sacrificing fair and reliable compensation.

More information found here: https://github.com/dOrgTech/vision


Thanks for your points.
So far that glossary doesn’t contain any of my definitions, only one I’ve found in other sources (they are stated there). If you would like to provide alternative definition from other sources or you – that would be very welcome (either here or straight in wiki via PR).


Added Yalda and Matans definitions here: https://wiki.dgov.foundation/resources/glossary