The Golem Foundation’s Julian Zawistowski on DAOs and Decentralized GovernanceOct 11, 2021
The technology behind Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, or DAOs, has been lauded for its ability to support the creation of user-defined organizational structures. But many questions remain about how DAOs can protect individual privacy while maintaining structural order.
Solutions may be close at hand. Take voting, for example. Soon, members of DAOs may not need to present proof of identity to cast votes; instead, they can offer proof of uniqueness. "This kind of pro-privacy solution would not disclose anything about who a voter is. Instead, it only proves that each voter is a unique entity," Julian Zawistowski, Director of the Golem Foundation, explained to Orchid's Derek Silva on this week's episode of the Priv8 Podcast.
Using these kinds of privacy solutions for DAOs may eventually increase people's willingness to participate in them. "What I ultimately hope for is a shift in power that will allow people to have more influence on how things work," Julian said.
"Changing power structures in this way has been at the very center of the blockchain ethos since its earliest days. It's a sense of 'crypto anarchy' that demands that systems must be governed by their participants, rather than a few central actors."
Despite their potential to democratize power, Julian noted that there is still some skepticism around decentralized governance models. He believes that this could be linked to the infamous 2016 hack of The DAO.
"That event damaged the perception of decentralized governance. The general consensus was that it was complicated, possibly even dangerous. People thought that they needed to be very careful."
Since then, misconceptions about what decentralized organizations really are have proliferated. "Early implementations of blockchain, which are based on Proof-of-Work algorithms and digital asset markets, cannot be compared with DAOs," he said. In fact, many legacy blockchain networks are not truly decentralized. "They have problems with centralized concentration of wealth.
"But things are changing. Decentralized finance, or DeFi, is reawakening interest in decentralized governance."
You can check out Derek's entire conversation with Julian here. And don't forget to subscribe to Priv8 Podcast on your favorite streaming service.