Will decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) be the way we run the collective endeavours of the future? Entrepreneur Yury Serdich thinks so and he is on a mission to help more people to use them. “DAOs are the next great form of organisation,” predicts Serdich as he launches PUNK master to improve public access to them.
For the uninitiated, DAOs are blockchain-encoded smart contracts that govern how a group of people organise themselves and take decisions. They provide a means for people to come together, whether they know one another or not, in order to pursue collective goals in a way that automatically follows the processes agreed at the outset. There is no need for a manager or administrator to get involved – and no need for the hierarchical structures most organisations employ.
Think of a community in a local neighbourhood, say, where each resident puts money into an organisation to pay for future improvements to the local environment or infrastructure. They could use a DAO to define the terms of how decisions about possible spending projects will be made, and to manage that process as each project comes up.
Or consider the creator economy, where innovators are increasingly looking beyond venture capital and other traditional investors to raise money for new ideas. A DAO could be the means through which they work with a diverse group of individuals.
“DAOs are going to be ideal for all sorts of organisations,” says Serdich. “They can work really well for non-commercial groups, and for any community where people are making choices about what to do next.”
So far, so good, but there’s a problem. Setting up a DAO, properly coded on a blockchain, requires more technical expertise than most people possess. That’s where PUNK master comes in, says Serdich. It’s effectively a tool for setting up your own DAO even if you have no coding knowledge at all. Serdich says the platform’s interface will enable users to get their DAO up and running in just 20 minutes.
Professionalising DAOs in this way could help give the structures the legitimacy they need. The most high-profile DAO launched to date, known simply as The Dao, raised $150 million in 2016 only to be targeted by hackers who stole a chunk of the cash. That undermined trust in the concept and slowed its development.
Communities should not be put off, argues Serdich. “DAOs are going to be really valuable to a diverse range of groups,” he says. “They provide a simple way for each member of the group to put a proposal to everyone else.” PUNK master will operate free of charge to those with fewer than 500 members, he explains, while charging fees to larger organisations.
It’s a leap of faith, Serdich concedes, though he believes the project will be socially useful even if doesn’t become a huge commercial success.
Still, the entrepreneur has a track record that suggests he can make a go of PUNK master. Only 26, he has already been running start-ups and scale-ups for nine years, largely in the crypto and blockchain space. Successful ventures have included one of Europe’s first cyber sport leagues and a Telegram Messenger marketing agency that works with brands such as Volvo and IBM.
Most recently, Serdich curated the TON Punks NFT collection, commissioning artists to create more than 5,000 pixel art images on the TON blockchain. TON Punks quickly developed something of a cult following and the project earned Serdich around $1.5 million – cash he is now ploughing into PUNK master.
Moreover, while Serdich is particularly proud of PUNK master’s DAO offering, the venture is also pursuing other projects. These include Cryptonight City, a service set up to provide advisory and consultancy services for individuals interested in collecting or curating NFTs, and Punk City, a metaverse venture that offers users the opportunity to build business models that do not simply depend on ever more people joining up.