Meta-DAO: A Futuristic Governance Experiment in the Crypto World

In Salt Lake City, a gathering of cryptocurrency developers at a hacker house is at the forefront of experimenting with a radical form of governance called futarchy. This innovative approach, led by the Meta-DAO, challenges traditional decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) by entrusting total control to the market itself.

Unlike typical DAOs where token holders vote on proposals, Meta-DAO’s governance revolves around every decision being market-driven, specifically focusing on what the market deems best for its token, META. The overarching goal is to make the token’s value rise, emphasizing a philosophy of “number go up,” as articulated by Proph3t, the creator of Meta-DAO.

During a month-long coworking conference called mtnDAO, attendees witnessed a surge in META’s spot market price from $50 to over $1,000. The participants, engrossed in trading (or voting) on Meta-DAO’s future, actively bought and sold META tokens in its unique governance markets.

Venture investors, including Pantera Capital, have taken notice of Meta-DAO’s rapid acceleration, proposing to buy $50,000 worth of META tokens from the DAO. This proposal, subject to Meta-DAO’s complex conditional markets, exemplifies a novel governance experiment that could potentially reshape human coordination.

The Meta-DAO’s governance model follows the futarchy concept, an idea introduced by economist Robin Hanson in 2007. Futarchy suggests that speculative markets can be more effective decision-makers than traditional democracies. Participants in these markets are incentivized to conduct research and make decisions based on their perceived optimal outcomes.

Meta-DAO’s governance game involves conditional markets for each proposal: the pass market and the fail market. Traders signal their preference by buying or selling META tokens in these markets, determining the best outcome for the token. This experimental approach seeks to harness the collective intelligence of the market to guide decision-making.

While Meta-DAO faces challenges and controversies, such as the recent proposal by Pantera Capital to buy META tokens, its futarchy-based governance system continues to capture the imagination of the crypto community. As Meta-DAO pioneers this untested form of governance, it raises questions about the potential of market-driven decision-making in shaping the future of decentralized organizations.