On May 1st, The DAO began a presale of DAO tokens and so far, it has raised almost 11 million ETH, worth over $130 million.
Slock.it DAO Structure
Instead of conducting a token pre-sale to fund its activities, Slock.it is enabling the creation of a DAO that will hire Slock.it (with the money raised from the DAO token sale). “The DAO”, outlined in this whitepaper, is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) whose members (token-holders) have the ability to vote on DAO activities, particularly proposals it seeks to fund with the ETH raised in the sale of tokens. Members (token-holders) also receive dividends from the results of these projects.
Slock.it is the first and most notable of these proposals, and its proposal outlines a vision for smart locks, which would allow for automatic (smart-contract-enabled) locking and unlocking of digital devices. This would be a foundational technology to build a Universal Sharing Network on which anyone could rent out anything (that could be linked to a digital device). Future Slock.it proposals could focus on applying the smart lock technology.
The DAO could fund other proposals as well, listed here. At time of writing, this included a P2P rental for electric vehicles.
The Slock.it team is not reserving any tokens for itself nor does it have any special powers over DAO activities. Only holders of the tokens have formal authority, including initiating proposals and voting on them. Read more about token holder abilities here.
This authority also includes approving or firing curators, who play a critical role in protecting minority rights among DAO token holders. “The DAO” announced an initial set of curators, including Vitalik Buterin and other members of the Ethereum team, though presumably this list can be changed by token-holders. Read more about the role of Curators here.
The DAO Pricing and Issuance
The sale of tokens will last for 28 days. For the first 14 days, the exchange rate will be set at 100 DAO Tokens for 1 ETH. Over the next 10 days, the price will gradually rise to 100 DAO Tokens for 1.5 ETH – a price that will remain for the last four days.
There is not a fixed number of DAO tokens: they are created through the sale and the total volume in circulation will be determined by the amount of ETH put into the DAO. There is no upper limit on how many tokens can be created – other than the total number of ETH in circulation. The DAO has claimed 13% so far, and at least another week and half remain.
DAOs are imaginative and potentially disruptive entities, but there are a number of hurdles they will need to clear before they can integrate with the global economy and operate as “organizations.” Consensus 2016 made it clear the regulatory landscape will (eventually) become more coherent, and a regulatory agenda for DAOs will become policy discussions and eventually law.