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Steps Toward a DAOWO VInfluencer in 2021?

At the beginning of January Distributed Humanity podcast host Eric Ruleman brought a thread from Compound Finance strategy lead Calvin Liu to my attention.
Lui asked what tools and technologies need to be built to make a DAO able to co-create and manage a VInfluencer in 2021?

This post is part of an ongoing scrapbook series.
Exploring the emerging Dweb (Web3) ecosystem, the #supportnet, and the coming โ€˜Metaverseโ€™.


DeFi Technologies in 2021

In their thread Liu laid out where they see opportunities for DeFi technologies in 2021.

(For an overview of DeFi, what it is, and how it works etc, see my super fun episode with Ruth Catlow on Come Internet With Me.

I largely agree with Liu’s thread. Crosschain tools, better UX, and better scaling are all inevitable in the next 12 months.

Given how high average ETH network gas prices are (at the time of writing 62 gwei or $1.55). I’d expect to see crosschain DeFi tools mature sooner rather than later. Chainsafe and Snowfork are already building low-trust cross chain Ethereum bridges.

All tools in this space will be iterating UX throughout 2021 too. Hopefully major wallet providers like MetaMask and Gnosis will accommodate this work asap. To both further increase user adoption and reduce confusion. And trim our ever expanding ‘wallet collections’ that support certain features.

As a brief summary of Liu’s thread:

Calvin offers three proposals for the possible institutional adoption of DeFi in 2021.

  1. They never adopt DeFi.
  2. They fork key protocols and relaunch within a sandboxed, KYCโ€™d, regulated environment.
  3. Institutions enter DeFi on the current ground and acquire protocol governance tokens to exert influence.

Given the demand for yield and historic low interest rates – I think the most likely answer is somewhere between 2 and 3.

After concluding the thread. Calvin brings up Social Tokens/NFTs/DAOs for 2021.
Tweets #12-15 embedded below:

As you can see! This is all very much my jam!

It’s nice to see someone else thinking in the same space. The entire Dimensino blog series thus far has been arguing towards the same.

Dimensino Thus Far


Let’s briefly recap the posts and how they relate to Liu’s tweets.

Verticals Of One – An overview of what UX will ‘feel like’ for an individual user as Dweb/Web3 technologies mature. As tools ‘lego block’ together to interact with potential new services yet to be built. A Vertical of One is the nature of a user in the fully mature Web3 ecosystem.

Sources of Value vs Organising Value – How ‘pet rock tokens’ are emerging in manually run communities that rely on social contracts. NFTs are also being used as ‘entrance wristbands’ – no NFT, no access says the login bouncer at the gate. Once you’re inside you can also buy, make and swap pet rockets.

PERMISSIVE IPs – Permissive IP: a mash up of โ€˜Internet Protocol vs Intellectual Propertyโ€™. Giving us Permissive: Intellectual Protocols.

Permissive IPs is the name I’ve given to the sort of smart environments that will automate smart contract content. Communities will create, own, control, vote on licensing, and earn money from their participation in worlds built around properties of their own creation. A hybrid environment of social and smart contracts to facilitate the creation of a common goal.

Synthespian Escalation – An exploration of the current state of the VTuber industry. One of the key insights is the feedback loop of audience co-creation.
I do think we may see the first VInfluencer emerge – built on a Permissive Intellectual Protocol of some kind – in 2021. But it won’t be anywhere near as advanced Liu’s vision.

Early Access Artists – A further expansion of both organising value and Permissive IPs. Suggests and gestures toward what practices communities creating content and individual artists may adopt in future.

Discord, DAOs and the Dweb – Proposes three areas Dweb Developers should explore in 2021. Web3 Logins, Multisig Wallets, Discord DAO creation.

NPC Djs + Co-Creating Virtual Worlds – A rundown of the emerging Sensorium ecosystem. Talk about NPC Algo Vinfluencers and hybrid worlds co-created and managed by its audience/users.


So Liu wants to see a DAO co-create a VInfluencer like Lil Miquela and define them through online-only distribution channels. What needs to be built to make that possible?

IMO What Needs to Be Built?

The best writing on DAOs is this piece by Kei Kreutler of Gnosis: Eight Qualities of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. As this field continues to develop I urge developers to continually return it and test their product against the qualities listed.

I also highly recommend checking out the ongoing DAOWO Global Initiative.

Designed to activate collaboration across communities, disciplines and sectors, DAOWO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation With Others) events enable participants to interrogate the benefits and pitfalls of blockchain developments for arts, culture and wider society from local perspectives. Events connect visionary artists, cultural workers and blockchain entrepreneurs, together with local initiatives, communities, institutions and businesses to seek new transnational systems and approaches.

The Algorithmic Food Justice LARP I attended in 2019 also had a DAOWO component in workshop 3 designing community DAOs to meet certain needs. (My team designed a DEX for City farms to scale and aggregate produce into supermarket supply chains and set equitable pricing).


By the end of 2021 I hope the following things will addressed:

DAO UX Needs to Get a Lot Better Across the Industry

Tools should make it possible for groups of absolutely non-technical users to form DAOs. It should be easy as joining a group channel on Telegram, Keybase, Discord. Voting and then a WYSIWIG step by step process.

As previously mentioned on Dimensino this also means drag and drop graphical smart contacts with plenty of examples and use cases in a library etc.

Group DAO set up will be interesting, as every founding member can be polled for their option on how it should work/operate. Perhaps the tool can suggest a compromise between users positions on things. Any disagreement should be resolved by the same tool as initial voting module.

Guild.is squad are about to begin a tour of the current state of DAO platforms. I’ll have way more more opinions on this segment in the coming weeks tbh.

Logins and Multisig Wallets as Identity

Wallet identity and login needs to become a lot more mature.
All DWeb teams currently building products need to include Multisigs/DAOs as a Product User Persona if they don’t already do so.

DAOs need to have a Mint Module/Tool ‘No NFT, no access’ out the box – depending on if this was a condition of the DAO agreed upon in the set up.

DAO Coordination Tools

This really is the most important piece of the puzzle to get to Liu’s vision of DAOs co-creating headless brands.

One of the most exciting Dweb spaces is Governance. But for all the talk in the community around these new systems the Governance token space is still nascent.

Yes, you can vote on decisions with Governance tokens. But democratising the boardroom is only the first step.

gov.uniswap.org and its voting UX is the first step towards community management / development. But if we are to get Permissive IP envrioments off the ground coordination tools need to go a lot further.

colony.io have been building for a long time with a now robust project management suite. But I dislike monetary incentives as a mechanic. Web3 coordination tools are about accounting value creation and sharing it. It should not be focused on an individual. Imagine if all the bounties in colony mint a DAO’s token that’s paid back into the MultiSig on a tasks completion.

I think we’ll be waiting another couple of years for an entire operations suit of a firm/org out of the box ‘on chain/across chains’.

For now tho a focus should be on integrating DAOs with tools like Loomio or opencollective rather than replicating their features in/on Dweb protocols.

For the simple reason there is a hell of a lot of prototyping needed. It’ll be far better to do this in a social/smart contract hybrid environment than shoot straight for a fully automated online entity.

Maybe by 2025 you’ll be able to run a DAO from the inside rather than using 3rd party tools via an API.

I do however expect NFT, and DAO ‘like’ entities to be explored in virtual gaming environments and platforms in 2021.

Microsoft recently announced their intention to integrate the private Quorum network (Ethereum based) in to X-Box live ecosystem.

Specifically speaking, Microsoft plans to use the expanded blockchain functions to enable its Microsoft Xbox gaming partners โ€” along with its vast network of artists, musicians, writers and other content creators โ€” to gain increased visibility into tracking, management and payments processing for royalty contracts.

If unique and custom items as minted as NFT’s also get integrated in to the ecosystem. I think we’ll see all sorts of developers implement and experiment with interesting automated individual and collective smart contract environments.

Other Plug and Play Tools

In order to drive the development and adoption of DAOs being created by Telegram channels. Beyond the plug and play governance tools listed above. I’d also like to see plug and play DeFi liquidity pools.

It seems to me that in the following in the near term for consumers is inevitable:

Step 1. Wallets + Groupchats + DAOs + Coordination Tools

Step 2. DeFi + Tax Calculation Tools

Step 3. ?????

Step 4. Profit

Anyway, that all I really have to add. It’s mainly a summery of the posts from 2020 lol.

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About Author

Jay Springett is a Solarpunk, and consultant strategist, currently specialising in the distributed web, metaverse, and world running. He is currently writing his first public book: Land as Platform.

1 Comment

  • […] folks are still fretting about the โ€˜realityโ€™ of virtual influences like Bruds’ Lil Miquela. But ultimately, the audience doesnโ€™t care. They want compelling narratives and content from […]

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