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According to Research by Chainalysis: Some Web3 DAO Ownerships Aren't Truly Decentralized

Updated: Aug 11

DAOs and much of blockchain technology have been hailed as a new way to democratize wealth, opportunity, and the internet. As luck would have it, some things don't quite work out as first intended, and for some DAOs, that's precisely the case.


Recent research published by Chainanalysis states that although many decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) have developed structures that point to a future of decentralized governance, there are several issues with this proposed plan.


Voting Power Still Highly Centralized

This detailed study found that although DAOs play a fundamental role in the world of blockchain and many cutting-edge Web3 projects, there tends to be a certain amount of centralized power in ownership.


By looking at ten prominent DAO projects, Chainanalysis found some interesting insights regarding how UNdecentralized many of these endeavors tended to be in reality. Essentially, it turns out that less than 1% of all members have amassed over 90% of all the voting power in these DAOs, meaning the 1% held 90% of power for decision making.


Along with this eye-opening info, Chainanalysis found some exciting takeaways:


  • A user must hold between 0.1% and 1% of the outstanding token supply to create a proposal,

  • And a user must hold between 1% and 4% to pass it


For anyone looking to propose a vote, there were some severe barriers for most individuals.

Following that, the report found two unexpected aspects of most DAOS:


  • If too many users created proposals, then the DAO would be swamped with spam, and the governance system would fall into chaos.

  • But if not enough users put forth proposals, the community within the DAO might feel the idea of a "decentralized governance" was nothing more than a joke.


Chainanalysis says most DAOs have yet to fully address and try and solve this, as these issues could be an Achilles heel for many future projects.


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