Some believe that #Bitcoin is an excellent example of a DAO organization. Lets see why this could be the case.

COMMUNITY TEST

✔️ BTC scales via the power of its community.

✔️ Main added value is the alignment of incentives among miners & nodes, users and developers…

✔️ … forming all together a community of stakeholders interested in staying together for different reasons.

This sounds like a DAO so far. Lets see what would be the foundational principles.

FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES TEST

✔️ Common goal: secure and censorship-free digital currency enabling an exchange of value without intermediary

✔️ Rules for cooperation: coordination of actors for network security and maintenance (#consensus algorithm).

✔️ Well-defined formatting and processing of transactions, miners contribute to secure the network using their computer resources, nodes maintain a record of transactions, verifying transactions and mutually checking each others’ work.

✔️ Specification of a predetermined economic policy: max number of bitcoins in existence will be 21,000,000; they will be issued gradually at a predetermined rate as a reward to miners who secure the network.

The foundational principles test also passed.

GOVERNANCE TEST

✔️ Stakeholders: miners, developer groups, and users.

❌ However, Bitcoin has no formal #governance tools (ex: voting) other than its consensus algorithm. Therefore, in order to take a decision, stakeholders merely discuss online and offline and eventually try to come to an agreement based on the general discussion sentiment. This process is called ‘rough consensus’.

❌ For this reason, Bitcoin will never be able to implement decisions quickly. Or even undertake important side projects.

✔️ BUT one could argue that Bitcoin’s governance is aligned with a potential goal of becoming the ‘digital gold’. Just as #gold reserves sit and wait in the bank, Bitcoin doesn’t have to move fast, but to remain secure.

✔️ As there is no intellectual property neither corporate secrets, the large majority of the organization’s value lies in the activity of the community of stakeholders and the goodwill of its members.

✔️ Eventually, the balance of power between stakeholders may reach equilibrium by adjusting until a fair governance setting is found.

✔️ As a result, the cooperative aspect of networks is enhanced in decentralized organizations, thanks to a guaranteed certainty over bargaining/power relationships.

Therefore, if we leave aside the rough consensus issue Bitcoin does qualify as one of the first #DAOs that ever existed.