A DAO to Save Whales?

If “The Blockchain” is the flavor of the month this year, then Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are not far behind. If the use cases for a blockchain are mostly imaginary, then DAOs are basically still science fiction.

Not that I don’t appreciate science fiction!

Pete Rizzo reported in Coindesk about a particularly imaginative concept for a DAO, which appears to be pretty much a thought experiment that might be made into a demo.  As Rizzo puts it, an “early-stage effort”!

The idea is to create a DAO that would (somehow) “”autonomously care” for a pod of Orca whales in the Pacific Northwest.”   The researchers are exploring possible legal models for such organizations and use cases, which will require the legal system to adopt the principle that non-human entities can have legal rights. In this case, they imagine that the DAO “would enable animals a way to exercise legal rights for the first time.” Really?

I think these people are serious about experimenting with this concept, though I wonder if they really know what they are doing. I’m not sure I understand the problems they aim to solve, or why a DAO would help solve them. And I certainly don’t understand how “the whales” themselves would be empowered in any way.

Indeed, the most intriguing question is whether this DAO serves the wishes of humans who want to “save the whales”, or of the whales themselves who want to, well, who really knows what they want?

I give them full points for imagination, and I bet you could boot up something DAO-ish. Whether this will work at all, let along help or “empower” whales is hard to say at this point.


Cryptocurrency Thursday

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