Written by Peter Keay

Full-stack dApp developer || Host, Crypto Philosophy Podcast (bitgenste.in) || Host, Everything EOS Dev Series || Co-host, Inside IOST (leobi.io/st) || Writer.
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April 25 2018

DAOstack (GEN) — ICO Alert Report

DAOstack (GEN) — ICO Alert Report

What is DAOstack?

DAOstack is the complete, decentralized, end-to-end tech layer for governance of large groups and organizations. It is a comprehensive toolkit for decentralized collaboration at scale.
~Matan Field (CEO) and Adam Levi (CTO) of DAOstack

ICO Alert Quick Facts

  1. The “WordPress of Blockchain Governance,” enabling easy, quick, flexible creation of DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations)
  2. Token price for 1 GEN = approx. $1 USD
    Presale bonus of 10%
  3. Presale: May 1–2, 2018 (whitelist closes April 30 at 4 a.m. GMT)
    Main Sale: May 8, 2018–June 7, 2018
  4. 40,000,000 total available / 60,000,000 total supply (plus an additional 40,000,000 mintable in the future by the Genesis DAO)
  5. Active development and tight integration with partners such as Gnosis, who was also a lead investor

Q&A with Matan Field and Adam Levi, CEO and CTO of DAOstack

ICO Alert: For those who are not familiar with DAOstack, can you explain what it is, and what the team aims to accomplish?

DAOstack: DAOstack is designed to catalyze the future of collaboration. It’s a platform for decentralized governance that enables decentralized companies, funds, and markets to easily self-organize around shared goals or values. DAOstack is sometimes called an operating system for collective intelligence, or a WordPress for DAOs.
The platform includes a flexible smart contract framework, a friendly JavaScript developer environment, and an intuitive user interface that allows anyone to create or participate in a decentralized organization without technical knowledge.
Most of the expected proceeds from the DAOstack token sale will be reserved for management by a DAO fund, in which the community of GEN token holders will create proposals for the allocation of resources.
Ultimately, the vision of DAOstack is an emergent ecosystem of DAOs able to easily exchange ideas, share talent, and manage funds, all jointly building a collaborative economy.
Currently, we don’t have tools that allow hundreds, thousands, or millions of people to efficiently collaborate towards shared goals and tasks. Our current incentive structures don’t even really work in a way that allows us to be fairly compensated for doing “the right thing” instead of doing “what we need to do to make money.” DAOstack aims to provide a tech layer that supports the structure for “the wisdom of the crowds” to take form, but we are also working toward reshaping our incentive structures so collaboration can be broadly achieved.
Image courtesy daostack.io

ICO Alert: How does the DAOstack token (GEN) function within the platform, and why is it needed?

DAOstack: In order to scale, a governance system needs to be efficient, which means having mechanisms for managing the attention of the collective. It needs to ensure that the most important proposals get attention, that those proposals get attention from the right subgroups, and that the subgroups are inclined to act in accordance with the interests of the greater majority.
This is where the GEN token comes into play. GEN serves as the attention token of the DAOstack ecosystem. Just as gas, paid in ETH, procures the collective attention of the decentralized world computer known as Ethereum, GEN can procure collective human attention.
With GEN, you cannot buy voting power, nor can you vote, but you can place a stake for or against a proposal that influences whether or not it rises to the collective attention of the voters, the reputation-holders. If you place a stake for proposals that the reputation-holders then pass, you’re rewarded with more GEN. If you stake for a proposal that then fails, you lose your GEN. And vice versa if you stake against proposals.
This staking system effectively amounts to a. prediction market that runs in parallel to the voting apparatus, and it’s at the heart of what’s called the Holographic Consensus, DAOstack’s solution to the problem of resilience and scalability.
As Matan says in the DAOstack short film, “There is a natural tension between scalability, the number of decisions a collective can make in a period of time, and resilience, the incorruptibility of those decisions. We resolve that tension with a new collective decision-making process, called Holographic Consensus, whereby small groups can make decisions on behalf of the larger majority in such a way that guarantees perfect alignment between the two.
“Holographic” refers to the way in which each piece of a hologram, when separated from the whole, contains a representation of the entire image — analogous to how a relatively small group of voters can represent the interest of the greater whole.
GEN will likely have other utility on the platform too, related to its shared registries, for example. Also, GEN will be the primary currency for the buildout of the DAOstack ecosystem itself, with contributors to the platform rewarded in GEN, and even investments into projects that are built on the stack tendered in GEN — according to the collective will of the Genesis DAO.
Image courtesy daostack.io

ICO Alert: Could you briefly explain, for a person unfamiliar with blockchain governance, what governance is, why you believe it is important, and the current major problems you see with it?

DAOstack: The common element in decentralized collaboration organizations — social news, insurance and investment platforms, numerous collaboration spaces, even a couple of decentralized autonomous space agencies — is a proper decentralized governance system: an efficient and resilient engine for collective decision-making, at scale. This unlocks the possibility for thousands of people, even millions of people, to make decisions together, quickly and wisely.
Decentralized governance is a critical element for DAOs and dApps. A good governance mechanism resolves the tension between excessive output of collective attention on certain things on the one hand (to achieve greater efficiency) and insufficient collective attention on other things on the other hand (for the sake of better consensus).
Monetization of attention, complexity, and coherence are necessary principles to achieve these two goals simultaneously and to form a truly scalable governance system. A system where thousands of collaborating agents can safely process hundreds of decisions a day.
You can read more of our thoughts on governance, the problems faced, and ideal solutions here:

ICO Alert: How do you intend to promote the advantages of your governance model and tools to developers so you can achieve rapid adoption?

DAOstack: $10 million from our $30 million raise will be allocated to the DAOstack non-profit foundation to manage further development of the DAO stack and its ecosystem. This is our expected requirement for an additional four years of development, which we estimate is enough time to bring DAOstack to full capacity.
The rest ($20 million if we hit our hard cap) will be given to the Genesis DAO to support, build, and grow the DAOstack ecosystem. Supported entities will include:
- Projects building components of the DAO stack
- Projects integrating interfaces/apps onto the DAO stack
- Promising DAOs established on top of the DAO stack (using interfaces such as Alchemy)
Hitting $20 million will be enough to support about 100 medium-sized projects, which we estimate is a good number to grow a thriving ecosystem at a great pace.

ICO Alert: You often compare DAOstack’s potential in the decentralized organization space to WordPress in the website space. WordPress allowed businesses and individuals to make quick, flexible, functional websites, and you aim to bring an equally powerful toolset to DAOs.

But WordPress is also quite easy to learn, at least for basic usage. Would an individual with limited technical knowledge and little training in DAOstack be able to use your platform?

DAOstack: The answer is yes, they will be, but not tomorrow. Rome was not built in a day — nor was WordPress — but we are getting there. There will be many ways to use DAOstack. Some will require a deeper understanding of the system and some won’t, just like you need a certain understanding to use some of the available tools in WordPress.
The entire idea of DAOstack is for crowds to be able to collaborate. We don’t expect them to be tech savvy or have a broad understanding of the stack in order to use it, especially considering that most people might use dApps built on the stack, and those dApps will all have their own different interfaces.
For developers, we built the Arc.js layer to make it easy for people to build apps on top of Arc. We believe it will be simple and easy for any JavaScript programmer to build and adapt with Arc.js.
So already it is quite easy, and it will become easier for sure.
Image courtesy daostack.io

ICO Alert: At ICO Alert we are seeing an increasing number of ICOs running on other platforms, in particular NEO, EOS, and Stellar. What timeline do you anticipate for blockchain agnosticity and/or interoperability for DAOstack?

DAOstack: Although we admire the Ethereum project and at the moment exclusively build on top of it, we philosophically believe in diversity and plan on being blockchain-agnostic as other good and secure platforms come to life and mature. DAOstack has been built with a fully modular and adaptable framework. From the beginning, interoperability has been at the core of our work.
We are already talking to projects who are building on other platforms and are committed to finding ways to integrate within this coming year. In addition, though the system is currently on-chain and yes, there are plans to expand to allow off-chain solutions. We are currently planning the next two architectural versions of the DAOstack system, including an off-chain architecture in 2019, for potential solutions where smart contracts will employ off-chain solutions (e.g. Plasma).
We think the timescale for a generic off-chain solution is quite long, but if it happens more quickly than we expect, we’ll be there.
Image courtesy daostack.io

ICO Alert: Your Arc.js allows developers to program in JavaScript for Ethereum DAOs without needing to learn Solidity. Can developers try out Arc.js yet?

DAOstack: Everything that can be accessed on Arc can be accessed through Arc.js in a much simpler way. Both simpler — JavaScript rather than Solidity — but also simpler in terms of not needing to understand the actual architecture of the contracts when you interact with them with Arc.
Here’s a review of our code by cryptolaboratory. They mention how easy it was for them here:
In the past few months, we have put a major emphasis on documentation. We are currently building a Hello-World-type dApp, which will allow people to create DAOs easily. They will have a report as a starting point, helping them see how to integrate and work with our contracts.
So although it’s already quite easy, it will be even easier soon.

ICO Alert: Your website lists some integrations including Gnosis, Endor, Sapien, Menlo.one, and Cultu.re. Could you describe whichever is the most developed or interesting of these integrations?

DAOstack: Firstly, we ourselves are going to start using Alchemy, which is an application for decentralized budgeting and budget allocation for open source projects. We will use Alchemy ourselves in order to engage with a larger open source developer community around the project.
We also have our partner Gnosis, who wants to distribute tokens to open-source developers that will produce applications on top of Gnosis. So Gnosis will also be using Alchemy for that purpose. We will soon release more exciting news from that partnership and how DAOstack and Gnosis will collaborate beyond Alchemy alone.
Other assorted applications will be integrated with the stack: Menlo for decentralized investment funds and decentralized curation of investments and Sapien, a decentralized news platform.

ICO Alert: DAOstack has an “app store” for governance elements called the Compendium. Could you give us one or two examples of specific elements that might be (or even already are) in your Compendium, and why developers would elect to use them?

DAOstack: The Compendium is a curated registry of modules whose curators are part of the professional DAOstack community. The elements consist of governance schemes and constraints.
One example governance scheme is a voting protocol. For instance, “If 50% of the majority of token holders approve the transaction, then the transaction will be executed.” A token sale is another example: “If ether is sent to this address, then we will print tokens and send them back.”
An example constraint is: “no matter what, we will never print more than 100 million tokens” (which incidentally is the case at DAOstack).
Anyone can make their own governance models, but the idea is that there will be this registry list curated by the community and approved by the organization to be used as interfaces. So of course developers can choose to use whatever model they would like, but if they want to rely on curation by other experts and approved by the DAOstack community, they will use the Compendium.
Image courtesy daostack.io

ICO Alert: How far along is the project towards its next big launch, and when can contributors expect to fully use the platform? Please feel free to share any recent updates.

DAOstack: Here’s our timeline for contributors to fully use the platform:
End of April: DAOstack staff will start “dogfooding,” using Alchemy to govern the Genesis DAO.
Q4 2018: We launch the public Genesis pilot, where anyone can use the platform to vote, pay wages, and create proposals for the Genesis DAO.
Q1 2019: Anyone can launch their own DAO using the Alchemy interface.

ICO Alert: As a non-DAOstack question, we like to ask for unique predictions for the ICO and cryptocurrency space in the future. Where do you see both in the next 3–5 years?

DAOstack: ICOs are definitely changing very rapidly, mostly in two directions.
1) First, the space is becoming more and more commercialized. A bit over a year ago, ICOs were mostly organic. Right now the community sees a huge opportunity to profit, but we believe this opportunity will come to an end in about three years. The demand is currently still overwhelming compared to the supply, but that is already starting to change. Eventually, those opportunities will be saturated.
2) There is also the fact that the space is becoming more and more regulated economically, socially, and legally. So eventually we expect the ICO space to become more similar to the IPO space, unfortunately.
At the same time, we are also seeing the IPO space becoming more decentralized; for example, we’ve been seeing more crowdfunding lately. And even this week, I saw the news that now in the U.S. tokens can officially be sold as equity on Ethereum. It seems like the ICO and IPO spaces will meet in the coming few years.
The cryptocurrency space will hit mass adoption in 2–3 years, which will cause a lot of shifts and transitions, but I believe that DAOs will be a major drive of those changes. We can expect an increase of scale in the blockchain and massive power distribution with wider communities and a more decentralized economy, causing a major disruption to existing legacy corporations.

Presale Information

The DAOstack presale will begin at 4 a.m. GMT, May 1, 2018 and will end 48 hours later at 4 a.m. GMT, May 3, 2018.

There are a total of 40,000,000 DAOstack tokens (GEN) available during both the presale and main sale. A total hard cap of 30,000,000 USD is set for both token sale periods.

During the presale, tokens will be sold with a 10% bonus over the estimated main sale price of $1 USD per token.

Only whitelisted contributors may contribute to the presale. The only currency currently accepted for the DAOstack presale is ETH.

DAOstack is an ERC20 token, so it’s important that contributors use ERC20-compatible wallets to send funds to the DAOstack smart contract and to receive their DAOstack tokens.

Main Token Sale Information

The main token sale will begin at 4 a.m. GMT May 8, 2018 and will end on June 7, 2018.

There are a total of 40,000,000 DAOstack tokens (GEN) available during the main token sale, representing 67% of the supply — or 40% if the Genesis DAO members decide to mint the maximum possible GEN in the future. A hard cap of 30,000,000 USD is set for this period.

During the main token sale, tokens will be sold at an approximate price of 1 GEN for $1 USD (in ETH equivalent). The exact price will be calculated based on the results of previous sales and announced when the main sale begins. The only currency currently accepted for the DAOstack token sale is ETH.

Again, DAOstack is an ERC20 token, so it’s important that contributors use ERC20-compatible wallets to send funds to the DAOstack smart contract and to receive their DAOstack tokens.

Token Information

There are a total of 60,000,000 GEN tokens being created, plus an additional 40,000,000 mintable by the Genesis DAO in the future. 40,000,000 of the current supply of 60,000,000 are available during the presale and main sale.

Contributors will have their tokens distributed to their ETH wallets via smart contract. Visit the DAOstack website for more information and the contribution address.

How To Participate

Presale participants must be whitelisted. The whitelist closes April 30, 2018, at 4 a.m. GMT. To join the whitelist, visit daostack.io and click “Join the token sale whitelist.” You will be asked to provide KYC information and may need to provide an identity document for identity verification. You will also need to enter the ETH address from which you will be contributing to the token sale.

One last time: DAOstack is an ERC20 token, so it’s important that contributors use ERC20-compatible wallets to send funds to the DAOstack smart contract and to receive their DAOstack tokens. Do not use an exchange ETH address.

You will be notified once the presale is open and may send your contribution directly from your ERC20-compatible ETH wallet to the DAOstack smart contract address which will be provided.

Participants in the main sale will need to follow a similar procedure prior to contribution.


U.S. citizens are currently not permitted to participate in the DAOstack token sale. DAOstack may allow U.S. citizens to acquire tokens at some point in the future, depending on the regulatory environment at the time.

GEN Token Allocation

Use of Token Sale Proceeds

$10 million of the $30 million target raise will be allocated to the DAOstack non-profit foundation to manage further development of the DAO stack and its ecosystem. This is DAOstack’s expected requirement for an additional 4 years of development, which they estimate is enough time to bring DAOstack to full capacity.

The remainder (as much as $20 million, if the hard cap is reached) will be given to the Genesis DAO to support, build, and grow the DAOstack ecosystem. Entities to be supported by this money will include:

  • Projects building components of the DAO stack
  • Projects integrating interfaces/apps onto the DAO stack
  • Promising DAOs established on top of the DAO stack (using interfaces such as Alchemy)

Development History and Roadmap


Matan Field


Leading expert in decentralized governance.

PhD in Physics.

DAO architect and blockchain entrepreneur since 2014.

Adam Levi


Deep Blockchain technologist.

PhD in physics from the Technion.

Former IDF radar engineer.

Twenty-two years writing code.

Nathalia Scherer


Culture and living systems catalyst.

Dalai Lama Fellow and Systems Engineer with a focus on social innovation and complex problem-solving.

Artist, complexity geek and aspiring paraglider pilot.

Oren Sokolowsky


Highly experienced full stack SW developer.

More than 20 years in a wide range of SW development projects.

A passionate decentralization advocate.

Loves transforming vision into code.

DAOstack on Social Media

Join their 23K+ Telegram community or active GitHub to investigate:

View the DAOstack website here.

View the only comprehensive list of active and upcoming Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) here.


  1. DAOstack Website, DAOstack (2018)
  2. DAOstack Token Sale Announcement & FAQ (2018) https://medium.com/daostack/daostack-token-sale-announcement-faq-ea3cd125a900
  3. DAOstack Whitepaper, DAOstack (2018) https://daostack.io/wp/DAOstack-White-Paper-en.pdf

Topics: Blockchain, ICO, Decentralization, Ethereum, Governance