ADAO Creates Summon: The DAO Incubator for Cardano

On January 3, 2009, a little-known programmer, going by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, created the first block of the Bitcoin network. Within the block hash, he encoded this message: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”. It was that day’s headline in the Times of London newspaper.

Developers and miners around the world perform tasks to keep the Bitcoin system running to this day. This is why some scholars have argued that Bitcoin is the first example of a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, or DAO for short.

A DAO is a system that runs on a blockchain protocol completely and autonomously, according to rules encoded through smart contracts. By dispensing with human intervention or centralized coordination, DAOs are often referred to as “trustless” systems.

Although DAOs have different formats and sizes, the common characteristic is that they are organizations owned by community members, governed by rules guaranteed by their code, executed with protocols that are open and transparent to all.

The genesis of the DAO is to align the incentives of the stakeholders, from the founders, through the shareholders (with governance tokens), to the users and the community in general.

It was not until 2015, when Vitalik Buterin launched the concept thanks to Ethereum, which allowed the creation of advanced codes (programming). “The DAO” intended to act as an investor-driven venture capital firm. In 2016 it raised $150 million worth of ether (ETH) at the time, but less than three months after its launch, it was hacked and $60 million was stolen. The attack took advantage of a combination of vulnerabilities in the code. The event spelled catastrophe for The DAO and caused a hard fork in Ethereum, which gave rise to Ethereum Classic, because some of the developers couldn’t agree on how to solve the problem.

Currently no easy way to create DAOs on Cardano. Tools are needed in the open source community that enable collaboration.

The Proposal

Although there are many projects proposing “DAO tools”, user-friendly or open source developments have yet to be delivered and because of this, many decentralized projects ignore Cardano and choose to build on top of other blockchains.

To make the creation of a DAO possible on Cardano, project mentors, institutional support, and out-of-the-box governance tools are needed.

ADAO’s goal is to make building a DAO on Cardano as easy as filling out a web form, including applications with highly customizable templates.

An organization dedicated to advising new groups, and developing tools for the Cardano ecosystem.

ADAO has created a specialized working group, made up of experts in various related fields within the organization, and which will lead the Summon Project, which corresponds to this proposal.

These experts will offer development support, knowledge expertise, access to ADAO resources, guidance to ensure project and community needs are met as tools and regulations advance.

V1 functionality for Summon built-in projects will be:

  • On-Chain Functionality for blockchain organizations via Native and or Plutus scripts.
  • Decentralized Treasury management and Governance Frameworks.
  • Security, through open source code, internal and external independent audits. 
  • Development and organizational support.
  • Educational community support, to promote best practices within new formed organizations.

In addition to the chain tools, ADAO will create a non-profit foundation in the legal jurisdiction of Liechtenstein. This jurisdiction has been chosen for its progressive recognition of digital assets, favorable regulation of non-profit activities, and high commitment to the rule of law.

ADAO has developed partnerships with LiqwidLabs and Cardano Sounds to co-create open source code repositories together. ADAO, has also partnered with Rats DAO and Smart ContractAudit Token to create custom governance systems.

Quantitative indicators of success include:

  • Number of Cardano projects onboarded to Summon
  • Number of non-Cardano (cross-chain) projects onboarded to Summon
  • Number of projects successfully launched using open source tools and software after onboarding to Summon

Success can be measured by the number of decentralized projects successfully building on Cardano, using open source tools and libraries, and furthering the documentation and use case, (Editor’s Note) of ADAO.

Many new projects, both from Cardano and from other blockchains, have already contacted ADAO with queries on this very topic. Start-up and community organizations have been in constant contact with ADAO members and are looking for structured, detailed, and easy-to-use tools, advice, learning, and development resources.

This is a new proposal, but it can be considered a continuation of our F7 proposal “Creating Cardano DAO Infrastructure”.

The Budget

The requested funds total USD 69,420.

USD 20,000 will be applied to develop the embedded projects and provide expert level resources internally.

Another USD 30,000 for the ADAO Foundation Trust, to be established in Liechtenstein, as it must have at least that amount in accounts in the country. More funds will be added as the projects are underway.

USD 10,000 is required for the legal setup of the ADAO Foundation, where ADAO legal engineers will hire a local lawyer in Liechtenstein to properly register the organization and keep it in compliance with local regulations.

Lastly $9,420 for PR and marketing as the ADAO Summon project needs a website and online presence to connect with other Cardano projects.

The Team

On November 13, 2021 ADAO was born, minting 16 governance tokens (GovTokens), to control a treasury, which were distributed to 8 people to start testing the governance script, and also ADAO locked an NFT identity in a contract intelligent, which officially brought the DAO into existence.

The first governance script is capable of three things:

  1. Minting new governance tokens
  2. Expending treasury to a specific address with a specific amount
  3. Updating governance script identity

NFTs Since then, ADAO has grown into a community consisting of hundreds of people on the Discord server and over a dozen top contributors who are excited about the potential that on-chain governance brings to them and their community.

More information here 

ADAO has assembled a growing team of experts within the Cardano community to incubate, advise, and build tools for decentralized governance.

The specific team leading the development of “Summon” is made up of ADAO core collaborators with adaptations in education with specialty and focus on decentralized governance, research, with a focus on empirical studies in decentralized and community governance systems, Software Engineering, distributed data engineering, expert in socio-technical information systems and Plutus Pioneers.

ADAO will provide support and resources to advise new projects and help guide development and implementation.

Her team introduces herself to the community as follows:

AdaMinnow (aka TCT) is an entrepreneur and business founder owner/operator. He is a member of multiple DAOs on other blockchains including Ethereum and Harmony and has been one of the foremost community organizers bringing people together to form ₳DAO.

Adam Rusch holds a PhD from the University of Illinois in Education Policy where he works as a Lecturer in Information Sciences and eLearning Specialist. He is a founder of the Immutable Research Institute, organizer of the Champaign Blockchain meetup group, and author of the ADAO Constitution.

dzCodes is a professional problem solver who started as a potential web designer/frontend developer around seven years ago but quickly moved through the frontend to the backend. He recently left his corporate jobs to work full-time on open-source and blockchain projects including ADAO and Cardano Sounds.

Nicolas Cerny (Lovecoach) is currently working as Business Analyst focused on requirements engineering and project management. His aim is to establish proper workflows and organizational structure for ADAO. He is passionate about decentralized governance and all things crypto.

Riley attended the University of Washington for Computer Science and Mathematics with a strong interest in applied mathematics, blockchains, and AI. He left his job writing software used by over 75% of Fortune 500 companies and is now working as a Plutus and Plutarch developer for ADAO, Liqwid Labs, and other Cardano projects.

Sims has over 10 years in entrepreneurship running multiple businesses along with seats on various governance boards. He followed a natural path to DAOs and is passionate about developing the best open-source tools for the Cardano community and beyond. Let’s Build!

The DogeFather is a licensed attorney with extensive experience in banking institutions, business applications, technology startups, and blockchain. He is founder of the Black Doge DAO and joined ADAO as a core contributor to share his legal expertise.


The original proposal can be read on IdeaScale: ADAO Summon: DAO Incubator

…If you want to read more about DAO, you can see my article: Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO): The Brief History, Challenges, and Lessons Learned

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