Co-Founder: The DAO Will Give Birth To the Companies That Otherwise Wouldn’t Have Existed


May 28, the crowdsale of The DAO, an ambitious project for decentralized trust management on the blockchain of Ethereum, has closed.

The project, initiated by, a startup producing smart locks, has got more than 12 million Ethers, which is worth of almost $165 million.

Thus, The DAO has made the most successful campaign in the history of crowdfunding, leaving behind other famous blockchain projects, such as Ethereum (which actually underlies The DAO) and decentralized kickstarter Waves.

However, over the course of the crowdsale’s final days, one of the Curators, Vlad Zamfir, being also one of the Ethereum developers, along with Cornell professor Emin GĂĽn Sirer and Smartwallet founder Dino Mark released a report reviewing possible attacks on The DAO. This launched discussions within the community,  and eventually resulted in a call for temporary moratorium on the DAO proposals.

Stephan Tual, COO and Co-founder

ForkLog talked with Stephan Tual, the Founder and COO of, to find out about the implications of the current discussion and the future of The DAO.

FL: We’ve heard of the proposal to declare moratorium on the DAO until the issues will be resolved. What do you think of this idea? What’s going on right now?

Stephan Tual: There’s no ‘Proposal’ for a moratorium that would be binding. What there is, are basically a number of voices being heard by active curators, edge cases blown out of proportion mostly. In this case, on the voices is the report that you’re referencing. It’s important to note that not a single of these concerns raised – as I said in my recent blog post –  jeopardise or put at risk the ether that’s in the contract.

And the second thing to note is that we are keeping in touch with everyone, because the cryptoworld is very small. And we’re talking with these guys, Curators included, aiming to address these concerns without having to change the DAO, because nobody wants to change the DAO core code just yet. As a group, we are aiming to make a framework for the proposals to themselves to meet certain criteria instead.

A proposal could have criteria that make a Curator’s life a lot easier. So, that’s something we’re working on with the community, with the Curators.

Again, as of today, Curators could whitelist proposals and the system would work, there’s nothing technical stopping it. The only roadblock is reaching a consensus with the curators on where they are as a group, getting them to sign transactions, getting them active. And that’s something that takes time, because they all are taking their role seriously. And that’s why it’s taking a little bit of time. Everybody is very rushed in this space, but the DAO needs to be given the time it deserves.

FL: It looks like the matter will be resolved soon, right?

Stephan Tual: We’ve already submitted the third version of a draft for the proposal framework. And I believe that Alex Van der Sande and Gustav Simonsson [curators of the DAO] have both reacted to it really positively, and we’re seeking to continue this conversation, but yeah, it looks to me that within next couple of weeks we’ll have a framework and we’ll know what the proposal ‘coding standard’ should look like.

FL: Some exchanges like Kraken have already announced the launch of the DAO tokens trading. Is it a good option for trading in the light of recent news? So, is it time to start trading?

Stephan Tual: That I do not know. I mean, I cannot give financial advice of any kind. I know that a lot of platforms have opened for trading and the biggest ones, being Kraken and Polo, probably has something going on as well. I don’t really follow trading, so I wouldn’t be able to give you very good advice, and also the one thing I would say: no one has a crystal ball.

What I can say is that I’m very comfortable with the future of the DAO, and the way it’s gone so far made it the largest crowdfund in a history with 164 million dollars and the largest VC in the space per se. The DAO will give birth to the companies that otherwise wouldn’t have existed. So it really will improve the ecosystem as a whole. It’s not a thing anymore. It hasn’t been a thing for a long time now. It’s very much a community thing. It affects all of the people that care about Ethereum in general. It could be the first Ethereum Unicorn.

FL: Since our last talk the project became quite big. Now it’s really a big deal. So to make it profitable in the long run it seems you should do much. Could you tell us more about the most important investment proposals that already exist and the future proposal ideas you see?

Stephan Tual: I think, there is a number of points that you raised being valuable here. The first one: is the amount of the proposal relevant in the first place? That’s a good question. I don’t know. I guess, you can do some very important changes to certain things and to start certain projects without much money at all. You know, a lot of very big billion companies started with just one guy in a garage. I don’t think a $20 million proposal is necessarily always better for the DAO than a proposal for 100 thousand dollars. It depends on what the proposal is about.

There’s nothing that can stop the DAO from investing in things that have nothing to do with blockchain. They can invest in sports drink and cellphones if they want to. But I think it would be wise to look into proposals that have synergies between each other. There’s one for Mobotiq, for example, which is a car, sort of an urban vehicle, an electric charging vehicle. That is really interesting, and the people behind it are very smart and they have working prototype of the vehicle. The question is what would you do with that in a Proposal, how about opening and closing the locks of the car using Slocks?

What you could do is end up with five or six different companies that have been held by the DAO working together on things. It’s really about the synergies, I think.

FL: That’s quite interesting. I hope we will talk in the future about it, when the things will get sorted out. The next question is about What is your progress with it?

Stephan Tual: We continued our progress on RWE which is our German energy client. We’re continuing work on prototypes of cars that charge themselves at the traffic lights, and this is really exciting, because it opens the door for fleets of automated delivery/logistics vehicles and things like that.

But the DAO has been our #1 priority. Even though it technically does not need us anymore, the  reality is that our opinion has been requested on a lot of things, and we continue developing the DAO framework.

You know, we put a lot  work in all this. And in creating the DAO Link as well. The DAO Link is this company, that forms connection with the DHTs (DAO Token Holders) and the Swiss regulatory authorities enabling the DAO to talk to the real world. So we’re doing a lot of work on that.

Building the DAO is not enough, it needs to be able to talk to the real companies – it’s easy to say: ‘the DAO will just send 100 thousand ether to Bob’, or whatever. Sure, maybe Bob can accept this, but most company in the real world can’t. They need to have an address on an invoice, they are paying taxes, they have staff on the payroll and all that stuff is not currently compatible with the world of DAO. DAO Link helps to bridge that gap, so we worked a lot on that.

And recently, of course, with this thing you just described early on, we worked a lot with the curators. We’re working on the proposal framework and we’ve been keeping really busy. We’re not getting much sleep, that’s for sure 🙂

by Eugene Muratov


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