‘Just Your Time’ is a barrier to DAO participation: Bankless DAO

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Attracting and retaining a community is one of the most difficult and critical things for new DAOs to get right, according to Bankless members.

The DAO is created by the people. But how can the hundreds of new DAOs (decentralised autonomous organisations) that are springing up attract, encourage, and retain the right people?

During a Twitter Spaces chat on Friday, the Bankless DAO team discussed the challenges of growing a DAO community.

Bankless launched in May and publishes DeFi how-to guides, explainers, and other content like its “State of the DAOs” report. The DAO describes itself as a “steward of the Bankless Movement progressing the world towards a future of greater freedom” and is already considered one of the more successful projects in the rapidly expanding metaverse.

Samantha Marin, who recently joined Bankless as its talent scout for the DAO’s writer’s guild, said she was intimidated when she first joined. “I’m not a developer, I don’t know how to code, I’m coming from the creative side of writing, designing, editing,” she said, “so I wasn’t really sure exactly how to start or where to go when I was looking for a way to contribute my time.”

Her advice to those interested in getting involved with DAOs is to find your niche and dive into a project—but be careful not to over-commit. While getting started can be exciting, it can also be overwhelming when a new member tries to contribute to “a tonne of guilds at once,” she cautioned.

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“Everything is voluntary but everything is rewarded in BANK [the DAO’s native token],” Marin said, “so you’ll be earning your way into the guild and into the DAO in no time. The barrier to entry is really just your time.”

Marin said she felt a little lost at first, but knew she wanted to write, so she zeroed in on the writer’s guild.

‘Building off humans and human talent’

Unlike some DAOs, especially those in the DeFi space, Bankless is not a DeFi protocol, BanklessHQ newsletter editor Lucas Campbell reiterated during the talk. “We don’t have a financial protocol,” he said. “We’re just building off humans and human talent.”

Bankless now boasts more than 1,500 members and includes 13 different “guilds” that manage DAO operations such as writing, legal, and development. Their work helps accrue value to the BANK token, held by some 3,900 people, and gives Bankless a fully diluted market cap of $92 million as of press time.

More than 300 people attended Friday’s hour-long Twitter Spaces session on “Settling New Territory.”

According to Bankless, its long-term vision is for a world in which anyone with an internet connection has access to the tools needed to achieve financial independence. During the event, co-founder Ryan Adams stated, “Bankless has always been about having a set of shared values.” “We export crypto to the rest of the world through media and culture. From the beginning, it has been a social movement.”

One Bankless member, FrogMonkee.Eth, said that merchandise can be a great way to attract new users and spread DAO brand awareness.  “I wear Bankless stuff when I go on dates,” FrogMonkee told the session listeners. “It’s cool to rep Bankless stuff, not so cool to rep Facebook stuff.”

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Adams also predicted that many more DAOs are on their way, so things will only get more crowded from here. “We’re launching at a fortunate time,” he said. “Launching a DAO now will be easier than launching DAOs in two or three years.”

Perhaps. Then again, it could all depend on how cool the merchandise is.


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