Australian digital finance industry wants to legally recognize DAOs
Specialists and lawyers focused on decentralized finance (DeFi) are launching an initiative to create a new type of legal entity in Australia representing decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).
The country’s Digital Law Association and global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills are lobbying an Australian Senate committee to formally recognize new decentralized models for corporate governance. These new DAO models would replace the board of directors with an internet community, the Australian Financial Review reported Thursday.
The initiative specifically intends to allow “DAO Limited” project governors to contract with other legal entities through DeFi tools, implementing blockchain technology to remove traditional intermediaries like banks and exchanges. Limited liability status will also prevent Australian members of a DAO from being liable for losses incurred by decisions made by a member of the community.
According to the lawyers, legalizing DAOs in Australia could make the country more attractive for global digital asset businesses, as groups of local DeFi entrepreneurs reportedly shift offshore to jurisdictions like Singapore and Germany.
A DAO is a decentralized organization with certain sets of rules that are encoded as a computer program and are usually based on blockchain technology. The first most important attempt to create a DAO was “The DAO,” a machine-operating venture organization launched in 2016.
The news comes as some cryptocurrency exchanges are shifting to a decentralized structure. Yesterday, ShapeShift crypto exchange announced plans to open-source its platform and dissolve its entire corporate structure in a move to underscore its commitment to DeFi. “Inspired by the broader DeFi community, we’ll now help pioneer a new model of economic coordination for the 21st century. No corporate entity, no banks and no borders. The tools are ready,” ShapeShift founder and CEO Erik Voorhees said.