What the media is missing about decentralized autonomous organizations

The New York Times: “Reality Intrudes on a Utopian Crypto Vision.” Bloomberg: “The Next Crypto Bust May Be Spelled D-A-O.” The Guardian: “Are blockchain-based DAOs really a utopian revolution in the making?

Seemingly every week, another old-guard media outlet echoes the talking points of defenders of the status quo financial system who fear and distrust the economic opportunities that will be unlocked through the power of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). While publications are right to recognize the unsurprising early growing pains of DAOs, this sort of hand-wringing misses the forest for the trees when it comes to the impact of DAOs.

Rather than simply being a “utopian” experiment, DAOs are a crucial tool in the development of a new decentralized financial (DeFi) system that has the potential to reach the 1.7 billion people globally who currently have no access to the traditional financial system. DeFi promises to provide individuals everywhere with access to a reliable and transparent financial system with clear rules of the road.

The potential of DAOs

Further, while we’ve only scratched the surface of the potential DAOs have to create a radically more transparent and equitable financial system, we’ve already seen projects emerge that are delivering real value to real people in the real world today.

One example is the war in Ukraine, where UkraineDAO, set up by Russian art collective Pussy Riot and Trippy Labs, raised over $6.75 million worth of Ether (ETH) donated directly to Ukrainian defense efforts against Russia. While this amount may not shift the balance of the war, the rapid creation and scaling-up of UkraineDAO demonstrate the power of decentralized financial technologies to coordinate a disparate global group of individuals around a single cause to deliver tangible results.

But, we can’t let a few bad actors distract from the truth that DAOs and the entire DeFi ecosystem are driving a much-needed disruption of the traditional financial systems that have been predatory and exclusionary for our most vulnerable populations and harmful to our planet. It’s time for establishment media to look under the hood at DAOs and emerge with a more true and nuanced picture, reflecting what those of us involved in DeFi know: that the efforts we’re leading today will pay dividends for generations to come.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Isfandiyar Shaheen is the founder and CEO of Wagmi Labi Inc. Previously, Asfi has managed private equity firm Cyan Capital, served on public company boards for Engro Corporation and Engro Foods, helped create cellular tower sharing company Towershare, acquired by edotco Group in 2017, and co-created a plan to deploy optical fiber on electrical power lines as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Facebook Inc.