Just two days ago Stephan Tual, the founder of Slock.it, announced that the DAO is live and has already raised over 10% of the expected $100 million worth of cryptocurrency. As of this morning, over 1.2 million ethers have been raised for the DAO which at the current price of $10 per ether comes to over $12 million – and there are still 25 days left to go.
DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization equivalent. It can be understood as an entity that exists only in the blockchain – the same way a corporation exists only by law – just with programming code instead of articles of incorporation. It is controlled by its owners directly without central management.
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Slock.it created the DAO platform but the investors that breathe life into it with their funds will stay in control of its coffers, vote on its future actions and be rewarded from its revenues. It is considered the first serious application on the Ethereum blockchain on its way to fulfilling the vision of the ‘planetary scale computer’ that can handle everything from secure communication to digital governance and so much more.
The DAO’s Curator signatories include Vitalik Buterin, the inventor of Ethereum, Gavin Wood, the co-founder of Ethereum, Christian Reitwießner, who implemented Solidity, the Ethereum smart contract language and others.
While its owners can vote to invest in anything they want, the idea seems to be that the DAO will serve as an investment fund for early stage Ethereum ventures. The hope of its creators is that the DAO would be used to support the development of the Ethereum protocol itself eventually, as a for-profit ‘Ethereum Foundation 2.0′.
Slock.it has already submitted its proposal for the creation of the Universal Sharing Framework and the Ethereum Computer to the DAO. It is also believed that more startups, such as the electric vehicle designers Mobotiq that have already revealed their DAO proposal (Ethereum integration to enable fully autonomous, self-renting vehicles), are planning to try and tap this new source of venture funds.