Mike Dudas explains why most DAOs are neither decentralized nor autonomous

Episode 18 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Mike Dudas, co-founder of LinksDAO and 6th Man Ventures.

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LinksDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization aspiring to reimagine the idea of the golf country club through global membership, illustrates the complexity that can underpin the red-hot acronym. 

While holding a LinksDAO NFT gives users membership rights, there has been some confusion amongst holders as to the extent of what those rights entail. Mike Dudas, co-founder of LinksDAO and 6th Man Ventures, recently discussed the current landscape in an interview on The Scoop.

As Dudas explained during the interview:

“Today we're in this in-between world where many things that call themselves DAOs are really corporations but have a participatory governance mechanism. So it looks different than a corporation, but it's not truly decentralized and autonomous in the spirit of what I believe these organizations can become over the coming decade.”

Indeed, LinksDAO perhaps illustrates the diversity among DAOs today. 

Dudas cited ConstitutionDAO as an example of a "legitimate DAO" since fundraising was both decentralized and anonymous. While ConstitutionDAO was formed to raise funds for a specific auction, not all DAOs’ missions are as straightforward.

In the case of LinksDAO, a corporation named LinksDAO Inc. is responsible for fundraising and business development.

While owners of LinksDAO NFTs are given membership rights to LinksDAO, they do not receive ownership rights to LinksDAO Inc.

“The community is more of an advisory board, so we wouldn't be definitionally a DAO. We would be like a group of members who act as an advisory board to a C-corp.” This division is a necessary reality because, as Dudas puts it, “in America in 2022 you can't sell an NFT to the public using Ethereum self-custody wallets without KYC that gives somebody ownership of an asset.

Still, regardless of the structure of a DAO, projects are cropping up to serve them with tools, Dudas noted. 


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“Right now there are a number of what are called ‘point solutions.’ Early on in the evolution of any ecosystem, what happens is you have solutions that service the most important and critical functions for a DAO.”

Funds like Bain Capital Crypto are eyeing this opportunity, with DAO service providers being one of the focus points of their recently announced $560 million fund.

During this episode, Chaparro and Dudas also discuss:

  • Crypto payments & the Web3 native economy
  • NFT collecting & NFT brands
  • Why people in the sports industry are flocking to crypto

This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Fireblocks, Coinbase Prime & Chainalysis
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© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Authors

Frank Chaparro is Host of The Scoop podcast and Director of Special Projects. He also writes a biweekly newsletter. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].
Davis Quinton is the Director of Podcasts at The Block and runs our flagship podcast called The Scoop, hosted by Frank Chaparro. Since joining The Block as an 'intern' in early 2022, he has worked closely with leaders across departments to translate The Block's written content into engaging multimedia formats. He holds a degree in Social Research & Public Policy from New York University in Abu Dhabi and is based in Sydney, Australia.