DAO, Blockchain and Cryptography

A conversation with Quinn DuPont


  • Mairi Gkikaki University of Warwick
  • Clare Rowan University of Warwick
  • Isaac Quinn DuPont University College Dublin




blockchain, Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO), cryptocurrency, tokens, cryptography


In Classical Athens, as well as in our modern digital era, governance has been achieved through tokens. Tokens enabled voting on projects, representation, and belonging. The Distributed Autonomous Organisation (DAO) launched on the basis of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology was conceived as a form of algorithmic governance with applications in the organisation of companies. The visionaries of the DAO envisaged, among other things, a new form of sociality, which would be transparent and fair and based on a decentralised, unstoppable, public blockchain. These hopes were dashed when the DAO was exploited and drained of millions of dollars' worth of tokens within days after launching. The conversation published in the present article is conceived as an interdisciplinary discussion about the phenomenon of the Decentralised Autonomous Organisation and its impact on perceptions of sociality. Topics include the idea of the DAO as an algorithmic authority, the lessons learned when the project failed, the revolutionary beginnings of cryptocurrency technology and its potential in voting technologies, as well as the changing notions of cryptography in light of cryptocurrency technologies.


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Representation of blockchain cryptocurrency network






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