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MolochDAO Looks Back on Its Rising Role in Ethereum Ecosystem

As with many top blockchain projects, sustainable open-source funding — and how best to achieve it — has lately been a growing point of discussion in the Ethereum ecosystem.

Groups like the Ethereum Foundation and ConsenSys have done plenty of funding, but there’s always more work to be done in the fledgling cryptoeconomy, and these bodies have their own unqiue demands and blindspots.

Moloch DAO

Cue in MolochDAO. Launched as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) by SpankChain co-founder and chief executive officer Ameen Soleimani earlier this year, MolochDAO puts members’ ether (ETH) tributes toward funding Ethereum projects that members vote on.

The can-do, do-it-yourself attitude of the group has proven popular in the Ethereum community and has already influenced several spinoffs, leading some to credit Moloch with a resurgence in Ethereum DAOs.

On August 16th, the DAO’s associated Twitter account reflected on what the group has accomplished in its first six months in operation.

Need Something Done in Crypto? Do It Yourself!

In its latest status update, MolochDAO highlighted that its Guild Bank had more than $1.3 million USD worth of assets in reserve. That’s after the group has already spent more than $120,000 on grants to nearly 20 projects spread out through the Ethereum community.

In its Friday rundown, MolochDAO noted only about a tenth of those expenditures had gone to running Moloch’s internal operations, while 67 percent had gone to “Ethereum 2.0” development projects and 22 percent to general Ethereum development initiatives.

The group’s willingness to put its money into action has led to Moloch’s members being, at least at times, akin to a rapid response group. For example, when Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin outlined a “minimal mixer design” for Ethereum back in the spring, Moloch immediately entered the discussion to fund the mixer’s creation.

Now Anyone Can Donate to Moloch

In the past, the idea was that a prospective Moloch member would put up 100 ETH (or less depending on agreed-upon work) and then be voted into or rejected from the DAO.

That gets members into the DAO, but what about goodwill stakeholders — big or small — that want to donate to Moloch’s various missions? As part of its Friday review thread, MolochDAO announced it had opened up a new Moloch Pool contract address that anyone can send wrapped ether (wETH) to.

As the group went on to explain:

“MolochPool shares are non-voting. Grant recipients will receive proportional follow-on grants from MolochPool, so if the Guild Bank donates 1% of its funds to a grant, the Pool will do the same.”

Year of the DAO

As MolochDAO is rising all the while, the group has inspired others in the Ethereum ecosystem to innovate with similar structures.

For example, Moloch-spinoff MetaCartel has been hitting its own stride lately. MetaCartel was spearheaded by Peter Pan, who’s lightheartedly motivated in being the first person rejected by MolochDAO, and the group now has its own fledgling community.

Notably, MetaCartel is also focusing on funding efforts around Ethereum, but specifically on “providing grant funding and incubation to early stage dApp experimentation,” per the group’s description of itself.

Jumping right in, MetaCartel issued its own inaugural wave of grants this August. Projects that received funding in that first wave included tokenizing dApp Mintbase, events dApp Kickback, full stack design collective Odyssey Automation, and independent “DAOist” Eric Arsenault.

Another Moloch child to watch is YangDAO, whose members have set it up as a kind of decentralized Political Action Committee (PAC) to back Andrew Yang’s 2020 U.S. presidential bid.

“The YangDAO is a clone of the 👹 Moloch DAO, differing only in terminology,” the YangDAO team said in the project’s announcement.

Whether Yang will win the race remains to be seen. But it’s more than likely that DAOs will catch on even further from here.

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