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In the Matter of The DAO

Securities and Exchange Commission
Exchange Act Release No. 81207 (2017)


The DAO was a decentralized autonomous organization, meaning that it was virtual and embodied in computer code. The DAO’s founders created The DAO as a for-profit enterprise. They sold “DAO Tokens” to investors, in exchange for Ether (ETH), a virtual cryptocurrency. Investors in The DAO were pseudonymous; they used only their blockchain addresses for identification. In its promotional materials, The DAO explained that Token holders would receive a portion of any profits The DAO realized. The DAO pooled the ETH it received from investors and used it to fund certain business projects. Tokens permitted their holders to vote on proposed business projects, but the only projects that got to a token-holder vote were those approved by The DAO’s “curators.” If voters ultimately approved a project proposal, The DAO would implement the proposal. And if the project resulted in a profit, token holders would share in the profit.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning

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