A Prehistory of DAOs

The year is 1996. John Perry Barlow is about to declare, “The internet consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself” From the vantage point of today’s web, someone might argue that only the first part of Barlow’s statement is correct. The spectacle surrounding digital assets suggests that we’ve reached a new level of financialization, continuing a trajectory in which more of our actions online become direct economic interactions. While blockchain-based digital assets are amenable to speculative financial markets, they are not the only application of the technology. During this crest of the hype cycle, we could see relationships forged by new peer-to-peer institutions take root underneath.