Is DAO really autonomous?

420 DAO
3 min readMar 8, 2022


While the concept of a DAO or Decentralized Autonomous Organization is still relatively young, it has made a lot of buzz in the crypto community already. However, this growth begs the question of whether DAO really is autonomous.

What does “Autonomous” mean?

According to the Cambridge dictionary, “autonomous” means “having the right or power of self-government”. An autonomous organization, country, or region is independent and has the freedom to govern itself.

When it comes to DAO, the word “autonomous” has connotations of self-governing that somehow triggers the image of a leadership-free organization. Let’s compare a DAO with a Venture Capital (VC). While in a VC, the control of the organization lies on a management team, in DAO all members are direct owners of the DAO, which means they all have full rights to participate in running the Treasury and decide how it works. DAOs are seemingly flat hierarchies, with no central leader or figurehead, relying on the entire community to make decisions.

Theoretically, the smart contracts built on a blockchain network are executed automatically upon the pre-agreed decisions, and all the proposal and voting decisions can be publicly audited. This is a specific set of rules that all members have to follow to keep the DAO organized.

Is DAO really autonomous?

Although the role of the smart contracts in a DAO is crucial, it still requires a certain level of human interference for initial setup prior to the launch. The smart contracts are written by developers who might or might not be members of the DAO, as long as they share aligned vision, then deployed on a specific blockchain network. This initial step is highly important and must be done by humans, as it maps out the direction of the DAO.

Essentially DAO is a hybrid organization where an on-chain framework is deployed to simplify financial processes while allowing the contributors and members of a DAO to operate together. It is important for a robust DAO to create a balance between what can be coded on an on-chain organization and a flexible approach that leaves room for improvement.

At 420 DAO, we understand the crucial role of the team that stands behind the operations, hence, 420 DAO sets aside an Operational budget as part of the Treasury. While DAO venture model is considered to be “still lagging traditional VCs in terms of operational capabilities”, 420 DAO addressed this issue by its Operational budget.

A while ago there was a question about whether or not we should put the letter “A” (stands for “autonomous”) in the middle of the “D” and the “O”. Should we just call it “DO” instead of “DAO”? We leave that question for you, our avid readers.

About 420 DAO

420 DAO is a decentralized autonomous organization that aims to build the right decentralized digital future. It is a coordinating and supporting body that promotes the development of decentralized economies using its robust tools and 420 DAO token. The project is a revolutionary DAO that has established a dedicated community of crypto proponents, thought leaders, builders and investors.

The 420 DAO ecosystem is powered by 420 token that has in-build properties such as Store of Value, Membership Value Governance value. To learn more about 420 DAO visit,

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