Understanding Moloch DAO
Moloch DAO is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) framework that can refer to the framework itself, a description of a DAO that uses the framework, or the name of the Ethereum grant-giving DAO that originally developed the framework.
The Moloch DAO Framework
The Moloch DAO architecture is relatively simple compared to other early DAO frameworks. It consists of a single smart contract per DAO and prioritizes security, usability, and extensibility.
The key features of the Moloch DAO framework include:
Permissioned membership – new members are voted in by existing members
Weighted voting – members can have varying governance weights (unlike multisigs, where every member has a single vote)
Non-transferrable governance power – voting and economic rights are not liquid
Ragequit – members can exit some or all of their membership shares in return for a proportional amount of the assets in the DAO’s treasury
Moloch DAOs propose actions through proposals. Once a proposal is submitted, it needs to be sponsored by a member of the DAO. During the voting period, members vote on the proposal based on their shares. A proposal is considered passed if it receives more share votes in favor than in opposition, without a quorum requirement.
If a proposal passes, it goes through a grace period before execution. During this period, members who did not vote in favor of the proposal have the option to Ragequit. This protects minority members even without a quorum requirement.
Proposals can grant shares to new or existing members and transfer assets from the DAO treasury to recipients. While proposals cannot directly interact with other smart contracts, Moloch DAOs can use Moloch Minions, special helper smart contracts, to achieve this.
Based on these core features, Moloch DAOs have several important properties:
Strong protection for minority members
Highly decentralized and distributed power
Support for efficient coordination
Versions of Moloch DAO
Since its initial launch, the Moloch DAO framework has been upgraded to Moloch V2. This version introduces new capabilities, allowing Moloch DAOs to acquire and spend different tokens instead of just one. Moloch V2 also introduces the “Guild Kick” proposal type, enabling members to collectively remove another member from the DAO with a full refund of their assets. Additionally, loot shares have been added, representing economic exit rights without voting rights.
Moloch V3, currently in development, is expected to bring further flexibility and extensibility to the framework.
The First Moloch DAO
The first Moloch DAO, known as MolochDAO, is a grant-awarding organization focused on supporting Ethereum infrastructural improvements. It was initially summoned by Ameen Soleimani on February 14th, 2019 at ETHDenver. The MolochDAO whitepaper, co-authored by Arjun Bhuptani, James Young, Layne Haber, and Rahul Sethuram, provides an ideological overview of the key V1 Moloch framework features.
Other Examples of Moloch DAO
Since MolochDAO, many other DAOs have adopted the Moloch DAO framework. MetaCartel, Raid Guild, and Meta Gamma Delta are among the notable early adopters, with many more following suit. These DAOs can be found in the Explore section of the DAOhaus app.
Author: Collectively authored by DAOhaus
DAOhaus is the home for purpose-driven community DAOs and has grown from a 2019 hackathon project into a fully-fledged platform with +1,000 DAOs. DAOhaus enables users to add the capabilities of DAOs to their own projects without having to worry about the complexities of writing smart contracts or building dApps. You can launch a DAO via DAOhaus in a few clicks.