Organizing Decentralized Labor within Bankless DAO

A week ago, Bankless DAO launched and created a fascinating experiment: how do you organize labor for an open, decentralized media company with a goal of convincing 1 billion people to go “bankless”?

Well first, you must create internet communism (or maybe functional anarchy?).

Guilds gone wild

Through Discord, we’ve seen thought leaders emerge from the pool of those awarded BANK in the initial distribution (or those that market-bought their way in).

And through these leaders & the soft consensus of the group, the notion of a “Guild” was created to organize labor almost immediately.

The Writer’s Guild quickly filled the gap for the creation of a DAO newsletter.

The Translator’s Guild spun up around translating their content.

The Developer’s Guild is organizing in anticipation of the many proposals that would require dev effort.

A Legal Guild, a Finance Guild, a Research Guild, a Design Guild – all spinning up from the community that wants to offer their services for the benefit of the DAO.

Guilds get paid

Ok, we have pools of labor, now what?

Ask not what the DAO can do you, but what you can do for the DAO.

A meme I saw but couldn’t find the source of

Initially, we have volunteer work. The first DAO Newsletter was assembled and published without a single BANK token issued from the treasury. The buzz of initialization colliding with the original BANK airdrop is enough to get started.

Volunteerism won’t last forever.

Alongside initial guild formation, the community created a formal proposal template.

Among common criteria is space for budget.

Specifically, any campaign proposal can request BANK tokens from the community treasury (through a formal snapshot vote) with an itemized budget for the guilds it would require work from.

Alternatively, a guild could propose funding for itself for self-contained work that would benefit the DAO.

The high level makes sense, but we have yet to execute a proposal with a guild budget – nor have we quite figured out how assignment of work works.

Budget & assignment are two critical pieces of guild labor organization that must be sorted sooner than later in order to maintain progress.


If we assume that proposals would include guild-level budgeting for work, the guild needs to have:

  1. Representation on what the budget should be
    • For example: marketing campaign asking for dev resources needs dev guild to comment on what it would take to build what they’re asking
  2. A system for assigning work
    • For a marketing campaign that asks for one landing page, who should build it?

Traditional organizations would have team lead with a manager whose manager set expectations given to them by a CEO or something.

The intent of the DAO is to create something different – something decentralized.

At some level we must organize guilds into mini-DAOs represented by a committee – where a small, elected group represents the best interest of the guild and is ultimately held accountable to them by some means.

Committees would champion budgets, manage expectations, and play a role in the assignment of work – and ideally, as little role as possible.

We have much to learn.

Bonus: Guilds allow for an open labor market

As we collect contributors in guilds, something interesting happens: we begin to see a community of people open to do labor FTBO the DAO and rewarded with BANK tokens.

Primarily, the distribution of BANK tokens for labor effort would be from the community treasury through:

  1. Campaign Proposals with funding that have a line item for guild work
  2. Guild Proposals that attempt to serve full-time ongoing non-campaign effort

But an interesting third option emerges: P2P.

Because contributors value and wish to drive value to BANK tokens, being rewarded with BANK tokens for any related project is worth considering.

This bounty was claimed by a community member and executed P2P.

Here we can see comrade frogmonkee offering 100 BANK for personal blog post editing services. It exemplifies the idea of an open labor market tied to the available guilds. Anyone can offer personal BANK to guilds in exchange for labor (naturally, the guild is not obligated to accept).

As guilds pool more resources, their ability & appetite to handle work increases.

Is this communism?

I have no idea. Smarter people than me can debate the semantics of this experimental labor industry.

Open labor markets will have their own challengers, sure – and ultimately, I don’t see it as the primary driver of the BANK economy (yet).

Just something that caught my eye.