ROOK Token Holders Poised to Collect $25M Payout

Rook Labs and activist investors reached a deal that returns millions of dollars to the former DAO.

AccessTimeIconApr 13, 2023 at 11:17 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 29, 2023 at 3:33 p.m. UTC

Rook DAO is dead. But its riches are alive – and available to be claimed by ROOK token holders for the next 90 days.

The former governance token has become a ticket to redeem around $25 million of the treasury that once belonged to Rook DAO, the defunct governing body whose members now run a new entity that only exists to liquidate the cash.

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  • Incubator DAO, the new entity, is being run by activist investors who once bristled at Rook Labs' perceived slights and demanded they return value to token holders. Rook Labs, the builders of Rook's MEV technology and de facto operators of the project, ultimately obliged. They cut a deal that divorced ROOK, the token from Rook the project, by effectively buying out token holders' governing rights for around 60% of the treasury.

    "This has been a dynamic, collaborative process, designed to accommodate the community’s wishes for the ROOK token and the new Incubator DAO." Rook Labs' pseudonymous CEO Hazard told CoinDesk in a Discord message. "We’re grateful for the enthusiastic participation of ROOK holders and community members, and are happy to see the token holders of Incubator DAO exercising their new autonomy. From here, Rook Labs will move forward with our objective of building innovative MEV infrastructure, operating within the bounds of real-world legal and regulatory frameworks and business imperatives."

    Wismerhill, the Carl Icahn wannabe who leads the activist wing and now Incubator DAO, told CoinDesk he was glad all sides reached an amicable agreement.

    "This is the greatest outcome everyone could expect: token-holders can unlock their ownership of the treasury, and the Rook Labs team gets to continue working on exciting projects without the burden of a worthless governance token."

    ROOK holders who redeem their tokens through the smart contract get a pro rata share of USDC, plus a pROOK token. At the end of 90 days, the remaining USDC will be split among pROOK token holders, Wismerhill said.


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    Danny Nelson

    Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.