Messari Launches Governance Portal as DAOs Inch Toward Mainstream

“Messari Governor” aims to be a one-stop shop for managing decentralized projects.

Dec 8, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 8, 2021 at 6:08 p.m. UTC

Keeping track of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) just got a little less painful.

Crypto research firm Messari announced Wednesday the launch of “Messari Governor” – a platform for engaging in the governance of many of crypto’s top DAOs. DAOs are nominally leaderless online investment or organizational collectives that are jokingly referred to as “group chats with a bank account.”

Messari’s platform is launching at an opportune time. Search engine interest in “DAOs” is at a multiyear high, propelled by buzzy stories, such as a DAO’s thwarted efforts to buy a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution, and Kimbal Musk – brother of fellow entrepreneur Elon Musk – forming a charity DAO.

The organizations are also becoming systemically important to crypto, and by proxy to the wider economy – DAOs manage an overwhelming percentage of DeFi’s $280 billion in total value locked (TVL), as well as a growing percentage of crypto’s nearly $3 trillion aggregate market capitalization. TVL represents the dollar value of all tokens locked in the smart contracts of a decentralized lending project.

Voter turnout

Despite their growing prominence, however, keeping up with the internal workings of DAOs is a notably tricky business.

Discussion forums where proposals are ideated and developed are often cloistered on a separate webpage from a DAO’s voting portal, and much of the most important conversation takes place on Twitter or Discord.

In an interview with CoinDesk, Messari Director of Strategy and Growth Ben O’Neill said that the goal was to create a platform where users can quickly grasp key information.

“A website like CoinMarketCap lets you see the table stakes for a token,” said O’Neill. “We wanted to build a place where you can easily see the table stakes for governance.”

Members of the Messari research team add new proposals to the platform as they’re posted, rank them based on importance and type of proposal, and also gauge how warmly a community has received the proposal. The platform also contains links to both voting portals and the governance forums for the relevant DAOs.

The platform is now live and is currently free to the public, with premium features planned for crypto investment firms looking to better wield their governance tokens.

DISCLOSURE

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Andrew Thurman is a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.

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