The Ethereum created DAO has become one of the largest crowdsale in history, overtaking today the video game project Star Citizen, which has been a multi-year effort to raise $113,705,500. The DAO, a project curated by the founders of the Ethereum public blockchain, has raised $35 million more than that since May 28.
The DAO – essentially offshoots of Ethereum or subsidiaries with its own principals – claimed the number one spot on the list of highest crowd funds after it surpassed Star Citizen, a space simulation game for which crowdfunding began in late 2012.
Ethereum calls itself a decentralized “Virtual Machine” and, at its foundation, are peer-to-peer “smart contracts.” Smart contracts have been celebrated by the biggest names in technology, including IBM, Red Hat, the Linux Foundation, and essentially every bank in the world. It features its own native digital currency like Bitcoin, called Ether. Funds have been raised for the DAOs – such as Digix, Slock.it and Mobotix – in Ether. Ethereum originally raised funds in Bitcoin.
Described by its founder as “A Next-Generation Cryptocurrency and Decentralized Application Platform,” Ethereum has captured the attention of media, featured in The New York Times and other publications to date.
However, while crypto-enthusiasts have claimed that, indeed, the DAO is a crowdsale, an aggressive edit war on Wikipedia has demonstrated the issue is not so clear.
Many people on Wikipedia believe that The DAO – and presumably the other blockchain projects on the page – does not belong there. That, it is not a crowdsale, but, rather, an IPO of sorts.
The edit war has resulted in the Wikipedia page for “list of highest funded crowdfunding projects” being intensely edited – and, thus, debated- since the DAO climbed the ranks in largest crowdsales ever. Currently, DAO has raised $148,420,000. The previous largest crowdsale, which has been ongoing for many years – Star Citizen – tops out at $113,705,500 thus far.
As one individual wrote in the history section: “Wikipedia’s own definition of crowdfunding clearly states this relates only to a ‘project or venture’ and this is neither. Yes, The DAO will invest in projects and individually they are eligible but a pool of unassigned funds is not.”
One more arguing the DAO is a crowdsale: “The DAO is not a stock. Ethereum is on the list and it was funded in exactly the same way as The DAO is right now, so was Digix DAO & also there.”
Another wrote: “There is clearly a brigade here attempting to pump a financial investment. If this edit continues to be reverted a Wikipedia adjudicator should lock this against further malicious additions.”
Further: “The DAO is CLEARLY not a crowdfund any more than buying into a company IPO listing. A genuine crowdfund like Star Citizen should not have to compete against a bucket of money.”
“This is an investors fund and has an unfair advantage against sales that use contributor funds to create an actual product. Money or shares aren’t a product.”
“Removed DAO listing, managed funds are not crowdsales.”
Somebody who does believe this is a crowdsale writes: “Reason: What are sold are not “Funds”, but “Tokens” that can be used for many things. A “Crowdsale” is a sale to the crowd. It is a Crowdsale.”
The Ethereum team remains excited about the prospects of their curated Decentralized Autonomous Organizations.
We wanted to turn the Ethereum project into a DAO itself,” Anthony Di Lorio, CEO, and Founder of Decentral and Kryptokit, Co-founder of Ethereum and Chief Digital Officer of TMX Group, told CCN.com.
But, at that time, we were working on smart contracts. That was the big thing Ethereum put out there. Sometimes, you don’t want to do too many things at once. We then had plans to turn it into a DAO, but that’s the next evolution.
Now that smart contracts have been proven, the project looks to expand. “The next thing is how are we organizing entities that can be decentralized and run on top of the blockchain and new type of governance models,” Di Lorio said. “And that’s what the DAO is, and that’s why it has received so much attention. It’s a fantastic experiment and we will see how it goes.”
Featured image from DAO.