In a decentralized Web3, DAOs will be the driving force behind decisions

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Many people are aware that Big Tech monopolies, such as Facebook, also monopolize our data for their own monetary gain. There is sufficient evidence to demonstrate the harmful or controversial effects of such monopolies. This includes US Congressional hearings on social media data collection to: influence electionsthe power that social media monopolies exercise to decide who can use their platformand what people can say

The trade-off is that Big Tech delivers advanced digital services that allow us to connect and interact with the world. That’s a big draw, and that’s why so many of us accept the deal, even if it leaves us with a sinking feeling.

But this consideration is no longer necessary. Web2, today’s centralized iteration of the Internet, puts power in the hands of tech monopolies. In contrast, the new and upcoming version of the Internet, Web3, will be built on blockchain technology. A blockchain is a distributed ledger that returns ownership of data to the individual.

Blockchains can be thought of as databases of authenticity, decentralized across multiple computers (or nodes). All data refers directly to the owner, who retains full control over their assets. No one can tamper with or remove data from the record, and everything is fair, transparent and accessible to everyone.

Web3 offers the same connectivity as its predecessor, but adds the ability to reclaim our digital voices and personal identities. But only if the right foundation is laid. The key part of this shift to Web3 is the replacement of centralized monopolies with human-driven democratic structures called decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

DAOs will democratize the internet

What does this obscure terminology actually mean? Simply put, a DAO is a decentralized governance tool that allows anyone to vote on a proposed decision. Using blockchain technology, DAOs give any member of a particular organization the power to vote and then see the outcome of that vote in a completely transparent way. There is no manipulation or interference. The popular voice of the community is undeniable and logged into the immutable ledger.

The rules for participating in a DAO are laid down in digital code, known as smart contracts, that set the parameters and automate the group’s activities. In addition, the code is open-source and freely available for anyone to check before they decide to join the group.

DAOs are purely digital, truly global and do not require presidents and secretaries to function. No grand titles, no pomp, no relying on certain individuals to pull the strings to make things happen.

To participate, people simply need to acquire digital tokens – blockchain-based cryptocurrencies – that determine a person’s interest in the DAO. These tokens are issued through the respective DAO and are just as transparent and decentralized as the voting process itself.

DAOs go hand in hand with the philosophy of Web3. Anyone using the internet today can connect to Web3 tomorrow and use it the same way. Social interactions, running a business, personal finances – the list is both familiar and endless. The applications we use every day, currently based on Web2 architecture and controlled by centralized authorities, will be adapted and replaced by blockchain-based Web3 applications, all performing the same functions, with unprecedented transparency, fairness and user control.

You get the idea – both DAOs and Web3 are expressly configured to defend the collective integrity of the mob against monopolistic forces that go against the interests of individuals.

When centralized authorities deprive us of choice, strange things happen. People in one country can only lavishly praise their leader online, while a social media giant in another country allows people to make death threats against the same person. The users of these digital services are never consulted about the functioning of these networks or applications, with all decisions being made at the top.

Web3 and DAOs: Taking Back Control

Big Tech has woken up and smelled the coffee with Web3. For example, companies like Facebook and Microsoft are seeing gains in the metaverse — the shared virtual world that is taking the tech world by storm. That’s why Facebook renamed its parent company ‘Meta’ and Microsoft bought video game company Activison Blizzard.

The metaverse is an experimental computer-generated world populated by avatar versions of ourselves. The rules of the game are also freshly written on the hoof.

Big Tech seems to think it needs to monopolize the rules of the metaverse, just like it does on social media today. We disagree. The idea that Facebook and other such companies own the metaverse and have centralized control over this shared digital world jeopardizes the entire ethos of Web3.

Many people may wonder: If Big Tech isn’t building and controlling the Internet, then who will?

The answer belongs to all of us.

It would be unacceptable for governments to make decisions for communities while denying people the power to vote civil servants into or out of office, or to express their views in any meaningful way. The thought of a big company in your city pushing others to write the rulebook for itself is even less pleasant.

DAOs can also address the frustrations of many employees who feel their company is heading in the wrong direction and feel powerless to turn things around. Management questionnaires and employee surveys are a poor and opaque substitute for a robust platform that continuously fuels innovative ideas and empowers everyone to participate. With Web3 there is an option to make this default.

Web3 is emerging and everyone now has the opportunity to lay the groundwork to make it work the way they want. The alternative is to sit back and let profit-driven monopolies make these decisions again, to our detriment.

The good news is that the tools for everyone to participate are already in place. You don’t have to be a software engineer or programmer. If you can operate a smartphone, you can use your voice in Web3. This is not a revolution in the sense that people are tearing up the cobblestones and moving onto the barricades. We are simply talking about restoring the natural functioning of individuals within societies.

Max Kordek is CEO and co-founder of lisk

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