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Colony

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An operating system for internet native organizations

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Founder(s):  
Jack du Rose
This post was written by 
Pheor
and edited by 
Justine Humenansky
 & 

Overview

What is it?

Colony is a flexible and easy-to-use framework for creating and running DAOs. It provides everything an organization needs to operate on-chain: Payments, Teams, Authority, Governance, Fundraising, Revenue sharing, Arbitration, and the ability to interact with any other smart contract on Ethereum.

What problem does it solve?

When you create a DAO, you’ll need to manage many operational aspects. Users can either find a tool to handle each different aspect (one tool to track contributions, one tool to manage compensation, etc. ) or use an all-in-one solution like Colony.

How does it work?

Anyone who wants to set up a DAO can use the primitives that are pre-built within Colony:   

  • Define structure: Domains divide your Colony into teams, units, circles, projects, or any configuration that makes sense for your organization.
  • Distribute authority: Permissions give individuals, groups, or even apps customizable decision authority in each Domain.
  • Allocate budgets: Domains can directly manage the funds allocated to them, balancing autonomy with oversight.
  • Coordinate work: Define, incentivize, and coordinate delivery of the product or process that provides your organization’s value.
  • Streamline payments: Colony simplifies compensation complexity whether your organization compensates contributors via tips, salaries, or revenue-sharing.
  • Quantify performance: Earn Reputation for contributions.

How do I use it?

DAO Masters Insights

Why it's cool:

There are so many tools out there that exist to make DAO creation & management smooth and efficient that it can be overwhelming. Instead of combining dozens of individual tools, which also makes the onboarding of new contributors more complex, Colony empowers users with one end-to-end solution. 

A very cool aspect of Colony is that it’s open-source and modular, enabling users to plug-in extensions to run their organization in a customized way. Developers are, therefore, a key part of Colony’s strategy, which encourages developers to build on top of their platform.

Challenges:

Colony published the first version of their Whitepaper back in 2017, but the product “didn’t meet expectations due to an unpleasant user experience,” according to Colony’s founder. The DAO tooling landscape has dramatically changed over the past four years, with dozens of established tools used by large DAOs. Will Colony actually be able to replace all of them with their all-in-one tool? Will DAOs actually want more customizability, creating their own stack instead of a more prescriptive end-to-end solution?

Words of advice:

As with most d’Apps, gas fees are pretty prohibitive on Colony. They’ve decided to disable Colony creation on Ethereum to prevent new users from incurring unexpectedly high costs, and now run on Ethereum sidechain xDai.

Expected future updates:

Colony has a robust roadmap of future functionality: 

  • Coin Machine + KYC + Address Whitelisting: Coin Machine is a token sale mechanism that will allow users to issue a token. Via integration with Synaps, token purchasers that pass KYC will be able to whitelist their accounts to participate in a Coin Machine sale.
  • Arbitrary Transactions: Users will be able to choose a contact, input an ABI, select functions, set variables, and run a transaction. Colony will allow users to add as many transactions as needed in a sequence and approve them all at once. As long as the organization doesn't object, a user will be able to create the transactions on the organization’s behalf.
  • Advanced Expenditures: Users will be able to construct complex expenditures via UI including handling arbitrary recipients, tokens, amounts, and claim delays. (E.g. two recipients that each receive CLNY + xDai in differing amounts.)

Getting Started

Get early access by filling out this Typeform

Watch this tutorial on how to build a DAO on Colony

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and to the $DAOMSTR Guild Members who worked dilligently to bring you daomasters.dyx