As the decentralized revolution unfolds, the world of DAOs is facing a growing tide of challenges, with problems that once seemed distant now looming ominously on the horizon. In our continuing series of articles that expose the problems of DAOs, we've already brought to light the troubling practices of treasury-draining and the misuse of grants, as well as the centralization paradox that threatens the very essence of decentralized governance.
With each revelation, it becomes increasingly clear that scammers of various levels have infiltrated the DAO space, brazenly exploiting its vulnerabilities for their own gain. The time has come for the community to take a hard look at the current state of DAOs and take action to rebuild them from the ground up. If we fail to address these pressing concerns, we risk seeing DAOs suffer the same ignominious fate as the once-promising ICO phenomenon.
This time DeepDAO, a leading platform for tracking DAOs, has shared with us dozens of Snapshot spaces with unusual voting patterns and no meaningful proposals. The research suggests that thousands of wallets participated in these Snapshot spaces, raising questions about whether these are coordinated efforts by airdrop hunters.
Dubbed "Nonsensical DAOs," these spaces feature proposals that lack any serious or operative meaning, such as "Can BTC fall below 30,000?" or "Are you all doing airdrops?" Furthermore, these DAOs and the wallets that participate in them, referred to as "Nonsensical wallets," often share similar characteristics, such as their voting token, space title, and repeating proposal titles.
DeepDAO has outlined a generalized path for replicating their research using their API and provided real-data examples. The process involves identifying DAOs to investigate, scanning the group for nonsensical proposals, checking the names of these DAOs' Snapshot spaces for similar titles, and checking for similar ENS domain names.
The research found tens of thousands of participating wallets. By comparing the activity of Nonsensical DAOs with that of other Snapshot spaces, DeepDAO discovered that Nonsensical DAOs have significantly higher voting and proposal-making rates, spreading their activity much thinner than top DAOs. Furthermore, Nonsensical wallets were found to vote in legitimate DAOs, with distinctively high per-address voting rates.
DeepDAO's next steps include further research to understand the motivation behind this collective effort and to identify more examples of Nonsensical spaces and their activity. Additionally, the organization is comparing the list of wallets found within these DAOs to their activity after receiving an airdrop from well-known projects such as Optimism and Arbitrum.
Key findings from the research:
- Dozens of Snapshot spaces with unusual voting patterns and no meaningful proposals have been identified.
- Thousands of wallets participated in these Nonsensical DAOs.
- Nonsensical DAOs and wallets share similar characteristics, such as voting token, space title, and repeating proposal titles.
- Nonsensical DAOs have significantly higher voting and proposal-making rates compared to other Snapshot spaces.
- Nonsensical wallets vote in legitimate DAOs with distinctively high per-address voting rates.
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