Recently, I have been looking at DAOs as business entities. DAOs are real players now. In aggregate, they hold approximately $8 billion worth of assets in their treasuries. There are over 1.8 million total governance token holders across all DAOs, and nearly 550,000 active voters/proposal makers.
I expect treasuries, governance token holders, and voters/proposal makers to increase dramatically in the coming years. Consequently, while DAOs are already a significant business segment today, their importance will only increase in the future.
Today, the top 5 DAOs in terms of treasury size are Uniswap, BitDAO, Lido, Compound, and Radicle. Uniswap's treasury holds approximately $2 billion worth of assets, while BitDAO's treasury contains around $1.8 billion worth of assets. The drop off is significant from there, as Lido's treasury has just under $500 million worth of assets while both Compound and Radicle's treasuries manage between $250 - 300 million worth of assets.
Unsurprisingly, most of the top DAO's treasuries hold a majority of their own native tokens. While DAO's holding such a vast amount of their native governance makes sense in terms of signaling confidence to the market, this fact also means they are by no means diversified. In general, DAOs are not well prepared for their native token prices going down and dramatically impairing their treasury's value.
99.9% of Uniswap's treasury is comprised of the UNI governance token, while 53.3% of BitDAO's treasury is their native governance token BIT. Clearly, BitDAO has taken diversifying more seriously as a strategy, though their next largest holding outside of BIT is still ETH, which comprises almost 25% of their treasury. BitDAO only holds approximately 14% of their treasury in stablecoins.
Similar to Uniswap, Lido holds an exorbitant amount of its treasury (87.6%) in LDO, with the next largest holding being ETH at 10.9%. Compound copies the pattern of Uniswap, as nearly 100% of their treasury is COMP.
Participation in Governance
After checking out some statistics on the treasuries for the top DAOs, I gauged how engaged their communities were in the governance process. By far, Compound and Uniswap have the most active communities in terms of governance participation. There have been a total of 116 proposals on Compound, and there are an average of 33 votes per proposal. For Uniswap, there have been 70 total proposals, with 314 average votes per proposal. Lido has had 59 proposals total, and 20 average votes per proposal. Finally, BitDAO has only had 6 proposals, with 9 average votes per proposal, making it the least active governance community in the top 5 DAOs.
Clearly, participation in DAO governance remains incredibly low. Uniswap has more than 300,000 governance token holders, Compound has nearly 200,000 governance token holders, and the others all have between 7,000 to 3,000 governance token holders. The fact that there are so many governance token holders and average votes per proposal is so low means community wide participation in governance is basically non-existent.
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