Eris, BitShares, and the Increasing Number of Decentalized Autonomous Companies/Corporations/Organizations
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), and Decentralized Autonomous Corporations/Companies (DACs) have been in development around various blockchains for quite some time. Invictus Innovations was one of the first groups formed to work toward the creation of various DACs and DAOs, resulting in BitShares. Others, such as Eris, created by another DAO-focused company, Project Douglas, came along later.
The idea behind DAOs and DACs is simple to explain, yet very hard to truly understand. In short, the goal is to create organizations, or companies, which either run themselves, or allow individual owners (with ownership based on a “coin” like Bitcoin) to vote on all decisions.
Eris: Decentralized Community Governance
Eris is not a replacement for government, as it may seem at first glance, but is an application that allows users to govern an online community without the need for central servers, moderators, or owners. The basic version of Eris is, in effect, something similar to a framework for a giant internet forum, or message board, similar to Reddit, Bitcointalk, or any other user driven content system.
While this may not seem like anything incredible at first, it has the potential to be built upon, and could truly be the start of something much bigger. Decentralized governance of an online community could be developed into decentralized governance of a physical community.
BitShares (PTS): An Altcoin For Building DACs
BitShares itself is not necessarily a next generation DAC, though it is closer than most altcoins. However, the community around BitShares has been built with the goal of creating DACs, and using BitShares as the method of investing in, or owning, these new platforms.
Thus far, DACs that will provide ownership of music, allow for decentralized voting, and be used for exchanging ownership of commodities, currencies, and more are being developed, though the timeframe for most of these systems to become fully functional is unknown.
Decentralized voting is one of the key components needed to make a DAC or DAO that is controlled by “share holders” function. Systems for this have already been developed, and are in use.
However, the idea of decentralized voting is being taken to the next logical step. Multiple groups are working on decentralized voting systems that would allow for two things that have never been truly possible before: fraud-proof voting, and instant, direct democracy.
By using the idea of the blockchain, votes can be verified without question, as the decentralized nature makes centralized manipulation impossible, and the confirmation method used by Bitcoin and other digital currencies eliminates the possibility of of counterfeit votes.
Once a system that allows fraud-proof, decentralized voting has been fleshed out, it would be simple to implement it in a way that allowed individuals to vote directly on issues each day/week/month from their computer, phone, or some other device with an internet connection.
Of course, for a system like this to actually have an impact would require a significant change in the functioning of the government it interacts with. Even so, at the very least, it could be used to influence those in power by presenting them with undeniable proof of the will of the people.
Two of the projects that are actively working on this are: