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Decentralized autonomous organization


What is DAO

A decentralized autonomous organization, or a DAO for short, is a new type of way to run organizations or institutions that enable individuals to work together for a specific cause in transparent, fair and honest ways. DAOs can be thought of as online groups of like-minded individuals that are also collectively owned and managed by the members themselves in equitable ways.

Decisions are governed by proposals and votes to ensure that everyone within a decentralized autonomous organization has a voice. This is significant because it means that no central entity can manipulate anything for personal gain or based on personal beliefs.

DAOs offer safe alternatives to pooling together money for a particular cause. But this isn’t just money that can be ordinarily managed by members. For instance, a group could set up a DAO to govern a charity to begin accepting donations and distributing aid accordingly. However, by far the biggest use cases for DAOs at the moment have been decentralized investment funds. This is where a group of investors create a venture fund that pools capital together and votes transparently on where to allocate the capital.

DAO application example by Gear

Anyone can easily create their own DAO application and run it on the Gear Network. To do this, Gear created an example of the DAO smart contract, which is available on GitHub.

This article explains the programming interface, data structure, basic functions and explains their purpose. It can be used as is or modified to suit your own scenarios.

In addition, Gear provides an example implementation of the DAO user interface to demonstrate its interaction with the smart contract in the Gear Network. You can watch a video on how to get the DAO application up and running and its capabilities here: The source code for the DAO application is available on GitHub.


Source files

  1. - contains functions of the fungible token contract. DAO contract interacts with fungible token contract through functions transfer_tokens and balance:
pub async fn transfer_tokens(
&mut self,
token_id: &ActorId, /// - the fungible token contract address
from: &ActorId, /// - the sender address
to: &ActorId, /// - the recipient address
amount: u128, /// - the amount of tokens

This function sends a message (the action is defined in the enum FTAction) and gets a reply (the reply is defined in the enum FTEvent):

    let transfer_response: FTEvent = msg::send_and_wait_for_reply(
*token_id, /// - the fungible token contract address,
FTAction::Transfer(transfer_data), /// - action in the fungible token contract
.expect("Error in transfer tokens");

The function balance is defined in a similar way:

pub async fn balance(
&mut self,
token_id: &ActorId, /// - the fungible token contract address
account: &ActorId, /// - the account address

and sends a message:

let balance_response: FTEvent = msg::send_and_wait_for_reply(
*token_id, /// - the fungible token contract address,
FTAction::BalanceOf(H256::from_slice(account.as_ref())) /// - action in the fungible token contract
.expect("Error in balance response");
  1. - defines the contract logic.


The contract has the following structs:

struct Dao {
approved_token_program_id: ActorId,
period_duration: u64,
voting_period_length: u64,
grace_period_length: u64,
total_shares: u128,
members: BTreeMap<ActorId, Member>,
proposal_id: u128,
proposals: BTreeMap<u128, Proposal>,
locked_funds: u128,


approved_token_program_id - the reference to the token contract (ERC20) that users use as pledge to get the share in the DAO.

period_duration - the smallest unit time interval for the DAO, in ms.

voting_period_length - voting time interval. Number of intervals for voting time = period duration * voting_period_length.

grace_period_length - after the voting period the DAO members are given a period of time in which they can leave the DAO(ragequit) without being diluted and ultimately affected by the proposal’s acceptance into the DAO.

total_shares - total shares across all members. Initially it is zero.

members - members of the DAO.

proposal_id - the index of the last proposal.

proposals - all proposals (the proposal queue).

locked_funds - tokens that are locked when a funding proposal is submitted.

Parameters approved_token_program_id, period_duration, grace_period_length are set when initializing a contract. The contract is initialized in the function:

pub unsafe extern "C" fn init() {

with the following struct:

struct InitDao {
approved_token_program_id: ActorId,
period_duration: u64,
voting_period_length: u64,
grace_period_length: u64,

The proposal struct:

 pub struct Proposal {
pub proposer: ActorId, /// - the member who submitted the proposal
pub applicant: ActorId, /// - the applicant who wishes to become a member
pub yes_votes: u128, /// - the total number of YES votes for that proposal
pub no_votes: u128, /// - the total number of NO votes for that proposal
pub quorum: u128, /// - a certain threshold of YES votes in order for the proposal to pass
pub processed: bool, /// - true if the proposal has already been processed
pub did_pass: bool, /// - true if the proposal has passed
pub details: String, /// - proposal details
pub starting_period: u64, /// - the start of the voting period
pub ended_at: u64, /// - the end of the voting period
pub votes_by_member: BTreeMap<ActorId, Vote>, /// - the votes on that proposal by each member

The member struct:

pub struct Member {
pub shares: u128, /// - the shares of that member
pub highest_index_yes_vote: u128, /// - the index of the highest proposal on which the members voted YES (that value is checked when user is going to leave the DAO)

The actions that the contract receives outside are defined in enum DaoActions. The contract's replies are defined in the enum DaoEvents.

DAO functions

  • Joining the DAO. Users can call that function in order to send the DAO contract the tokens and become the DAO members.
 async fn deposit(&mut self, amount: u128)
  • The funding proposal. The 'applicant' is an actor that will be funded.
async fn submit_funding_proposal(
        &mut self,
        applicant: &ActorId,
        amount: u128,
        quorum: u128,
        details: String,
  • The member or the delegate address of the member submit his vote (YES or NO) on the proposal.
async fn submit_vote(
        &mut self,
        proposal_id: u128,
        vote: Vote,
  • The right for members to withdraw their capital during the grace period. It can be used when the members don’t agree with the result of the proposal and the acceptance of that proposal can affect their shares. The member can ragequit only if he has voted NO on that proposal.
async fn ragequit(
&mut self,
        amount: u128,
  • The proposal processing after the proposal competes during the grace period. If the proposal is accepted, the tribute tokens are deposited into the contract and new shares are minted and issued to the applicant. If the proposal is rejected, the tribute tokens are returned to the applicant.
async fn process_proposal(
        &mut self,
        proposal_id: u128
  • These functions are called in async fn main() through enum DaoAction.
async fn main() {
let action: DaoAction = msg::load().expect("Could not load Action");
match action {
DaoAction::Deposit { amount } => dao.deposit(amount).await,
DaoAction::SubmitFundingProposal {
} => {
dao.submit_funding_proposal(&applicant, amount, quorum, details)
  1. - defines the State and StateReply enums. It is important to have the ability to read the contract state off-chain. It is defined in the fn meta_state(). The contract receives a request to read the certain data (the possible requests are defined in the enum State) and sends replies. The contracts replies about its state are defined in the enum StateReply.
pub unsafe extern "C" fn meta_state() -> *mut [i32; 2] {
let state: State = msg::load().expect("failed to decode input argument");
let encoded = match state {
State::UserStatus(account) => {
let role = if dao.is_member(&account) {
} else {
State::AllProposals => StateReply::AllProposals(dao.proposals.clone()).encode(),

User interface

A Ready-to-Use application example provides a user interface that interacts with DAO and gFT smart contracts.

Gear Fundible Token enables creation of utility token DAO, check this article for details.

This video demonstrates the entire configuration and user interaction workflow:

img alt

A DAO application source code is available on GitHub.

Configure basic dApp in .env:

  • REACT_APP_NETWORK is Gear network address (wss://
  • REACT_APP_CONTRACT_ERC is Fundible Token contract address
  • REACT_APP_CONTRACT_DAO is DAO contract address

An example is available: here

How to run

Install required dependencies:



yarn run start

Source code

The source code of this example of DAO smart contract and the example of an implementation of its testing is available on GitHub.

The extended version of DAO that includes admin, membership proposals and delegated voting can be found at GitHub.

The application source code is available in:

For more details about testing smart contracts written on Gear, refer to the Program Testing article.