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January 6, 2022

DAO Smart Contract Example – DAO Guide

Table of Contents

Thanks to Ethereum, the first programmable blockchain and the source of numerous smart contracts, programmers now want to learn Ethereum development due to the prominent future of Web3. Part of that development curriculum is learning to create smart contracts. For many, smart contracts bring true decentralization to life. With the execution of a smart contract, we can automate justice, fairness, and other rules for many different use cases. Moreover, this is what a DAO is an excellent example of, bringing absolute decentralization into practice. Thus, as a developer, you should look closely at a DAO smart contract example and implement it into your Web3 apps. However, how does someone find a functional and practical example of a DAO smart contract? Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place, as this DAO guide article will provide you with exactly that. 

Of course, before we look at the smart contract for a DAO example mentioned earlier, we’ll first ensure that we are all on the same page regarding what a DAO smart contract and a DAO are. With that knowledge under our belts, we will present you with a relevant example project. The latter will show you how to create a DAO and thus serve as a DAO smart contract example for your future DAO development. Moreover, we won’t be like many blockchain developers who allow the limitations of RPC nodes to stand in their way. Instead, we will be using the ultimate Web3 development platform – Moralis (a.k.a. Firebase for crypto). It will enable us to copy and paste short snippets of code from the Moralis documentation. In turn, it will cover the heavy lifting on the backend effortlessly. As a matter of fact, by using our boilerplate, you’ll be able to create your own DAO in under ten minutes. 

What is a DAO Smart Contract?

Smart contracts are the backbone of any DAO, and just like other smart contracts, DAO smart contracts are there to ensure that automated processes run according to predefined rules. As such, they trigger predefined actions when specific predefined conditions are met. However, to get the most out of the remaining part of this section, only proceed if you understand what a DAO is. If you are not sure, check out the section below called “What is a DAO” first. 

Let’s quickly compare DAO smart contracts with one of the most known types of smart contracts – the ERC20 contracts. They ensure that ERC20 tokens are created and managed according to a predefined ERC20 protocol. This includes the contract address, the total supply of tokens, tokens’ name and ticker, ERC20 transfer details, and more. As such, there are specific rules and functionalities that must be met. In the same way, DAO smart contracts help formalize the DAOs’ rules. 

When the above is put to use, there are many different options. However, a great DAO smart contract example would be a venture dealing with grants. In that case, they’d create a DAO smart contract that would ensure that pools, voting for funds distribution, and even funds distribution run as predefined (in line with rules). Moreover, another DAO smart contract example could evolve around a charity and its acceptance and spending of donations. As a matter of fact, there are already all sorts of DAOs up and running, with many more to follow. As such, you really don’t want to miss an opportunity to learn how to use our DAO smart contract example.

What is a DAO?

Decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, are blockchain-based groups of like-minded members. As the “O” in DAO suggests, they are some sorts of organizations. These can be businesses, non-profits, communities, and so on. However, the most important aspect of DAOs is that they are collectively owned and managed by their members. Furthermore, thanks to programmable blockchains, with Ethereum being the most popular choice, this can be done effectively and safely. By using DAO smart contracts (as explained above), DAOs get to impose their rules, guidelines, and functionalities easily. That way, decisions are easily governed by proposals and voting. This ensures that all members have a voice. If applicable, treasuries are built-in DAOs. That way, no one has the authority to access an organization’s funds without the approval of other members. Thus, everything is out in the open and kept in line with lines of code. 

With that in mind, you can see that DAOs could massively contribute to a “just” organization of businesses, governments, and other organizations. However, you also see that a DAO is only as good as its smart contract. Fortunately, as it has become normal with blockchain, the code is usually there for everyone to review. As such, there’s no room for funny business. 

There are already quite a few DAOs alive, and we can expect many more to see the light of day in the near future. Especially in organizations that involve funding, money, and sensitive information or decisions, DAOs offer a great solution. By automating the implementation of rules, a lot of tension and the need to trust anyone else can be eliminated. 

View a DAO Smart Contract Example

Now that you know what a DAO smart contract is and what a DAO is, it is time to take a closer look at our DAO smart contract example. It will empower you to create your own DAO in ten minutes. Along the way, you’ll also learn how to set up and use Moralis. The latter is an indispensable tool that makes blockchain development as simple as possible. For one, it enables frontend developers proficient in JavaScript and capable of using MetaMask to create phenomenal dApps (decentralized applications). Furthermore, it eliminates about ninety percent of time otherwise spent on backend programming. As a result, developers working with Moralis can deliver working products quickly and with resources to spare. This means focusing and spending more time on creating the best user experience. Moreover, it is the latter that determines the success of a dApp.

In the upcoming sections, we will first guide you through the initial setup process. Then, you’ll be able to use our DAO smart contract example to create your own DAO. Sounds daunting? Don’t worry; we will provide you with an overview of the process. However, for more details, we will hand you over to a Moralis expert’s video tutorial. 

Furthermore, as you move forward with the example project presented below, you’ll have two options. You can follow the Moralis expert’s example and start with the Web3 social network boilerplate. By forking it and applying the necessary tweaks, you can create a DAO. However, you may also clone the final code, which is also at your disposal at GitHub. The folder also includes our DAO smart contract example (“.sol” file). Using the latter is without a doubt the fastest way to create DAO functions (such as the poll) in record time. 

Initial Setup to Use the DAO Smart Contract Example

In the following subsections, you will create your Moralis server, clone our finished code, and use your server’s details in the code. 

Step 1: Create a Moralis Server

Whether you want to use Moralis to create a DAO or any other dApp, you need to start by creating a Moralis server. Here’s how to go about this:

  1. Create Your Free Moralis Account – Use the link to the left to access the signup page. Then, enter your email, create your password, and click on the confirmation link that will be sent to your email. However, if you already have a Moralis account, just log in to your admin area.
  1. Create a Moralis Server – Once logged in to your Moralis admin area, navigate to the “Servers” tab (on the left-hand side in the navigation tab). Then, click on the “+ Create a new Server” button in the top-right corner and select the network type that best suits your needs (see the image below). In the case of example projects, you usually want to focus on the “Testnet Server” option (connect to Ethereum testnets). In our example project, we will use Mumbai, which is Polygon’s testnet. However, once you have tested your dApp, you’ll need to create a “Mainnet Server” to reach your audience.

As you move forward, a pop-up window will ask you to enter your server’s name (this can be anything you want), select your region, network type, chain(s), and spin up your server by clicking on “Add Instance”:

  1. Access Server Details – After creating your server, you want to access its details. Just click on the “View Details” button: 

As such, all the information you need (mainly “server URL” and “application ID”) will be displayed in a new window. You get to copy those details (one by one) with the help of the copy icons:

  1. Initialize Moralis (skip for now) – Populate your coding files (“.env” file when using our boilerplate) with the Moralis server details (application ID and server URL):

Step 2: Clone our Code

As mentioned above, you can fork the Web3 social network boilerplate and tweak the code. However, it will be even simpler for you to clone our final code (“moralis-poll”). So, here’s what you want to do:

  1. Visit our GitHub page.
  1. Once you’re on the “moralis-poll” page, click on the “Code” button, followed by a click on the “copy” icon as shown in the screenshot below:
  1. Go to your code editor (we prefer using Visual Studio Code [VSC]) and create a new workspace. Plus, you’ll need to open a new terminal. 
  1. With the above-created workspace, use the terminal to clone our code. You do this by entering “git clone” followed by the URL copied above:
  1. Now it’s time to complete substep “4” of the first step. This means that you need to copy your Moralis server’s details into the “.env” file, which is now in VSC. If the file is still named “.env.example”, make sure to rename it to “.env”.
  1. Enter “npm install” in your terminal and hit the “return” key to install all dependencies. 
  1. Then, use your terminal to enter “npm start” and hit the “return” key to test your Moralis server’s connection. 

DAO Smart Contract Example Project

With the initial setup above completed, you are ready to take a closer look at the example project at hand. Furthermore, since voting and polls are one of the key features of many DAOs, our smart contract example project will focus on that aspect. Moreover, we will be using Polygon’s Mumbai testnet. By using the “decentradit.sol” DAO smart contract, we will create a simple DAO. It will contain a dApp that will enable logged-in users (authenticate with MetaMask) to submit their vote. Of course, only users that meet all of the required conditions will be able to vote.

For a preview of our DAO (screenshot above) and its functionality, check out the video below at 3:50. In our case, only users with “play” MATIC tokens (we are on the testnet) will have access to the poll. Moving forward, the Moralis expert in the video will show you how to access your Moralis dashboard. This is where all the on-chain data, including smart contract events, are indexed and at your disposal. Nonetheless, once you are ready to dive deeper into the code, jump over to 6:41. This is also where you’ll see the power of the Moralis Web3 API. The latter enables you to use short snippets of code to simply cover otherwise complicated backend functionality.

DAO Smart Contract Example – DAO Guide – Summary

By covering the above sections, you’ve learned a lot about DAOs, DAO smart contracts, and how Moralis can assist you in creating a DAO. Furthermore, you now know how to complete the initial Moralis setup to develop dApps. Nonetheless, you’ve also had a chance to watch a Moralis expert as he took on a DAO smart contract example project to create a simple poll dApp. If you are ready to take your free Web3 education further, make sure to visit the Moralis blog and the Moralis YouTube channel. There you can find a ton of high-quality articles and videos. For instance, some of our latest topics show you how to integrate mint function to JS interface, how to index the blockchain using a The Graph alternative, how to develop an NFT rarity ranking dApp, how to connect to Arbitrum nodes, how to connect to Avalanche nodes, how do flash loans work, how to build Ethereum dApps in Angular, and how to build an NFT trading interface

Moreover, if you are eager to become a blockchain developer sooner rather than later, you may want to take a more professional approach. As such, consider enrolling in Moralis Academy. Aside from accessing the best courses on various specific blockchain topics, you’ll also be able to join the most supportive community. In addition, you’ll also get experienced mentors to guide you to success. 

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