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How to Build a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)

Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are all the rage lately. In this article, we’re going to demonstrate just how to build a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). However, prior to delving deeper into our tutorial, we’ll briefly explain what DAOs are and how they work. As such, if you’re already familiar with DAOs, you can skip straight into the code by checking out the following GitHub repository: 

Complete How to Build a DAO Documentation – 

Decentralization is a defining characteristic of Web3, the next step in the evolution of the internet. If you’re familiar with Web3, you’ll know that blockchain technology facilitates this progression towards a more decentralized web. However, at the center of decentralized systems owned and managed by users, you’ll additionally find DAOs. In layman’s terms, a DAO refers to the governing body of a Web3 project, and the organization’s members decide how the platform should progress. As essential components of Web3, we will in this article take a closer look at how to build a decentralized autonomous organization using the Moralis operating system. 

To initiate, we’ll briefly explain what DAOs are and how they work. Following this, we’ll jump straight into the process of building your very own DAO using Moralis, which is the number one operating system for Web3 development. What’s more, creating an account with the platform is entirely free! 

You’ll receive immediate access to the operating system’s incredible development tools such as Moralis Speedy Nodes, the Moralis Metaverse SDK, Moralis’ NFT API, and much more if you join Moralis. Along with the extensive toolbox, you’ll additionally gain access to the system’s well-established backend infrastructure making all blockchain development more accessible. 

As such, before we continue, sign up with Moralis and take the next step towards becoming a blockchain developer today! 

What is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization? 

Before we get into the process of building a DAO, it’s highly beneficial to learn more about the intricacies of these organizations. Thus, we’ll take this section to explore more about DAOs, how they work, and why they are helpful. So, follow along as we answer the question, ”what is a decentralized autonomous organization?”.

A DAO refers to the governing body of a project or protocol. DAOs are essentially dapps (decentralized applications) providing the ability to run parts or the entirety of an organization in a completely decentralized manner. As such, DAOs are a way of eliminating central autocracies having complete control of a project or platform. 

A fundamental technology enabling DAOs is smart contracts. Smart contracts provide holders of a particular token with the right to democratically participate in the governance of a platform. Furthermore, tokens providing the right to participate in polls are governance tokens. Therefore, holders of governance tokens have the opportunity to influence the future direction of the platform/project.  

What’s more, DAOs provide a form of on-chain governance, allowing anyone with tokens and a device to partake. This suggests that these organizations are free from geographical limitations and provide true decentralization in decision-making processes. As a result, DAOs further democratize blockchain projects and ensure that all users have authority over future prospects. 

DAOs are equipped with a multitude of benefits, and the two most prominent examples are transparency and building community trust. As all decisions are made on-chain, it provides full transparency as an immutable record of changes exists. Moreover, as token holders possess the power, it can build community trust since users decide if changes should occur. 

With a better understanding of DAOs, we can move on to the next section in this article and explore how to build a decentralized autonomous organization!

How to Build a Decentralized Autonomous Organization in 3 Steps

In the following sections of this article, we’ll dedicate our time to discovering more about the process of building a DAO. We’re going to create a simple DAO dapp where users can sign in with their Web3 wallets and vote in a particular poll, assuming they have a positive balance of testnet MATIC. To illustrate what we’re working toward, we’ll continue by taking a closer look at the dapp itself. So, once the dapp launches, this is what the users will see: 

With the dapp launched, users will be able to authenticate themselves in the top right corner of the interface. Clicking on the ”Authenticate” button will prompt the user’s MetaMask wallet and allow them to sign in. Once authenticated, they’ll be presented with one of two screens depending on their token balances. As such, if someone has testnet MATIC in their wallet, they’ll see the following: 

As the print screen above illustrates, the user’s token balances allow them to participate in a poll and vote on whether or not YouTube is the best learning platform. However, if users have a testnet MATIC balance of zero, they’ll instead be presented with the following screen: 

As you’ll quickly notice, the poll is gone, and the dapp is instead displaying a ”NO ACCESS” message indicating that the users don’t have the right to vote. 

Creating this application becomes relatively accessible when utilizing the Moralis operating system. In fact, the complete process can be broken down into the following three steps:

  1. Creating a Moralis Server
  2. Cloning the Moralis Poll GitHub Repo
  3. Initializing Moralis

So, without further ado, let’s continue in the following section and create our own Moralis server!  

Step 1: Build a DAO – Creating a Moralis Server

To build a decentralized autonomous organization, you’ll first need a Moralis account. So, if you haven’t already, feel free to sign up with Moralis right away. Then, with an account at hand, you can create your own Moralis server by clicking on the “+ Create a new Server” button.  

This will provide a menu with three alternatives. In this instance, we’re going to pick a testnet server. Once you click this option, a window will appear where you’ll need to input a name, select a region, and decide chain(s). In our case, we opted for the Mumbai testnet as we aren’t planning on launching the dapp to a mainnet. 

Now that’s it; all that remains is to click on the ”Add Instance” button at the bottom right of the window. It might take a couple of minutes for the server to spin up, but don’t worry; it will boot up momentarily!

With a server at your disposal, you have a few options to explore. You can, for example, click on the arrow at the far right to find more information about your server. You’ll also find the ”Dashboard” button, and if you click on this alternative, you’ll find all sorts of details regarding your dapp. For example, once someone votes on a pole in the future, the dapp will log the information and save it to the dashboard. As a result, the dapp can later fetch information from this database and restrict users from voting twice on the same poll.

However, this is just one of the many things your Moralis server is useful for. Nonetheless, now that the server is up and running, we can move on to the next step: cloning the dapp itself from the Moralis poll repository. 

Step 2: Build a DAO – Cloning the Moralis Poll GitHub Repo

In this following step, we’ll clone the Moralis poll GitHub repository. By doing so, we can create this dapp both quickly and effectively. So, what you want to do is visit the GitHub repository to which we linked in the introduction. 

Next up, you can go ahead and click on the green ”Code” button and copy the URL. This will be the URL for the “git” repo, which we’re going to utilize to clone the project to our local directory. With the link at hand, you can navigate to your IDE (integrated development environment). We are using Visual Studio Code (VSC); however, feel free to use any other code editor you are more familiar with!

Nonetheless, with Visual Studio Code open, we can clone the project through the following command: 

git clone ”REPO LINK”

What’s more, you also need to make sure that all dependencies for the project are installed, which can be accomplished by inputting the following command into the terminal: 

npm i

With a clone added to your local development environment and all dependencies installed, the next step is to link the project or dapp to your Moralis server that we created in the previous step. As such, let’s take a closer look at how to initialize Moralis. 

Step 3: Build a DAO – Initializing Moralis

With both a server and the project at hand, the final step is to initialize Moralis. To do so, you need to locate the ”.env.example” file in your repository. Before opening the file, you can remove the ”.example” part of the name, leaving only ”.env”. 

Once you open the file, you’ll find the following two lines of code: 


As you can see, we need both an application ID and a server URL. You can find these elements by navigating back to the Moralis admin panel. To find the ID and the URL, you need to click on the ”View Details” button of your server. All that remains is to replace the respective “xxx” in the code with the correct input. 

To make sure that everything is working, you can run the dapp with this command: 

npm start

That’s it for this tutorial on how to build a decentralized autonomous organization! 

However, even though this is a simple example of a DAO dapp, you can add your own spin to the project and add more complex functionality on top of this foundation. Moreover, if you would like a more detailed breakdown of the entire code, you can visit the Moralis YouTube channel and check out the following video: 

If you’re serious about creating your own DAO, you can hone your Web3 development skills by checking out more content here at the Moralis blog. For example, a good idea would be to learn more about token development. As such, check out the following articles on how to create your own ERC-20 token, create your own NFT, create a Polygon token, or create a BNB NFT.

Reading these articles will boost your proficiency in token development, which can be helpful when developing DAOs in the future! 

How to Build a Decentralized Autonomous Organization – Summary

DAOs, or decentralized autonomous organizations, are one of the most significant features of Web3, and they further democratize an already decentralized space. DAOs are essentially the governing bodies of platforms, projects, or protocols, and they distribute power and control to users. Moreover, all that is necessary to participate and make decisions regarding a project’s future is a device and a sufficient balance of governance tokens. 

What’s more, in this article, we provided a quick tutorial explaining how you can build your own decentralized autonomous organization. In fact, the process was broken down into the following three steps: 

  1. Creating a Moralis Server
  2. Cloning the Moralis Poll GitHub Repo
  3. Initializing Moralis

By utilizing the tools of the Moralis platform and cloning the base of a project from GitHub, we were able to create this DAO in a matter of minutes. As such, this demonstrates the power of working with Moralis and how the operating system makes Web3 development more accessible. 

If you aim to become a blockchain developer, we recommend checking out further content here at Moralis. For example, read up on fractional NFTs, dynamic NFTs, Web3 authentication alternatives, the best languages for blockchain development, etc. 

Moreover, if you’d like to become a more proficient blockchain coder, visit Moralis Academy and sign up for some of the best blockchain courses on the market! 

Nevertheless, sign up with Moralis and reap the benefits of the already developed backend infrastructure provided by the platform. This will allow you to cut down the average development time by 87% on all future blockchain projects. Moreover, creating an account is entirely free, and you can begin your development endeavors in a matter of minutes!

May 9, 2022
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