IGF 2023 DC-Blockchain Implementation of the DAO Model Law:Challenges & Way Forward

Thursday, 12th October, 2023 (01:15 UTC) - Thursday, 12th October, 2023 (02:15 UTC)
Room J

Dynamic Coalition on Blockchain Technologies

Break-out Group Discussions - 60 Min


Blockchain, Digital Assets & Web 3-based Ecosystems


The DAO Model Law is a multistakeholder effort led by COALA (Coalition of Legal Automated Applications) to provide legal certainty for so-called ‘unregistered’ DAOs (i.e., DAOs that are not wrapped in a legal entity form) and their participants, and unlike other regulatory frameworks, accommodate flexibility for their unique features and further innovation. Since its development the Model Law has served as a precendential source in the development of legislation such as the DAO Acts in both Utah and New Hampshire, parliamentary discussions in Australia, and has also been referenced in the recent call for evidence by the UK Law Commission. The proposed session seeks to take the discussion further from the session hosted at IGF 2022, to analyse how different legislators and policy makers are approaching the development of legal frameworks to govern DAOs and also outline lessons learnt as well as recommendations for the way forward as more jurisdictions express interest in regulating unregistered DAOs. The session will have great benefit for policy makers, governmental representatives, law makers, practitioners as well as DAOs in navigating the course of granting legal recognition and certainty and will address the critical aspects of inter alia governance, functional and regulatory equivalence, liability attribution and taxation of unregistered DAOs.

It is intended that the workshop will be conducted in hybrid format to accommodate onsite participation at IGF 2023 as well as online attendees within various jurisdictions who wish to contribute to the discussion on the implementation on the DAO Model Law. In this regard it is anticipated that the official IGF Online meeting platform will be utilized and online partcipants will be able to post comments and also ask questions in relation to the content of the disussion.


It is proposed that this session is hosted by the Dynamic Coalition on Blockchain Technologies, under the auspices of COALA (Coalition Of Automated Legal Applications) which is the leading think tank on the legal and societal aspects of blockchain technologies in collaboration with BlockchainGov, a 5-year long, transdisciplinary research project funded by the European Research Council aimed at restoring trust in institutions at the community and global levels, by promoting better on chain and off chain distributed governance practices. The discussion will be led by a team of subject matter experts who have worked on the development of the Model Law for DAOs and are actively involved in advocating for the implementation of the model law across various jurisdictions. The session will be moderated by Jarrell James and the discussants will be Dr. Primavera De Filippi, Dr. Morshed Mannan, Silke Noa Elrifai and Fatemeh Fannizadeh, all of whom were co-authors of the DAO Model Law.


Dynamic Coalition on Blockchain Technologies, under the auspices of COALA (Coalition Of Automated Legal Applications) in conjunction with BlockchainGov.

The session will be moderated by Jarrell James who is an internet resiliency researcher and technologist. He is the founder of Ocelot Labs, a DAO that funds research focused on consensus models and cryptography. His written work and hardare experiments challenge assumptions around internet infrastructure to welcome alternative approaches to Internet and connectivity.

The Speakers represent a multi-disciplinary team of experts that are based across various jurisdictions, and are as follows:-

Dr. Primavera De Filipi: Director of Research at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris, Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute.

Dr. Morshed Mannan: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute and Researcher on the BlockchainGov European Research Council (ERC) Project. He is currently researching blockchain governance, platform cooperatives, and data cooperatives for a number of forthcoming academic articles and a book on ‘Blockchain Governance’ (with Dr. Primavera de Filippi and Dr. Wessel Reijers). He has also acted as an expert or consultant on matters regarding decentralized autonomous organizations, cooperative law and governance for the International Cooperative Alliance and NCBA Clusa International, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the OECD, the European Commission as well as several local and national government bodies.

Silke Noa Elrifai: Lawyer and mathematician with a passion for disintermediation and privacy tech. Silke has advised blockchain projects since 2014 focusing on legal product design that is both pragmatic and dispute-resistant. She regularly advises on DAO structures and their interaction with legacy legal systems. Silke is admitted to practice law in England & Wales, New York and Germany and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Silke is a Stanford Law School alum (JSM 2012).

Fatemeh Fannizadeh: Swiss qualified lawyer and independent practitioner. During the past five years, she advises blockchain projects of public interest throughout their development and leads teams of international external counsels to address specific regulatory and dispute resolution needs of the clients.

Onsite Moderator

Jarrell James

Online Moderator

Vashti Maharaj


Vashti Maharaj



Targets: The peoposed session seeks to support SDG Goal 9 "Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation Target 9.b "Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities". DAOs are blockchain-based and borderless forms of social and business organizations, with a shared, communally-managed, wallet and a governance process that is more open to diverse stakeholders than traditional companies. According legal status to such entities allows DAOS to further contribute to the social and economic benefit of society within a more structured environment. ,