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The Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) was a digital form of venture capital. It was an ambitious idea–to provide a new decentralized business model for organizing corporations on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Few people in the crypto community were opposed to this premise–but the timeline was short, the code requirements were tremendous, and in retrospect, a vulnerability was inevitable.
The DAO launched in May 2016, setting the record for the largest crowdfunding event in history. The following month, the DAO was hacked, millions of dollars of Ether were stolen, and the reverberations of the event were a referendum on how the Ethereum community governs itself.
Matt Leising is a reporter for Bloomberg who has chronicled the DAO in his article The Ether Thief. He continues to follow cryptocurrencies closely, as the Internet of money fractals increasingly into the public consciousness.
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Errata: Coinbase now supports Bitcoin Cash.
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