The birth of DevCon5 event DAO?

Published in
5 min readJul 27, 2019


DevCon5 is the event of the year not only to promote your product/services but also the place to meet people who visits from all over the world. If you are planning events, you want to make sure that your event becomes successful.

5 hurdles you have to overcome

When it comes to organise events, here are the general steps you have to take (sometimes the order may vary).

  • 1. Decide the event topic
  • 2. Secure good speakers to make the event more attractive (and attract sponsors)
  • 3. Find sponsors/co-hosts to cover the cost
  • 4. Find the right venue which matches with the event cost (and make sure to avoid event overlap with events of your allies)
  • 5. Make sure that your event becomes full

At our last blog post, we announced the partnership with local venues in Osaka. Together with our Kickback “no no-show” booking system, we can help solving your step 4&5 but you cannot even contact us if you haven’t solved the step 1–3.

Hurdles Kickback has to overcome for the mass adoption.

We want to help hosting as many events as possible during DevCon5 but we are not at the stage to let anyone “just host” on Kickback mainly for the two issues.

Customer Safety

Kickback is a unique way to bring financial incentive and discipline into free events. This is still a new concept and it brings a set of new problems which haven’t existed before.

  • An event owner may host a fake event and run away with commitments.
  • Event venue/time changes in the last minute making harder for all participants to turn up.
  • An event owner does not check-in people who attended on time (either too busy, did not care, or simply mistake) or check in people who weren’t there.

Charge or not to charge

So far we have simple approach of charging $1 per turn up. If 100 people RSVP and 80 people turn up, we charge $80 to event organisers. This approach so far has limited success. While well funded event organisers can afford to pay to us, it may be a bit expensive for events with little or no budget. The ideal scenario is that Kickback helps finding sponsors and we charge success fee depending on the sponsorship raised. In the past, we attempted to attract sponsorship to a local meetup event but we failed to attract any.
We also allowed a handful of events to use our event for free if we find that the usage brings more marketing value (such as ETHGlobal events) or the event organiser has contributed to our project in different ways.

One little dirty secret is that we don’t have any on-chain mechanism to charge. We simply send invoice using our accounting software so that the organisers can either pay in crypto or simply send bank transfer. While this super analogue “sending invoice” works better for the tax purpose, it is quite labor intensive work for me.

Kickback DAO for the DevCon5 limited edition

In my “Dream DAO”, I envision the following scheme.

  • 1. Event organiser can join the DAO by staking small amount (eg: 100 USD worth of ETH/DAI). This may be used to gauge how serious you are on hosting the events, as well as collateral to pay back to participants if organisers failed to check in participants despite the fact that participants came on time
  • 2. Event sponsors can join the DAO by staking the amount they want to sponsor.
  • 3. Venue providers can join the DAO with no fee.
  • 4. Event organiser will propose event topics, speakers, capacities, and minimum cost etc.
  • 5. Even organiser can either receive money upfront, or after the event. If after the event, you can integrate with Kickback so that it receives sponsorship proportionally to the actual participation.
  • 6. Kickback takes % of the total fund in the DAO rather than charging per attendance for each event.
  • 7. Each sponsor receives exposure to the event (as a logo, a time to talk) promotional to the staked amount.
  • 8. At the end of DevCon5, the DAO dissolves.

What DAO tools are available today?

To tell the truth, I have a bit of fear against DAO as my first investment into ETH was to purchase TheDAO back in 2016. I lost 80% of my crypto holding for 3 months until the hardfork happened.

Having said that multiple DAOs have emerged for the last three years and many of them are live on the Mainnet. There is an excellent post comparing various projects and here is my understanding of each prominent DAO project.

  • Aragon has lots of tools to make DAO integration into your project easy.
  • DAOStack combines reputation based voting and prediction to achieve consensus with limited participation.
  • MolochDAO has “rage quit” feature to be able to exit when you disagree with the decision (or when you receive grants).

Aragon sounds like a good choice if we want to customise the rule of DAO and have tight integration with our smartcontract.

While DAOStack already has adoption in some reputable projects (eg: dxDAO, efxDAO) and has easy dashboard to start creating many different DAOs, MolochDAO’s “rage quit” sounds interesting way to accumulate large sum into one DAO, then split into smaller DAO by going through a series of “rage quits”.

I am still recovering from TheDAO phobia so my understanding of the DAOs is limiting. What kind of unique way you can think of to utilise DAOs to solve the problems of both event organisers and Kickback? Which of your favourite DAO solution works the best? Or shall we try out multiple DAOs to experiment?

Eating your own dog food: “DAO panel discussion event”

It is probably hard to have one gigantic DAO which tries to “Rule them all” from the beginning so we (Osaka blockchain week collectives) are considering organising our own event to eat own dog food. Our thought is to first try to raise enough sponsorship to cover the single event, and only if the sponsorship fee exceeds our budget, then we start funding for other event DAOs (which could be DAOStack based, Aragon based, or anything).

I got this inspiration while listening to the “Epicenter” podcast where the guest Ameen Soleimani talked about Moloch DAO (which primary focus is to give grants to ETH 2.0 related projects ) trying to fund its forked DAO called #YangDAO (to support Andrew Yang , who is one of American presidency candidates).

At step1, what should we choose as a topic of the event? Obviously DAO!

I am currently reaching out to all popular DAO framework creators to join as a panel and we are getting tentative “Yes” from some of the DAO organisations mentioned in this blog post. If you are interested in sponsoring our event(by joining our DAO which we didn’t decide the name yet) , or just curious to find out more, feel free to join our telegram channel.