At this year’s ETH Denver conference, decentralized autonomous organizations were the talk of the town—and Decent Labs CEO Parker McCurley was talking about using a DAO as his new business model.
“The benefits to becoming a DAO are, once we take care of our initial team members at scale, then we can add contributors from all over the world, with a variety of skill sets, creating more opportunities,” McCurley tells Decrypt.
Decent Labs has been dedicated to helping Web3 builders launch, fund, and scale open source communities. As Decent DAO, a venture studio to fund and build other protocols, it can do even more, McCurley said.
McCurley said he launched Miami-based Decent Labs in 2017 because he saw Ethereum projects getting funding but lacking the requisite technical resources to follow through. So Decent Labs began building decentralized apps for other projects, including BRD—acquired by Coinbase in November—Rawrshak, FrostByte, Portis, Celsius, and Sarcophagus.
Sarcophagus is a deadman switch for crypto and digital assets built on Ethereum and Arweave, the decentralized storage solution. Sarcophagus users designate who will receive their digital assets in the event of death or incapacitation.
“Sarcophagus is a use-case that people understand,” McCurley said. “What happens to our crypto when we die is not something we want to think about, but it’s something that we need to be thinking about.”
Last month, Sarcophagus announced a raise of $5.47 million from VC firms and angel investors, including Greenfield One, Placeholder, Inflection, Lattice, Infinite, LD Capital, Hinge Capital, Blockchange, Coral DeFi Investments, Blockchain.com Ventures, Lo Enterprises, Compound VC, and Arweave.
“Sarcophagus was part of our venture studio and accelerator program where we would partner with early-stage protocols and build out their technology,” McCurley said. “We designed the application and architected the software and implemented it. And now it’s deployed on Ethereum.”
With BRD, previously BreadWallet, McCurley says Decent Labs worked on their B2B product, Blockset, and the associated websites.
Transitioning into a DAO could prove a bit more time-consuming, McCurley told Decrypt. “We needed to terminate our employees in the process of dissolving the company, and they then become individual self-directed contributors to the DAO,” he said. “But It’s pretty shocking when an employee gets a phone call that they’re fired, and they haven’t done anything wrong.”
And there are other benefits of becoming a DAO: having access to blockchain innovation; earning income from DeFi protocols; partnering with other DAOs; being able to pay global contributors; and automating all of those things by using smart contracts.
McCurley explained that Decent Labs, in becoming Decent DAO, is attempting to utilize Web3 talent on a global scale.
“Our mission is to leverage human intelligence in the most efficient way to accelerate decentralization,” McCurley added. “Our goal is to contribute to the ethical adoption of blockchain technology throughout our society, versus one particular problem.”