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Definition: DAO


(1) (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) A community association that is run by its members. A DAO's blockchain-based governance tokens are used to vote on all projects and procedures of the organization, which are ratified by the DAO's smart contracts. Although all rules and financial records of a DAO are maintained on the blockchain, a DAO appears to have ambiguous legal status. Also called a "decentralized autonomous corporation" (DAC).

The Dash cryptocurrency is run by a DAO, and many other groups have organized as a DAO (see ConstitutionDAO, Endaoment, Dash and Gitcoin). For the earlier DAO-based organization that was famously hacked, see The DAO.

(2) (Data Access Objects) A programming interface for data access from Microsoft. DAO/Jet provides access to the Jet database, and DAO/ODBCDirect provides an interface to ODBC databases via RDO. DAO is a COM object. See RDO, ADO, OLE DB and ODBC. See also disc-at-once.