DAO Builder Mini Course

Welcome to the DAO Builder Mini Course! In this course, we will show you how to build a DAO and use the Aragon App, a no-code platform for creating and managing a DAO. You will complete four tasks in this course: 

  1. Build your DAO
  2. Create a proposal to add new members
  3. Cast a vote
  4. Execute the onchain action

This course is for you if you’re interested in creating a DAO, experimenting with onchain governance, and managing assets on the blockchain.

A few tips on how to complete this course: 

  • Open a new browser window and go to app.aragon.org.
  • Keep this page open on the side or in another window on your computer. 
  • Follow each step within the Aragon App.

What you need before starting:

  • A web3 wallet. Learn how to set one up here.
  • A small amount of gas fees for the chain you plan to deploy your DAO on. 
  • We recommend using an L2—such as Polygon, Base, Arbitrum, or zkSync—to build your DAO because it's lower cost. Gas fees fluctuate so we cannot guarantee what the cost of each action will be. 

Let’s get started! 

Task 1: Build your DAO

Goal: Build a DAO on the Aragon App. You will be the sole member of the DAO to start, but we will add more members later in the course. 

It’s time to launch your DAO! Creating a DAO is fast and easy with the Aragon App. Let’s walk through each step. 

1. Open the Aragon App 

Open the Aragon App. Connect your wallet and click “Build a DAO.” You’ll get an overview of the process. 

2. Choose your blockchain

Your options are Ethereum, Polygon, Base, Arbitrum and zkSync. For this course, we recommend building a DAO on anything but Ethereum mainnet because the fees are lower. 

You can also deploy on the Sepolia testnet, but you need to get tokens from a Sepolia faucet.

3. Set your DAO’s name, logo, and description

Choose a name, logo, and description that will help new members recognize your DAO on the App. You can also add links, such as to your DAO's website, Discord, Lens, or Twitter. These will appear at the top of your DAO homepage so members can easily find them. 

Since this is your first DAO, you can choose something fun, like Espresso DAO (which we used as an example), or just call your DAO “test DAO.” Or, think about a shared interest you have with friends, like a cause or event you’d want to pool assets for. You can also consider shared assets you already have, like an NFT collection or assets won in a hackathon, that you can manage together in your DAO treasury. 

If you chose to launch on Ethereum, you can also get a dao.eth subdomain. (Example: espresso.dao.eth). 

4.  Choose your membership: token holders or wallet addresses (multisig members) 

In a token-based DAO, voting power is determined by the number of tokens you hold. In a wallet-based DAO, voting power is determined by having a wallet address on an allowlist, meaning your wallet is allowed to vote. 

For this course, you can choose either option. 

5. Mint 5 tokens to your wallet, or add your wallet as the only voting member

Now you need to add your own wallet as a member. In the next task, we will add other members, which can be other people you know or other wallets that you hold. 

Token-based DAO: Select the name of the token and the symbol. Distribute 5 tokens to your wallet and gate proposal creation at 1 token. 

Wallet-based DAO: Add your wallet as the only voting member and gate proposal creation to wallets on the allowlist. 

On this page you can also gate proposal creation to token holders or allowlisted wallets in this step, which helps prevent spam proposals. 

6. Choose governance settings

Governance settings are the onchain parameters programmed into your smart contract that determine if proposals pass or not. 

Token-based DAOs

  • Minimum participation: the minimum level of participation required for a vote to be valid. This ensures enough DAO members can weigh in on the proposal before it ends. 
  • Your task: set this at 15%. 
  • Support threshold: is the percentage of votes cast that need to be in favor for the proposal to be accepted.This ensures that over a majority of DAO members see a proposal before it ends. 
  • Your task: set this at 50%. 
  • Minimum vote duration: the shortest amount of time a vote can be active. This ensures an attacker cannot create and pass a proposal in a very short time. 
  • Your task: set this at 1 day. 

Wallet-based DAOs

  • Approval threshold: the number of wallets that need to approve a proposal for it to pass. 
  • Your task: set this at 1 wallet. 

Both

  • Early execution: a proposal can be executed before the vote duration has concluded if the proposal has met minimum participation rate and support threshold. 
  • Your task: turn this on.
  • Vote change: voters can change their vote during the vote period. 
  • Your task: no action needed, this is disabled because you have enabled early execution. 

7. Check that all settings are correct

The only things that are not changeable are the blockchain you choose and the name of the token you mint. Everything else is changeable with a vote in your DAO, which we will see in the next task!

If you need to edit a section, simply click the "Edit" button and it will take you back to the relevant page without losing your progress.

8. Sign a transaction to deploy your DAO

To deploy, you’ll sign a wallet transaction and pay the network gas fees. Then, wait a few moments for your DAO to be built onchain!

9. Open your DAO Dashboard

Now you have your own DAO deployed on the blockchain. Take a peak around your DAO Dashboard before launching into task 2! 

Open your DAO Dashboard on the Aragon App

Task 2: Create a proposal to add 1 new member to your DAO. 

Goal: Create a proposal to add new members either by allowlisting wallets or minting more tokens and assigning them to new members. This familiarizes you with the proposal creation process. 

Now that you have a DAO, let’s start by creating a proposal to add members. 

To add members to a wallet-based DAO, you create a proposal to add a new address to the allowlist of wallets. 

To add members to a token-based DAO, you need to mint more tokens and assign them to the new member’s wallet address. You cannot remove members from a token-based DAO, but a member can exit a token-based DAO by selling or transferring their tokens to another address.

Let’s walk through each step. 

1. Wallet-Based DAOs: From the community tab, click “manage members”

This will open the proposal flow.

1. Token-Based DAOs: From the Community page, click "Mint Tokens"

This will launch a new proposal to mint more tokens. 

2. Wallet-Based DAOs: Paste the wallet address you want to add or select the wallet you want to remove

Paste in the address of a friend or one of your other wallet addresses. You can also see how adding or removing members changes the approval threshold.

2. Token-Based DAOs: Paste in the wallet address and assign it two new tokens

Paste in the wallet address of a friend or another wallet address that you have. Assign it two governance tokens. 

You can see how many of the total supply the new holders will have, helping you understand how voting power will be distributed across wallets. The number of new holders will also be shown. 

3. Initiate the vote

Set the start and end time for the proposal. For this course, just keep it at one day.

4. Write the title, description, and body for the proposal

Write the proposal details explaining that you’re adding a new member. 

5. Review the proposal and publish it

Check over the proposal to make sure it looks good. Then, pay a gas fee to publish it!

6. Check out your new proposal onchain! 

Take a look at your new proposal on the blockchain! 

Task 3: Cast a vote

Goal: Cast a vote so the proposal reaches the governance thresholds and can become executable. You’ll become familiar with the voting process. 

Your proposal is live! Now it’s time to vote. 

Voting is a key component of participating in DAOs. In this task, you’ll learn how to cast votes in the Aragon App. 

1. Start from the dashboard and find your active proposal

From the DAO dashboard, you can see all the recent proposals and their status. Find an active proposal and click into it.

You will have to wait 9 minutes between publishing the proposal and casting a vote on it. This is because the blockchain needs to update its state, which takes about 9 minutes per block. 

2. Open the active proposal

When you open the active proposal, you’ll find:

  • Voter breakdown: which addresses have voted and what they cast their vote for.
  • Automatic actions: what onchain actions will become executable if the vote passes.
  • Time left: how long until the vote ends. 

3. Click “vote now” to cast your vote

When you click “Vote now,” a drop-down menu will appear, showing your options to vote. Choose “Yes.” 

4. Sign a transaction

Sign a transaction and pay the gas fees required to vote.

5. Your vote has been recorded!

The record of your vote will appear. 

Your DAO vote on the Aragon App to add a new member to your DAO has been recorded!

Task 4: Execute the onchain action

Goal: Execute the onchain action to complete the process of adding members. You will become familiar with executing actions on the blockchain using the Aragon App. 

Our membership proposal passed because it met minimum participation rate and pass rate with your vote. You can now execute the proposal, which means completing the onchain action you programmed into it. 

Onchain actions are tasks carried out on the blockchain, such as minting new tokens, sending assets, or interacting with external contracts. In the Aragon App, you add onchain actions to DAO proposals. When the proposal passes, the action becomes automatically executable by any wallet on that blockchain. This means you do not need to place any trust in a specific person or entity to carry out the action. 

In our case, the onchain action was adding the new member/minting the new tokens. Let’s walk through executing onchain actions. 

1. Open the proposal, scroll down to click the “Execute Now” button

Scroll down to the bottom of the proposal. Because the proposal passed, the “Execute Now” button is now clickable.

2. Sign a transaction

To execute the proposal, you will need to sign a transaction and pay the gas fees required for the blockchain you chose.

3. The action is complete! Now you have a new member of your DAO who can participate in governance

After signing the transaction, your action is now complete!

The action for your Aragon App DAO has been executed onchain

Course complete! Start experimenting with governance at the speed of software

Now that you’ve built a DAO, created a proposal, cast a vote, and executed an onchain action, you are ready to start running your organization on the blockchain and experimenting with governance at the speed of software! 

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Aragon has been building onchain governance infrastructure for over 7 years, with its tech securing billions of assets. Govern your protocol onchain with Aragon OSx: the secure and modular DAO framework with customization built in. Or, launch a DAO in 10 minutes or less without writing any code on the Aragon App.

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