Looking for the best DAO crypto projects? Our concise buying guide outlines top DAOs, highlighting their performance and community engagement.

Avoid scams and underperforming platforms with our curated list of DAOs, providing insights into the top assets in the market.

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Top DAO Crypto Projects for 2024

  1. Uniswap (UNI) – Ethereum DAO platform with over $5.5 billion in TVL.
  2. Compound (COMP)Popular crypto lending DAO trading at a discount.
  3. Aave (AAVE) – One of the best DAO crypto projects for long-term potential.
  4. DeFi Coin (DEFC) – New DAO project with passive income potential.
  5. Curve (CRV) – Ethereum-based DeFi protocol for stablecoins.
  6. ApeCoin (APE) – Best ‘meme coin’ DAO.
  7. Illuvium (ILV) – Upcoming NFT gaming project with DAO governance.
  8. Dash (DASH) – Innovative ‘privacy coin’ set for a rebound.
  9. SushiSwap (SUSHI) – Beginner-friendly DEX set to transition to a DAO.

A Closer Look at the Best Crypto DAO Projects

Many of the underrated crypto assets fall into our list of DAO projects, as these entities are still not fully understood by many investors. With that in mind, let’s dive in and explore the 12 best DAO projects reviewed below:

1. Uniswap (UNI)

UNI price chart

Uniswap is a decentralized exchange (DEX) built on the Ethereum network that allows investors to swap ERC-20 tokens easily. This is the token standard for Ethereum and includes some of the best altcoins, such as Chainlink and Shiba Inu. Since the exchange is decentralized, there is no need for an intermediary to facilitate trade.

Uniswap uses liquidity pools, which remove the traditional order book from the equation. Anyone can earn a yield by depositing idle ERC-20 tokens into Uniswap’s pools. The returns differ based on the token but generally surpass traditional savings account rates.

Due to its popularity, Uniswap has become one of the most widely used DeFi protocols globally.

2. Compound (COMP)

Compound price chart

Compound is the best DAO platform operating within the scope of the DeFi sector that allows investors to lend and borrow cryptocurrencies seamlessly. Investors can lock their tokens in the Compound protocol to earn interest payments on the deposited asset.

For example, depositing USD Coin (USDC) would receive regular income payments in that currency. On the other hand, Compound also lets people borrow crypto, too. Since the entire process is decentralized, Compound requires no credit checks from borrowers, and the whole process is anonymous.

Compound’s native token is COMP, with tokens given to all ecosystem members daily. Each token represents one vote, which is essential when debating governance proposals. Finally, this DAO crypto price is now down 93% from all-time highs, trading at @53.8 USDT.

3. Aave (AAVE) 

Aave price chart

Further on our list of top DAO crypto projects is Aave. Like Compound, Aave is a decentralized lending protocol allowing borrowers and lenders to interact without a centralized intermediary. The protocol was initially hosted on the Ethereum blockchain, but its popularity has allowed it to integrate with multiple other networks.

Although AAVE is now trading around 84% below May 2021’s all-time highs, much of this has been down to the overall bearish sentiment within the market.

As with other top DAO projects, holders of the AAVE token can have a real say in the protocol’s governance. These include how Treasury funds are used and potential upgrades to the system. Furthermore, AAVE can be used as collateral within the ecosystem, significantly reducing fees.

4. DeFi Coin (DEFC)

DEFC price chart

DeFi Coin burst onto the scene in mid-2022 following the long-awaited launch of DeFi Swap. DeFi Swap is a decentralized exchange (DEX) hosted on the BNB Chain that allows users to swap BEP-20 tokens and generate yields through staking and yield farming.

DEFC plays a crucial role in the DeFi Swap ecosystem and can be used as a medium of exchange when token swapping. Since DeFi Swap operates much like a DAO, investors can stake DEFC and receive interest – with yields reaching as high as 75% per year for 365-day lock-up periods.

Another reason DeFi Coin has emerged as one of the best DEX coins is that token holders will be able to generate a passive income stream through the project’s ‘static rewards’ mechanism. These rewards are funded through a 10% tax levied whenever an investor buys or sells DeFi Coin.

5. Curve (CRV) 

Curve price chart

Following a similar structure to many of the best DAO crypto projects on our list, Curve is a DeFi protocol hosted on the Ethereum blockchain and stands out as one of the stronger crypto utility tokens in the market. It sets itself apart by specializing in stablecoins and offers a user-friendly experience with its accessible platform for smooth token swapping.

According to the Curve.fi website, over 256 liquidity pools are available where users can deposit their idle holdings and generate a yield.

The Curve protocol is governed by CurveDAO, which helps organize the smooth facilitation of the protocol’s services. Curve’s governance token, CRV, is regularly distributed to liquidity providers as a ‘thank you’ for contributing to the system.

6. ApeCoin (APE) 

Ape coin price chart

ApeCoin is one of the best DAO crypto projects to launch this year and has garnered massive attention due to its NFT-based link. As the name implies, ApeCoin is strongly connected to the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection.

Although ApeCoin wasn’t created by Yuga Labs, the team behind BAYC, it has become intrinsically linked with the collection as NFT holders were given tokens for free via an airdrop. Moreover, ApeCoin has become the native token of ‘The Otherside,’ Yuga Labs’ upcoming metaverse project.

Interestingly, the ApeCoin community governs itself as a DAO, which means the community decides how Treasury funds are spent. Holding APE automatically makes one a part of the DAO, and the ApeCoin website includes a dedicated ‘Proposals’ section for voting on different ideas. In addition, as noted in our ApeCoin price prediction, the token also has exceptional speculative potential due to its backing on social media.

7. Illuvium (ILV) 

Illuvium price chart

Illuvium is a blockchain game hosted on the Ethereum network governed by a DAO. The game has fantasy role-playing (RPG) aspects within a rich 3D world where players can interact and battle each other.

Players can capture in-game monsters called ‘Illuvials’, structured as NFTs. These Illuvials can be used in player-vs-player (PvP) combat to earn ETH or traded on the game’s native marketplace. As such, Illuvial taps into the burgeoning play-to-earn (P2E) gaming space.

ILV is Illuvial’s native ERC-20 token, which governs the DAO. Interestingly, Illuvial’s DAO has an ‘Illuvinati Council’, which is a designated management team that is voted on by community members. As such, Illuvium uses an exciting combination of centralized and decentralized mechanisms to ensure the game runs smoothly for all players.

8. Dash (DASH) 

Dash price chart

Dash began as a fork from Litecoin and has become a popular digital currency with people who wish to keep their personal details and transaction history private. Over the past few years, Dash has become increasingly adopted by merchants and online stores and is now accepted in over 155,000 locations.

Dash works similarly to Bitcoin, except it has a built-in ‘InstantSend’ feature that means transactions can be confirmed in under two seconds. This starkly contrasts Bitcoin, which can take around 10 minutes to confirm a transaction. Furthermore, Dash also employs a valuable mechanism whereby transactions are mixed in with others, making it nearly impossible to link a specific transaction to a particular wallet.

The DASH DAO crypto price has been pretty volatile over the past year and is trading around 86% below all-time highs. However, this is a trend we see with many other altcoins, mainly due to the ‘risk-off’ sentiment in the present market. That said, Dash still has valuable real-world use cases that could help it bounce back.

9. SushiSwap (SUSHI)

SUSHI price chart

Rounding off our list of the best DAO crypto projects is SushiSwap. SushiSwap is similar to Uniswap because it is a decentralized exchange hosted on the Ethereum blockchain. Although UNI is still the king within this space, many investors have opted to buy SushiSwap as it offers a viable alternative to Uniswap.

SushiSwap has had a chequered history, most notably because the platform’s creator sold a tremendous amount of SUSHI, SushiSwap’s native token, which spooked investors and caused the price to sink. However, the platform has regained a solid following since then and offers a beginner-friendly way to enter the DeFi sector.

Users can swap tokens, engage in yield farming by pledging tokens for a share of transaction fees, and stake SUSHI for appealing yields on SushiSwap. While it’s not entirely a DAO, there’s a proposal to transition to one in the coming months.

What Is a DAO Crypto?

The meaning of DAO in crypto is ‘decentralized autonomous organization’ – a blockchain-based entity where control is spread out across community members rather than one specific person or team. These organizations are in stark contrast to corporate entities, which are typically governed by a CEO and a management team.

Since control is spread out, the network’s community members have a real say in how the organization works. Governance is usually handled through voting mechanisms since DAOs will have a native token that essentially gives the owner a ‘stake’ in the organization. Elements that are voted on tend to include allocation of funds, upgrades to the network, and marketing decisions.

There are many advantages to operating as a DAO, with transparency being one of the main ones. Those who invest in cryptocurrency will know that transparency is hugely important since many crypto projects have sprung up with shady intentions. However, everything that happens within a DAO is publicly viewable, and no one entity can influence decisions.

Furthermore, DAOs help create thriving communities of like-minded people who can come together to reach a common goal. They also remove geographical barriers to entry, meaning anyone can purchase tokens and participate in governance. As such, many of the best DeFi apps are now being structured as DAOs to take advantage of these benefits.

How Does Crypto DAO Work?

So, how do these organizations work? As mentioned above, since the entire community, rather than one person, decides the project’s direction, voting is crucial in moving a DAO forward. DAOs tend to be built using smart contracts, ensuring the organization remains decentralized.

The specific way that a DAO will function can vary, although most will allow token holders to vote on proposals put forward by community members. Certain DAOs will emphasize votes made by investors who hold vast amounts of tokens, which can be seen as both a positive and a negative. Given that everyone has a chance to participate, making changes within the organization can be lengthy.

Funding usually comes through making the DAO native token available for purchase by the broader investment community. For example, although many people opt to buy Aave to become part of the community, some may wish to invest in the token for speculative purposes. Either way, the DAO will receive income by selling these tokens, helping fill up the Treasury, and enabling changes. 

Why Invest in DAO Crypto Projects?

DAO projects have garnered much attention from the mainstream media, and given their dramatic popularity, DAOs have become a target for speculative investors.

With that in mind, presented below are three of the main reasons why people opt to invest in the best DAO crypto projects:

Impact on Governance

As expected, people mainly invest in these projects to have a tangible impact on a project’s governance. This cannot be achieved with centralized projects, as a specified development team governs these. Although the community can still offer feedback, there’s no guarantee the feedback will be acted on.

This isn’t the case with DAOs, as community members can make proposals at any time and put these proposals to a vote. If a submission is voted down, it’s usually considered good since it highlights that most community members do not want the mooted change.

Fully Decentralized

Like the best DeFi exchanges, DAOs are fully decentralized and tend to be run through smart contracts. These smart contracts remove the need for a middleman and allow tasks to be completed automatically.

There are numerous benefits to decentralization, such as transparency, which dramatically reduces (or removes) the chance that fraud could occur. DAOs are not influenced by governments either, thereby maintaining their integrity. It’s a lot like open-source crypto.

Access to the DeFi Sector

Finally, a large percentage of DAOs operate within the DeFi sector’s scope, providing yield generation opportunities. According to Yahoo Finance, the DeFi market surpassed a $100 billion valuation in February 2022, which equated to 47% growth from the previous year.

This trend shows no signs of stopping, as more and more investors are growing tired of the low-yield options offered by traditional banking institutions. Token swapping, staking, and liquidity pools are just some of the services provided by DAOs that operate within the DeFi sector, with more being added regularly. Due to this, we’ll likely see more investors move their capital to this market area – making DAOs an appealing investment opportunity.

Conclusion

In summary, this article has detailed the best DAO crypto projects currently available, exploring why they are so popular and how they could shape various industries in the months and years ahead.

Among the featured projects in our DAO crypto list, Bitcoin ETF Token emerges as an intriguing choice. Despite not strictly conforming to the DAO structure, it offers huge staking yields and deflationary tokenomics. The cryptocurrency speculates the arrival of a new Bitcoin ETF, and will offer staking rewards based on the ETF’s progress.

Interested investors can purchase $BTCETF through the ongoing presale.

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