DAO vs Digital Nation?

What is the difference between a DAO and a Digital Nation?

I’m curious to hear your thoughts/insights on this.


DAO means everyone could vote to determine things.
Digital Nation means using digital tech to improve efficiency.

My take is,

A DAO is a general concept that can be shaped for really different purposes: an investment club, a social network, a crowd-owned company, etc…

A Nation is a complex concept. It has been defined in very different ways through history but generally is conceded as a community of people with something in common that live on the same sovereign territory.

With this in mind seems that a “cloud nation” could be conceded as a community of people with something in common without a sovereign territory. That sounds pretty much like any DAO.

But, to consider ourselves a proper cloud nation, we should be able to provide our members with at least the same fundamental services as a modern functional Nation.

Which services are those? We are here to discover it (I have a few ideas)


@0xGallego Thanks for sharing.

  1. In your opinion, what is the one most fundamental digital service that should be offered by a modern nation?
  2. And: Which digital service provided by nation states today can be built 100X better by the Nation3 DAO? (Could be different from the most fundamental service in the previous question.)

I think it is misleading to think about nations as providers of services in the first place. The naming is confusing as nation3’s ambition is to grow into the role of a state defined and governed by its citizens (the nation) - this is something that should be officially addressed somewhere.

States are, of course, providers of services but they are primarily providers of contractual frameworks (think regulation, rule of law), including social contracts. It is not hard to imagine these in web3 - contracts not backed by smart contracts and court system that can retract citizenship if these are broken. Similarly, one can imagine a retirement plan that can exist on web3 run by nation3.

True, sorry for the misuse of the terms.

The state should be the basic infrastructure of services ruled by the nation (the people). I always include the enforcement of the contractual frameworks you mentioned as one of the services of the state.

This is one of the recurrent discussions we had as a team when we started shaping Nation3. I’m not sure if it can be considered a service, but I think that one of the fundamental goals of Nation3 is to achieve the alignment of a significant enough community to start shaping the nation-state.

In my personal opinion, one of the biggest problems with current modern nations on a functional level is the lack of transparency/clarity and the lack of easy paths for citizen contribution.

In the latest years, I think we have demonstrated that we can build open-source education, intelligence, and finance. I think it is time we explore the building of open-sourced nation-states, from governance, infrastructure, law, healthcare, etc.

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While reading the manifesto, I was attracted by the worlds like “not master-slave, it’s peer-to-peer”
I think it’s important to me, because there is so much cheating and bad black box operations in the real world. It makes us sick.
Let’s build one nation that we can get the rights we deserve. and let the ones who think they can get much undeserving rights go to hell.

@gym-wolf What are those rights, exactly? Please share your ideas :smiley:

Yes, focusing on lack of transparency is an interesting starting point.

Let’s say you are a citizen living in a corrupt country like South Sudan or Somalia. And let’s assume you pay your taxes, and politicians steal 50% (just an example) of all taxed money in that country.

How could a digital nation improve these people’s lives? Any specific ideas?

I think that it’s very difficult to steal if all systems are open and all movements are public.

  • Have the right to know the matter and question it. without fear of retribution.
  • Equal access to public resources, such as resource connection, to initiate voting.
  • Require the establishment of a contract and openly discuss whether the contract is found to be broken
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What’s the difference between DAO and Digital State? Before we can do that we need to understand the definition - the essence - of each of them.
By the way, reading Must read | Nation3 wiki helps us to understand the basic idea of Cloud State

  1. The basic building blocks of a DAO include tokens, contracts, and communities.
    I know very little about DAO. I should shut up.

  2. The basic components of a state include nation, geography, ideology, and authoritarian power. Must read | Nation3 wiki
    It is obvious that nations are made up of ethnicity, geography and ideology.
    I come from a country with a long tradition of authoritarianism - China. There is an old Chinese saying that music and conquest come from the Son of Heaven(礼乐征伐自天子出), and the governing body of the state, the government, must have a monopoly on the media and the military.
    These are two forces at play with the three freedoms we wish to pursue (physical freedom, financial freedom, and information freedom) mentioned in “cypherpunks”. The government seeks tyranny while the people seek freedom.

It is too early to discuss their definitions
When we discuss the difference between the two concepts, the premise is that we both know the definitions of both concepts and that their definitions are stable and unchanging over time. If we only know its definition from yesterday and it achieves progress today, it makes no sense to discuss the difference based on yesterday’s definition. But it is too early to discuss the definition of DAO and digital state as something emerging (or even unborn, existing only in the mind and not becoming a social reality) that evolves as practice progresses.

Another question
I think a good question is, in what ways is the DAO, the digital state, an improvement over the nation state? How will it replace or dismantle the nation-state and give humanity more and greater freedom? What great things can it achieve that the nation-state cannot do?
The Tower of Babel comes to mind.


We could perhaps think of a digital nation as an organism comprised of many DAOs/organs. The DAOs are decentralized and autonomous, the digital nation is somewhat hierarchical. I don’t think you can build a successful longterm organization without some kind of hierarchical structure. The attainment of greater influence is a primary (and very valuable) driver of human contribution within communities. Successful hierarchies leverage this to create maximum value for the whole community. That said, the advantages of a cohesive, digital-first nation over a traditional geographical nation state is that the former can adapt, evolve, and improve extremely quickly, and it can and should be completely voluntary. As Balaji has said many times, the ability to opt out of something is a fundamental requirement for any ethical organization.

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@jepetersen Makes sense. So maybe instead of (or in addition to) just people joining a digital nation, there would be DAOs joining the digital nation? And then the digital nation could provide initiatives, products and services for the DAOs that are members of each digital nation?

One concept comes to mind the digital nation If one of the necessary constituent elements of the nation is the nation, how will the nation of the digital nation/cloud nation be formed?
Citizens of the digital nation certainly do not have blood ties and traditional national identity, perhaps we need some new narrative of the times to bind the different digital individuals in a social collective. According to the roadmap of the NOTION3 now, the NOTION3 is more like an investment DAO.

Perhaps we bond together over a common creed, values or belief for how humans were meant to live their lives together?

As for the DAO vs Digital Nation question:

I believe DAOs and Digital Nations are nearly the same, in the sense that they’re a group of actors or members coming together to operate something for a benefit or profit. One major difference is I believe Digital Nations can provide protection services for DAOs to legally domicile themselves inside. Most DAOs probably won’t have the interest or resources to create and maintain a legal jurisdiction, so a Digital Nation can offer JaaS (Jurisdiction as a Service) for DAOs and individuals.

Outside of protection, the cloud nation could offer services like physical locations to domicile physical bodies, and (still on the fence about this one because it might fall better under a DAO) access to a valuable social network of highly skilled people to build with.

DAOs are where people operate businesses, ventures, or do activities together while Digital Nations are like lower level DAOs which provide services to the higher level DAOs and other individuals.

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