For the past 6 months, 3 of us have been delving into the designing, building and workings of DAOs as they take shape into the possible frontier of a community based decentralized economy. While we have been looking into some unique projects like nouns and revolutionary concepts like tackling climate change with Klima DAO, we felt a missing link. This link was related to their economy.
Like any Publicly listed corporation publishes its financial reports, DAOs have the possibility to be transparent all the time. This was just the lens that we felt was missing, a lens that compiles transactions, tags them into meaning piles and finally presents beautiful reports.
Definitely more and more DAOs are hiring seasoned accountants and it’s their job to bring sanity out of the chaos that is anonymous transactions over web3. This was the point where we started following folks across the internet and crossed roads with Kevin (thanks a lot for helping us :) ) We joined a larger community over twitter and participated in spaces where accountants were discussing the pain points they face with crude old tools like Google Sheet.
It was during all of this that we made up our minds and built this proof of concept which envisions a better, transparent and easier future for DAOs when it comes to managing and publishing their economics.
What it does
DaoBooks empowers the DAO users to:
- See decoded transactions and tag them
- Its intelligent auto-tagging feature makes it such that the accountant would only have to add a few tags for 100s of transactions
- It allows them to build a fully customisable income, expense and P&L statement
- It gives them an overview of the treasury and the cash flow
- The report can be publicly viewed by anyone but tags can only be edited by wallets nominated by the DAO
- Gnosis safe tx cost the last signee gas fees, DAOs can now track and repay their contributors their gas fees in only a three clicks
- Gnosis safe’s CSV airdrop app is widely used for making bulk transactions but it has a very poor UI, DaoBooks’ UI will blow it out of the water
- [Not yet implemented - on frontend] Facility to create and analyse Projections and checkout the taxes that the DAO owes to the state
How we built it
- We started by looking at the types of transactions that DAOs usually make; shoutout to Kevin Ngo for giving us a glimpse of the DAOs he does accounting for!
- DAOs made a lot of transactions in terms of stable coins or erc20 tokens; for these transactions, we had to decode the input data to get the relevant information
- We found Ethtx, an open-sourced tool, to help us with the decoding
- We then got on to the whiteboard and built elaborate mockups for DaoBooks
- We started the implementation of the frontend with the obvious choice React.js
- Alongside, we were also making a flask based backend
- We innovated a use case for Hedera Contract Service that would help bring mass adoption for it
- We used different APIs for fetching the transactions and prices
Challenges we ran into
- Decoded input data from Etherscan couldn’t be fetched through their APIs
- We discovered a bug in EthTx - we raised the issue for their developer community to resolve and used a quick fix in our app
- Designing React frontend from scratch - resolved with the help of CoreUI and trusting our wits :)
- Time taking External API calls - resolved through parallelising the calls
- Aggregating the transactions with different crypto currencies needed us to find token prices in USD at the time of the transaction - made use of Moralis web3 API and ccxt
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Conceptualizing a web3 signing-in process that makes use of both Hashgraph and EVM chain providers: We take the address from user’s Metamask wallet and check if that address can edit the report for a gnosis safe wallet; This promotes mass adoption of the Hedera smart contract service by not only Hashpack users but also those with EVM chain wallets
- Finishing our (almost!) fully functional react app and backend!
What we learned
Amongst many lessons and skills that we learned, a few we'd like to highlight here:
- Hedera smart contract service
- Hedera consensus service
- Interpreting Transactions from Etherscan, Dragonglass
- Creating a functional react dashboard
What's next for DaoBooks
DaoBooks is a part of a bigger dream (at least in our minds :P) and we can already see it empowering DAOs by making accounting easy and transparent.
Making DAO finances easy and transparent is just the stepping stone towards a future where projections and smart transaction management are inherent to our system. On top of that DaoBooks becomes a platform that bridges communication and transactions between multiple DAOs (with smart transaction logging and management obviously)
We want to facilitate a new type of framework where multiple communities and their governance becomes easier and easier, while their experiences become better and better.