Your map to navigating the world of DAOs on NEAR

What’s a DAO?

In short, a DAO is a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation. It’s like a company, coop, club, or task force. The secret that sets DAOs apart from these examples is all in the name.
Decentralization is a core concept of blockchains. SputnikDAOs operate on NEAR blockchain, enabling peer to peer transactions without borders or gate keepers. You can collaborate with whoever you want from around the world!
Autonomous Organization is a tricker concept tied up in a new work revolution. Companies and platforms typically have someone in the middle to handle logistics (and taking a cut for their effort). SputnikDAOs replace those positions with apps running on the NEAR blockchain to automate things like distributing funds, recording consensus, and managing membership. All of that saved effort and cost is then passed onto the members of the DAOs, paying them more for the value they contribute!
To make things tangible let’s look at an example like AirBNB. If people with open space for short term rental coordinate directly with each other through a DAO then they don’t have to give a cut of their profits to AirBNB for providing that organizational service. Record labels, foundations, setting up group buys, crowdfunding, and more are all more efficient as DAOs!
In short, DAOs are digital companies living on a blockchain with participants united by a common purpose. SputnikDAO enables individuals to come together to form cooperative, open, accessible, and transparent organisations.

Why a DAO?

DAOs empower communities to govern on-chain activity, make united decisions, and interact with other DAOs.Ultimately, DAOs unlock an unprecedented level of transparent and collaborative coordination with built-in tools to allow for:
  • Transparency and legitimacy via built-in reporting
  • Community ownership through stakeholder participation
  • Responsible fund distribution through openness and transparency which results in meaningful accountability


In line with the goal of being the most accessible, user-friendly blockchain, DAOs on NEAR are created in a matter of clicks through the SputnikDAO dApp.
SputnikDAO is a hub of DAOs empowering communities in the NEAR ecosystem. This playbook will guide you through the process of creating and interacting with DAOs in the NEARverse through SputnikDAO v1 and v2.

Sputnik DAO v1 vs v2 (Astro)

Like everything in the NEAR ecosystem, the SputnikDAO dApp is living.
In September 2021 the SputnikDAO platform released SputnikDAO v2, hereby referred to as ‘Astro’.
V1 is relatively limited in its functionality compared to Astro yet, since inception, the total amount of NEAR distributed via DAOs in the Sputnik platform has exceeded 700,000. You can get current statistics about V1 SputnikDAOs at stats.sputnik.fund.
With V1, individuals and groups are able to create DAOs in a handful of clicks and utilise them to distribute funds toward their relevant causes in a transparent, near-instantaneous, and open manner.
In 2021 SputnikDAOs were used to gather funds for covid relief in India and Vietnam, as well as flooding relief in Hunan, China. DAOs have been used for more light-hearted causes such as promoting NFTs and creating the NEARchan anime mascot. Nearguilds has even more examples of DAOs working on everything from legal advice to UX.

Your Guide to DAOs

The following playbook will serve as documentation and a guide to creating DAOs in both Sputnik V1 and Astro as well as a key for unlocking the full potential of DAOs within the NEAR Ecosystem.

SputnikDAO (V1)

Creating a DAO

If you’re looking to set up a DAO in SputnikDAO V1 follow the steps below:
  1. 1.
    Head over to the SputnikDAO web app
  2. 2.
    In the top right corner, hit ‘Create New DAO’
  3. 3.
    If you’re not logged into your NEAR wallet yet, you’ll be prompted to do so now
  4. 4.
    Enter the basic information of your DAO
    1. 1.
      Enter a name for your DAO - This can be anything you like, think of something appropriate. If you’re a Guild, try using your Guild name
    2. 2.
      Enter the purpose of your DAO - Why have you created this DAO? Concentrating on your goals may help
    3. 3.
      Enter Council - These are the .near wallet addresses of the individuals who will make up the Council of your DAO. Each of these will be able to vote on decisions made by the DAO
  5. 5.
    Hit ‘Continue’
  6. 6.
    Enter the details of your DAO
    1. 1.
      Enter bond in NEAR - This is the amount of NEAR required to submit a proposal to the council. If a proposal is rejected, the bond is sent to the DAO account, if approved it is returned to the proposer.
    2. 2.
      Enter vote period in hours - Number of hours that proposals are open for voting. After this amount of time, proposals expire.
    3. 3.
      Enter grace period in hours - Number of hours after the vote period, in which council members can vote "NO" to cancel a payout. This provides an opportunity to speak up when a decision is almost finalized.
    4. 4.
      Amount to transfer to the DAO - Initial treasury. After your DAO is launched, anyone may transfer NEAR using its human-readable account ID. A minimum of 3.5 NEAR must be transferred to the DAO to complete the creation process.
Boom! Simple as that. Your DAO is up and running and you’re ready to achieve your goals in a decentralized, open, and transparent manner!

Interacting with a DAO: Proposals

There are a number of proposal types that can be submitted to DAOs in SputnikDAO V1. Proposals can be submitted by anybody who holds sufficient NEAR to cover the bond which was sent by the DAO creator during the creation process.
To create a new proposal for a DAO head to the DAO’s page on SputnikDAO (here’s the SandcastleDAO page for reference) and hit ‘Create new proposal’.In line with the transparency of all things on NEAR, payout proposals should first be discussed on the NEAR Governance Forum before being submitted to a DAO.


This proposal is used when requesting a payout of NEAR from a particular DAO.To submit this proposal you’ll need to include the following:
  1. 1.
    A link to the proposal you made on the Forum
  2. 2.
    This is the NEAR address where the NEAR will be sent to
  3. 3.
    Job/Proposal description
  4. 4.
    A brief overview of what the payout is for
On the final page, you’ll be asked to specify the amount of NEAR to be paid out. Once the bond has been paid (which is non-refundable if the proposal is declined) then your proposal will be sent to the DAO for council review.


This proposal type adds a new Council member to the DAO. Include the forum link, the description, and the NEAR wallet address of the proposed Council member.


As you might expect, this proposal removes an existing Council member from the DAO. Include the forum link, the description, and the NEAR wallet address of the proposed Council member.


When a DAO is created, the creator(s) are invited to submit a ‘Purpose’, essentially a description of what the DAO is designed to do. This proposal amends that purpose which is publicly available on the SputnikDAO platform.


The vote period for a DAO is the amount of time (in hours) that Council members have to vote on a proposal.

Interacting with a DAO: Council Members

In SputnikDAO V1, DAOs are governed, at the point of on-chain decision making, by Council members. For a proposal to pass it requires more than 50% approval from sitting Council members.
If you’re a Council member and you’re looking to vote on proposals that have been reviewed in the Governance Forum, head to your DAOs page on SputnikDAO and select ‘Voting in Progress’.
Here, you’ll have the opportunity to review proposals alongside a direct link to the Governance Forum thread. You can ‘Approve’ or ‘Reject’ proposals by clicking on the relevant button and confirming the transaction in your NEAR Wallet (so long as you’re a Council member).