VitaDAO’s mission is to accelerate research and development in the longevity space by focusing on the two stakeholder groups most essential to its mission: patients and researchers. Currently, biopharma and research organizations do not represent these groups well. Biomedical research fundraising is time-consuming and its access is limited to select groups of already well funded organizations. There is a misalignment of incentives that encourage profit maximization by for-profit biopharma companies, and conversely not enough goal-oriented work is done by non-profit research organizations.
VitaDAO fixes this by coordinating the actions of for-profits and non-profits. It’s VitaDAO’s belief that by empowering more researchers, it can produce the most benefit to patients.
VitaDAO’s Novel Organization
VitaDAO is permissionless — Any individual or organization can join VitaDAO. The cooperative structure of the organization relies on principles encoded into its structure. One of these principles is that no single entity — even a large one — can dictate or veto a decision against the will of the community.
On the technical level, VitaDAO is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) built around the principles of blockchain-based smart contracts and tokens. This means the rules and processes defining VitaDAO’s operation are publicly visible, automatically enforced and cannot be changed without a formal vote by the community. By using blockchain technology to decentralize power, the community as a whole owns, runs, and works for VitaDAO.
How we collaborate
As a decentralized organization, VitaDAO operates differently from traditional biotech organizations and institutions. There is no CEO, board, nor hierarchy of employees. Instead, we collaborate based on proposals put to a vote by the whole community. Anyone holding VITA, VitaDAO’s token, can vote on proposals, while anyone can discuss and submit them for consideration. The number of VITA tokens one owns determines how much voting power they have. While proposals are the fundamental basis for any decision, they can also entail a process to bundle decisions. For example, one of the first proposals to the community will be to task several internal and external partners with specific projects, such as biotech research and software development. VitaDAO could grant these partners autonomy to deliver an output within the proposal’s scope, while retaining oversight. This avoids vote overload by delegating minutiae and making community vote activity be more meaningful. Crucially, the community remains in control, since it can always overturn a proposal through a new proposal.
Inside VitaDAO are three major groups of contributors:
Vita Token Holders: anyone interested in VitaDAO’s activities, wanting to support the cause and holding at least one VITA token can govern the DAO by voting on proposals.
Contributors in working groups: anyone interested in further involvement and able to regularly commit time may express their interest to join a working group by filling out this form. Working groups consist of members, some with high availability, and a lead. Initial working groups are:
- Longevity research and IP
- Software development
Service providers: the DAO tasks service providers with a project or an ongoing role, such as lab work or software development. They provide support through their expertise and are in close collaboration with working groups. Contracted as legal entities, service providers are contributing valuable resources to the DAO, such as their teams’ competencies, networks, reputation and legal status. Initial service providers are:
- Molecule GmbH: architecture, operations, awareness, business development, genesis IP, IP NFT workflow, legal
- Decentralized Matter: communications, community management, marketing and DevOps
- Linum Labs AG: smart contract development and deployment support
- Keyko AG: tokenomics and system audit
- Curve Labs: governance and system audit
- Arctoris Ltd: contract research automation and R&D
- Scheibye-Knudsen Lab: biotech lab work and R&D
To be inclusive of all its stakeholders is a core principle of VitaDAO, so everyone involved in the project and anyone affected by its outcomes can get involved and have a say. Any person or organization can become a member by acquiring VitaDAO’s token. These can be gifted to reputable biotech researchers or relevant NGOs to incentivize participation — if the VitaDAO community passes a proposal to do so, earned by working for the DAO, or bought. Tokens are available for purchase through Gnosis Auction from June 18 at the genesis funding event, and later on through exchanges, such as Uniswap.
Formally, any person who owns at least 1 VITA token is officially a member. Membership comes with rights and responsibilities. Most important among them is the right and responsibility to understand, participate in, and vote on proposals, which are the fundamental basis of VitaDAO’s decentralized power structure. Furthermore, we ask every member to adhere to our Code of Conduct.
How we communicate
VitaDAO’s Token Holders use the following communication channels:
- Discourse: for proposals and their evaluation. To register, click here.
- Discord (public channels): for all announcements, community building, questions and suggestions, tips on longevity events, general discussions and, of course, memes. To register, click here.
- Twitter: for selected announcements and communication to the wider public.
- Newsletter: for the most important announcements.
- Community Calls: occasional talks and discussions. Follow our Discord/Twitter/newsletter to join our next call.
- Telegram: for selected announcements and short questions.
Our working groups use all of the communication channels mentioned above, plus these:
- Discord (private channels):for discussion and the actual work before a proposal gets published To join, first register here and then ask a member of the Service Team on Discord to invite you.
Note: Once a proposal draft is ready, it goes to the Discourse forum for public review, discussion and revision.
- AirTable: project and task management. To join, ask a member of the Service Team on Discord to invite you.
- Teleconference Tools: for discussing projects and individual tasks within a working group, each group uses a conference call tool of their choice. Additionally, we have an allworking group call which usually takes place Fridays, 16:00 CET. To join, ask your working group lead to invite you.
We recommend everyone at least subscribe to our newsletter and follow VitaDAO on Twitter, and keep a close eye on our Discourse forum to not miss out on discussing and voting on proposals. Finally, the right place for further discussions and to get more involved is our Discord.
Timeline and Launch
The launch of VitaDAO and its VITA token takes place from June 18, 2021. Once the DAO launches and our members have their VITA tokens, we are operational and can get to the actual work of accelerating longevity science.
To get started, a few initial proposals will come to a vote shortly after the launch in late June. These you can find on our Discourse forum. This includes our first research proposal with Scheibye-Knudsen-Lab at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and many more research proposals to follow after.
For more information on upcoming research proposals as well as a timeline of technical releases and other milestones, follow the roadmap on our website.
Getting Involved and Why You Should
VitaDAO is inviting everyone to get involved, no matter their discipline. The heart of VitaDAO is its longevity group of academics and professionals evaluating research proposals and IP. No matter whether you are a principal investigator or PhD student, we invite you to get in touch and we will be glad to individually advise you on collaboration that suits you and is worth your time. The same applies to anyone who wants to contribute to legal, governance, tokenomics, software development, operations or communications working groups.
Most people started their VitaDAO journey by watching a video, listening to a podcast or reading our blog before continuing the discussion in our Discourse and Discord (which are at first commonly confused, admittedly, but we all got there eventually). While following VitaDAO through Twitter and our newsletter is a good way to stay informed, the magic happens in our conversations on Discourse, Discord as well as on community calls.
After all, the whole VitaDAO community depends on its members, who initiate and decide on proposals. This means that you can have a major impact on VitaDAO’s future, no matter how much time you are willing to spend or where your expertise lies. VitaDAO’s future is all about extending yours. Sounds like a good reason to get involved, doesn’t it? We look forward to getting to know you in one of our channels.
If you would like to learn more about VitaDAO, we recommend the following resources:
- VitaDAO’s website and whitepaper
- VitaDAO’s Discourse forum with FAQs, proposals and other discussions
- VitaDAO’s Discord chat where the DAO communicates and collaborates
- VitaDAO’s Medium blog with articles on introducing VitaDAO, its first research project as well as interviews with Aubrey de Grey and Professor David M. Wilson III.
- “Longevity Meets Blockchain” with Aubrey de Grey and Vitalik Buterin