The decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem MANTRA DAO has begun releasing a weekly series of reality-TV-style episodes following the daily operations of their Hong Kong HQ. Three episodes have been produced and are available on MANTRA DAO’s A Week in the Life YouTube channel.
MANTRA DAO operates as a decentralized autonomous organization that offers financial services for a burgeoning crypto community. Set apart from the world of traditional finance and central banking, the organization participates in a larger movement to “go bankless” and pursue financial systems untethered from central authorities and intermediaries by utilizing distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) including blockchains such as Ethereum, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, HECO, and Solana.
Technology Changing the Face of Financial Organizations
Blockchains allow for transactions to be made with the highest guarantee of security, immutability, and transparency. These are guarantees which the current internet cannot deliver. Additionally, these are guarantees that governments, central banks, and financial institutions have shown some measure of disregard for during and since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
By harnessing the power of blockchains and similar technologies, ecosystems like MANTRA DAO can offer financial services run entirely by code, avoiding a host of problems that arise when humans are running the show. These codes are known as smart contracts, and they help run the applications that make this new sector of finance, DeFi, possible.
Through these smart contracts, MANTRA DAO’s users can borrow, lend, and yield more tokens from staking their crypto (akin to depositing money with a traditional bank, but at a much higher rate of return than can be offered by traditional finance today). All of these actions can be performed in a trustless and non-custodial financial environment where code is law, and investors are guaranteed an even playing field.
As their website asserts, “MANTRA DAO gives financial control back to the people to store and grow wealth together,” and this ethos dictates the governance of the ecosystem as well.
MANTRA DAO Empowering Its Users Worldwide
MANTRA DAO not only takes advantage of blockchain technology to help create a decentralized and fair financial ecosystem; they are helping redefine how organizations work from the bottom up.
As a decentralized autonomous organization, the vertical corporate planogram of yesteryear has been flattened into a democratic system where users who participate in MANTRA DAO’s ecosystem are given equal control over the direction and future of the DAO.
Proposals for organizational changes, as well as votes on these proposals, are dependent on users holding MANTRA DAO’s governance token, $OM, and users can be located anywhere in the world as they help decide MANTRA DAO’s future.
Further Transparency Made Possible Through Reality TV
What exactly goes on within the offices of an organization sans corporate hierarchy, where big decisions are made by a worldwide community, and where financial services are run by code?
The released episodes have been shot mostly inside the MANTRA DAO offices but include some snapshots of life in Hong Kong as Co-Founders John Patrick Mullin, Will Corkin, and Rodrigo Quan can be seen making calls, holding meetings, and enjoying some after-work nightlife after long days that keep them dealing with teams around the world and clients in the office until after dark.
Each video is peppered with pop-ups that mix the informative, such as explaining basic DeFi terms that crop up in conversations, with the light-hearted: at one point poking fun at Mullin for having forgotten that a competing money market, AAVE, already exists on the Polygon network.
Describing the reasons for producing a reality TV show set in the office of a DeFi DAO, Mullin explains in the first installment that:
“Our goal is to lift the veil a little bit. Show the good, the bad, the ugly, and not really pull any punches.”
Based on YouTube comments left by viewers from the MANTRA DAO community, this nod towards transparency has been well received.
While some of the discussion can be overly technical for those unfamiliar with MANTRA DAO or DeFi (even clients need some finer points explained during meetings), anyone interested in entrepreneurship or how DAOs operate will find something to take away from each week condensed into half-hour episodes.
More episodes are expected to be released each Monday evening (Asia hours), and, in the spirit of a DAO, community feedback will continue to shape the content of future releases.