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RMIT Supports Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) Revitalising Precincts In The Melbourne CBD

RMIT Supports Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) Revitalising Precincts In The Melbourne CBD

A new report out of RMIT’s Blockchain Innovation Hub, Centre for Cyber Security Research and Innovation and the Digital Ethnography Research Centre has said Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs), including a Docklands DAO, could pilot a new type of digital economic infrastructure, revitalising precincts in Melbourne’s CBD.

 

This would see local retail, residential and commercial tenants come together to utilise an ecosystem that could aid all “stakeholders optimise resource allocation, increase efficiency and ultimately revitalise the city”.

 

 

Per RMIT, “The report — The Docklands DAO: Reimagining precincts in a digital CBD — aims to outline how Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) could benefit stakeholders in various CBD precincts impacted by the long-term effects of COVID-19 and hybrid working, by providing targeted economic stimulus, community governance and community engagement.”

 

A DAO is an entity with no central leadership, whereby decisions are made from the bottom-up, governed by a community organised around specific sets of rules, enforced on a blockchain. Popularised by decentralised finance (deFi), “where members buy governance tokens to vote on how the DAO operates and spends its money. At the end of 2021, DAOs had more than 1.6 million users globally, up from just 13,000 at the beginning of the year” per RMIT. 

 

The report’s author Dr Max Parasol from the RMIT’s Blockchain Innovation Hub said the Docklands would be an ideal precinct for the first proposed pilot and would empower local stakeholders to revitalise economic and cultural activity in the area.

 

“A Docklands DAO would encourage community buy-in and engagement as a way to regenerate the precinct,” he said.  

 

“The beauty of a DAO is that it provides greater levels of transparency, openness and democratic governance so every member of the DAO (the community) has a voice and voting power.

 

“DAOs are being successfully spun up around the world and now is the time to really stamp our mark not only as an emerging digital city but this is also a great opportunity to make the Docklands a thriving place to live, work and visit.”  he said.

 

The report identifies the key challenges for SMEs in the Docklands, including:

  • Retailers/food & beverage businesses can not forecast inventory and perishable stock due to large working-from-home populations;
  • The negative economic impact from tenant rental discounts and vacancies;
  • The Docklands is disconnected from Melbourne CBD

 

In rejuvenating Docklands and the CBD, it proposed a two-part plan:

 

Part 1 will propose a pilot for people flow and other data collections in the Docklands, assisting SMEs with their economic forecasting and inventory through anonymised local people traffic data being collected and analysed with clear metrics. This would aid stakeholders to understand property rental and ownership dynamics further, which would in turn assist in creating a rental market with “clearer working capital predictive models for retail, commercial and office tenants and landlords.”

 

Part 2 suggests the Docklands DAO would then become the gatekeeper of all collected data and utilise it to “ value-add to the precinct through generating cost reductions, optimising resource allocations and increasing efficiencies and opportunities, via information sharing, transparency, and community driven placemaking”. 

 

Following the interest of many central banks and governments abroad, including Australia’s, the report also suggests a “Docklands DAO digital currency” could be created, which could be easily converted to Australian dollars.

 

Co-Director of the Blockchain Innovation Hub, Distinguished Professor Jason Potts, said the second report, in a series of five reports, which will make up the Victorian government-funded Digital Infrastructure and Digital CBD Project, focuses on digital precincts and proposes “a big new idea for regeneration”. 

 

“The big idea is to build a new type of digital economic infrastructure – a DAO, or Decentralised Autonomous Organisation – that will create and manage a new local resource for the city data and will develop a new model for community participation and governance, not just of that data but of all the value that is discovered in that resource,” he said.

 

“While there is a novel technology aspect to what this report proposes, in reality, the technology is just a vehicle for a new approach to community-led and community-owned discovery of new resources and opportunities with which we can continuously reinvent the local economies that make up our cities, and that has never been more important than right now,” Potts said.

 

Very exciting developments in Australia for blockchain and cryptocurrency!

 

The Docklands DAO: Reimagining precincts in a digital CBD report, commissioned by the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF), is available for download from 7 April, 2022.

 

The first report was published on 1 December, 2021 and is available for download.. The remaining reports will be published over the coming months.

 

About the project:

RMIT Research Centres – the Blockchain Innovation Hub, Centre for Cyber Security Research and Innovation and the Digital Ethnography Research Centre — have come together to conduct large-scale research into the acceleration of digital technology directly impacted by Covid-19 and consequently, the opportunity areas for a digital CBD.

More information: https://www.rmit.edu.au/digitalcbd

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