CityDAO Transition


I will be transitioning the few CityDAO assets I manage to new owners and ending my leadership involvement with CityDAO aside from voting in proposals as a Citizen.

CityDAO Transition

Friends and Citizens,

Over the last 3 years, it has become increasingly clear to me that we can’t agree on a path forward for CityDAO. We came together around buying land in Wyoming and building the blockchain-enabled city of the future, and while we were united by that grand vision, we couldn’t find alignment on any of the smaller steps needed to get there. The long story short is I will be transitioning the few CityDAO assets that I manage and maintain KYC for to new leadership.

Coming to this decision was agonizing and happened slowly over the years as it became increasingly clear that it was going to be impossible for me to inspire enough confidence in my ideas and proposals to make something big happen. One of my first attempts to improve Parcel 0 by putting modular Jupe houses on it was met with pushback from the community. That was the first time I started to realize that I wouldn’t be able to manifest my vision at CityDAO.

My next proposal, a collaboration with Josh to buy a DAO-owned house in Denver was also handily rejected, lacking the support of our large international community that saw it as distant and impractical (some members of the community even went as far to suggest it would be my personal CityDAO-funded ski house).

A few months later, I moved to New York briefly and watched as Brooklyn was blooming into a crypto-capital. I proposed buying a parcel of land there that could become a CityDAO community space. After that proposal languished, I heard feedback that Citizens didn’t see a path for a sustainable business model and wanted a way for the DAO to earn income. Building on that idea, I proposed that we buy an income-generating property, but that too, was rejected.

Next up was the proposal I was most optimistic about: City Hall. It advocated buying a space in Denver that would serve as a co-working hub and HQ for Citizens right next to the ETH Denver venue. It would have been a yearly spot for us to collaborate in person and co-work throughout the year. It would have been the most significant DAO-owned property to date and show the world a new model for property ownership.

One of my learnings from that initial string of rejections was that it was difficult to amass support for projects that are geographically centered in one area with such a widely distributed group of Citizens. To remedy that, I proposed CityDAO Districts, where we split up into smaller clusters based on distance and buy properties that would make up the CityDAO Network State.

After another rejection, I regrouped and came back to propose my final and most recent initiative, CityDAO Compute. This proposal was an attempt to rally the DAO around building a GPU training cluster in our home state of Wyoming where electricity is cheap and take advantage of the growing need for compute for training AI models. After all these failed attempts, a familiar quote comes to mind:

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

In that spirit, It’s time to stop doing the same thing over and over. A fundamental problem with the DAO model is that the burden falls on he who dares act. The builder who has a vision or goal has no agency and must continually seek the approval of the group. This creates an environment where builders can’t build - instead they have to politick. Vitalik cautioned that many such groups are vetocracies - where by default the answer is no and the most likely outcome is for the status quo to continue.

I am hopeful that someone can fill my shoes - perhaps someone who is a more compelling visionary or leader. Someone with a better plan, someone who can devote more time to the project.

July 2nd marks the 3rd year anniversary of CityDAO, and that is when I will formally step back and let others take the reins on all fronts. As part of this transition, I will be sunsetting or transferring assets I manage to new owners - everything from the Discord, Twitter, Wyoming legal entity, Wells Fargo, and Coinbase off ramp. Until then I will be available for questions, to discuss the transition, and to vote on any proposals that happen before July 2nd.

In our last couple months together, I intend to work with David and the Council to make the transition as smooth as possible.


Transition Plan for each asset

  • Wyoming LLC
    Will be shut down by July 2nd and assets transferred to a new entity owned by the Council. If no entity exists, the three land parcels will be sold.

  • Wells Fargo
    Will be shut down by July 2nd.

  • Off ramps (Coinbase, SDM)
    Will be shut down by July 2nd.

  • Discord
    Will be transferred to the council designated representative as long as Scott agrees with the nomination

  • Twitter
    Will be transferred to the council designated representative as long as Scott agrees with the nomination

  • Discourse
    Will be transferred to the council designated representative as long as Scott agrees with the nomination


Thanks for all you have done, building this entity from nothing and accomplishing what you did is no small feat. This is a huge loss for the DAO, and hopefully a catalyst to show that we need to end our stagnation to avoid fading into obscurity. Best of luck!


Sad to read it tbh.

I have missed most of your proposals that are looks really good for me by now.

As I remember, I have always been the one who vote pro land related stuff.

I do not understand why someone much more clever than me have not proposed representative democracy as soon as DAO was created. You lost my vote because it was impossible for me to vote directly.

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Thank you for your leadership. It’s clear you put a lot of time and effort into this and I hope you think of us when you’ve moved on to the next thing.


“ It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” *—Confucius.

Thank you, Scott! Your leadership and logistics are impressive and visionary. Patience with yourself and others are virtues. Hope seeing you around! :city_sunset:

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I think this is the appropriate time to end the experiment. It’s been an interesting ride.

Transitioning the real world stuff is no small feat and bound to be difficult and contentious. We’ve all learned a lot through this experiment, and there’s no shame in winding this down. It’s better to come to a controlled stop than to dwindle away into irrelevance over the next several years. We tried some things out, some worked, some didn’t. Citizens should take their experience, what you learned, what frustrated you, and pour that into new things, whether they’re related to land and real world assets or whatever else inspires you.

The longer the experiment continues the more fractured we get with people’s interests and becomes harder to align ourselves and execute. I don’t want to see talent and energy wasted. We learned governance is hard, especially when it comes to real world assets with physical locations. If we were to start over we would make some changes from the start, but we didn’t know what we know now.

Sell (donate) all the land.
Move the value onchain (if donated, do nothing).
Dissolve the LLC.
Stop all services/subscriptions/forum/discord/website
Convert the treasury to eth.
Distribute eth to NFT holders pro rata.


I’m generally in agreement with everything you have said, except I’m curious if the gas price of distribution would be high or if that’s why we convert it all to eth. Serious question.

I’m aligned on this.

Most of the things you mentioned will be happening, but we will need a DAO vote to return the funds and I’m just not sure if people will vote for it


I’d assume eth is the cheapest since it’s native. Just feels like the right thing to do to distribute eth. The cost is what it costs, if it costs 3 eth, that shouldn’t stop the process.

Honestly executing it, whether it’s through a multisender app, gnosis module, or custom contract still takes enough effort and care to not screw it up.

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Scott, this is difficult to read. It is a shame that what started as such a communal endeavor has devolved into a lot of argument and paralysis of movement. While some DAOs seem successful, there is a long list of dysfunctional ones. It is clear to me that while DAOs still have a future, there is just a lot more that needs to be in place than a token and a vote, and even more must be in place when the goal is less tangible (like building a city). That is a long-winded way of saying I don’t think you did anything wrong; it was built into the structure or incentives. So you should not take it personally. I think you are a fine leader with a real vision, for which I am very thankful.

You have to put it to a vote for distribution. Given gas prices—and I am not sure just how much it would add up to—it would result in a lot of waste and might not really make sense to do that, for that reason alone.

This was my point @alexthims . It seemed like I remember the quote for gas for parcel zero somewhere in the high six figures range, which is why we chose to do a claim. We could do the same for the liquidation.
Just a thought.

I’m aligned on this as well. Sell the land. Convert everything to ETH or USDC. The only question for me is how we distribute the funds to everyone. I had a similar idea, which would be

  1. Take a snapshot of all NFT holders. No NFT purchases after will count.
  2. Sell the land and convert everything to USDC.
  3. Any citizen can exchange their NFT for $1000 each.
  4. After three months, any remaining funds will be given to Scott to donate to a charity.
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Another option to consider is bridging to an L2. Gas prices won’t be that high if done at once. Then, distribute from there. Blobs to the rescue.

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I think this is a solid plan. One thing to is how much should be issued to each unique person - if everyone claimed at $1,000 that would be $8,000,000 since there are about 8k outstanding NFTs.

Here’s some data I found:

Total outstanding NFTs: 8,109 (CityDAO Treasury holds the rest)

Total Unique Holders: 4.8k

Treasury Value: $2.6m

To be safe and ensure everyone could claim, I’d propose 2600000/8109 = $320 claim per NFT. There would definitely be unclaimed money we’d have to donate at the end though.

  • Even with gas fees, I think that’s very reasonable for people. Gas would probably be $1 - $15 I believe
  • There is another option where we simply airdrop the returned amount to everyone, that way there is no leftovers.

Should split up the treasury and parcel 0, so citizen NFTs can claim from the treasury and parcel 0 NFTs can claim from the sale of the parcel.

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It’s a bit sad reading this thread from Scott, but his reasons are understandable. Btw I hope there will be someone else which will get the leadership to keep the project alive.

If it not happens, I agree with Da3vid proposal, but instead of a fixed amount (like 1000$ or 320 as proposed), it could be possible to open an “application period” window of 30/60 days, where all the citizens can apply for the redeem. after the period is ended, the total amount of citizen it could be taken from all the ppl who applied and the treasury can be splitted between them. In this way the amount is not fixed, but it depends on how many citizen applied.

It can also be possible to calculate a % of amount to donate at a charity, before the split.

For example:
Treasury is 2.6 M.
Charity is let’s say 10%: so 260k
Now let’s say 2000 citizens apply for the redeem, then each citizen gets (2.6 M - 260k) / 2000 = 1170$
Assuming 8000 citizens apply for the redeem, then each citizen gets (2.6M - 260k) / 8000 = 292,5$

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The snapshot date should be 22.03.2024. To ensure that there is no manipulation from now on.


I suggested a higher price (my original thought was $600) to incentivize people to get this done, first come first served, rather than waiting until the last couple days of the “trade-in period” and then demanding their money asap. I figure at least 10-20% of NFT holders simply aren’t paying attention.

If we are going to do this, snapshot date should be at least a couple of days before this proposal and distribution should be quadratic.

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As a Founding Citizen representative of the current council, they mostly object to the burning the ship idea.
To me, it’s as if killing the ex-gf just because she doesn’t love you anymore.