Llama: Economic Infrastructure for DAOs

This post was originally published on Llama’s Mirror blog.

More complex behavior has moved to the digital world, but our tools to coordinate in a digitally-native way haven’t evolved at the same pace. DAOs are the defining coordination mechanism of humanity. They champion values of decentralization, programmability, and community ownership. Llama aims to be at the forefront of this innovation by building infrastructure that helps DAOs flourish.

DAOs enable communities to encode decision-making and transparently govern over a shared pool of resources, i.e. a community treasury. Over the past year, Llama has worked with some of the most prominent DAOs including Aave, Uniswap, Gitcoin, PoolTogether, Fei Protocol, Index Coop, FWB, among others. We’ve helped them develop treasury strategies, design liquidity programs, construct on-chain indices, and build dashboards and financial reports.

Through our work, we have established best practices for DAO to DAO relationships. We do not view ourselves as external parties, but rather as active contributors within the DAOs we work with. While the boundaries of a B2B relationship are strict, the boundaries of a D2D relationship are fluid. We encourage our community members to own our partners’ native tokens and be active participants in their governance programs. A Llama <> Aave treasury working group should attract the best within both Llama and Aave to help allocate Aave’s treasury effectively.

Contributors are at the heart of what makes Llama special. We have 35 contributors who operate by a set of shared values:

  • Pack animals: Llamas trust each other and generously give credit where it’s due.
  • Experimentation: Llamas move fast and experiment.
  • Optimism: Llamas believe that the future is malleable. Anything that isn’t impossible according to the laws of physics is possible with sufficient knowledge.
  • Rigor: Work done by llamas is of the highest quality.

We continuously monitor community health by tracking various KPIs. DAOs enable fluidity of contribution and collaboration, which means it’s often much easier to attract top talent than it is to retain it. At Llama, we seek to attract and retain the best talent and consider contributor retention an important KPI. Our metrics include:

  • % of contributors who are active
  • % of contributors retained after 3 months
  • Time between joining DAO & first contribution
  • Time between first contribution & payment

The Future of Llama

To date, our focus has been on customized treasury solutions. This has allowed us to identify generalizable problems across communities and develop frameworks for important treasury actions such as stablecoin diversification, liquidity incentives, token swaps, and more. We are now building workflows that enable communities to allocate their treasuries effectively and assess results. We are building economic infrastructure for DAOs.

As Llama enters a new chapter, we want this new direction to be reflected in our visual identity. We worked with VectorDAO to refresh our brand, color palette, and website.

llamas gmi

Treasuries require innovation, not just management. Rather than sitting idle, they should be used to catalyze growth, sustain communities, and advance the DAO economy. We are building infrastructure that unlocks this potential.

We are growing our full-time team, our community, and the DAOs we work with.

  • If you are an engineer interested in DAOs, email jobs@llama.xyz.
  • If you have financial expertise and want to join the Llama community, apply here.
  • If you are part of a DAO that wants to collaborate with us, fill out this form.

Thanks to Austin Green, Daniel Schlabach, and Elliott Watts for providing feedback on this post.