Man sitting in living room in armchair holding mirror ball listening to music

How to navigate the tax and legal risk associated with DAOs

In this episode of the Tax and Law in Focus podcast, we explore how DAO members can navigate the tax and legal complexity associated with this novel way of conducting business.

This edition of the EY Tax and Law in Focus podcast, led by host Susannah Streeter, delves into the burgeoning world of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). With insights from Dennis Post, EY Global Blockchain Tax Leader, Thomas Shea, EY Americas Financial Services Crypto Tax Leader, and Darko Stefanoski, EY Digital Law Leader, Financial Services, Ernst & Young AG, the episode navigates the innovative yet complex landscape of DAOs.

It explores the potential of DAOs to democratize business operations and the inherent risks and rewards within the volatile crypto market. The panel examines the intricate tapestry of tax events and legal considerations specific to DAOs, highlighting the need for meticulous, case-by-case analysis.

The episode also addresses the current regulatory environment, suggesting a collaborative path for developing clear, supportive frameworks. Emphasizing the delicate balance between maintaining decentralization and adhering to compliance, this podcast is an insightful exploration for entities looking to adapt to the DAO-centric future of business and governance.

Key takeaways:

  • Decentralized decision-making: DAOs disrupt traditional business models with their transparent, democratic, and agile structure, facilitating global, barrier-free participation.
  • Financial considerations: Investing in DAOs involves potential gains but also risks, given the market's volatility.
  • Emerging regulation: Legal and tax frameworks for DAOs are nascent and diverse, with jurisdictions exploring different regulatory approaches.
  • Tax challenges: Taxable events in DAO operations are multifaceted and require careful examination due to the nuanced and evolving nature of DAOs.
  • Regulatory collaboration: DAOs must navigate between decentralization and regulatory compliance, urging cooperation between the industry and regulators to foster innovation.


Susannah Streeter

International broadcaster and financial analyst


Episode 15


0h 46m 13s