Are DAOs subject to criminal law?

Select jurisdiction

  • Italy
  • United States


Under Italian Law, corporate criminal liability is
established by Legislative Decree no. 231/2001 (the
“Decree”) which applies to entities with legal personality,
as well as to companies and associations, including those
without legal personality. However, as of today, there are
no laws or regulations regarding the legal status of DAOs,
nor they are expressly included within the scope of the
Decree. Nevertheless, should it be possible to
incorporate a DAO as one of the entities types to which
the Decree applies, then it would be subject to criminal

Lydia Mendola

IP lawyer

United States

The simple answer is yes. Any criminal intent is subject to criminal law. In many jurisdictions if
the DAO is unincorporated, each member could be charged on conspiracy charges, which are
highly penalized.

Joshua Hale


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