Can a DAO be held accountable for breaches of corporate governance?

Select jurisdiction

  • Germany
  • Italy


Yes, the German Administrative Offenses Act (OWiG) regulates fines in Section 30 OWiG. This covers, in particular, breaches of management by which (1) obligations of the DAO have been breached and by which (2) third parties have been injured or the DAO has been or was intended to be enriched.

Phil Hamacher

Insolvency, Tax, Crypto, DAO


legal status of DAOs; therefore no specific corporate
governance rules are applicable other than those
decided by the founders/members of a DAO and set
forth within the applicable smart contract. Then, those
rules will be implemented automatically based on the
inputs entered into the applicable smart contract.
Moreover, (i) DAOs are characterized by a
decentralized management and governance; and (ii) it
is and it will be a matter of debate and discussion
whether a DAO can be incorporated in one or more of
the legal entities types provided by the Italian Civil
Code (e.g., companies, partnerships, associations). In
light of all the foregoing, whether a specific regulation

concerning the legal status of DAOs would be issued
and unless said regulation would provide a clear
response to this question, DAOs liability for breaches
of the applicable corporate governance rules (if any)
will be a matter of debate.

Lydia Mendola

IP lawyer

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