Can a DAO be held liable for the actions of its members or participants?

Select jurisdiction

  • Germany
  • Poland


Basically, DAOs can be held liable for the actions of persons with a certain relation to the
DAO. As there are no specific DAO-related regulations, the general civil law rules on liability

If the DAO qualifies as a company from a civil law perspective, the legal relationship between
the DAO and the member is mainly based on corporate law. Therefore, the liability of the
DAO results basically from this legal relationship. 
If the DAO does not qualify as a company, it nevertheless can be held liable according to the
general civil law rules. The same applies regarding other participants, who are not members of the DAO. 

In short, the liability of the DAO for the actions of its members and participants is basically
possible, but regarding the current practice it does not play a relevant role. However, as the
liability depends highly on the circumstances of the given case, this may change in the

Zsofia Vig

Banking and Capital Markets Law (DeFi/Web3, Crypto in general, tokenized Securities)


Traditional legal entities, such as corporations and partnerships, can be held liable for the actions of their employees or members under certain circumstances. However, the decentralized nature of DAOs and their lack of a centralized management structure make it unclear whether and to what extent a DAO could be held liable for the actions of its members or participants in Polish jurisdiction.

In some cases, individual members or participants of a DAO might be held personally liable for their actions, especially if they engage in illegal activities or breach applicable regulations. However, holding a DAO itself liable for such actions might be more complicated due to the unique characteristics of decentralized organizations.

Maciej Niezgoda

Intellectual Property, Data Protection, DeFi, Fintech, AML

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