Can a DAO be required to disclose information to regulatory bodies or the public?
As currently no specific DAO-related rules on publicity obligations exist, the general laws apply. This means that a DAO is obliged to disclose information only if it falls within the scope of general laws that impose such obligations. Whether a DAO falls within the scope of general laws depends on the single case, in particular on the structure and activities of the DAO.
Depending on the legal structure of the DAO, publicity obligations based on commercial and corporate law may apply. E. g. if the DAO qualifies as a general partnership (offene
Handelsgesellschaft – OHG), it is required to register with the Commercial Register Court and
hence disclose basic data to the public, e. g. its business address and the name of its
members. If the DAO offers financial instruments (e. g. securities) to the public, it may be subject to the relevant securities information obligations, in particular to the obligation to publish a prospectus. However, if the DAO offers financial instruments only to its members, the offer may not be regarded as public. Further obligations may arise from anti money laundering law (AML), data protection regulations and criminal procedure law.
Furthermore, if the DAO applies for a license, it is required to provide the competent authority
with certain information. If the required information is not disclosed, the application will
usually be declined. Regardless of whether this information requirement can be regarded as an explicit legal obligation, from a practical point of view it may have similar implications.
Depending on the nature of the DAO’s activities and its involvement in regulated industries, it might be subject to certain disclosure requirements under existing Polish laws and regulations. Some instances where a DAO could be required to disclose information include:
1. Securities regulations: If a DAO issues tokens or other digital assets that are considered
securities under Polish law, it may be required to provide detailed and accurate information
about the offering to investors and regulatory authorities, such as the Polish Financial
Supervision Authority (KNF).
2. Financial services: If a DAO is involved in providing financial services or products that are
subject to financial regulations, it may need to comply with certain disclosure and reporting
requirements related to its operations, financial condition, and risk management practices.
3. Taxation and anti-money laundering (AML): If a DAO falls under the scope of taxation or AML
regulations, it may be required to provide information about its financial transactions,
participants, and beneficial owners to the relevant authorities.
4. Data protection and privacy: If a DAO processes personal data, it may be subject to data
protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which
require organizations to provide information about their data processing activities to
individuals and regulatory authorities.