Do laws regarding consumer protection apply to transactions made through a DAO?

Select jurisdiction

  • Germany
  • Poland


Whether laws regarding consumer protection apply, depends on the circumstances of the each case. In Germany, several relevant consumer protection regulations are incorporated in the Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch – BGB). These regulations apply if the given transaction falls within their material and personal scope. This requires, on the one hand, that the given transaction can be regarded as a specific customer contract (see also § 312 BGB). This is e.g. the case when the transaction qualifies as a distance contract as defined in § 312c BGB or as a consumer loan as defined in § 491 BGB. 

On the other hand, both the DAO and the other party must fulfill specific requirements in relation to the given transaction. Hence, one of the parties must be regarded as an entrepreneur as defined in § 14 BGB, while the other party must qualify as a consumer as defined in § 13 BGB. Whether a contractual party qualifies as a customer or an entrepreneur, depends basically on whether the given transaction is related to its business activities. In this regard, it makes no difference whether the DAO or the other party acts as a consumer. Depending on the given transaction, it is basically possible that the DAO can be regarded as a consumer. However, the practical relevance of this question still requires further monitoring.

Zsofia Vig

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


In cases where a DAO operates a platform offering goods or services to consumers, it is likely that Polish consumer protection laws would apply. Some of the key aspects of consumer protection in Poland include:

1. Contractual rights: Consumers have certain rights under Polish law when entering into
contracts, such as the right to receive clear and accurate information about the terms and
conditions of the contract, and the right to withdraw from the contract within a specific time frame under certain circumstances.

2. Product liability: If a DAO is involved in selling goods, it may be subject to product liability
regulations, which hold sellers and manufacturers responsible for the safety and quality of
their products.

3. Unfair commercial practices: DAOs involved in consumer transactions should comply with
regulations prohibiting unfair commercial practices, which include misleading advertising,
aggressive sales techniques, and other practices that may harm consumers.

It is important to note that the decentralized nature of a DAO can make it challenging to enforce consumer protection laws and hold responsible parties accountable. However, as the legal landscape evolves, further guidance on how consumer protection laws apply to DAOs in Polish jurisdiction may emerge.

Maciej Niezgoda

Intellectual Property, Data Protection, DeFi, Fintech, AML

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