The term Dao is best known as a Chinese spiritual and philosophical tradition that promotes harmony with all things. In this context it is defined as a “way”or “path” that engenders a life that flows naturally without being forced.
Then there is the acronym DAO, which is short for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, a rapidly emerging word within the decentralized technologies space. Here we are referring to a universal shared network of individuals who engage online in an intentional path of work, cooperation, and wealth generation. And to add to the confusion, the term The DAO refers to a support platform for Ethereum-related projects, a dense cache of smart contracts written on the Ethereum blockchain. But more on The DAO later.
Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum is generally credited with jump-starting the recent popularity in DAOs. According to his blog post of May 6, 2014, wherein he defines DAOs, DACs, DAs and more.
The ideal of a decentralized autonomous organization is easy to describe: it is an entity that lives on the internet and exists autonomously, but also heavily relies on hiring individuals to perform certain tasks that the automaton itself cannot do.