How Many DAOs Are There in 2023?

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For all of you new crypto explorers looking for answers on how many DAO projects exist in the web3 universe, we got you covered.  

As you should already know, a DAO, short for Decetrilizerd Anonymus Organization, is like a digital project run by a group of people (community) that works together to make decisions and take actions without a central authority, like a government or a company boss. Instead, it uses computer programs called smart contracts to automatically carry out tasks and make sure everyone follows the rules.

We’ve covered some essential statistics and growth trends in previous articles but decided to dig deeper into the number of DAOs. 

The first mentions of this concept by crypto space opinion makers started in 2013-2014. Around the same time DAO market saw “The DAO” project sensation that raised over $150 million in crowdfunding. However, it almost immediately got hacked and shut down. 

DAOs got more traction during the last crypto bull run that began in the middle of 2020 and lasted until late 2021. 

  • Today, as of June 21st, 2023, more than 12,700 DAO organizations have been created within the Web3 ecosystem (source).

It seems like a lot, but as in any new industry, you must understand that only some of these organizations are active (popular), and some launched recently. To draw an analogy, think of it as many websites on the web. You have some popular sites, but some still need to be discovered and get visitors.  

  • The number of DAOs showing at least minimum activity (>=1 proposal, proposal = idea that a community member wants the DAO to consider) reached over 6,000 as of June 2022 (source). 
  • Also, over 65% of all the activity comes from just 10% of DAOs, basically all the top projects (source).  
Number of DAOs with 1+ proposals graph

Note: The crypto space is evolving fast, and these numbers will slightly fluctuate as new projects launch and others close down.  

The above info gives you some basic idea of where DAO vertical stands. Now let’s research this information further.  

How many DAOs exist under different categories 

DAOs come in all shapes and forms, and there is no perfect system to sort them out. But most DAO tracking resources highlight the most popular types of projects that apply this idea.

For example, the decentralized finances category is where DAO theory is used the most, with 45% of projects spinning around DeFi protocols, investments, and grants

Popular DAOs categories

Research is done based on 550 DAOs, and one DAO can belong to multiple categories (source).

Let’s examine the number of DAOs under various categories: DeFi, NFTs, Infrastructure, Tools, Art & Culture, Investments, and Gaming.  

The following data come from DAO tracking activity resources and   

How many DAOs are under the DeFi category

DeFi, which stands for Decentralized Finance, is like a digital system that allows people to do financial activities, such as borrowing and lending money or trading assets, without needing a bank or a traditional financial institution. Instead, it uses computer programs called smart contracts to handle these activities automatically.

As of June 2023, there are 411 DAO projects concentrated around DeFi vertical (tracked by Deepdao).  

How many DAOs are created in the NFT space

Non-fungible token (NFT) – a type of crypto token representing a unique or non-fungible digital asset that can’t be replaced. For example, any in-game items and digital art. 

These DAOs primarily focus on collecting (buying) and curating valuable digital assets, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), artwork, or other digital collectibles. 

As of June 2023, 132 DAO projects are connected in some way to NFT vertical (tracked by Messari). 

» Interesting read: NFTs statistics and trends

How many infrastructure DAO projects are there 

Infrastructure DAOs are projects that focus on improving and taking care of essential things in a DAO community. “Infrastructure” refers to the basic things that help a community function smoothly. The projects include protocols or blockchain platforms (e.g., Arbitrum and Optimism) and services (e.g., zkDAO and Galaxe). 

As of June 2023, 51 DAO projects work on infrastructure features (tracked by Messari).

How many DAO tool projects are there

A DAO Tool project is like a digital toolbox or set of tools that help people manage and organize their decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). It provides different software and resources that make it easier for people to create, operate, and make decisions.

As of June 2023, 78 DAO projects are working on DAO tool improvements (tracked by Messari). 

How many art & culture DAO projects are there

An Art & Culture DAO project is a digital community that supports and promotes craftworks. It brings together people passionate about different art forms, such as painting, music, dance, writing, etc.

As of June 2023, 81 art and culture DAO projects (tracked by Messari). 

How many investment DAOs are there

These DAOs bring together groups of people who pool their resources and expertise to identify investment opportunities. They allow individuals to participate in investing practices, diversify risk, and potentially generate returns through a decentralized and community-driven approach. Many DAOs get funded via these organizations. 

As of June 2023, there are 116 Investment DAO projects (tracked by Messari). 

How many gaming DAOs are there 

A Gaming DAO project is a digital club or community where people who love playing develop games come together to have fun, collaborate, and make decisions about gaming-related activities. It’s a way for gamers to connect and create their gaming community.

As of June 2023, there are 92 gaming DAO projects (tracked by Deepdao).

» Interesting read: Blockchain gaming statistics


In conclusion, the number of DAOs has multiplied in recent years. 

As blockchain technology and smart contract platforms have gained popularity, more and more communities and groups are leveraging the power of DAOs to collaborate, make decisions, and govern their decentralized activities. 

While providing an exact count of how many DAOs exist is challenging, we can only rely on the tracking tools mentioned in this article to get a rough idea.

The rise of DAOs signifies a shift towards a more inclusive, transparent, and participatory approach to organizing and decision-making. We expect to see even more innovative and impactful DAOs as the ecosystem evolves.

Article by
Artem Minaev