Cover photo

Decentralizing Hats with a protoDAO

A look at how we're incubating the protoDAO, how to get involved, and what's coming next:

We are building Hats Protocol to be a digital public utility: credibly neutral infrastructure to serve as the roles & permissioning layer for the next era of organizations built on the internet. 

This is why we are incubating Hats protoDAO as part of our commitment to creating a truly decentralized organization that can govern the Hats Protocol commons for decades to come.

Now in its third season, Hats protoDAO includes 38 stewards from leading onchain organizations that are using Hats Protocol, building with it, and contributing to the Hats ecosystem, along with 60 contributors who have been recognized and rewarded for the value they’ve created.

Here are some of the highlights from the past two seasons of the protoDAO, a preview of what’s ahead, and how you can get involved.

Many Ways to Participate: Hats Contribution Zones

The Hats ecosystem is divided into distinct contribution zones, each playing a vital role in the growth and sustainability of Hats protoDAO. 

The distinct contribution zones of Hats protoDAO

Stewards: Hats Stewards collectively govern the shared resources of Hats protoDAO, support the progressive decentralization of the project, and advance the adoption and growth of the Hats Protocol ecosystem. 

Selection of organizations represented in Hats protoDAO

We are honored to have an incredible set of Stewards, including from organizations like Charmverse, Coordinape, 0xFoster, Gnosis Guild, LexDAO, MakerDAO, Purple, Radworks, RaidGuild, RareDAO, ReHash, SafeDAO, Sobol, Tally, and more. 

Interested in becoming a Steward? Applications to become a Steward will open once again in late August before Season 4 starts in September.

Contributors: Anyone can make and submit contributions to the protoDAO and receive REP for the value they created. There are more opportunities to contribute to Hats protoDAO than ever before, whether it's creating new modules, integrating Hats with other protocols, or creating content. 

Notable contributions receiving protoREP in Season 2 include:

Check out available contribution opportunities on our Charmverse page (but you’ll have to claim your community member hat first to access).

Community Members: Claim your Community Member hat to receive access to the Hats Community Charmverse, Wiki, and Telegram group where 200+ Hats Community Members are sharing updates and demos of their cutting-edge Hats trees.

See these hats, along with their responsibilities and authorities, at

Progressive Decentralization: Continually Pulsing Authorities to the protoDAO

Since we launched the protoDAO in September 2023 with 18 founding stewards (voting members of the protoDAO), we have been building the foundations of a strong network and effective mechanisms that will serve as the basis for what we believe will become a world-class DAO. 

It is a “protoDAO” because it is not yet a true DAO. The protoDAO is currently a branch within the Haberdasher Labs hats tree. Haberdasher Labs is a legal entity contributing to the development of Hats Protocol and its ecosystem, and currently retains control over the Hats protoDAO. Each season, the protoDAO proposes and gains new authorities (via its hat, of course) as the project progressively decentralizes. This will continue until there are no more authorities to grant, at which point protocol governance will be fully decentralized and the protoDAO will have become a true DAO.

New authorities are progressively pulsed to the protoDAO

Over the course of the first two seasons, authorities that have been granted to the protoDAO include: 

  • Distribute Hats protoREP

  • Maintain the Hats Modules Registry

  • Endorse and publish Hats ecosystem data standards

  • Endorse and publish official Hats events

  • Create individual roles within the protoDAO to advance one of the strategic priorities of the current season

These specific authorities exist in addition to components that are already available for open-source contribution and permissionless usage across the Hats Protocol Stack, as seen in the graphic below.

An overview of what’s already in the commons across the Hats Protocol Stack

What’s Coming Next: Key protoDAO Initiatives for Season 3

Now entering Season 3, the protoDAO is actively engaged in several key initiatives:

  • Dogfooding Hats: We use our own protocol to experiment with new structures and test new features and integrations.

  • Permissionless Role Staking & Hat Creation Process: We’re experimenting with staking as a key accountability mechanism while leaning into permissionlessness and emergence, enabling Stewards to stake protoDAO voting shares to claim a hat that gives them special privileges, including the power to define their own hats and co-create the protoDAO structure

  • Farcaster Channel Curation by Stewards: Using Hats FarcasterDelegator to collectively curate the /hatsprotocol Farcaster channel and share casting rights on a Hats protoDAO Farcaster account

  • Decentralized Compensation Mechanism: Incorporating Farcaster tipping and codifying the mechanisms by which Hats builders and contributors are recognized and rewarded

  • Deploying DAO Operations Tooling to increase steward accountability and more effectively measure contributor value creation

How to Get Involved

Join us as we strive to create and steward the best possible primitive for programmable organizations, and explore and curate the vast design space of how to use the protocol to solve real problems.

Join the Hats Community: Claim your Community Member hat here and contribute to the growing /hatsprotocol channel on Farcaster.

Make contributions, earn protoREP: Submit your Hats projects, integrations, or other contributions to the protoDAO to earn protoREP: onchain reputation points that convert to voting power when you become a Steward.

Attend monthly Hats town halls & deep dives. Subscribe to get all Hats events added to your calendar.

We believe in a future where organizations are permissionless, global, and censorship-resistant. And we believe that the next era of organizations is going to create the most effective organizations in history. 

Season 3 is now underway. Grab your hat and join in here.

Get started at

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