Introducing SIAMCoin — Thailand’s First DAO Token for a Law Cooperative

I know we have been talking about building our own tokens for some years now so I’m very excited to say we have have finally launched SiamCoin (SIAM). Well actually it’s still very early in this experiment but as they say, it feels good to just get it started. Hopefully everything will fall into place as we travel along, half-closing one eye, swallowing the red pill and see where all this takes us. With that said, there’s been so much support and love from both the legaltech and DAO communities all around the world so we feel confident in taking this step into the relatively unknown.

Just to recap, Siam Legal Alliance is an experimental platform project developed alongside the Siam Legal Tech Center, a regional accelerator and think-tank for legaltech and access to justice issues. The main premise of the project is its experiment with platform cooperativism and a distributed organizational systems, giving governance and control to stakeholders within the ecosystem. This includes both the lawyer/member and the client/member all working towards a particular goal with greater efficiency, access, fairness and transparency. It is a virtual entity although it is still locked into a Thai LLC for legal purposes. However, one day it hopes to cross boundaries and become a global entity. Certainly we are looking at the Vermont Blockchain-Based LLC (BBLLC) with great hope.

After much deliberation, we decided to use Aragon which is by far the largest DAO platform. It offers the most customization features of any of the existing platforms. One of the key features for us is the ability to set up Committees with its own special tokens which can be used by another class of members to use and vote with. This is, of course, useful for the lawyers to decide among themselves from the pool of work received by the organization. From here we can ascertain the scale of the work, the skills and experience required for the work, how that can be divided among the senior and junior members and how tokens will be distributed upon completion of the work. For clarity, SIAMCoin will be the general token used by the ecosystem where client/members can also buy and use it either for legal services or as token ownership in the alliance.

There is also aragonSDK which is also one of the key reasons we feel it matches our own organizational philosophy. We often forget that apart from being an amazing DAO platform, it’s also a DApp platform for developers. This means that it has the capacity to grow organically as the communities evolve. Needless to say, as a legal firm we are also big fans of Aragon Court and I have to say that was actually the deciding factor for us in choosing Aragon. We have been great supporters of Kleros from its very inception so it’s wonderful to see Aragon tackling this as well. It would be amazing if one day we can settle certain disputes directly from our platform using this court — doesn’t sound too far-fetched anymore for some reason.

We should also mention that beyond the technology, we do sometimes need to remind ourselves the true reason we started this project. And that is to create a more compassionate organization, putting the people at the heart of its system. So as many of you know, we have been experimenting with holacracy as well as the Teal organizational structure for some time. Yes we understand the underlying issues of these systems especially as we are so used to the old hierarchical constructs, but we do feel we have been making progress. As we grapple on the future of what corporations look like and the role it plays in a new tech-enabled economy, we feel that it is an important experiment to undertake as we cannot learn from something we have never tried.

While we are on the topic of holacracy, I have learnt a lot about Zappos over the years and their own lessons with this modality. I was very saddened to hear of Tony Hsieh’s untimely passing. He was an inspiring leader and a hero to all the quiet leaders out there in the world. It would have been amazing to have met you in this lifetime but perhaps, another time. Rest well, brother. We will continue lighting the flames of the candles for you.

Courtesy: Zappos.com

In summation, we should emphasize that we are in a highly experimental mode and things are still evolving quite fluidly both within the team as well as with the entire organization at large. We have some exciting new partners joining as as member firms which will hopefully expand the scope of our legal services. We are also working on a crowdfunding feature for the underserved communities who need help with legal access but do not have the funds to pursue legal action. But I think releasing our native token is a big first step and I guess forces us to keep our focus on our end goal. It feels as if our ecosystem is validated somehow and that is giving us the confidence to grow. We’re excited for 2021 and hope to have more of you join us in this movement. Join us on our Discord community for informal exchanges and meetings or just drop in to say hi! Or if you have any need for legal services in Thailand, why don’t you try something new and check us out! Just reach out and we’ll be in touch.

Kert is the Co-Founder of the Siam Legal Tech Center & blogs on the jungletechnologist.com. He believes that technology is the greatest equalizer of our time.