Navigating the realm of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and web3 can seem daunting due to the specialized language that is often used. This glossary aims to shed light on some of the commonly used terms in the DAO and web3 space.

Voting Mechanics

  • Voting Power: In a DAO, a member’s voting power is determined by the number of tokens they have. More tokens mean more voting power, thus more “Votes.” Quorum, the minimum amount of votes required, checks this power dynamic. Members are also able to change their vote once the proposal is live.

  • Quorum: For a proposal to pass, it needs to meet quorum. This means that a minimum number of voters need to vote on the proposal for it to be able to be executed by signators onto the blockchain.

  • Off-Chain Voting: Voting in an Upstream DAO is first conducted off-chain, meaning the votes are recorded on the Upstream platform.

Roles within a DAO

  • Signator: A signator is a designated person in the DAO who executes the proposals onto the blockchain.

  • Members: Members in a DAO are token holders with voting rights. They can vote on proposals and influence the DAO's actions proportionally to their token ownership. Their membership and participatory actions are recorded transparently on the blockchain.

Wallet Types

  • DAO Wallet: This is the digital wallet that the DAO collectively owns and manages. It holds the DAO's funds and assets and is used for transactions like fund transfers and proposal executions. Managed by collective rules and smart contracts, it ensures no single member has sole control.

  • Hot Wallet: A hot wallet, linked to the internet, is tracked by Upstream for visibility into wallet activities. Transactions related to it can be monitored but not managed or executed by Upstream.

  • Multi-Sig Wallet: A multi-sig wallet is a type of wallet that requires multiple signatures for a transaction to be executed. When you execute a transaction to a DAO contract, you’re actually sending that transaction through a multi-sig wallet first.


  • DAO Tokens: These are tokens issued by a DAO to its members. They represent a member's voting power in the DAO.

  • Tokens: Digital assets that can represent a wide variety of things, from physical assets to a user's vote within a DAO.

  • Fungible Tokens: Tokens that are identical to each other, like ETH or DAO tokens.

  • Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): Tokens that are unique.

Blockchain and Web3

  • Blockchain: A decentralized and distributed digital ledger that records transactions across multiple computers.

  • Ethereum: An open-source blockchain platform that enables the creation of smart contracts and serves as the basis for a wide range of decentralized applications (dApps).

  • Smart Contract: A self-executing contract with the terms of the agreement directly written into code.

  • Gas Fees: These are transaction fees that must be paid whenever a function is executed on the Ethereum network. Gas fees are usually priced in Gwei, which is a small denomination of Ether.

  • Web3: Also known as Web 3.0, this term refers to a future iteration of the internet that will be built on blockchain technology.

Decentralized Finance

  • Decentralized Finance (DeFi): A broad term encompassing financial applications built on blockchain technology.

  • Decentralized Application (dApp): An application that runs on a decentralized network, avoiding a single point of failure.

For more in-depth information regarding the commands associated with proposals, please visit the Proposal Commands section of our website.

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