Kenya Blockchain Ladies

The Kenya Blockchain Ladies DAO (KBL DAO), a once-thriving community established in 2022, has reportedly shut down following a controversial social media post by its founder, Yvonne Kagondu. This incident underscores a crucial aspect of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs): the power of shared decision-making.

What is a DAO?

A DAO is an internet-native organization collectively owned and governed by its members. Decisions are typically made through proposals and voting by token holders, ensuring transparency and distributing power amongst the community.

KBL DAO emerged as a “powerhouse of women leaders and experts” passionate about empowering Kenyan women to embrace Web3, the next generation of the internet. They aimed to:

  • Inspire and empower women: Encourage more Kenyan women to explore the exciting opportunities in Web3.
  • Safe space for collaboration: Foster a supportive environment for women in the blockchain industry, connecting pioneers and aspiring individuals.
  • Mentorship and career development: Provide a platform for mentorship, career guidance, and training programs focused on blockchain skills.
  • Revenue generation: Generate income through partnerships and sub-DAOs to support their initiatives and compensate members.

At the time of closure, the KBL DAO boasted over 230 members and offered a unique value proposition within the Kenyan blockchain space.

According to reports, a social media post made by Kagondu regarding the Finance Bill 2024 sparked controversy. The divisive nature of the post, coupled with a perceived lack of member support, is believed to have led to Kagondu’s emotional response and the DAO’s abrupt closure.

This incident highlights the significance of a DAO’s core principle: shared decision-making. In a well-functioning DAO, the power doesn’t lie solely with one individual. Proposals and discussions allow members to voice their opinions and contribute to the organization’s direction. Had this been the case, the DAO wouldn’t have succumbed.

Drunk With Power?

Kagondu’s actions highlight the risks of concentrating power in one person. A lack of member participation in decision-making left the DAO susceptible to the founder’s whims. This isn’t the first time Kagondu has faced scrutiny. Her former co-founders at Kushite ICP.Hub East Africa, another Web3 venture, allege she treated them poorly and withheld rightful compensation, which ultimately led to their resignation.

“What’s the point of co-founding when you’re treated unfairly and trash-talked because you disagree with them? When you were made a leader, you weren’t given a crown, you are given a responsibility to bring out the best in others.” McKenna Victoria, a co-founder wrote on a forum debate that is seeking to stop funding for ICP.Hub.

Members privy to inside information told Techspace Africa that the DAO raised funds that were never disclosed to other members instead repeatedly stating the community was her way of giving back to the society.

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However, Yvonne insists that the KBL DAO had not raised any money and was being financed from her pocket, leading to her decision to stop funding it. Regarding the ICP Hub Kenya and co-founders, she mentioned that the former co-founders attempted to extort money from the company, prompting her to report the matter to the police. Despite the challenges, she expressed hope that the community could continue to grow on its own, stating that the vision for the DAO could evolve as needed.

Yvonne Kagondu (Right) at Mobile World Conference 2023

Yvonne also reflected on her goals and the struggles she faced. She felt the DAO had achieved success in inspiring Kenyan women to explore blockchain opportunities, contributing to a 40% female participation rate in the industry. Although she decided to close it, she emphasized that the community remained intact. She concluded by acknowledging the importance of allowing the brand to evolve while highlighting her initial intention to use the community as a means of giving back.

“In my eyes, it was successful. My goal was to help Kenyan women understand that there were many opportunities that they could take up in blockchain technology. I think I got there. The community inspired many and rippled. But I was struggling with a few players that made it difficult. I think we assisted in getting to the 40% female participation in Blockchain in Kenya statistics.” she stated.

Unanswered Questions and the Future of KBL DAO Members

The shuttering of the KBL DAO leaves several questions unanswered. The lack of communication regarding closure to the members and the opacity surrounding the DAO’s finances raise concerns about member’s well-being. With the founder deleting the DAO’s website and social media pages without prior notifying them, the fate of the DAO, their remaining funds (some members insist she raised funds), and the future of its over 230 members remain uncertain.

The KBL DAO’s story serves as a cautionary tale for the importance of robust governance structures within DAOs. It emphasizes the need for transparent communication, shared decision-making, and clear financial accountability to ensure the long-term sustainability and success of such decentralized organizations.

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Nigel Jr.
As a tech enthusiast and expert, Nigel Jr. is dedicated to providing in-depth and insightful content on all things technology. With a background in online journalism, product reviewing, and tech creation, Nigel has become a trusted source for all things tech.

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