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As an investor searching for index-like funds to invest in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) this summer, I stumbled upon a number of products and Decentralized Anonymous Organizations (DAOs) behind them. The DAOs I discovered included:
- Index Coop, manager of the DeFi Pulse Index (DPI — $37.2MM AuM)
- PieDAO, manager of the indices DEFI++ ($1.17MM AuM), DEFI+L ($3.29MM AuM), and DEFI+S ($1.73MM AuM)
- PowerPool, manager of the indices PIPT ($13.01MM AuM) and YETI ($5.26MM AuM)
As I dug deeper into this shiny new world and considered the investment products to buy and hold, I wanted to understand what these DAOs were, how they operated online, and which — or which ones — were the best.
While Index Coop has a greater AuM than the next two DAOs combined, here’s the digital and social media data I pulled to try and more deeply analyse these questions.
Google Search Volumes
Google Search Volumes are a good indicator of awareness and interest in a DAO and its product’s search terms. NB: I add DeFi Pulse as a reference point in DeFi going forwards.
Global Monthly Search Volume Rankings
- Index coop: 0
- Defi pulse index: 10–100
- DPI: 1K-10K
- PieDAO: 10–100
- DEFI+L: 100–1K
- DEFI+S: 10–100
- Powerpool: 10–100
- PIPT: 1k-10K
- Defi pulse: 1K-10K
Search volumes are low and suggest a small, emergent online market. I believe the results for DPI are inflated by searches for an unrelated acronym.
SimilarWeb is a helpful source to understand web traffic for sites you do not own or have access to their Google Analytics account.
Monthly Traffic Rankings (11/20)
Traffic to these DAOs’ websites also suggests an early stage, small market. SimilarWeb generated a ‘Not enough data’ result for each DAO website, which means less than 5,000 visits per month tracked. By comparison, DeFi Pulse received nearly 300,000 visits in November 2020 according to SimilarWeb.
Winner: no winner to award.
Website Domain Authority
As a website becomes known online, and acquires backlinks to its pages and mentions around the Web, its Domain Authority (DA — a metric via Moz) increases. Notably, the Wall Street Journal’s website has a DA of 94.
Like many digital scoring systems, Domain Authority is a logarithmic scale out of 100 — with a score of 50 being potentially hundreds of times larger than a score of 40.
Domain Authority Rankings
The websites for the aforementioned DAOs have humble DA scores below 30, with PowerPool having a DA of 2. As shown by Wayback Machine, PowerPool’s site was only recently launched in December 2020, giving it less time to accumulate DA.
Social media community size and quality can also reveal insights about a brand and DAO.
DAO Twitter Rankings
- @indexcoop: 8.8K followers, Social Authority: 63
- @PieDAO_DeFi: 6.9K followers, Social Authority: 62
- @powerpoolcvp: 8.9K followers, Social Authority: 58
- @defipulse: 54.7K followers, Social Authority: 64
Interestingly, though the DAO’s receive little search traffic or web traffic, they all have fair sized Twitter followings and Social Authorities not far below that of DeFi Pulse.
Social Authority (SA) is a scoring system via FollowerWonk, which, like DA, is logarithmic in nature and scores are out of 100. A brand/DAO can have a higher DA even though it has a smaller follower count if the audience is more engaged.
Winner: Index Coop, due to highest SA score.
Discord Community And Activity
Having viewed open Web data, I next looked into the Discord communities for these DAOs, to learn how populous and active they were.
- Index Coop: Members: 1,957, Online members*: 317, Online rate: 16.20%, Members/Twitter followers: 22.19%
- PieDAO: Members: 2,678, Online members: 409, Online rate: 15.27%, Members/Twitter followers: 38.83%
- PowerPool (PowerIndex): Members: 4,589, Online members: 587, Online rate: 12.79%, Members/Twitter followers: 51.10%
*At time data was pulled.
It’s hard to read too deeply into the number in the table above, but at surface level PowerPool has the most populous Discord and the highest Discord Members/Twitter Followers ratio, while the Index Coop had the highest Online Rate.
- Largest Discord: PowerPool
- Most engaged Discord: Index Coop
While entering and browsing a DAO/s Discord server is an interesting way to learn more about a DAO, perhaps a deeper engagement is to enter and join their Forum. As such, the final element I looked into was the DAOs’ Forums.
Forum Members & Activity
- Index Coop: Members: 300, Forum members/Discord members: 15.33%, Forum members/Twitter followers: 3.4%
- PieDAO: Members: 179, Forum members/Discord members: 6.68%, Forum members/Twitter followers: 2.60%
- PowerPool (PowerIndex): Members: 282, Forum members/Discord members: 6.15%, Forum members/Twitter followers: 3.14%
Here, Index Coop had the largest number of Forum members, which given the data in the table two above, leads to the highest rate of Forum Members/Discord Members and Forum Members/Twitter Followers.
Winner: Index Coop
- Index Coop: Wins: 3
- PieDAO: Wins: 2
- PowerPool: Wins: 1
As the earlier datum of Google search and website traffic show, this is certainly a small, niche online at this time.
However, each DAO has a notable Twitter community and solid Social Authority. This could partly be due to the swarming effect of the crypto network on Twitter and online generally.
Then, beyond open web data, Index Coop was the DAO with the highest Online Rate within their Discord, and the largest number of Forum members and highest rate of Forum Members/Discord Members. Could this community engagement data be suggestive of community quality? Potentially.
It will be interesting to observe how these DAOs mature from this point, and how their product and innovation evolve from here too.
Note on methodology: Set is the technology launch partner helping the Index Coop launch and then promote and manage the DPI. Looking at online activity, Set and Index Coop are significantly enjoined at this time. While I could have chosen to include Set’s online and social data in this analysis, I felt it would make a less clear story and prejudice competing DAOs. However this does drag down Index Coop’s performance. E.g. — When I pulled the data, Sets’ Discord has 4,238 members, with 519 online.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Do your own research before investing in digital assets. I hold $DPI and $DEFI+S.