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Aug 29, 2023 9:43 AM
PsyDAO - An Industrial Ego Death

PsyDAO - An Industrial Ego Death


Our species faces unprecedented challenges from pandemics, climate crises, discord, and war. Many require radical shifts in human consciousness to overcome.

For millennia, psychedelics have provided the human race with exactly that. Plants like Amanita muscaria, Banisteriopsis caapi, and Cannabis sativa and preparations with psychedelic effects like ayahuasca [1], ergotized beer [2], and soma [3] have extensive spiritual, medicinal, and recreational value to the human race, with the lines between those domains often blurred.

Scientific understanding of psychedelics, while growing, is lacking. Prosecution of psychedelics users remains rampant. The same draconian legislation made it quite impossible to continue the academic study of psychedelics from the 1960s has only recently begun to relax.

With the regulatory and legislative environment around psychedelics improving, the maw of capitalism yawns in anticipation of medicinal and recreational use becoming more accessible. Experts fear that if psychedelics fall exclusively into the hands of industry and big pharma, much of the current progress will be stymied. Big Pharma, Big Law, and the other big dogs will take these drugs down the wrong path, making them inaccessible.

What if we collectively owned psychedelics? We want to democratize access.

What if we made psychedelics unmonopolizable? We want to decentralize power.

Instead of the wrong path, we take the path less traveled. From Satoshi Nakamoto all the way back to the first ape to ever pick and eat a psychedelic mushroom, it has made all the difference.

We aim to frontrun industry, fund and build the public domain, and use the magic of tokenization to ensure that psychedelic intellectual property is freely traded, collectively owned, and responsibly managed for all humankind. Leveraging open science and open-source business models, we will build the landscape of the psychedelic future that is owned and operated by users. Using pseudonymity and privacy-preserving technologies, we will exist at the place where cypherpunks and psychonauts overlap.


The narrative thread tying together humanity and psychedelics is ancient, and perhaps even precedes the origin of our species.

Some posit that as apes prospered throughout the paleolithic, some apes' brains developed in an accelerated fashion due to consumption of psilocybin-containing mushrooms, giving birth to the mind of Homo sapiens, tool-using wordcels and shape rotators. For thousands of years, nature controlled our access to these plants.

Others suspect that the democratization of the mystical experience introduced by ergotized wine sparked the most viral and powerful religious movement in history, changing human consciousness forever. For hundreds of years, religion controlled our access.

Some say that the psychedelic revolution of the 1960s crested in a wave you can see sometimes if you go far out in the desert near Las Vegas with a head full of mescaline and a lawyer, but the wave rolled back when The Man crept in, as The Man always tends to do in our temporary autonomous zones [4], pausing psychedelic research for decades. For decades, the state has controlled our access.

For apes and scientists, Greeks and Romans, Egyptians and Mayans, Hindus and Hopis, Maori and Matsigenga, Sami and Shipibo, Chinese, Europeans, Americans, and more, psychedelics have played an extensive role in history. But that role is limited compared to what's to come with democratized access to psychedelics.


After the whole wide world banned psychedelics in the fallout of the revolution of the 1960s, research and usage were driven underground, where the secret search for new psychedelic drugs began in earnest. Some cryptic chemists looked for ways to produce new psychedelics with similar properties to the scheduled substances but, in some cases, legal to manufacture and sell, believing that these psychedelics had possible therapeutic applications and wishing to extend the sphere of human knowledge in this area. An icon among them: Dr. Alexander Shulgin.

Shulgin was a researcher at Dow Chemical in the 60s when he ingested mescaline (which was first isolated and identified by Arthur Heffter in 1897, popularized by Alduous Huxley in the Doors of Perception in 1954, and contained within hikuri (peyote), and other psychedelic cacti like San Pedro) for the first time.

Shulgin found the experience so astonishing that he devoted the rest of his career to psychedelic chemistry. He was convinced that there is a wealth of information built into us, with miles of intuitive knowledge tucked away in genetic material. Something akin to a library containing uncountable reference volumes. Without some means of access, there is no way to even begin to guess at the extent and quality of what is there.

To the new psychedelic adventurers, Shulgin is a post modern Prometheus bearing the gift of chemical enlightenment. This is why Shulgin's work is mostly in the public domain, free for the people to use, published in TiHKAL (Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved) and PiHKAL (Phenethylamine I Have Known and Loved) in the 1990s. His legacy is an open-source wealth of information that allows people to access life-changing chemicals.

Alexander Shulgin is known for the discovery, synthesis, and personal bioassay of over 230 psychoactive compounds for their psychedelic and entactogenic potential, and did so in a way that made it impossible to patent them. In the context of our current system, many organizations have thus far lacked incentives to develop them and explore them further. There was only a brief period when they saw the light of day, through the world wide web beginning in the late 90s, with public domain sites such as Erowid.

Online communities formed around the work of Shulgin' prompting intense curiosity. These communities self-organized to procure these substances and then spread them across our globe. Today, a curious researcher will find millions of anecdotal blog posts in forums from savvy users - fully open-source, anonymous and uncontrolled.


PsyDAO will revolutionize R&D and ownership of psychedelics IP using the permissionless, trustless, decentralized, and censorship-resistant web, web3. And, in a nod to Shulgin, we're starting with TiHKAL and PiHKAL.

Web3, crypto, enables users to get involved in funding and ownership of IP, like VitaDAO or BAYC, for both the creator economy and the scientific community. PsyDAO is using crypto to create a decentralized and unmonopolizable future for psychedelic research. PsyDAO members will be able to vote to allocate funding towards the studies and research they believe is most relevant, choose which data is shared, and govern how the output of these studies will come to market.

Membership in PsyDAO is open to anons, pseudonymous participation is encouraged, and privacy protection is paramount. Knowledge and research can be shared with zero knowledge of the identity of the sender or recipient.

PsyDAO utilizes new open-source models for IP tokenization, IPNFTs, and IP rights distribution, with ethical encumbrances, through fungible tokens.

PsyDAO intends to be a hivemind - a literal collective consciousness for the ethical development of psychedelics. The goal of PsyDAO is to redesign incentives and access from the bottom up - focusing on people (patients, recreational users, and spiritual communities), as opposed to centralizing ownership within organizations that have intrinsically misaligned incentives. We see two distinct, yet complementary approaches related to the governance of psychedelic knowledge and related intellectual property - open source and community-governed.

PsyDAO will directly hold IP rights in underlying research projects that it supports, where applicable. PsyDAO will develop a growing portfolio of IP assets attached to NFTs, which can then be made available open-source by the community, or commercialized where appropriate in fair ways, using fractional ERC20s called FRENS and FAM.

For naturally-occurring compounds such as psilocybin, PsyDAO aims to create powerful, open-source data repositories that will be governed by the community. For compounds where intellectual property claims are possible, we will develop a portfolio that is actively managed by the community in an aligned way promoting democratized access.

A mixture of meme magic and mathemagic, the IP tokenization system built with our friends at Molecule and VitaDAO enables PsyDAO to create open research and participation markets for known psychedelics, selectively distributing rights and benefits to partners and contributors.


We are on the precipice of either ruin and revolution. Our species needs a radical shift in consciousness to preserve its light for the future. Since that first ape ate a psychedelic mushroom many millennia ago, we have been coming back to this moment here, now, apes together strong and ready for a psychedelic session. With it comes the realization that these molecules open up a whole new level of human experience that should be available to everyone who wants it. We must ensure that this world is available to anyone.

  • [1] Jeremy Narby, The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, 2006
  • [2] Brian Muraresku, The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion With No Name, 2020
  • [3] Id.
  • [4] Hakim Bey