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Kift DAO: Van Life as a New Kind of City

Published by
Andrew Warner
March 6, 2023

Van life is popular on Instagram, YouTube, and other platforms because it’s seen as an escape from the drudgery of daily life. But living on the road can be lonely.

Vision: uniting online

Kift is a DAO that’s redefining the nomad life. It’s buying up land for its community of van lifers to congregate on and keeping them connected online, no matter where they are in the world.

I interviewed Kift’s founder, Colin O’Donnell. Listen to the interview or read my notes below.

Problem: cities stink

Kift DAO was born out of the desire for a better way to live outside of cities. “Offerings in the city have been getting dirtier, more difficult to access, more expensive,” said Colin, “Meanwhile, you can be out in nature and access the latest music, access great paying jobs.”

Kift DAO members are often entrepreneurs or remote workers with high-paying jobs in tech, marketing, coaching, or storytelling. Members use NFTs to vote on community decisions, and the revenue generated will be used to purchase real estate and amenities like group healthcare. This unique setup gives everyone the freedom of life on the road, but a community to share experiences and life with.

First step: vans

But why camper vans?

“Vans are magical,” says Colin.

Instead of packing a bag to change locations, you just turn your key and your entire bedroom goes with you. It’s also relatively inexpensive. “It’s way more convenient than packing a backpack and, say, going from a co-living space to co-living space where you don’t have all of your things,” said Colin.

Future: buying multiple properties

But the vans are just the beginning. Colin’s vision for the future of Kift DAO is to eventually build larger locations where dozens, possibly even hundreds, of people can live and work together in community. This is why they chose to organize as a DAO: to allow members to vote on what to buy, how to live, and even what should be available for dinner.

DAOs aren’t the only technology enabling Kift. “Starlink has really changed the game,” said Colin. “A year ago, this was not possible to be work in southern Baja on a beach [where Colin was located during our call], or in the mountains. And today it is.”

Ultimate goal: replace cities

So what’s next for Kift? Colin’s goal is to build a community that offers the same culture and entertainment that cities offer, but without the bureaucracy. He believes that over the next 10 years, the shape of cities will change from monolithic places to smaller, distributed gathering spaces. “[There will be] tight affinity groups that come together online and show up in physical space together,” he said.

At its core, Kift DAO is about creating a better life for its members and those that join its network. It’s about building a community of people to share experiences, create meaningful connections, and work together to tackle issues like basic income and healthcare. It’s about giving people the freedom to travel and explore the world without sacrificing their sense of purpose.

If you’re interested in joining Kift, check out their site.

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