As I understand, everyone who invested in The Dao recieves tokens which enable to propose and vote in the DAO. And anyone holding tokens could anytime withdraw the Ether invested if he is not satisfied with the organization anymore.

But how to sell the tokens and withdraw Ether from The DAO? Is this easily possible through Mist or MyEtherWallet?


4 Answers 4


I'm surprised about the confusion, or more the underlying lack of transparency, surrounding this very basic functionality. It's somewhat strange that the 'experts' haven't been communicative about this matter. There are two ways:

  1. Just transfer your DAO Tokens to an exchange and sell them.
  2. Choose the long and winding route of splitting into your own DAO and claiming back the amount of Ether proportional to your DAO Token holdings. This is the tricky one.

My own estimation of option 2's time consumption, fully based on the Slock.it DAO Wiki, is at least 34 days (see update below). The documentation clearly states that you will need to create a Split Proposal (where newCurator is set to true, since you will be your own Curator most likely) for which the minimum debating period is always one week.

After that, if successful (and no one follows you into your own DAO and tries to screw you up!) the DAO will automatically enter the standard creation period of 27 days (during which you may not take any kind of accounting actions), i.e. 34 days in total.

I've read 48 days in various places but cannot justify that based on my information (see update below).

EDIT: as user a.j. tawleed points out you will need to submit a new proposal to actually transfer the ether from your DAO, and this will take another 14 days at best!

TOTAL: minimum 48 days.

  • 1
    You forgot about the new proposal to pay the ether out. That should also take 7 days. Jun 6, 2016 at 7:27
  • 1
    Cheers, added it in.
    – Joël
    Jun 6, 2016 at 7:33
  • 1
    I think a proposal to take Ether out i.e. non-split actually has a minimum of 2 weeks. So that brings us to the 48 days.
    – Joël
    Jun 6, 2016 at 7:34
  • 1
    Also note that when withdrawing by splitting you have to create a least two proposals and creating a proposal currently costs 2 eth. So withdrawing with a split will cost 4 eth plus gas. I did'nt have a look at exchanges fees, but I don't think they are as high as 4 eth. Jun 6, 2016 at 9:39
  • As an addendum to my original post, the reason why splitting is not a very well documented action is because the creators of the DAO Framework (Slock.it) considered it nothing more than an emergency measure in case e.g. curator(s) turns evil. What they did not anticipate is that it would be used as a pretty common form of expressing disagreement with the DAO's direction.
    – Joël
    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:47

You have two choices:

  1. Sell on an exchange. (It is possible to send Tokens via http://www.myetherwallet.com/#the-dao or Mist)

  2. Split the DAO. (Only possible via Mist)

If you want to split from The DAO, perhaps because you don't agree with a proposal or with the curators. It is a way to ensure the decentralization and autonomy of The DAO.

One should note that splitting is not entirely hard, but it has a number of steps and is time consuming. It takes (minimum) 7 days to Split the DAO and arrive at a place where your Ether and Reward Tokens are now in your complete control.

However, it takes a minimum of 48 days to "cash out" Ether into a standard account where you can send them, trade them, etc. You will need to take action, wait 7 days, take more action, wait 27 days, take more action, wait 14 days, and then you will finally have ETH in an account you control.

If you simply want to cash out, you may want to consider trading your DAO Tokens on an exchange rather than splitting.

The full instructions for splitting the DAO are found on the Wiki . It is long, but here is the overview of the steps / # of days.

You Need...

  1. Mist / Ethereum Wallet: Downloaded, installed, and sync with the main net: Mist.

  2. "The DAO" added as a Watch Contract: How to add and watch the DAO contract.

  3. "The DAO" added as a Watch Token: How to add the DAO token to the MIST Wallet.

  4. Your token address.

  5. Some Ether at your token address to cover cost of gas.

  6. Time.

Then you...

  1. Create a Proposal to Split the DAO

  2. Find the ID of your Proposal to Split

  3. Vote “YES” on your new proposal

  4. Wait 1 week

  5. Call the Split DAO Function – You are now officially split & have your ETH + reward tokens & are no longer part of the original DAO

  6. Find out where your New DAO is and add the new Watch Contract & Watch Token

  7. Wait the 27 Day Split Creation Period

  8. Add your address to the whitelist (if you don’t want to send it to the new curator address)

  9. Create a new Proposal to send all your ETH to an address

  10. Vote Yes on the new proposal

  11. Wait the 14 day debating period

  12. Execute the proposal. Your ETH have now been sent to the address specified.

Again, read the full wiki for a step-by-step walkthru of how to split.


Sell Tokens:

See https://daohub.org/creation.html : "Both Gatecoin and Bittrex are planning to support the trading of DAO Token as early as the end of the DAO Token Creation. [...] Tokens will be tradable peer-to-peer and on exchanges starting at the end of The DAO Creation Phase." -> You will have to use online platforms (Bittrex or Gatecoin) or P2P networks to sell your tokens.

Withdraw: See https://forum.daohub.org/t/how-to-withdraw-dao-token-to-eth/1016 : "Yet withdrawing tokens (or sending tokens) to other accounts won't be possible until the end of the creation phase" -> FelixA gives no detailed infos about tools and process. Looks like we will have to wait for details.

  • Will we have to send the tokens first to gatecoin account using mist wallet or another wallet before trading them on exchange sites and did they wrote about fees ? May 9, 2016 at 16:37

To withdraw your Ether from tokens you own, my understanding is that you would create a private proposal that only you vote on. This would result in a private DAO that would allow you to send your Ether back to yourself.

As mentioned earlier, it sounds like the primary approach to sell tokens will be through exchanges. But it seems to me that if you can transfer tokens to an exchange, you should be able to just as easily sell/transfer to an individual.

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