Aragon, built on the Ethereum blockchain, is a revolutionary platform that enables the creation and management of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). With its governance, permission controls, and token management features, Aragon empowers individuals and groups to participate in transparent decision-making and build efficient, autonomous organizations. In this guide, we will explore the key features of Aragon and its native token, ANT, and highlight the potential of this innovative project in shaping the future of decentralized governance.
- Aragon provides support and a toolset for the creation of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). It includes SDKs and a system to launch a DAO with its own token;
- Aragon itself is governed as a DAO, therefore it has a governance token ANT. With it, community members can vote on proposals;
- Even this project is no stranger to the challenges of decentralized governance: its treasury is still in the process of being transferred into the hands of the community. Nevertheless, it overcomes them with the help of its numerous partners.
What is Aragon?
The Aragon Network is a decentralized platform built on the Ethereum blockchain that aims to provide a framework for creating and managing decentralized organizations (DAOs). It offers a suite of tools and infrastructure to enable individuals and groups to create, govern, and operate their own DAOs without the need for traditional intermediaries.
The Aragon Network allows DAOs to be governed by their participants through a decentralized decision-making process. This ensures that no single entity has control over the organization and decisions are made collectively. Aragon offers a built-in voting system that enables DAO participants to make important decisions collectively. This includes voting on proposals, electing representatives, and establishing rules and policies.
Additionally, Aragon provides a smart contract framework that allows users to easily create and deploy customizable DAOs. This framework enables the execution of complex rules and processes within the organization. With these smart contracts, the platform supports the creation and management of tokens, allowing DAOs to issue their own tokens for various purposes such as voting, membership, or fundraising.
The Aragon platform is built on the Ethereum blockchain, which means it can leverage its existing infrastructure and ecosystem. This includes access to other decentralized applications (dApps), wallets, and exchanges.
Why use Aragon?
As complex as Aragon’s infrastructure can be when looking in-depth, the gist is easy: it gives you the tools to kickstart a DAO. But why should you need that and what kind of problems does a platform like Aragon actually solve?
As Aragon enables the creation and management of decentralized organizations (DAOs), it can be useful for those seeking to establish community-driven projects, open-source development, or decentralized governance of communities or protocols. Decentralized governance lets participants collectively make decisions and shape the direction of an organization while remaining transparent, democratic, and resistant to censorship.
DAOs are most commonly set up by crypto-adjacent communities, so it is of no surprise that they often come with a token of their own. Aragon allows the creation and management of DAO tokens, which can be used to represent ownership, voting rights, or other forms of value within a community. With them, community members can participate, vote, and be rewarded based on their contributions.
Another interesting use case for Aragon is decentralized fundraising, where projects can issue tokens or conduct token sales to raise funds. This eliminates the need for traditional intermediaries, such as banks or venture capitalists, and allows for a more inclusive and transparent fundraising process. However, this scenario is not often seen in practice for fear of violation of securities laws.
All of the above is not to mention decentralized reputation systems and arbitration opportunities made possible by Aragon’s toolset. All in all, this is a versatile and very specific network with a wealth of uses.
Even though we did not describe decentralized arbitration on Aragon in the previous passage, we should mention Aragon Court. It is a decentralized arbitration protocol built on the Aragon Network that aims to provide a transparent and efficient way to resolve disputes within decentralized organizations (DAOs).
Aragon Court utilizes a jury-based system, where jurors are selected randomly from a pool of token holders. Jurors are responsible for reviewing and providing decisions on disputes. They are incentivized to act honestly and fairly through the use of a staking mechanism.
When a dispute arises, it is submitted to Aragon Court for resolution. The dispute details are shared with the selected jurors, who review the evidence and arguments provided by both parties. Jurors vote on the outcome of the dispute based on the available information. If either party is dissatisfied with the initial decision, they can appeal the ruling. The appeal is reviewed by a larger set of jurors, providing an additional layer of review and ensuring fairness.
Once a final ruling is reached, it is executed automatically by the Aragon Network. This means that the decision is enforced, and any necessary actions or transfers of assets are carried out.
Aragon Court aims to provide an alternative to traditional legal systems by offering a decentralized and efficient dispute-resolution mechanism. It allows DAOs to operate with greater certainty and trust, as disputes can be resolved in a transparent and impartial manner.
History of the Aragon Project and Team Behind It
Aragon was created by Luis Cuende and Jorge Izquierdo. They founded Aragon One, which is a company that focuses on developing and maintaining the Aragon project. The project was launched in 2016 with the goal of creating a decentralized platform for managing and governing organizations.
Aragon had an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in May 2017. During the ICO, Aragon raised approximately $25 million by selling ANT tokens to the public. The funds raised in Aragon’s token sale were used to support the development and growth of the Aragon project.
Eventually, Aragon One (for-profit) was joined by Aragon Association, a Swiss-based non-profit responsible for representing the DAO in the real world. Relating to the Aragon Association, Aragon One is the contractor developing the Aragon platform.
In January 2021, Aragon merged with another blockchain voting protocol Vocdoni. Shortly after, Izquierdo stepped down from the position of CEO of Aragon One, around the same time as a dozen other employees. However, he still remains a community member and participates in steering the protocol on par with other ANT holders.
2022 through 2023 Aragon DAO underwent a restructuring, which caused a stir in the community. One of the major changes would be the transfer of power over the project’s treasury from the Aragon Foundation to the DAO. Today, the decisions pertaining to funding are in the hands of the community, together with other crucial aspects of the platform’s future.
What is Aragon Network Token (ANT)?
The full name of the native cryptocurrency of the Aragon Network is Aragon Network Token (ANT). It serves as a utility token within the Aragon Network ecosystem for purposes ranging from voting to becoming a juror in the Aragon Court.
Therefore, ANT is also a governance token of the Aragon protocol. ANT holders have the power to participate in the governance of the Aragon Network. They can propose and vote on changes to the protocol, such as upgrades, parameter adjustments, and policy decisions. This gives ANT holders a say in shaping the future of the Aragon Network.
As for the use of ANT in Aragon Court, by staking their tokens, participants could be randomly selected to serve as jurors and earn rewards for their honest and fair decision-making. Staking ANT tokens also acts as a mechanism to discourage malicious behavior and ensure the integrity of the arbitration process.
Since Aragon is a part of the Ethereum ecosystem, ANT operates on the Ethereum blockchain and follows ERC-20 token standards. The current version of the token contract is the second one: ANTv1 was deprecated in favor of ANTv2 after the migration in 2020.
How to use ANT?
These days, you cannot use ANT to take part in Aragon Court proceedings. ANTv2 is almost exclusively a governance token. Moreover, to vote, you will need to wrap your ANT on the Aragon DAO portal. At the time of writing, there are no open proposals for voting but the community discusses the transfer of control over treasury and partnership opportunities on the forum.
Aragon and similar projects
Creating a platform to facilitate making DAOs is an idea not unique to Aragon. Other projects that set out to do the same are DAOStack and Colony on Alchemy and Avalanche respectively. However, despite launching more recently than Aragon, both show even fewer signs of life by 2023.
Is Aragon controversial?
Whenever there is a necessity for people to work together, there are some issues in coordination or compromise. No wonder that Aragon has had its fair share of controversies and disputes.
In 2022, Aragon reformed its DAO to migrate voting to a contract that supported delegated voting. It also had a voting round to determine what to do with the DAO’s treasury. Even though the vote ruled that the use of treasury funds would be decided on by the ANT holders, the transitionary period was delayed until the next controversy came around.
In May 2023, the Aragon Association temporarily transformed Aragon DAO into Aragon Grants to comply with Swiss regulations and for ANT to retain the “utility token” status. Another reason for this was an alleged 51% attack on Aragon’s governance. The parties that were accused of attempting a consensus attack responded they were acting without intending to sabotage the DAO in any way. The whole upheaval was described by one of the DAO’s members, Arca’s Chief Investment Officer like this: “Essentially, Arca and a few other ANT token holders walked into Aragon with a note that said, ‘We’re thinking about withdrawing $80,’ and the Aragon bank teller responded by calling the police, stealing the money from the vault, lighting the bank on fire, and threatening to open a new bank in a new country that no original customers could access”.
Aragon Ecosystem, Partners, and Future
Aragon have been collaborating with other projects in the Ethereum ecosystem. One of its most long-standing partners is Polygon: its products have been available on the Layer-2 since 2021.
Another example of such collaboration is the on-chain Snapshot app made with Balancer Labs. Instead of relying optimistically on the execution by multi-sig wallet owners, this app made it possible to execute voting results on-chain.
At this point in the guide, you are probably wondering: what kind of DAOs did Aragon help to set up? Projects like Aavegotchi, Decentraland, and Lido use Aragon’s tools for governance. In the spirit of open source collaboration and decentralization, Aragon itself works with other industry experts: Bankless Consulting and Blockchain Lawyers Group being just a couple of them.
Which crypto wallet to use for ANT?
As an ERC-20 token, ANT enjoys support in a wide variety of crypto wallets. To be able to use ANT for voting, you will need to connect a MetaMask, Frame, or WalletConnect account. All three are browser extension hot wallets, which are as convenient to plug your crypto balance into apps as vulnerable to mistakes. To be extra sure, you are probably better off storing the bulk of your ANT bag in another app. If you are fine with using software wallets and can take care of your private keys, you can go for Atomic Wallet or Arctic Wallet. For offline storage with maximum security, you can consider a hardware wallet by Ledger.
Where to buy Aragon (ANT)?
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As the world continues to embrace the potential of blockchain technology, Aragon stands out as a pioneering platform that empowers individuals and organizations to build efficient, autonomous, and transparent structures. With its user-friendly interface and robust features, Aragon is poised to revolutionize the way organizations are governed and operated, paving the way for a more inclusive and decentralized future.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Aragon in Crypto?
Aragon is a decentralized platform built on blockchain technology that allows individuals and organizations to create and manage their own autonomous organizations (DAOs). It provides tools for governance, decision-making, and token management, enabling transparent and efficient organizational structures free from traditional hierarchies. It can also refer to its native token ANT.
How to buy Aragon token?
The Aragon token ANT is traded on multiple centralized crypto exchanges, in pairs with fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies alike. To circumvent the hurdles of setting up an account on one, you can use instant crypto swap on ChangeHero.
What does the name Aragon mean?
Aragon, the decentralized platform, shares its name with the historical Kingdom of Aragon in Spain. The name was chosen to reflect the platform’s core principles of decentralization and self-governance, which align with the historical legacy of the Kingdom of Aragon. It had a unique legal system that emphasized individual rights and liberties, and it played a significant role in the development of democratic institutions.