How To Run A Decentralized Company

Aragon was built around the idea that business shouldn’t be restricted. Too often, governments and red tape strangle prospective companies. Aragon provides a platform to create and run a company on the Ethereum network.


Cryptocurrencies are so trendy right now, that sometimes we forget the versatility of the underlying technology. One of the latest successful ICOs, Argagon, was built with blockchain businesses in mind. Aragon is a simple idea that mirrors the independent spirit of Bitcoin itself. Aragon was built around the idea that business shouldn’t be restricted. Too often, governments and red tape strangle prospective companies. Aragon provides a platform to create and run a company on the Ethereum network. On May 17th, the Aragon team pocketed a cool 25M in Ether, one of the highest crowdsales ever. And it’s easy to see why. The team has a dynamite pair of cofounders, an easy-to-use interface, and a number of practical features we’ll dissect.


Great products start with great people, and Aragon has two of the best. Luis Cuende is a coding award winner and member of the Forbes 30 under 30. He was initially drawn to the principles behind blockchain by writing free Linux software as a 12 year old. He teamed up with Jorge Izquierdo, a hacker with several successful apps under his belt. The two originally were working on a project to fight patent trolls. But the more they looked, the more flawed they felt the traditional idea of a company is. So they launched Aragon. Along the way, they enlisted a number of big names in the crypto world as advisors. Fred Ehrsam (cofounder of Coinbase), Jake Brukham (founder of Coinfund), and Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum) are just a few. Many investors are leery of coin teams with no relevant experience. But Luis cofounded Stampery, a blockchain startup that enables document verification. Jorge has some blockchain experience as well. And the team has some of the biggest names in the field to lean on for advice.


The team has also emphasized transparency. A complete developmental roadmap has been published, so prospective investors can where the company should be in its development. Aragon also has a great relationship with its community; ideas from users have been implemented. Developer meetings are frequently livestreamed or uploaded afterwards. With sketchy ICOs under every rock, it’s refreshing to see this level of transparency. The team’s own ANT funds are on a two-year vesting schedule as well.

Aragon is a “dApp,” or decentralized application. Aragon’s primary audience will be private companies, but everyone from charities to hedge funds could use it. Day-to-day company activities, like meetings, tasks, and bookkeeping can all be handled on Aragon. Organizations won’t be bound by restrictive laws of a country, or an oppressive dictatorship. Co-founder Luis penned a hypothetical article about a girl in Venezuela, restricted by her government that could use Aragon to circumvent systems and create her own company. Bitcoin was revolutionary for being a decentralized currency unbound by governments and banks. Aragon is trying to do the same for companies. Aragon also has unique fundraising and conflict resolution features we’ll touch on.

One reason ICOs are so popular, is that startups are hard to invest in for most people. Aragon solves this. Traditionally, you need to be rich or connected in Silicon Valley to get into the hottest start-ups. Or both. On Aragon, organizations can easily send shares for money, or publicly offer shares. The deluge of ICOs right now proves the popularity of this idea.


The Aragon Network Jurisdiction is unprecedented as well. ICO scams are a dime a dozen these days, but Aragon has a play for this. Transactions above a certain threshold must be approved by majority of voters, so sleazy founders can’t grab the money and run. Individuals who have a gripe can open a case and post a bond. If they win, the bond is returned. If they lose, the bond goes towards maintaining the network. The idea of this is to discourage unnecessary cases. A panel of five judges will vote on the facts of the case. To be a judge, you must put up a bond similarly. Judges are then selected from the crowd. If you lose a case and you’re unsatisfied, you can put up an even bigger bond and elevate it to another level of judges. This system has pluses and minuses. If Aragon plans to be huge, frivolous complaints can’t waste time and resources. On the other hand, it seems unfair there may be a financial cutoff for justice. Some have pointed out with the exorbitant cost of a lawyer in many countries, this isn’t too different from the real world.


With Ethereum running on rocket fuel this year, Aragon is ideally positioned in front of the wave. Companies looking to run on the Ethereum network have many reasons to choose Aragon. Aragon is easy to use, with a clean interface. Companies can also create their own ERC20 tokens. Aragon also recognizes different companies will have different needs. In addition to the Aragon Core functions, organizations can launch their own networks with their own rules to accommodate their own unique needs.

Aragon has also drawn flack for a few choices. The cost of minting new ANT is determined by the existing ANT holders. There are obvious pros and cons to this. If ANT is becoming inflated, token holders can make it more expensive to mint. On the other hand, a few whales could manipulate the currency. Decentralization and democratization are key pillars of the crypto world, but the conflict of interest here for the token holders is clear. Aragon is putting its faith in the community. Only time will tell if they’ll live up to it. The whitepaper also touched on potential software issues. Aragon is a technologically daunting task, and the team has implemented a bug bounty, but it still won’t be easy to code.


Aragon overall is a smoothly progressing project with a great team and a better idea. With ETH shooting through the roof, the ability to create a company on the Ethereum network was an easy sell for investors in the ICO. The company, uniquely, employed a hidden cap mechanism during the ICO to attract smaller buyers and ensure a few whales didn’t dominate the coin. This ties back to the ability of ANT holders to determine the cost of minting new ANT. A few major holders of the currency could hypothetically dominate the price. This is one of the keys that Aragon will have to manage as it grows; if everything clicks, the sky is the limit for this company.


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