Beginner’s Guide to Aragon: Decentralized Governance & Organization Framework

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Aragon is a highly ambitious project focusing on creating a decentralized infrastructure for value exchange through providing a framework for organizations, companies, and applications to securely manage their organizations by leveraging the Ethereum blockchain and a modular core design.

With a variety of platforms entering the market as blockchain based, decentralized solutions, it is crucial to analyze unique features and advantages of specific platforms. Aragon offers a novel mechanism for traditional companies and organizations looking to utilize the benefits that blockchain and decentralized networks afford through an intuitive and powerful interface.

Aragon Website

What are the Key Components and Technology Behind Aragon?

The Aragon network was built using Aragon Core, a Solidity DAO framework, and web based decentralized applications. Aragon aims to focus on two key principles to ensure its sustained success as a decentralized platform.

  • A decentralized court solution
  • An upgrade system

Focusing on these aspects of the platform has a cascading effect on the entire framework of the network and core design that leads to a number of distinct features and resources available to users. Aragon Core is where the majority of the functional logic for managing organizations is located and is primarily comprised of 4 components.

  • Bylaws that define user permissions
  • Governance system used to make decisions
  • Capital system for issuing and controlling tokens
  • Accounting system for managing funds

Fundamentally, the Aragon platform is a decentralized application layer built on top of the Ethereum blockchain that creates a decentralized environment for anyone to be able to create and manage an organization within the context of the defined, but explicitly customizable parameters of the Aragon Network. These parameters are defined by the Aragon Core protocol and are designed modularly to enable an upgrade mechanism to facilitate useful and intuitive improvements to the platform based on an organization’s needs.


The interface for interacting with Aragon is designed to be intuitive and trivial for non-technical users while simultaneously providing a setting for developers to build smart contracts and improve upon the existing functionality of the network. The Aragon Core v0.5 Beta release is currently live and is a preview of the platform’s ability to take complex infrastructure and smart contract design and transition it into a user-friendly interface that effectively removes intermediary costs that traditional companies typically maintain significant overhead capital for.

This creates a whole new type of organizational structure that can be experimented with, from users creating their own open-source projects to companies looking to reduce overhead and operate more efficiently. Additionally, Aragon’s incorporation and optimization of decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) principles as an underlying logic layer to the platform is intended to facilitate the eventual transition of network control to the users. Theses users, whether they be individuals, companies, or other organizations will govern the system through a proposal and voting mechanism based upon the ANT token incentivization model.

Digital Jurisdiction

Additionally, the network will eventually be autonomously self-funding through aggregating network and transaction fees. Subsequently, the tokens will be allocated to maintaining network development and other service providers, namely the development of core contracts, the decentralized court system, and a built-in bug bounty system for contract upgradeability.

Core Functionality and Customizable Features

One of the key functions of the Aragon platform is to operate as the first community governed, decentralized organization that acts as a digital jurisdiction. Essentially, a decentralized court system without boundaries that solves disputes. One of the primary improvements of Aragon’s implementation of this compared to earlier versions of DAO’s, is its focus on fixing subjective breaches in smart contract code. This has become an issue with smart contracts as code within a contract can at times be ambiguous and subject to interpretation where the code does not explicitly resolve the conflict.

The focus on this mitigates against dispute resolution barriers, and combined with the right ANT incentive structure, code auditing, network-wide bug bounties, and proxy libraries for upgradeable smart contracts, Aragon can offer an unparalleled digital dispute resolution model.


Aragon offers modules for identity management, ownership, voting, accounting, payment processing, insurance, and capital. These modules are all essential to governance of an organization, and the ability to interact in a seamless and trustless environment has enormous potential on organizational structure moving forward. Many of these modules inherently reduce the costs associated with administrative tasks and can be turned on/off, and are also fully customizable by the organization. A good way to look at this model is that each organization essentially has their own customizable network within the confines of the broader Aragon Network where basic logical parameters are established, but more specific functionality can be built on top of.

Use Cases of The Aragon Platform

A number of specific use cases outside of the typical organizational governance are mentioned by Aragon in their white paper and include:

  • A political election voting module that ensures candidates adequately pursue campaign promises through using a small scale prediction market model.
  • A contractor payment module where contractors are paid based on milestones or whatever parameters the user prefers.
  • A customizable accounting module that includes advanced data visualization.

Another prominent use case of the platform includes the Aragon Network Jurisdiction (ANJ) that defines a set of contracts that provide arbitration for any given dispute and allow ANT holders to vote on basic rules used in the arbitration process. In this way, organizations can interact with each other, or from an employee to employer perspective by submitting their contracts to the ANJ which provides a framework for the interacting parties to specifically state the details of their relationship and contract in a cryptographic manner. In doing so, a more fair and transparent oversight model is created in a completely decentralized format.

The ANT Token

The ANT token is the native token of Aragon and plays a critical role in the governance model and incentive structure of the platform. It represents the wealth of the decentralized economy and was initially sold during Aragon’s highly successful ICO in May 2017 that raised $24 million.

Subsequently, the ANT token has come to represent a powerful share of the governance on the platform. ANT holders can vote on proposals, participate in arbitration and the decentralized court system, and help contribute to the non-profit Aragon Foundation or to research and development through the Aragon Nest program.

Aragon Nest

The ANT token follows a continuous token model whereby ANT will continue to be minted by the network and comes with an inherent cost. Basically, minting ANT has a cost and a percentage of the fees that organizations pay to join the network will fund the minting of new tokens. This creates an incentive for organizations to pay fees as they receive more ANT as a result, which in turn gives them more influence across the network since the amount of ANT you hold is directly correlated to the power you wield in the decentralized proposal and voting system.

This model is contentious since it allows for the cost of tokens to be established by a market equilibrium of the token holders in the network, however, over time this equilibrium cost of minting should amount to the optimal price with a similarly optimal percentage of inflation.

How to Buy Aragon ANT

You are not able to purchase ANT with “Fiat” currency so you will need to first purchase another currency – the easiest to buy are Bitcoin or Ethereum which you can do at Coinbase using a bank transfer or debit / credit card purchase and then trade that for ANTat an exchange which lists the token.

Make sure you use our link to signup you will be credited with $10 in free bitcoin when you make your first purchase of $100.

Coinbase Website

You can purchase ANT on the following Exchanges:

The Team Behind Aragon

The Aragon team is comprised of a diverse and talented team with substantial accolades and accomplishments within blockchain and decentralized computing. The project is completely open-source and community driven, however, there are some notable core members worth mentioning.

Luis Cuende is the project lead and holds accolades such as “The Best Underage European Programmer” in 2011 and is a Forbes “30 Under 30”, who also founded Stampery. Jorge Izquierdo is the Tech Lead and has worked on a number of projects while also receiving accolades such as the Thiel Fellowship and a WWDC scholarship from Apple.

Aragon Team

Community members can contribute suggestions, proposals, and improvements to the platform using resources elaborated on their Github page and can even apply for grants through submitting proposals to their Aragon Nest Program.


Currently, the Beta “The Architect” release is live on the Ethereum Rinkby Testnet. The Aragon team also provides extensive updates on development progress and other news and resources regularly through their Medium page.

The expected mainnet release of the platform is in Q2-Q3 2018 and deployment of the decentralized court system in Q4 2018.


Aragon has the potential to gradually cause a paradigm shift in the functional structure and management of organizations in a decentralized network architecture. Advantages of transparency and immutability inherent with being built on top of the Ethereum blockchain allow the decentralized application layer of Aragon to create a user-friendly and intuitive interface for both developers and non-technical users.

Users and organizations can create value, increase efficiency, and participate in the first decentralized autonomous organization focused on digital jurisdiction, upgradeability, and functional governance. Quietly building a viable product and driven by a strong community, Aragon looks to become the next generation solution for the decentralized economy.

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