• Cryptoasset Report
  • October 4, 2018

Aragon is a platform for creating and managing decentralized organizations, whose Aragon Court protocol provides a mechanism for resolving subjective disputes.


Aragon is a platform for creating and managing decentralized organizations, whose Aragon Court protocol provides a mechanism for resolving subjective disputes. At a high level, Aragon provides projects tools for self-organization, whether that entity is centralized, decentralized, a startup, corporation, non-profit, or DAO. Aragon’s goal is to act as a digital jurisdiction wherein individuals can organize freely, securely and transparently, with the fewest possible dependencies on legacy institutions.

Protocol Details

AragonOS can be used independently of tokens and the organization vows that it will remain free. Aragon Core v.05, a smart contract development framework, was first released on March 29 2018 and codenamed “The Architect”. Aragon provides a robust toolkit for creating and maintaining DAOs, its suite allowing organizations to transparently manage activities, such a community voting, treasury management, organization ownership, and contributor payroll, through usability optimized pre-set templates.

Aragon Network

The Aragon Network itself is a DAO, where community members holding ANT tokens may vote on virtually every aspect of network functioning, from token minting mechanics to development grant funding through their Aragon Nest program. Additionally, they propose a 4 step plan to transfer as many powers and permissions held by their Estonian Foundation to the Aragon Network over time. The Aragon Network DAO is governor of the Aragon Court, with a council of ANT holders intended to control all modifiable parameters. Aragon completed phase one of the network’s launch Q1 2020.

Aragon Court

Aragon Court is an Ethereum based protocol designed to resolve subjective disputes unsolvable via smart contracts: the protocol’s first mock dispute asked jurors to decide whether Yaz Khoury’s Gitcoin grant should be matched with Ethereum ecosystem funds, before Aragon ultimately halted the proceedings and apologized to both parties for involving them without prior consent. The protocol conceives of such dispute resolution as a Shelling game, whose sequential rounds align jurors on the truth of a matter, allowing jurors to arbitrate proposal agreements. Jurors who stake ANJ to a court contract may be selected to participate in a given arbitration, and are asked to vote on the ruling they think their fellow jurors are most likely to vote on (e.g are asked to vote strategically, rather than sincerely.) Jurors who fail to vote, or who end up voting for the minority position, loose staked tokens, with lost tokens redistributed to other jurors. This dispute resolution infrastructure was originally designed to support “Aragon Agreements”, put forth as a better alternative to Ethereum smart contracts by being human readable documents that are cryptographically signed. The Aragon Court launched February 10th, 2020.

Asset Details

Aragon features one primary (ANT) and two derivative (ANJ, ARA) cryptoassets. ANT confers holders governance rights on the Aragon Network and can be staked to generate ANJ or ARA. ANJ is a token with contribution functions, enabling holders to participate in the Aragon Court. Jurors can stake ANJ to work and earn fees from the Aragon Court system, with loss conditions for staked ANJ designed to incentivize consensus and participation. ARA is intended for use in validation and fee-payment on the Aragon Chain, an application specific, proof-of-stake blockchain.

Aragon completed a token sale in May 2017 for their ERC-20 compatible ANT token, raising $24 million in fifteen minutes. ANT tokens were initially designed to be managed by an algorithmic monetary policy that keeps its price relatively stable, so that ANT can be used as an ideal way to collateralize Aragon Agreements. The algorithmic monetary policy would draw from what they refer to as a “Stability Reserve” to maintain ANT at a given price target. Though Aragon does not classify their token as a stable coin, the monetary policy that they describe falls under a stablecoin category called “seigniorage shares”, named after an October 2014 Robert Sams’ article, which Smith + Crown examined in a previous piece.