A masterplan for the widespread adoption of decentralized organizations

This is a post on the Aragon One thesis series:

When we set out to build Aragon, this was the original plan:

  1. Build an MVP to create DAOs, to inspire early adopters and developers
  2. Raise money from them
  3. Use that money to make the Aragon client production-ready
  4. Create a network of services that DAOs will need, the Aragon Network
  5. Earn money from the Aragon Network and reinvest it in making DAOs widespread

To do that, we went through some steps.

Step 0: Inspire the community

Goal: Build a community of freedom fighters, and fundraise to go to the next step

We built an MVP for running companies on the Ethereum blockchain.

We laid out the vision for a decentralized jurisdiction that would act as their home.

Step 1: Build basic infrastructure

Goal: Build all the necessary technical infrastructure to make decentralized organizations easy to create and maintain

We built aragonOS and the Aragon client. A lot of different technologies had to be built for that purpose, including a package manager (aragonPM), a UI toolkit (aragonUI) and human readable Ethereum transactions (Radspec).

We also funded many infrastructure plays with Nest, and funded new apps so they could test and validate the basic infrastructure.

Step 2: Decentralize our own governance

Goal: Make Aragon a community-governed project developed by many teams

There's no point in creating unstoppable organizations if Aragon is stoppable.

This is a necessary step to prepare for the Aragon Network deployment.

Both ratifying how governance works (AGP-1) and funding other teams sets the precedent and establishes a governor <> service provider relationship.

ANV-1 paved the way for the AGP process.

ANV-2, particularly with AGP-41, clearly shows that our community is learning to do decentralized governance and watch out for the project.

During this cycle, we leveraged the bear market in order to attract top talent to the community.

Step 3: Focus on adoption and future Network use

Goal: Increase future ANT demand by targeting a use case with strong Court use

Aggressively target a particular use case to drive adoption.

Target a use case that suffers from 51% attacks, since those would need the Court.

Accountable fundraising means all the good parts of 2017, without the bad ones. That means unleashing innovation and creating growth, without all the scams and lack of accountability and transparency.

Accountable fundraising makes sense, because:

  • In order to be accountable, the organization needs to give control of the funds to the token holders
  • Therefore, it becomes susceptible to 51% attacks
  • Come for the money, stay for the apps. Fundraising drives the creation of the organization, but users can stay for other apps too
  • Voting, so token holders can participate
  • Finance, to show how funds are spent
  • Payroll, so you can pay your team automatically
  • That Planning Suite/bounties, so work can be crowdsourced
  • Drives capital into crypto
  • Indirectly brings attention and funding to the ecosystem, therefore accelerating technological development
  • Moves capital from the nation state world (their land) to the crypto world (our land). That drives demand for legal security and property rights on crypto
  • Although Proxies may offer crypto off-ramps, they will be expensive and so everyone is incentivized to keep money in cryptoland. But nevertheless, having off-ramps is crucial to call liquidity

We already have most of the pieces for this use case, but we still need to build:

  • A fundraising app that also provides liquidity (e.g. continuous fundraising)
  • Simple voting delegation, to increase participation
  • Push notifications, since funds are at stake and participation is key

We would let users experiment with smaller accountable fundraising use cases, to test different fundraising schemes. The market will naturally pick the one that makes more sense for both fundraising and investing parties.

As adoption grows, the platform will help raise as many funds as possible, which will drive ANT demand up.

In the meantime, start defining a plan for reaching scale in the future. That involves hedging platform risk on layer 1.

This post was a collaboration between

Luis Cuende, Aragon One

  • Luis Cuende
  • Aragon One