Aragon Blockchain Week

Aragon Blockchain Week

Last Week was Berlin Blockchain Week. It was also Aragon Blockchain Week in a way! At Web3Summit on the first day, you could meet Aragon people everywhere, it was a great feeling :smirk:

We had multiple Aragonians giving talks. @luis was close to opening the conference on the main stage with a great presentation followed by a panel. @stellarmagnet soon followed to present the dot voting app on main stage as well, right after Ryan Zurrer from Web3 Foundation presented his ambitious plans using Aragon DAOs.

During the whole week you could find Aragonians involved in conversations at the DGOV node (thanks to them for organizating!) or in governance related discussions. @jorge also had a great round of applause presenting the Aragon Court!

Most importantly we had the opportunity to get together twice to have fun as well as interesting discussions.

I’ll try to share the gist of the week below, especially for those who couldn’t attend!

Aragon picnic

On Monday we had a picnic in Treptower Park near Web3Summit’s venue. It was a good time to grab a bite, have a couple of beers and get to know each other a bit more.

Most notably we had a fun social exercise. The principle was to have one to one conversations and then present each other to the rest of the group (see the picture above).

We also started gathering ideas on Aragon topics that we wanted to discuss later in the week, on Friday.

Aragon discussions

looks like @osarrouy and @xseignard are missing on the pic and were busy pushing code :sweat_smile:

On Friday, about 20 Aragonians were at Aragon Black’s Berlin apartment. An ideal setting to have focused discussions in small groups.

We have picked 6 of the 29 topics previously submitted.

  • Pando’s future: do we make a new Github or not?
  • The shape of the Aragon Network - Startup(s) vs Open Source community/Open Organization
  • Power dynamics in the Aragon Organization
  • “Autonomous” Aragon Apps (don’t need to be into an Aragon DAO to work, can be used by any DAO)
  • Improve aragonPM to be used for distribution of free stoftware. Promote it as a way to have developers install their packages from different registrars depending on the community that is curating it
  • Implementing an Expert Network / SourceCred

Here are notes gathered from voluntary note takers. They may not be comprehensive but they do a good job at providing an indication on where discussions went. Feel free to ping me to add/modify things.

Pando’s future: do we make a new Github or not?

  • Strategically, do we keep Pando in its (simple) current state? Or do we really go full on decentralized GitHub?

    • Give Pando its own desktop interface
  • Pando is a great use case of Aragon

  • Ensure we have specific goals

    • Make metatxs work
    • Caching service so not all commits have to go on-chain
  • Can we use the Court to arbitrate mere disputes?

  • Fundraising is getting more interest from the market than Pando

  • It makes a lot of sense to think of Fundraising as core infrastructure, and have other products that actually use this infrastructure

  • Can we make contributing to open source profitable? Pando x Fundraising

  • Will users launch their own fundraising portal with ANT as collateral, or take fees some other way? Should make it clear how we benefit from other people using the app.

  • How do we support users in a scalable way? SLAs?


  • Focus on Fundraising app now, Pando later. Also wait for Aragon Chain conversation to settle.
  • TL;DR Pando is the future, Fundraising is now.

The Shape of the Aragon Network: Startup(s) or Open Source Organization?

Notes source #1

  • False dichotomy?

  • Be more specific about where we are like independent startups and where we are like a cohesive organization, where we are sharing resources and where we use self-reliant

  • Flock and Nest teams need freedom to be agile and change roadmap, priorities, etc

  • Maybe independent teams / working groups can “feel” what’s happening locally to them and raise issues or new priorities, triggering bigger changes in the direction of the network

  • Given lack of adoption, is it too early to make this decision?

  • Can we make space for Flock teams to go back to the “dream DAOs” that got them involved in the first place?

  • Need to strike balance between working on core infrastructure vs specific use cases

  • There is currently a loose distinction between Nest and Flock programs

    • Business models?
    • Project priorities?
    • Independence?
  • Aragon Black is worried about growing beyond “family” size - could allocate some Nest budget to hire supplementary labor

Possible actions items:

  1. Dedicate 1 day per week for working groups/ cross team coordination
  2. Specify where we work closely (one big team) vs where we are independent (separate teams)

Note source #2

  • Are we independent units working on a similar project?
    Or Is the Aragon Network a single entity with multiple organisations working closely together and putting different skills to a common goal?

  • Does the Aragon Network DAO include ANT holders? It is an open source community with an organisation type model of structuring. The Aragon network is a DAO governed by ANT holders.

  • What do we want to be, independent teams with their own agenda or an organization with an agenda?

  • What are the aspects of each model (open source vs. Startups) do we want to have at the moment?

  • Trade off between small teams with a diverse set of perspectives, or more aligned resources and more top down implemented strategy.

  • We could have modulators that when we need trigger flexibility and reactivity, moments of alignment and moments of diversion.

  • It might be too early in the history of the project to determine what approach is best. Sometimes if feels like there is not enough freedom to go in one or the other direction.

  • Having flock teams be separate in some ways allows us to target different visions there is a need for a balance to work on infrastructure that we all need and the freedom to address the needs of a specific user.

  • We may have independent teams but we provide a centralised experience.

  • Where are the areas where we collaborate, what are the areas where we want to remain agile and priotize work independently? We can work on finding topics that we really need to align on, and some other things that.

  • We can have independence on some topics and collective decisions on others but still communicate on everything. Working groups were initially thought for that.

  • What are the differences between Flock and Nest: Nest teams are not solely dedicated to Aragon. Nest can be perceived as contractors and Flock teams full time employees.

  • Maybe Flock teams could have the possibility to hire “Nest teams” to scale their workforce and flexibility

Power dynamics in the Aragon Organization

  • Power dynamics in the Aragon Network

  • Coin voting at the heart of Aragon governance, but not the only place power concentrates

  • What are the different types of power?

    • Work force?
    • Capital?
    • Voting power?
    • Developers?
  • Examples of where power sits:

    • AA: power over AGPs, Nest, Flock, discretionary spending
    • Founders: token holdings, social influence, AA board control
  • There is not enough politicking / campaigning - (sentiment expressed that politicking is undesirable)

  • What are the different processes for interacting with power in the network?

  • Vote with reputation instead of ANT?

  • There needs to be checks and balances

    • 1p1v in parallel for signaling?
      • How to decide who gets to vote?
  • Information asymmetry: Aragon One might know who big tokenholders are and can coordinate with them in secret to support or reject certain proposals

  • The playing field should be as level / visible to everyone as possible

  • Can we have a working group specifically for power decentralization?

  • Open space needed to speak freely without fear of retribution

  • Need to raise concern “internally” without raising a fuss in public

  • Could the Aragon Court help resolve disputes internally?

Possible actions items:

  • Implement non-ANT based signalling
  • Tokenholder disclosures (big holders should get more involved in governance and pre-vote signalling)
  • Document who the biggest tokenholders are and how to contact them
  • Make information about gov/power more visible
  • Foster culture of communication between teams (e.g. the working groups)

“Autonomous” Aragon Apps

Aragon discursion Aragon Apps
Headless app client

No ctx on the aragon wrapper -> Almost there implemented

Ux challenges, two major postures:

  1. Central frontends
  2. Or more generable way to interact
  • customization of aragon uI vs provide standalone experience

  • Users don’t wantIhave to see admin type of thing Goes out of the client?

  • Have other kinds of permission to show deferent things on the UI depending of user type leg admin1

  • If we start new app that not live on the chant users could

  • We rlly need to provide the tx pathing (radspec) and aragonOS thing to been able to provide that experience

  • Trust B other problem cause the user wants to frown what they are using Having a kind of certified middleware to park a certification of the underhne aragon Os logic

  • How to Aragonize your app a widget that peak could use Like embebed in their web

  • Widget Insta DAO

    • App icon, popup --W tx pathing
  • The app information could be displayed and permissions would allow to show the specific information

  • Vote MVP there are some designs

  • Twitter embebed that allow to allocate from there

How to customize your brand over the client have Once we a mere core functionality Users would like to plug to some ofthe functions on aragon but keep they systems

Improve aragonPM to be used for distribution of free stoftware.

  • npm alternative improving security aspect Linux have nelly advance permission system

    • –> Have some skin on ofthegame
      accessandflow is the more important barrier
  • Linux ark is really modular in the way it ditributes IPFs propagation issue Publishing app is a pain point

  • How to know the servers

    • Array of servers in the repo tofetch a blob
    • aragon CLI is afrustration
  • can also have a IPFs that it will default if can be resolved

  • No one is running their own IPFS node yet, IPFS notreliable at this point

  • Way to incentivize
    Like a app store - curation list

  • How to add metadata
    Problem: Using a custom registry is difficult and no documentation

  • Metapackage manager
    Too much investment oftime
    Package manager for blockchain stuff, people can stake for your package. People pay for using your system.

  • Include a link fee in the curve, split among stakeholders. On cosmos probably. There is a way to build dependency three of Cosmos tech

Experts Network/Sourcecred

Note source #1

  • Could be interesting to have a marketplace for skills and talents. Aragon DAO can use it to spot and recruit people. DAO Workers can use it to increase their reputation in their area of expertise and visibility

  • A complex reputation system is always a tough challenge. Even big tech companies have simple reputation systems

  • Maybe it is a bit early to implement such a system. Would be better to have a critical mass of users to leverage it and better tools

  • It would still be very useful to have this kind of plateform/tool

  • Sourcecred could be a concrete first step to integrating some notion of a reputation system in Aragon

Note source #2

  • Look for people to do things that software can’t
  • Have a DAO to distribute shares based on reputation
  • Reputation based on skills/pay rate?
  • If reputation was based on pay rate how to prevent users paying each other to increase their rep.
  • Use the network with the Aragon court, jurors based on reputation.
  • Needs lots of members for liquidity
  • Great way to encourage more people to create DAOS on Aragon
  • Use the network with bounty systems

Thanks to the Aragon community for making this possible

Looking forward to doing this again sometime soon in Osaka, Berlin, or for Aracon?

Let’s keep chatting on the #berlin chat. :metal:


It would be great to move away from GitHub via Pando so that DAOs could own their own code. This way as a community evolves they are not constrained by the bottleneck of the founder holding onto access to the original repo, but the DAO and it’s community actually own the code they manage. This could even go as far as having the DAO own the ENS name to it’s website and the code for the website so that all of the communities infrastructure could be hosted and managed in a decentralized way.

Very interested in exploring this further. For a community to be healthy and inclusive all need to be welcome and there needs to be an incentive to speak freely vs speaking politically. I’ve noticed, and several people I’ve talked to have shared similar sentiments, that there is a general fear of raising points that are controversial or unpopular because that would decrease one’s “likability” or “social reputation” (and potential for funding/support in the future). Simply put, people don’t say what they really feel because they’re afraid it will affect their funding. This is a classic problem in academia and the corporate workforce. No idea how to fix this on a broader scale. For myself personally I created a random account where I can and say whatever I want. That doesn’t scale tho, and as I’m getting more and more involved in the community the benefits of a pseudonymous personality are diminishing as well. Overall this is a huge friction point, not just for the Aragon community, but for any community that involves humans. Aragon is all about creating better communication/coordination mechanisms so this seems like something essential to explore.

Not qualified to weigh in on this at a technical level, but I would LOVE to move away from NPM/Yarn to something more decentralized.

This looks promising, but having discussed many of the complexities around this it seems like the best way to go is with small scale experiments to prove and refine the model, then iterating with bigger and bigger projects.