Treasury Transfer - Phases


In June 2022, ANT holders signaled to transition the governance of the treasury and core infrastructure of the Aragon project to a delegate voting DAO, aiming for the soft deadline of February 28, 2023. A new onchain delegate voting DAO was developed and deployed on Ethereum mainnet in February 2023. Prior to the deployment, ANT Holders approved the Aragon DAO Rules in a clause-by-clause signaling vote. The initial deployment has two vaults:

  • a budget vault for smaller amounts of funds; and
  • a governance vault for changing the permissions and parameters of other vaults.

In January 2023, the Aragon Association (AA) approved a 3 phase-based approach to transferring the treasury to the Aragon Ecosystem Association (legal wrapper of Aragon DAO). The transfer of the treasury is in the sole discretion of the AA, in accordance with the approved resolution.

Security Considerations

The phased-based approach approved by the AA accounts for risks proportional to the amount of funds at play, and emphasizes security considerations that take time to set up, test, and adjust. The AA is prioritizing safety during the DAO transition and has the discretion to adjust the timing of treasury transfers accordingly.

When developing the phased-based transfer roadmap, we focused on the following security considerations:

  • Smart Contract Security: Technology hack risks cannot be predicted, so they should be mitigated through a broad range of preventative efforts. These include audits, honeypots, and bug bounties. While the efficacy of each of these measures cannot be quantified, technical mitigations like honeypots and bug bounties can increase our confidence over time.
  • Governance Security: considering the economic imbalances and current ANT distribution, Guardians were added as the main governance security mechanism, providing the option to veto or pause proposals before they proceed to vote. The addition of Guardians as a security measure was approved in the signalling ANT Holder vote, as part of the item-by-item vote on the Aragon DAO Rules. The trusted mechanism of Guardians was put in place as the main governance security mechanism.
  • Economic Security: governance hacks are influenced by financial incentives, so risks should be mitigated by ensuring that the ROI of a governance hack should be minimized by setting market cap to treasury ratio targets, and a malicious actor should only be able to directly withdraw in a single transaction from the budget vault. Similarly, increasing wANT market cap (getting token holders to wrap, ANT price changes) also takes time.


Here is a breakdown of the phases approved by the AA in January 2023:

Phase 0 - Initial Testing [Complete]: The main objective of this phase was to ensure a technically safe deployment of the Aragon DAO. Actions included deploying the voting apps, budget and governance vaults as well as transferring a small test amount into the budget vault to start testing the DAO and adjust parameters accordingly. Guardians, who are responsible for vetoing illegal proposals or those with malicious transaction payloads, were also appointed and tested. The success of this phase was marked by a successful audit of the DAO, active participation of at least three Guardians, as well as there being a minimum threshold of ANT getting wrapped to participate.

Phase 1 - Operational State and Incremental Transfers [On Hold]: This phase aims to gradually move the project toward operating in the DAO by incrementally transferring a larger proportion of the total transferable treasury (10%) into the budget vault. Once started, it was estimated to be executed over a 9 month period to mitigate against governance risks. The progress of this phase will be monitored against a set of clearly defined trigger criteria, including there being no critical bugs, a set wANT market cap to budget vault balance ratio, as well as a minimum ANT price.

Phase 2 - Main Vault Transfers [Future]: This phase aims to transfer the remaining portion of the total transferable treasury into a newly deployed “Main Vault”. It is the most cautious phase, as it involves movement of a majority of the Aragon treasury. Actions involve incremental monthly transfers to the reserve vault and the transfer of the ownership of the ANT contract to the Main vault, also over the course of 9 months. This phase requires a second audit from a top-tier audit firm, a favorable performance review on Guardians by the Aragon Shield Foundation, and the successful amendment of Aragon DAO Rules to include the parameters of the Main Vault.

Current Status

The AA Committee is responsible for executing the three transfer phases. If necessary, the Committee may need to adjust trigger criteria or related actions/time horizons within each phase.

Phase 0 of the transfer was completed in May, although there were delays in setting up the Guardians and ensuring they were operational.

The AA Committee has temporarily halted Phase 1 transfers as we explore options to mitigate some of the risks observed during Phase 1 and to address its underlying causes, some of which have been discussed in the Forum. The feasibility of those options is being considered, and we expect to have clarity by next month.

By the end of Phase 2, we are aiming to complete the Aragon DAO diagram below. The only element currently missing from the diagram, to be deployed in Phase 2, is the Main Vault.

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Next month was 2 months ago. Who is responsible for this task and can we get a factual update detailing what has been done in the last 2 months and what needs to be done for this phase to be complete?


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