Company Governance: Aragon Launches Its Alpha Release

On March 20, 2017, Aragon, the decentralized management platform built on Ethereum, announced its public alpha release for testing on the Kovan testnet

First announced on the Ethereum subreddit in February 2017, Aragon seeks to help companies redefine their governance models and management strategies through efficient and decentralized solutions. 

According to Aragon, numerous intermediaries clog the organizational structures of both small and large institutions with red tape and bureaucracy. A few examples are KYC (know your customer) compliance, tax filings, payroll, international payments, cap table management, and board approvals.

Inspired by two works that explore the concept of a “company” (“The Nature of the Firm” and “Linux and the Nature of the Firm”), the team behind Aragon is using blockchain technology to design smart contract business-building structures similar to DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations).

Users of Aragon will have the ability create by-laws, vote, fundraise, and organize time and task management through a sleek and easy-to-use interface. Aragon also promises to reduce paperwork by lowering organizations’ dependence on third parties, while increasing efficiency by promoting alternative management models that counter the old fashioned structures of companies past.

Evidence of this can be seen in the way Aragon operates as a company and is reflected on its website:

“Some insights of how we work:

  • We are [a] fully distributed company – we don't think talent is geographically centralized.
  • We do focused deep work sessions 4 days a week, leaving Friday for all meetings, calls, thinking time and side projects.
  • We encourage team members to spend a substantial part of their paid work time on unrelated blockchain open source projects to speed up the development of the ecosystem.
  • We are open source only.
  • We are a technology company. Our focus is product first.

Things we value in people:

  • Focus-driven work, not hours-driven.
  • Autonomous workers with a proactive attitude and a love for time self-management.
  • We value what you can do and your attitude doing it, not where/whether you went to school or college.”

Aragon has been hard at work fixing bugs and other issues in its code and has released the alpha version of the product for users to experiment with on the Kovan testnet. The platform’s blog posts encourage users to build upon the platform in unique ways that align with users’ personal and company-held beliefs.

Proudly promoting the open-source nature of the platform, Tech Lead, Jorge Izquierdo, said:

“Our ambition is for Aragon to be the backbone of a new generation of companies that will thrive in the new decentralized economy. We have focused on building a modular system, in the frontend and in the smart contracts, so modified versions for specific company types/industries could be build [sic] (pe. Aragon for Hedgefunds, Aragon for Non-Profits or Aragon for Open Source projects).”

With over 130 Aragon organizations deployed on multiple testnets, and more than 330 community members on its Slack channel, Aragon is already generating interest and will most likely continue to do so with audiences that value decentralized and experimental governance models, while possibly capturing the attention of new companies who may have never heard of blockchain technology.

The platform is available for Linux, MacOS, and Windows. For more information visit https://aragon.one/.