On May 17, 2017, disintermediation platform Aragon announced it closed an ICO in less than 15 minutes, raking in $25,000,000 in Ether (ETH) from 2,403 investors in exchange for ANT tokens, and making it the fourth highest crowdsale ever.
Aragon, an Ethereum-based platform, focuses on providing companies a path to autonomy through blockchain technology—eliminating often costly intermediaries. Internal mechanisms like cap table management, governance, fundraising, payroll, and accounting can all be managed with Aragon's interface.
Scammers were quick to capitalize on Aragon’s success. Someone set up a Twitter account replacing the ‘g’ in Aragon with a ‘q’ and using Aragon’s logo, and then phished various users in attempts to have Ether sent to an address not associated with the crowd-sale. The Twitter account has since been removed, but Aragon’s social media personnel criticized Twitter’s slow response, which resulted in would-be investor losses in excess of $10,000, according to Aragon.
Aragon co-founder Luis Cuende leads the project, and is enthusiastic about his team's aspirations:
"We are extremely delighted with the success of our token sale and are humbled that the community has placed this trust in Aragon. We now have the resources to hire the best talent and execute one of the most ambitious projects, one which has the potential to create a more equal and fair society."
Cuende started programming at the early age of 12. In 2011, by age 15, he obtained the title of "Best Underage European Programmer" from HackFwd. Cuende was also involved in the founding of blockchain data certification startup, Stampery.
Aragon's tech lead and other co-founder, Jorge Izquierdo, has a similar pedigree; he received a prestigious award at the age of 15, in this case the WWDC scholarship from Apple. A mere year later, Izquierdo's app Showy gained enough popularity to reach the number 2 position in the Spanish App Store.
"Aragon was born to unleash people’s true capability by removing unnecessary barriers and allowing the global permissionless co-operation of talent,” said Cuende. With Cuende’s and Izquierdo’s extraordinary experience and knowledge, perhaps the Aragon team will realize this goal.