Ethereum DApp Creators // Issue #05 Aragon

  • In the previous Issue #04 we talked with John and Hudson from the Project Oaken team about the blockchain and Internet of Things.

    For this issue, we’ll be interviewing Luis Cuende from Aragon, the project that is about to bring decentralized organizations to life.

    For all the past issues of our Ethereum DApp Creators and Ethereum Contributors Series, go to

    This interview series is about the people who work hard to develop decentralized applications on top of Ethereum.

    Luis Cuende from Aragon

    Aragon is recently launched their first alpha, a project which provides unstoppable companies powered by Ethereum. It was born to disintermediate the creation and maintenance of companies and other organizational structures.

    With Aragon you can easily create a company, own, manage and transfer your shares, raise capital from anywhere in the world, assign roles, pay salaries and more — providing all the tools you need to run and manage a company online, at significantly lower transaction costs than centralized solutions.

    Aragon is a great example of how smart contracts facilitate greater efficiency, and will encourage startups from all over the world to begin using Ethereum as a backbone for their company management. We invited Luis from the Aragon Team to answer some of our questions about his vision for the project.

    Hi Luis! Could you, in your own words, describe what Aragon is for those who don’t know?

    Aragon is everything you need to run your company on Ethereum. Cap table, governance, fundraising, payroll, accounting, bylaws… Aragon companies are extremely customizable, and you get everything in a unified, beautiful interface.

    What is it that you do at Aragon?

    I’m the Project Lead. Nowadays the team is quite small, so we all work on product but I work on everything else that is not product as well. Vision, ops, legal, copywriting, communication, raising awareness… I’ll just say that we’re hiring :)

    This is your first Ethereum related project, how did you come to work on the platform?

    I’ve been working on free software since I was 12. In 2012 I discovered Bitcoin but wasn’t really involved until 2013. I tried to found a couple companies, but finally met my cofounders of what was my latest company, Stampery. Thanks to Stampery I had a lot of exposure to the startup world, being named a Forbes 30 Under 30 and MIT TR35. Being a Bitcoiner, I was amazed by the possibility of doing what Bitcoin has done to currency, but to the world, and that’s what brought me to Ethereum.

    And what about Aragon, what drove you to initiate the project?

    It was the revelation that the world is not working right because of unjustified power. All power must be justified. And some intermediaries have been accumulating unjustified power for centuries. They’re everywhere, parasitizing human relationships and trade.

    Ethereum can help disintermediate the world. And thanks to it, Aragon can help disintermediate organizational structures.

    So what is the vision you have for Aragon? How do you see it taking shape this year?

    We’ve released our public Alpha and we’re in a good track of making it really easy for everyone to create and maintain a decentralized organization. Decentralized organizations are more efficient than their centralized counterparties. For that reason, they’ll be able to create better products or services at lower rates, and users will buy them.

    However, for that to happen, we need to solve multiple issues. The first one is ease of use, and then contract upgradeability, a decentralized arbitration system, standardization… We want to solve — either us or partnering with others — these issues in order to make decentralized organizations widespread. We have made some breakthroughs on this thanks to Jorge’s [Izquierdo] research, and I think this year we’ll have a more clear vision of how a decentralized court system for Aragon organizations may work. We need to make sure that Aragon organizations are up to date in order to fix bugs and improve them to stay relevant.

    We will also release a module system for other developers so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel and can just build on top of Aragon, and that will be great to create a common standard of how a decentralized organization should behave. Organizations are still humans, so arbitration is key for solving the edge cases that smart contracts can’t solve.

    Finally… Aragon companies on the mainnet, sometime at the end of the year :)

    Overview of Aragon Alpha’s Home page

    And since these organizations are decentralized by nature, they can operate even if Aragon should disappear for some reason?

    Exactly. We will open source everything in a matter of weeks, and that’s all you will need to run an Aragon company.

    Do you think there will initially be more new companies created on Aragon rather than adoption of existing ones? What about in the long run?

    I think we’ll see more brand new companies than companies being migrated. Migrating a traditional entity to being a purely Ethereum-based entity will not be trivial in the beginning. However, using an existing token to govern an Aragon organization will be possible very very soon. But in the long term, once a few small companies have been using it safely for some time, we’ll definitely see migrations happening.

    Who do you see as being able to gain most from using Aragon? Which kind of companies do you see to be the first to adopt?

    Remote/entirely distributed companies, open source projects and a new bunch of companies that couldn’t exist as the world works right now.

    Open source projects don’t have a clear way to operate as an organization today. Distributed companies kind of have, but it’s just too complex. You don’t wanna spend 50% of your company’s time just dealing with basic stuff that can be solved with technology, that’s just not competitive.

    When an user gets started with Aragon, does it require a level of technical knowledge?

    Not at all. We have put a huge effort into making sure non-technical users can use it. And we will keep investing even more resources into usability and design.

    Do you think that companies built in Aragon will be good targets for investors?

    Yes — we believe that the ecosystems that thrive are the ecosystems in which investors are comfortable with the rules and willing to take risks. If you invest in an Aragon company, you can see all the accounting, participate in the votings, see how much runaway the company has… all in a very user friendly way.

    What can we at Status do for Aragon?

    Status can really help driving adoption for Aragon. The fact that you can, for example, assign shares in 3 clicks is mind blowing, but what if you could do that from your phone, on the go? It’s magic. Plus Status is one of the best designed apps on the ecosystem. Kudos to the team!

    When can people expect to get their hands on Aragon?

    They already can! We just announced our public Alpha to the world, go download it!

    Thank you Luis for the interview, looking forward to following your progress in the world of decentralized organizations!

    Thanks to Luis Cuende.



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