Introducing Aragon: Unstoppable companies

The blockchain removes intermediaries by making trust obsolete. The first obvious use case was Bitcoin. Send and receive money freely.

Some years later, Ethereum was born. Ethereum brought Bitcoin’s core concept, the blockchain, to create a global computing platform.

And then, other obvious use cases started to emerge. Social networking, prediction marketplaces, decentralized storage…

You can replace every intermediary with a more efficient and fair decentralized solution.

One of the most basic needs in humans’ lives is to transact. Create products, provide services, sell them to others. Add value to their lives. The market.

It’s the core of everything we do, from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep. The market system is how we live.

Yet it’s crazy how intermediated it is. Companies and other organizational structures are tied to governments.

And governments rely on other parties such as banks, notaries, lawyers… The list goes on.

Today, companies spend a huge part of their time and capital just dealing with the system.

Dealing with compliance, know your customer, tax filings, payroll, international payments, cap table management, board approvals…

And they also spend a notable chunk of their capital in taxes. We are seeing a wave of Internet-based companies, working in a distributed fashion. Where should they pay taxes? They are supporting governments that they have no impact on, or receive any benefit from. Shouldn’t they instead support the creators of the protocols that power their Internet business?

Companies have changed quite a bit. We have gone very deep to the find the root of why companies exist.

To oversimplify, as Nobel’s prize Ronald Coase explained in his work The Nature of the Firm, companies exist because of transaction costs. And the more intermediaries, the more transaction costs.

Open source has already changed the paradigm, as Yochai Benkler stated on Linux and the Nature of the Firm. Yochai revisited Coase’s work taking in account how open source has changed how companies work.

Open source, together with the blockchain, will be the basis for a new generation of companies that will operate in ways we cannot even think about today.

I have worked in various positions at startups and saw all the pain related to operating a business. Being CEO, I saw the need of a change firsthand when I lost roughly one fourth of my time on bureaucracy. The framework for creating value is outdated. We can speed up innovation and progress by upgrading it.

And after talking to very smart people during the past months, we decided we had to build the new framework next generation companies will be based on.

This is the right moment. Decentralized technologies can make this possible. Governments are more disconnected than ever from the needs of their people. The land of the free couldn’t be more incorrect now.

But every step they take to censor, control and spy, is ten steps the ecosystem takes to fight it.

Today, taking a stand to help this fight, we are introducing Aragon.

Aragon is everything you need to operate your company or organizational structure, on Ethereum.

Aragon lets everyone create value without borders or intermediaries.

Cap table, vesting, payments, voting, bylaws, fundraising and identity all in a beautiful, unified interface.

Aragon companies will be more efficient. They won’t waste time on paperwork or dealing with third parties. They won’t waste a cent on tasks that don’t benefit their product or service.

This will make Aragon companies more competitive than their traditional counterparties. So they will be able to provide better products at better prices. Then clients will choose them because of that. This creates a virtuous circle that can speed up the decentralized economy.

Head to aragon.one and try it out. We have already deployed the first company to a private Ethereum testnet. We will release the first public alpha in the following weeks.

If you want to join us in this journey, you are invited to our Slack channel.

Thank you all,

Luis & Jorge

PS: We will be at EDCON in Paris next week. Come say hi!