The Pando Network

Nolwenn Jollivet
Dec 21, 2018 · 8 min read


The Pando Network, based on the Pando protocol is a “ready-to-use” stack that intends to redistribute creation and value through decentralized infrastructures and blockchain-based crypto-economic incentives giving back autonomy to creators and contents.

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How we spread out…

In Latin, pando means « I spread out ». It also happens to be the name of the earth’s oldest and largest living organism: a forest of quaking aspens located in south-central Utah. Indeed, this forest has a weird characteristic: it has been determined to be a single living organism cloning itself since 80.000 years. Our goal is to build a technological ecosystem based on the same principles of autonomy and synergy.

The origin of the Pando project happened at the crossroads of several issues, desires and constraints: a philosophical will to redistribute, decentralize and remunerate creation and creators, and a desire to build in symbiosis with the Ethereum blockchain technology to which it borrows its mechanisms.

Besides, the development of Pando is deliberately oriented in a philosophical approach similar to GitHub, bought in 2018 by Microsoft, while creating a bridge towards Blockchain technology. Completely open-source, this common good is a further step in the quest for decentralization of societies and the empowerment of the human being.

One of the major steps in the development of the project is the creation of the Pando protocol, a decentralized VCS enabling contribution tracking, developed by the Pando Network team and fully funded by the Nest program set up by Aragon in 2018. This tool is intended to be open, open-source and free. It will be made available early 2019 and accessible directly via the Aragon Client.

Considering Pando as the forest of the same name is therefore considering that this infrastructure has as its base, for roots and humus, both Ethereum and Aragon, the concern for open-source and the desire for decentralization.

The Pando protocol

In one word, Pando is a fully distributed and immutable VCS based on top of IPFS, aragonOS and the Ethereum blockchain. It has been developed by the Pando Network team since march 2018, and intends to become a community standard. Its goal is to provide content creators, and primarily software developers, with a universal open-source versioning, cooperation and archiving layer.

I cannot contain my excitement about this. One of the best uses of aragonOS that I have seen. Git repos controlled by DAOs

Luis Ivan Cuende — CEO Aragon One

The name of Pando, as we saw, has been chosen to evoke the sustainability of open-source projects evolving through the process of spontaneous contributions. Indeed, history has shown us that common goods are most often the result of a multitude of individual actions carried out by individuals who do not know each other but who, in their mutual strangeness, participate to the creation of a common. A whole series of projects developed on GitHub shows this day after day. Whether it’s Linux or Lichess.

But unlike GitHub, contents developed on top of Pando will not be exclusively maintained by a handful of maintainers and lieutenants. Why? Because Pando will turn every creative project into a DAO. Which we call: a content-DAO.


A total decentralization

Pando implements a fully distributed architecture. We know that data integrity, like code immutability, remains a major issue in the current OSS ecosystem. That is why in Pando, each repository’s files and data are stored and replicated over IPFS while its governance schemes are enforced through a set of smart-contracts safely stored and executed on the ethereum blockchain. This architecture guarantees that contents maintained through Pando are uncensorable and can survive most infrastructure breakdowns.

Immutability of contents

Pando guarantees content and governance immutability through the coupling of IPFS and the Ethereum blockchain. It insures a timeless archiving of each project’s versions and thus that the contents maintained through Pando are uncensorable even by their own authors. This features make Pando unique in the field of VCS. As Kyle Drake well said about the web 2.0 :

“Right now, the web is in the dark ages. We put up data and it erodes and disappears, whether we want it to or not”

Immutability is an important part of what Pando is: every version, commit and fork of a pando-based repository are engraved in stone forever. No one can censor it, delete it nor modify it. For that reason, Pando has the power to become a universal archiving system thanks to which we will finally be able to look at the entire history of the web. With Pando we will no longer need a third entity like “”.

Experimenting new governance models

By tracking every contribution in a repository, Pando’s goal is to experiment with brand new governance models, allowing each contributor to earn authorship / authority tokens on the repository thanks to their actual contributions.

The purpose of these non-fungible authority tokens is not to be sold on the secondary markets but to represent the real part of the contributions of a user inside the content-DAO.

By keeping track of every inspiration, of every dependency or fork parent as an influencer of your project, Pando enables to value influence and opens new questions related to reputation systems in a determined ecosystem.


It’s an infrastructure placed above the Pando protocol and which offers the user features specific to manage content-DAOs. The Pando protocol has been crafted to be the most modular as possible. The Pando Network overlay goes further and can be thought as a DApp builder layer on which users could both act on already existing applications and/or build their own specialized and dedicated applications. That way, we expect to see a rich ecosystem of DApps being built over the Pando Network, modulating the rules of content-DAOs in order to offer an ever more favorable creative framework according to the application domain (blog platform, collaborative writing, design, composition of music), and a fair and decisive exploitation of the content-DAOs that will emerge.

There is no governance model that fits all needs: it all depends on the scale, timing, political wills and goals of each project. This is why Pando Network offers as much modularity as possible, regarding the governance policies of creative contents. The flexibility and power of the aragonOS framework makes it possible to keep Pando Network as agnostic and generic as possible with regard to these features.

Let’s be clear

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1- The first layer is the “Pando protocol” built on top of IPFS, the Aragon framework, and the Ethereum blockchain.

2- The second layer is the “Pando Network”, a framework for all cultural industries which offers a contributions tracking mechanism, provides a reputation system, a queryable database, and a whole series of governance kits for content-DAOs based on the aragonOS framework and usable through the Aragon Client.

3- The third one is the Dapp Layer. On this layer anyone can create a dedicated Dapp (book, software, video-game, design and so on) and immediately enjoy all the features offered by the Pando Network: reputation and valorisation system, dedicated governance models, collaborative work.

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The DApp Layer and the worldwide cultural creation

Maybe we should think about collaboration differently. Let’s take two examples. What would be the work of Jules Verne without his publisher Hetzel, who carefully re-read each manuscript of the author? Let’s go further. Would there be a filmography as beautiful and profound as Béla Tarr’s, without the writer and scenarist László Krasznahorkai? The blockchain could be a cultural tool enabling to write with a hundred thousands hands ; made for avant-gardes and their manifestos, for artistic collectives, for trends, for political friendships. It could be the ghost tool of both surrealists and distant epistolers. Thereby, collaborating wouldn’t just be “creating together”, but also “creating side by side”, considering the work through the prism of all the voices that constitute it, not only the author or the authors, but also their influences, their apocryphal inspirers, their critics, their broadcasters and their publishers.

The Pando Network intends to create such a collaborative and fair framework: a space where content-DAOs would definitely be at the center of the game, value creators and inspirers gravitating around, and reward contributors up to their authorship shares, earned by proper contribution, but also offered by consensus of the other members, as a deserved passway into the the membership of the content-DAO.

The Pando Network will therefore propose a wide range of functionalities. By being centered around the contents and no longer around the authors, this infrastructure will record the inspiration tree of any content-DAO. Any content built in the wake of another, if it generates an income, will thus be able to redistribute a small portion of it to its parent-content. This redistribution of incomes can be modulated by content-DAOs. If a creator who has agreed to be forked wants to recover an important tree-inspiration income, this can determine its ability to be forked by other projects, and thus to gain visibility. Conversely, a creator who forks can modulate the calculation of income-distribution: for instance, he may want to return a larger reward to one of his content-DAO parent in particular, to offer him more recognition and more visibility every time that he gets some.

This new way of redistributing visibility and re-determining side-by-side creation is all the more effective because it is part of the Dapp builder overlay, allowing bridges to be created between different areas of creation. The Pando Network is thus a key proposition in the large-scale use of blockchain technologies. It acknowledge the real constraints and difficulties encountered by content creators today.

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Toward a new kind of governance for art and creation…

The creative world suffers from two phenomena that silenced it: first, the verticality of practices, which attributes value through the specialization of activities (editorial jury, producers, prescribers, among others); second, an economic model centred on intermediaries and the division of labour. To these two phenomena, the Pando Network responds by both horizontalizing artistic practices and by setting up a decentralized economic model, without intermediaries, capable of remunerating the work of all the actors involved.

Decentralize creation, empower creators: this editorial and political line supported by the Pando Network will only be achieved through the implementation of DAOs and adapted licenses. These devices will create a vast creative ecosystem where disciplines and practices will be permeable to each other through DApps existing side by side — as quaking aspens in the Utah forest. So that all creators will be able to spread out…

Pando Network

The infrastructure for distributed creation

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