Aragon helped Lido, Curve form DAOs — now it’s dissolving

The Aragon Association, which emerged from one of the earliest ICOs of 2017, is dissolving itself. The token has lost two-thirds of its value since its all-time high in April 2021, and the Association, which once controlled Aragon’s treasury, will disburse most of its remaining funds to token holders.

Aragon was founded in 2016 and conducted its ICO on May 17, 2017. It provided tooling for some of the world’s most popular DAOs, including Curve and Lido. It failed at its various other pursuits, however, and acknowledged lengthy, final regrets.

Specifically, the Aragon Association plans to use 86,343 ETH to buy back ANT at a rate of 0.0025376 ETH per ANT. ANT token holders must manually request the redemption. Unclaimed funds will be used to finish Aragon’s limited product roadmap.

Over the weekend and throughout time of writing, the price of ANT tracked that ratio impeccably: 1 ANT per 0.0025 ETH. In other words, speculators apparently see no further value in ANT above its redemption value for the remaining ETH in Aragon’s treasury.

Aragon posted redemption information for ANT token holders. Claimants must ensure they hold ANTv2 instead of ANTv1 or ANJ. Also, they must swap any wrapped ANT tokens for regular ANT tokens. Claimants will have until November 2, 2024 at 23:59 UTC to redeem their tokens for ETH. The redemption contract address has the label “Aragon: ANT Redemption Contract” on Etherscan.

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Aragon dissolving into the sunset

The Aragon Association says the Aragon Shield Foundation will retain approximately $11 million within the association to cover final obligations. After the redemption window expires on November 3, 2024, it says it will also repurpose any unused funds to comply with tax regulations and fund future product development.

The Aragon Association says Aragon’s mission will continue in a more “product-focused” fashion. Aragon tried to popularize decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) with its Aragon SDK, which made it easier to create a DAO with a few lines of code — or create plugins for DAO functionalities.

Its SDK and related products like Aragon ODS (user interfaces for DAOs) became Aragon’s notable success stories. Lido, Curve, and Decentraland, for example, used Aragon’s products to create DAOs.

Obviously, sunsetting a project is not an ideal outcome. The Aragon Association acknowledged failures, such as its attempt to create a “court system” for settling DAO disputes. It acknowledged its failed attempt to create appchains on Cosmos. It also admitted that it could not transform its DAO framework from a common good into a value-capturing protocol.

Read more: Ethereum centralization is becoming a serious problem

Attempts to create a workable governance structure using ANT as a governance token also failed. Forcing ANT to become the base asset for governance added bureaucratic morass and created misaligned incentives between stakeholders. The Aragon Association acknowledged, at this point, that it would be easier to dissolve than to rebuild various governance structures from the ground up to fix those flaws.

Aragon’s sunset phase will be managed by a product council whose members will manage Aragon’s final resources, advice, and oversight of Aragon OSx. Aragon will also incorporate a new company with the current Aragon OSx staff as its core team. Aragon Association team members will not be part of the new structure.

In short, one of the oldest ICOs is dying. ANT’s final value is 0.0025376 ETH per ANT. Priced in USD, it has lost two-thirds of its value since its all-time high. The Aragon Association will distribute most of its treasury to token holders. A few legacy operations will remain intact over the next couple years to oversee the final redemption of tokens as well as Aragon OSx.

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