AN DAO Handbook
AN DAO Handbook

Introduction to Aragon

Aragon is a project that fights for freedom by creating tools for decentralized governance.
The project was originally started by Luis Cuende and Jorge Izquierdo in 2016 to disintermediate the creation and maintenance of organisations. The tools made by Aragon help people freely organise across borders and without intermediaries.
Instead of bureaucracy, subjectivity, and trust, smart contracts have opened the door to experiment with governance at the speed of software.
Organisations that can be spun up instantly, that can't be shut down by governments, that are resistant to internet censorship, and that allow small groups of people to collaborate effectively.
The Aragon stack helps communities develop software for human organisation. From the smart contracts to the user interface, Aragon takes care of the most important pieces of infrastructure to deliver censorship-resistant, decentralised and upgradeable apps.
If you're new to this ecosystem, don't worry if some (or all) of that sounded a little abstract. You can think of Aragon as providing the lego pieces to allow people (like you) to build the next generation of human organisations, DAOs.
Who uses Aragon? Explore some communities that use Aragon here.


And what exactly is a DAO?
There are many ways to describe a DAO, and knowledgable people may disagree on the precise definition. For our purposes, you can think of DAOs as flexible, global, and uncensorable online organisations. The limits of what is enabled by DAOs can be as broad as our imagination, but some common actual use cases are: projects with friends or strangers, pop-up companies and basically any kind of community. What you see around in web3, is probably (or at least partly) governed by a DAO.
Learn more about DAOs here.


But what does web3 mean exactly? And why do we care about it in the context of Aragon?
Web3 is the vision of a fully decentralized web. While decentralized architecture is nothing new in itself - P2P architectures have existed for decades - what's new is the addition of cryptography and economic incentives to these architectures.
The fusion of these seemingly disparate disciplines was the big innovation behind Bitcoin, and has since led to the emergence of a new field of research devoted to their intersection (what we now call cryptoeconomics). The key takeaway is that cryptoeconomics is the big unlock that has allowed us to start moving from centralized structures (web2) to more decentralized or fully distributed (web3). DAOs are online global communities built on top of these architectures.
The Aragon Association is a non-profit entity based in Switzerland. It is the legal steward of the Aragon project. It is responsible for managing the funds raised in the Aragon Network Token sale. Read more about Aragon Association here.