Aragon Q2 Development Update

Aragon Q2 Development Update

v0.4 release status and the road ahead

We will be delivering regular updates on the development of Aragon. This is our first quarterly update to bring the community up to speed on where we're at and the road ahead.

As outlined in our Community Governance Model, we'll also have bi-weekly Dev Meetings. These meetings will consist of the Aragon Dev team. We'll be discussing the current technical developments, what has got done and what needs to get done for the next release. The meetings will be streamed live on our Youtube channel and the recording made available for later viewing.

The first regular Dev Meeting will take place on Friday 7th of July at 14.00/2pm CEST.

The Money Release (v0.4)

0.4 is a very special version as we plan for the first Mainnet Aragon organizations to be deployed using this version of the contracts (after audits have been done) at the end of the year.

Doing a quick recap from the Development Plan, version 0.4 of Aragon brings:

Full smart contracts re-architecture

Company upgradeability and interoperatibility with third party code has been one of my personal pain points and known challenges with all past versions of Aragon.

While doing some unrelated research, we started going down the rabbit-hole of what are the most basic features all DAOs need and what are other things that aren't as common but more concrete complex business logic. We ended up re-architecting everything in 3 layers: Kernel, Organs and Applications.

You can read more about it in the aragon-core Github repo, but a good TL;DR is that writing applications that anyone can install in their Aragon DAO will be as easy as installing an app on iPhone or an Android device. The possibilities of what can be built are endless.

These new changes implementing third party core modules (v0.5) and upgradeability (v0.6) are orders of magnitude easier to pull off.

Economic abstraction

In the currently released version of Aragon alpha, organizations can receive, raise, transfer and pay with Ether. It is the only currency Aragon knew about.

For v0.4 we are making Aragon organizations be able to receive, hold and transfer any standard token running on the Ethereum Network (that is ERC20 compatible). In fact we are going as far as to tokenizing Ether in a special EtherToken, making any token as value holding asset as Ether as organizations are concerned.

Dramatically improved budgeting and accounting

In v0.4 we have started from scratch with 'Accounting' to accomodate all new functionality related to the fact that now an organization can have multiple types of assets. We have improved the budgeting functionality and removed non-core accounting features from the app, given that other apps can be built with more complex systems. We are building a separate 'Payments' app.

Dividend sharing among shareholders of organizations

Now organizations can easily send profits to all token holders of the organization proportional to their economic rights.

Transition from our token implementation to MiniMe

We have replaced all our custom logic regarding governance tokens and transitioned to just use the MiniMe token standard. Organization tokens are now much more light and we don't have to lock token balances during a voting any more to protect against double voting.

Given that we now use a more standard token, any MiniMe token can now be used to govern Aragon organizations (without any wrapping) just by setting the organization as the token controller.

Timeline for v0.4

In the Development Plan we specified June 2017 as the release date for the alpha, and there are two main reasons why that didn't happen.

  • As you have seen above, we did an unplanned refactoring of our codebase for this version. The scope of the release completely changed because of that. We believe this makes the Aragon Core so much stronger and all future versions will benefit from the efforts being done now. Also it allows us to have a pretty clear upgrade path for all DAOs.
  • Preparation for our May 17th token sale needed so much more work than expected, it basically stopped all product development for over a month. We went through various approaches to the sale to finally settle on the hidden cap system that worked really well for us. We closed the biggest token sale event at the time in under 30 minutes. And in less than an hour after the sale began, Aragon Network Tokens were already being traded on 3 different exchanges. Planning and executing our boring, drama-less sale took a toll on our development resources.

New ETAs for v0.4 are:

  • July 31st: Optimistic internal deadline for feature completion.
  • Mid August-Early September: Realistic release date for v0.4 public alpha.
  • August-October: Smart contract audits and security improvements for v0.4.
  • November-December: v0.4 private beta. Starting to onboard organizations on the Ethereum Mainnet.

More stuff

Closing the token sale has also given us the resources to scale our product team to the next level. This month we have grown our development team by a 2x factor and have gotten our first community Pull Requests to our recently open sourced repositories. We've already introduced our Product Engineer Harsh and more will follow soon.

We are starting to use CommitETH to incentivize open source contributors and we are working on autobounty to streamline bounties.