Meet The New Aragon Protocol

Our new modular DAO framework is live on testnet, with mainnet slated for the new year.

Meet The New Aragon Protocol

Our new modular DAO framework is live on testnet, with mainnet slated for the new year.

Modern-day organizations should be able to experiment with governance at the speed of software. They should be able to experiment in a way that’s safe from hacks, flexible for any project, and saves gas fees.

Say hello to the new Aragon protocol, now live on Goerli testnet!

Our new protocol enables the digital organizations of the future through:

  • Gas savings: because you should only pay for what you use.
  • Upgradability: because organizations are constantly evolving
  • Role management: to build permissionless, trustless environments
  • Unopinionated architecture: because we’re not here to tell you what you can and can’t build
  • Flexible systems: so you can design organizations in the future that we can’t yet imagine today.
  • Security baked-in: because you need a DAO framework you can trust.

You can find our protocol’s contracts here! Any feedback, observation, or idea is well appreciated and encouraged.

Why do we need a new protocol?

Since the first version of the Aragon protocol was released on mainnet in 2018, the DAO space has dramatically changed. The on-chain organizations of 2022 have much different needs than those of 2018. We’ve spent years researching, testing, and trying new products.

Here’s what we’ve found:

The problem: On-chain organizations need easier ways to evolve and change.

Sounds obvious, right? But when you’re working on an immutable blockchain, that’s not so easy!

The immutability of the blockchain is great when security and tamper-proof data are key priorities, but when it comes to evolving organizations, it can be tough. While doing user research, we found that many organizations opted to run off-chain merely so they could adapt. They’d rather rely on humans—for example, to sign a multisig transaction—than to leverage the power of blockchain immutability to build trustless organizations.

Our solution: a modular framework that allows organizations to grant and revoke permissions to different addresses as they evolve

The new Aragon protocol is modular , and secure, so DAOs can adapt even while they are deployed immutably on-chain. Through a state-of-the-art permission management system, our protocol is future-proof to DAOs we can’t even envision today. DAO operators grant and revoke permissions that enable both people and plugins to perform whatever action needed.

Hello, plugin magic! ✨

Strategically, the new Aragon protocol is particularly lean - with plugins at the center of any functionality beyond permission management.

You can envision our protocol containing three main sections:

  • The DAO and its factory: the contracts that create DAOs, store them in the DAORegistry, and where DAOs manage their assets. You can envision the DAO.sol contract as a vault, enabling addresses (with certain permissions, of course) to withdraw and deposit assets.
  • The permission management system: these are the contracts that determine which addresses (be them contracts or accounts) are able to execute which actions.
  • The plugins and their manager: this is where we publish plugins, store them,  and manage their versions. It contains the logic and the installing instructions for each of the plugins published to the protocol.

The plugin magic, then, combined with a robust permission management system, enable a protocol that is lean at its core, while vast in possibilities.

We designed the new Aragon protocol with plugins because we have no way of knowing how digital organizations will look in the future and plugins  enable innovative experimentation.

The best achievements in history have come from the strongest of human collaborations, so we’re making it easy for DAO builders to grow, mature, and evolve alongside their organization. Through this new architecture, we can ensure that the DAO instance itself doesn’t need to change, while the permissions it grants and revokes can adapt to any future circumstance.

How a DAO can evolve using the new Aragon protocol

Let’s say you have a group of friends who want to invest together. You start your DAO as a telegram group chat, so all you really need at first is a multisig vault with wallet-based voting you set up using Aragon.

Time goes by—your DAO starts getting more recognition, so you onboard new members. You decide you want to mint a token and introduce token-based voting, but you currently only use wallet-based voting— how could you adapt?

Easy.. You grant execute permissions to a new governance plugin and revoke them from your old wallet-based voting plugin:

Similarly, when you later want to introduce a new type of governance—maybe NFT-based voting– you simply revoke permissions for the ERC20 plugin, and grant permissions to the NFT voting plugin! As easy as that.

The most exciting part about this plugin strategy is that we build it alongside you and the ecosystem. Whatever needs organizations have, anyone can publish a plugin into our protocol and install it in their DAO as they see fit.

Which means, by the way, that if you’re a software developer, hop into the Developer Chat in our Discord and let us know what plugins you’re interested in building! We’re offering support and some rewards for the early adopters.

The new Aragon protocol is the base of the hyperstructure for governance

Our goal is to build the hyperstructure for governance, which will become a public good to serve the future of digital organizations. We want to help DAOs improve by building a base layer they can rely on that is always open-source and flexible for any organization you can dream of!

The stack will look like this:

building a hyper structure ecosystem, Aragon protocol
  • Aragon protocol with all its published plugins forms the base.
  • The Aragon protocol’s Software Development Kit (SDK), a JavaScript gateway into our protocol, is what enables developers an easy way to connect with the contracts and build dApps on top of the protocol.
  • The upcoming Aragon App will sit on top of it all for end users, making it easy for DAO builders to interact with the underlying smart contracts.
  • And of course, anyone can build any dApp using the protocol, represented by Interface X in the visual, to target other use case verticals or even an interface for their own custom DAOs.

Excited? Come build with us!

Our contracts are still being worked on and audited, so we are requesting feedback on the design and architecture.

Goerli addresses:

NPM packages with the artifacts and ABI here:

Discord join link to find our developerchat: