Why Build your Custom DAO on Aragon OSx

Reduced complexity, support for custom functionality, and recent audits among reasons why developers choose to build on Aragon OSx

Why Build your Custom DAO on Aragon OSx

Aragon OSx is a modular, adaptable DAO framework built to enable the organizations of the future. Launched in March 2023, there is already a thriving developer ecosystem building on top of the protocol.

SecureSECO is a research organization that recently built their own custom DAO on Aragon OSx. In their documentation they shared a bit about why they chose to build on Aragon OSx over other DAO frameworks.

Here are a few of the reasons, with a deep dive into OSx under the hood.

Reduced complexity

The SecureSECO team wanted a simple solution and a DAO framework they could trust.

The simpler a protocol, the easier to use, ergo the more secure it is.

Your Aragon OSx DAO consists of the following three main pieces:

1. The DAO contract: where the core functionality of the protocol lies. It is in charge of:

  • Representing the identity of the DAO (ENS name, logo, description, other metadata)
  • Keeping the treasury
  • Executing arbitrary actions to:
  • Transfer assets
  • Call its own functions
  • Call functions in external contracts

2. The Permission Manager: part of the DAO contract and the center of our protocol architecture. It manages permissions for your DAO by specifying which addresses have permission to call distinct functions on contracts associated with your DAO.

3. Plugins: Any custom functionality can be added or removed through plugins, allowing you to fully customize your DAO. Examples of plugins can be found across categories, including governance, asset management, membership handling, etc.

This makes for a simple yet powerful protocol. You can see how all of these components interact in the image below:

Support for custom functionality

You customize your DAO through plugins, which you can think of like apps you install and uninstall on your computer. In desktop apps, you give or reject permission to access things like the camera, microphone, and location.

Plugins are similar: to install them and allow them to change the logic of your DAO, your DAO needs to grant permission to them. When you don’t want to use the plugin anymore, simply revoke permission.

So, what can a plugin do? Here are a few categories of plugins:

  • Governance: provides the DAO with different decision-making mechanisms such as token or address-based majority voting, conviction voting, optimistic governance, or direct execution from an admin address. They are characterized by requiring the EXECUTE_PERMISSION_ID permission on the DAO. Advanced governance architectures are possible by having multiple governance plugins simultaneously.
  • Asset Management: allows the DAO to manage its treasury or use it to invest (e.g., in lending, staking, or NFT mints).
  • Membership: determines who will be a part of the DAO and what role they have. This can mean minting governance tokens like ERC-20, NFTs, or any other token standard. Typically, membership-related plugins grant permissions based on token ownership or maintenance of a curated list of addresses.
  • And anything else that comes to mind!
"Aragon OSx provides the ideal foundation for building customized DAOs. With Aragon's battle-tested framework and strong track record of security, developers can rely on a sturdy core infrastructure. The modular architecture then makes it simple to tailor flexible governance and organizational structures specific to your DAO's needs.
Whether you want reputation-based voting, funding via tokens, or formal onboarding, Aragon OSx empowers you to easily realize your vision and launch robust decentralized organizations with confidence.” - DAOBox, DAO Expert specializing in custom DAOs on Aragon OSx

You can get very creative with the plugins you build! Here are some examples of plugins developers in the Aragon community have built recently:

DualTokenVoting by Unbound Labs: allows DAOs to have governance with two tokens—one Non-Transferrable Token (soulbound) for the core team, and one ERC-20 token for the rest of the community and interested stakeholders.

Uniswap plugin, subDAO plugin, and NFT swapping plugin by Libree (formerly Sassy Finance): These three plugins combined form the basis of the investment DAO creation dApp by Libree, a fork of the Aragon App.

Diamond Governance by SecureSECO: a flexible governance plugin that acts as a bridge between Aragon OSx and ERC-2535 facets.  

Symbiotic bonding curve: a financial plugin enabling DAOs to hold their treasury assets, while still making money off of them.

Learn how to build a plugin in this guide and video.

Our team maintains the framework, which means less maintenance required from you.

The dedicated team behind the code base—our Product Guild—was another major reason the SecureSECO team chose Aragon. We have a dedicated team consistently shipping updates and maintaining the code base, which means your team doesn’t have to worry about vulnerabilities, forking, or other complexities that come with working with code that isn’t being actively maintained by a single team.

In the words of the developers behind SecureSECO DAO, “This ongoing support ensures that the DAO operates smoothly and consistently over time, which in turn reduces the number of developers needed to maintain the DAO.”

Knowing there is one cohesive team behind the codebase means you can rest easy knowing that it is being properly maintained!

And if you ever need help, hop into our Discord for support!

Good code quality and audits

Aragon OSx has been audited by industry-leader Halborn. We also did a Code4rena contest, where whitehat hackers tested their skills to find bugs in the code.

Aragon OSx was built with security at the forefront. We built it slowly and methodically, making sure security was the first and last consideration. And our code has been open-source from day one, so you can dive in on Github.

The audit report from Halborn is also open for anyone to read. You can check it out here.

Active community and proven track record

There’s an active community of developers working on plugins, dApps, and custom DAOs on top of Aragon OSx. You can see some of their projects here.

“An active community and development team not only signify a robust platform but also provide a solid support network for troubleshooting and knowledge sharing,” wrote the SecureSECO team.

And, there have been over 600 DAOs built on the new Aragon App since it was launched in March 2023.

On top of the community building on Aragon OSx, the original protocol secures the treasuries of major DAOs like Lido, Decentraland, and API3, and was the fundraising vehicle used by Aavegotchi. Our new protocol builds on the principles of the first one, but takes it to a new level with modularity and adaptability. You can read more about the difference between our new and old protocol here.

Smooth testing experience across multiple networks

The SecureSECO team valued that we have multiple networks and testnets on OSx.

Ethereum and Polygon are options for building your DAO, with the test networks Goerli and Mumbai. Polygon’s low cost has been a major factor in more DAOs being able to launch.

Over two-thirds of DAOs on the Aragon App are built on Polygon. Which is no surprise, given the extremely low cost! Here’s a break down of Polygon costs:

  • Create your DAO: 50 cents or less
  • Create a proposal: 5 cents or less
  • Vote in a proposal: 3 cents or less

Start building your custom DAO, dApp, or plugin on Aragon OSx today!

We can’t wait to see what you create! Grab any of the links below to get started.


Aragon OSx Developer Ecosystem

Join the Developer Community

Join the Discord