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Aragon, one of the oldest open-source frameworks for launching decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), is launching its next set on Coinbase's recently released developer network Base.
In an interview with Decrypt, Aragon’s head of growth Anthony Leutenegger said that the company is releasing two of its DAO-developer tools—the Aragon App and the modular Aragon OSx protocol—on Base in recognition of what he said is the ecosystem's “extremely high” potential to bring more users on-chain.
"The reason we deployed on Base was to give DAOs the ability to launch into what could be one of the largest ecosystems potentially coming into crypto," said Leutenegger.
Base, Coinbase’s Ethereum Layer-2 network, went online on August 9, and it quickly raked in millions as users bridged their tokens over to the new environment. Though it will be incubated within Coinbase initially, the company made clear that it envisions Base becoming progressively more decentralized over time.
Leutenegger said that the tools Aragon is launching on Base will allow users to set up DAOs, manage the influx of funds onto the network, and aid in the decentralization process. These entities, common across the DeFi universe, allow members to vote on funding decisions or the overall direction of a project.
But to operate a DAO today, a user "basically has to be a developer" to properly run it, said Leutenegger. The tools Aragon is launching on Base are designed to lower those barriers by reducing the amount of code needed for both launching and managing a DAO.
By reducing these barriers, a DAO operator can “be the one to run an organization without requiring a developer,” something that can be “massive” for making it easier for users to go on-chain, said Leutenegger.
One of the challenges in creating a decentralized network is aligning all parties' incentives. Aragon has experienced its share of hiccups with its own decentralization plans, having postponed plans in May after what it said was “51% attack” on its ANT governance token. At the time, Aragon was moving toward passing more governance power over its $200 million treasury to token holders.
More recently, a leaked report compiled by crypto trading firm Patagon Management LLC claimed that Aragon contemplated selling itself to an unknown bidder, and accused it of financial missteps and of banning investors who were venting frustration over its decentralization plans.
Patagon’s CEO Diogenes Casares told Decrypt that Patagon did not publish the report, and that it was part of a leak from a "relatively large Discord server." On Twitter, Casares said that the report "does not reflect Patagon's current beliefs on Aragon," and that it was "nowhere near final." Casares also said portions of the report that questioned Aragon's incorporation status were false and corrected. The Aragon Association behind the project is based in Switzerland.
Leutenegger said he could not comment on the allegations in the report, but said Aragon remained focused on continuing to develop its products.
He noted that Aragon helped launch over 1,500 DAOs over the last two months, and was continuing work on applications to let DAOs interact with other apps without the same level of technical expertise needed today in a similar vein to the products it is launching on Base.
Editor's note: This article was updated after publication to further clarify that the Patagon Management report was leaked and to include comment from Cesares.