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The rise and fall of Aragon: a lesson in corporate tragedy

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Behind the doors of Aragon lurks a tale of high drama and shattered dreams. It’s like a Greek tragedy but with hackers and billions of dollars instead of togas and olive wreaths.

First, there’s the tale of Aragon’s meteoric ascent – a classic rags-to-riches crypto narrative where two young hackers, Luis Cuende and Jorge Izquierdo, rode the wave of enthusiasm to crowdfund millions and launch the very first Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) platform.

But as with many such tales, the fairy tale ending ended up being just a cruel joke. Behind the scenes, team turnover, governance paralysis, and operational missteps cast a dark cloud over Aragon’s once bright future. As the product foundered, a power struggle between the Aragon Association and activist investors triggered a complex legal and financial showdown, resulting in a $75 million exodus and the effective liquidation of the non-profit, the DAO, and the token.

Unraveling the Aragon Enigma

How did Aragon end up careening off a cliff into a pit of despair? Some say it’s a classic case of unchecked capital devouring its own revolution. Others see it as a high-tech corporate thriller, featuring power plays, shadowy figures, and eye-popping sums of money gained and lost. Aragon’s story is a grim reminder that even in the world of DAOs, power struggles and corporate motivations still reign supreme.

A hint of Greek tragedy: a project advertising a revolution against capitalism brought low by unchecked capital

While the Aragon debacle leaves a bitter taste, it also calls for a re-evaluation of governance and the role of activist investors in the crypto landscape. Maybe it’s time for DAOs to invest in good corporate governance and not let decentralization be an excuse for exploitation.

A Tale of Two Technologies

At its core, Aragon’s undoing is a tragedy of two technologies – the clash between corporate incentives and mission-driven governance. It raises the fundamental question: what do token holders owe to the mission of a legal entity, and vice versa? Aragon’s demise serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of balancing profit motives with the ethical responsibilities of a legal entity.


Aragon’s governance conundrum unveils the intricate challenge faced by entities with dual missions or hybrid structures. It’s a daunting task, but not impossible. And perhaps, it’s a wake-up call for the crypto world to learn from Aragon’s mistakes and strive for a more balanced and ethical future.

## Aragon: The Nonprofit Shake-Up

Aragon, a stalwart in the world of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), is on the brink of a dramatic transformation. It’s like watching a caterpillar emerge from its cocoon, except in this case, the butterfly is dressed in a swanky new nonprofit suit. But what does this mean for Aragon and its community?

### Shaking Off the Old

As the dust settles and the founders exit stage left, a hefty sum ranging between $10 to 50 million is poised for transfer to a third nonprofit, contingent upon the outcome of the ongoing liquidation process. What this signals is a fresh start, a clean slate, as Aragon bids adieu to its past self.

### Decisions, Decisions

With the proverbial keys to the kingdom now up for grabs, the new Aragon faces a critical crossroads. The first option on the menu is to continue its previous endeavor, to keep the flames of innovation burning bright atop the existing Aragon stack. But let’s be real – that’s the safe, boring option.

Alternatively, Aragon could morph into a DAO mecca, casting a wide net by investing in a multitude of DAOs and projects akin to the revered Uniswap Foundation. It’s like trying to juggle flaming torches while riding a unicycle – quite the thrill.

Then there’s the wildcard option: to transform into a high-tech research lab, setting its sights on revolutionizing the DAO landscape. Or it could go all in and start snapping up DAOs and related tools like a high-stakes poker player at the World Series of Cryptocurrency. The final possibility? To pivot towards championing open-source ideals, embracing the role of a shepherd of the community akin to the Linux Foundation.

### A Mission Unfazed

One thing’s for certain – the new Aragon won’t be a piggy bank for a select few. Instead, it has a mission to uphold, a North Star guiding its every move. It’s like sailing a ship through stormy seas, with the crew huddled together, unwavering in purpose.

### Awaiting the New Dawn

While the new Aragon ponders its next steps, it’s time to shape a brain trust, spread some goodwill, and nurture a vision. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a reimagined nonprofit juggernaut.

So here’s to you, Aragon. Embrace the winds of change. It’s a bumpy ride ahead, but you’ve got this. Onwards and upwards!

### A Parting Note

Just remember, this opinion is one voice in a sea of many, much like throwing a coin down a never-ending well, hoping for the sweet sound of a dream come true.

#### The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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