When it comes to providing decentralized governance infrastructure, a project called Aragon has long aimed to create tooling for easier coordination and dispute resolutions within decentralized autonomous organizations (better known as DAOs).
Today, we’re happy to announce that the latest development of those tools – Aragon Court – is now live on Ethereum mainnet.
Back in January, Aragon announced a pre-staking period for token holders to signal interest for Aragon Court – essentially allowing them to be the first to convert ANT tokens to active ANJ tokens.
To be eligible to become a juror, users would have to acquire 10,000 ANJ – equivalent to 100ANT or roughly $80 at the time of writing.
Activated ANJ tokens are staked to signal interest in dispute resolutions, with those staking higher amounts of ANJ being more likely to be selected for new cases.
This past Sunday, pre-staking officially came to an end with over 1M ANT staked (or roughly $800k at current prices) – amounting to roughly 3% of the total circulating supply.
Of this 1M ANT being staked, roughly 75% of the newly created ANJ tokens were activated – meaning there is a current pool size of roughly $617k worth of eligible jurors.
Interestingly, there were roughly 250 unique participants, meaning each juror has activated (on average) nearly $2.5k of ANJ.
While we largely recognize the actual figures are much more right-tailed (meaning a handful of whales account for the vast majority of staked ANT/activated ANJ), it is refreshing to see the token economy spawn new life heading into 2020.
Why Should I Care?
Those who took advantage of the pre-stake period were able to lock in ANJ at a rate of 1ANT:100ANJ, whereas the new exchange rates will be subject to an automated bonding curve.
For those unfamiliar with bonding curves, it’s assumed that the more jurors that look to acquire ANJ, the higher the price of each individual token will become.
In practice, the system looks to incentivize jurors for participating in dispute resolutions with rewards – something that very few other governance systems have employed.
Similarly, ANT token holder stands to earn a portion of Aragon Court rewards for general protocol governance participation -*hopefully* stimulating more interest in that regard.
We’ve seen cases such as Nexus Mutual where members can vote on governance polls for a pro-rata distribution of a predefined rewards pool, but with Aragon Court, it’s slightly different.
Aragon Court intentionally encourages active participation, as those who vote “correctly” on the outcome stand to earn a portion of all ANJ staked to the losing outcome.
Similar to how prediction markets function on Augur, it pays to be right. This is a different notion than something like Nexus Mutual where participants are incentivized to just vote “Yes” as they’re bound to earn rewards upon a threshold being reached.
With this new schema, jurors will actually have to put some mindshare into their decision making and also be sure to actively participate when they are called upon – or risk having their activated ANJ being slashed.
What To Expect
As it is structured today, jurors will interact with Aragon Court via the following dashboard.
From a UX perspective, users will have the ability to transfer their ANJ balances between their wallet, inactive and active tokens.
Active tokens signal that a juror wishes to be selected for court disputes. Tokens must be activated, meaning that only engaged participants stand a chance to be selected.
Court sessions are broken down into “Terms” which appear to occur on a daily basis.
What’s perhaps most interesting is that users can see their likelihood of being elected relative to their activated ANJ balance.
At the time of writing, Aragon Court 2 is currently in a precedent campaign primer, meaning that on February 13th, jurors will experiment with mock disputes leading up to a formal launch in Phase 3.
“To prepare Aragon Court and the juror community for real disputes, Phase 2 will introduce the concept of case law to Aragon Court. The protocol and jurors will be tested through a series of mock disputes to establish a precedent history subscribers and jurors alike can refer to when reasoning about how a given dispute may resolve in the future.”
While Aragon Court will not have any active disputes in the short term, we will be keeping a close eye on the project to share any updates on cases worth noting.
In the meantime, be sure to keep up with all things Aragon Court via the newly launched Discord channel.
Cooper is focused on building compelling blockchain products. He currently works as the managing director at Fitzner Blockchain Consulting and is a contributor to DAOs like MetaCartel and Moloch. He is an active member of the Ethereum community and has a strong interest in for-profit businesses such as The Block Crypto and Messari.