Aragon merges with Vocdoni to improve governance for DAOs


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Aragon (ANT), a platform specializing in the management of decentralized autonomous organizations, announced a merger with the Vocdoni Protocol, a provider of blockchain voting and governance solutions.

Unlike the mergers, this acquisition is much more traditional. Aragon has acquired Dvote Labs OÜ, the company behind the Vocdoni Protocol. The 11 team members are hired into a new company controlled by Aragon and Vocdoni members.

The teams will work to develop an integrated solution to strengthen the Aragon ecosystem. Vocdoni technology uses knowledge-free cryptography to enable anonymous voting. In addition, decentralized technologies such as the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) and libp2p, a network solution, are used. Vocdoni’s technology was one of the main drivers behind the merger, said Joe Charlesworth, executive director of the Aragon Association. “We believe that leveraging Aragon’s brand, treasury and domain expertise will help drive decentralized governance adoption,” he added.

Vocdoni had previously carried out voting attempts in Europe for Òmnium Cultural, a cultural association with more than 180,000 members. The project team members will continue to work with businesses and traditional customers as they develop the technology for use in DAOs.

The merger model is very different from that of Luis Cuende, founder of the Aragon Association, told Cointelegraph that he “really likes Yearn’s approach to M&A” and noted that this is a “refreshing view” on crypto network mergers.

The Yearn acquisitions were characterized by very few formalities. Development teams just worked together overnight, as Leo Cheng, founder of Cream Finance, told Cointelegraph. There were also few financial ties, which led Cuende to conclude that this is the biggest difference between the two types of acquisitions:

“I would say one difference is that some of the mergers that Yearn has done are more like a partnership, with each project keeping its token. This is where we all unite around ANT and make it stronger.”

Some critics of the Yearn approach noted that the token holder communities had very little say in most new venture plans. Joan Arus, Chief Operating Officer at Vocdoni stated that this criticism did not apply to the protocol:

“Although we initially wanted to introduce our own VOC token in the first half of 2021, after talking to the Aragon Association we decided not to do this and to adopt ANT as our native token (which is to be implemented in the first half of 2021) . […] Since we are still in the early stages and did not yet have a token, it is the case that there was not yet a community that should have a say. “

Arus noted that Vocdoni’s early investors were being included in the new merged company, while Dvote Labs’ board of directors and active members unanimously voted in favor of the acquisition. The token economy for the new combined platform has yet to be defined, but the team hopes to involve the Aragon community in this process.