Aug 11, 2023

Decentralized governance-focused crypto project the Aragon Association considered selling itself in June to an undisclosed bidder for an unknown price, according to a screenshot of a conversation between an employee of the investment firm Arca and other activists.

Video transcript

Ergo Association. We flated this story in May where there was some confusion around the future of the project. And apparently according to leaked screenshots that coin got a hold of, they looked at selling the project back in May. The project itself has about a treasury of 100 and $80 million. The sale and the bidder were unknown at the time and it's also undisclosed what the price is at this moment. But there are some interesting clues around it including an Ethereum transaction that links to the entire document for the sale of the project. Co reporter Danny Nelson has been digging into this one quite a bit. I think this story just to wrap it up and give it a little nut graph here tells you about how Dow's work now, they're really hard to manage. It also becomes a little bit more difficult when you have a treasury with 100 $80 million in it general threat to you since you're a one time Dow member and also a huge Dow supporter. I am the Dow supporter. And I think I first of all, I want to say, I love Danny's stories they just really outline all of the juicy drama of the Dow space. Um And so I just like love reading, reading these, I think the story for me highlights the fact that dow for all that they promise when it comes to decentralization and transparency aren't really there yet. And I don't want to say that that's necessarily a bad thing. I think that there are a lot, there is a lot when it comes to efficiency and operating like a normal centralized firm. And many of these dolls are thinking about how to progressively decentralize Ergo themselves, build tools for this and they still have not been able to get it right. So before I make it seem like I think the dolls are just totally not getting it right. I think that we're still early and eventually we're going to figure this out. But all the promises of the dow space, you know, have not really been met. I think that this just, you know, highlights the need for transparency when it comes to decision making, the need for education, when it comes to do community members, for them to know what information is available to them, how they can participate. And it just kind of highlights all of those nuances and the juicy drama that goes on deck. Yeah, I have a dog. You have a puppy and that's just so lovely. Sorry, I'm sorry, it's not lovely. It's very annoying. Sorry. Control. There's a dog in the background. Let me go fix that and then I'll be right back. I'll talk about in the meantime, do you talk about, do we had someone leave the show? But great. Yeah, we're still here, Jen. No, let's, let's, let's keep talking about dow. So this whole story is kind of interesting because it's, there's a few different parties involved here. So first of all, the Aragon Association, the Argo Association is sort of like the legal framework or like the front facing entity for Aragon Aragona is a big tooling set to be able to build dow. So like a lot of different dow within Ethereum have used the tool set that a has created over the years historically, basically the last two years for history's sake. So not a very long time here, there's been some issues with the Aragon Association. There's been some issues with like the different entities around it leading to like a lot of people leaving, including one of the co-founders of Aragon about two years ago. And since then, they've been kind of floating out there now. There's also an investment firm named Arca, which is big within the crypto space. And they're an activist advisor or activist investor, I should say within this whole discussion as well. And that's where it seems the leaked screenshot possibly came from at this time. Uh And we have these like different are basically, it seems like they're trying to get all the money out of a, they can and for whatever reason. Right. Like, maybe they invested a lot of money and they want to get their money back. Maybe they just see this as a honey pot. They want to get their money out of it. At the very least we know that the Air Association is sort of like, rattled at this point and, like, trying to get its way through this. Um, according to the Air Association which did reach out to us, they said a spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied the sale discussion when contacted by coin desk and denied the reports, unsubstantiated allegations. So a lot going on here, a little drama in Daland which Jen, I know you're, you're a fan of drama in land. We should have a segment drama in down land. There would be so much to talk about, but that is back, I'm back. Don't get puppies people anyway. Uh Yeah, there's a lot of drama in land and it's, you know, it does, it definitely unfolds a lot behind the scenes. And uh you know, you get to see this sort of flare up every once in a while when these bigger incidents emerge of, you know, conflict and strife. These are communities. I think that largely sort of adhere to the decentralized ethos where they try to share decision making capacity across a wide base of people and historically, that has been really hard and painful, right? Uh Dictators yet they they make the trains run on time even though at the cost of great uh great cost as personal liberties. Right. So the Dow is trying to dow are trying to fix some of these longstanding problems. But ultimately, when it comes down to it, there's these human issues at play that lead to these conflicts because oftentimes as we alluded to, there's a lot of money on the line and a lot of different opinions of how to breast proceed with those shared funds. So, yeah, you're gonna see more dow drama stories emerge as dow become a bigger part of the crypto world. They're still pretty small and I think Dow governance is still pretty limited in terms of the number of participants who are making calls uh relating to very big treasuries. So I think hopefully, you know, with additional accountability scrutiny, uh transparency, um you know, the dow space can really level up and reach some of those uh decentralized governance ideals, but not today, not today. They won't, we'll see they're gonna figure it out. All right. Let's hope. Let's hope. Let's hope.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.