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ICO Analysis: Aragon

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Blockchain has been a buzz word amongst the mere mortals of the business world for quite some time, especially in the financial sector. Everyone wants to bet on blockchain, everyone wants to integrate it. For a long time, the prospect of Bitcoin, due to a number of factors, among them regulatory and legal issues, was not very attractive, and some were actively vocal: we’ll take the blockchain but we don’t need the Bitcoin, thanks. They were kicking Bitcoin while it was down, of course, and since it has recovered so swimmingly in price over the past dozen months, the “blockchain but not Bitcoin” crowd have quieted down.

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Nevertheless, others have also risen on the same tide. Ethereum is trending near $100 each, and its platform is natively intended to support numerous types of applications. In this article we’ll talk about Aragon, an extremely interesting application/platform meant to bring blockchain to every aspect of business management.

As you can see, Aragon is definitely not going to be “vaporware,” which is always a concern when investing in ICOs. Aragon aims to easily allow any business to integrate the blockchain into their accounting, voting process, fundraising, and later, presumably, more.

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Built on the well-established Ethereum platform, Aragon isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel like some of the other enterprise-aimed ICOs we’ve discussed recently. Instead, they’re aiming to fill the ease-of-use gap. While they are most certainly not the only play in this arena of allowing any business to go full blockchain, they are one of the more polished. All of this is very positive, but let’s dig a bit deeper into what they’re about, and then get into the details of the token offering and the likelihood of the investor recovering funds.

Aragon is a dApp [decentralized application] that lets anyone create and manage any kind of organization (companies, open source projects, NGOs, foundations, hedge funds…) on the Ethereum blockchain.

Aragon implements basic features of an organization like a cap table, token transfers, voting, role assignments, fundraising, and accounting. The behavior of an Aragon organization is easily customized by changing the bylaws. In addition, Aragon organizations are extensible through third party modules that interact with the organizations’ contracts.

The paper goes on to discuss the various challenges that the designers and developers sought to overcome, all with a mind toward making it easier for everyday businesspeople to make use of the Ethereum blockchain in their organizations. Among these were a mechanism to resolve subjective contract disputes and a bounty system for the resolution of bugs in the software.

Aragon integrates the Keybase protocol to verify the identity of individuals within the ecosystem. This is a great plus in terms of fraud prevention. They expanded on this part of the platform in a blog post, saying:

Even though the premise of doing anonymous business if you want to seems cool, we know it is idealistic and there will be cases in which people will be socially required to prove their identity before some things can happen.

For example, an investor might require the founders to identify themselves before investing in a company or a payment provider might require to do traditional KYC before providing their service to the company.

Overall, the main purpose of the Whitepaper seems to be to explain the purposes of the various features of Aragon, so if you require more information regarding the innards, read it for yourself.

Who is Behind Aragon

Aragon’s page only lists two principal parties. They do, however, credit a number of individuals in their Whitepaper, including Satoshi Nakamoto and Vitalik Buterin (founder of Ethereum). The first principal party is Luis Cuende, who has been listed on the Forbes 30 under 30 (to watch) list. He previously founded the Stampery project, which is one of many blockchain data verification services out there. He’s contributed to or created over 40 repositories on Github. One of them is interesting and unusual: a JavaScript module that creates visuals to go along with Electronic Dance Music. As a person, he seems genuine, motivated, and interesting. In a recent interview, he said:

The biggest takeaway is that we’re truly just getting started. I remember being in Bitcoin conferences years ago and thinking — oh wow, this is growing fast. Or, oh wow, Bitcoin is too expensive these days. But then you think about how revolutionary the crypto movement is, and you realize that we’re still in its baby stage.

For me, the Ethereum ecosystem has been the most welcoming ecosystem ever. And tons of talented developers are joining everyday.

I still love Bitcoin — I think it’s a very good digital gold — but Ethereum is just the perfect tool to decentralize the world. Things that we couldn’t even dream of with Bitcoin are now possible with Ethereum.

Cuende is the “project lead” for Aragon. This means that his responsibilities are among many different categories. In charge of the technology, however, is Jorge Izquierdo.

Izquierdo has made over 1,800 commits on Github in the past year. This is a lot, by any standard, but doesn’t always mean they’re all of substance. One of his projects is called block.chat. It’s an Ethereum-backed messaging platform.

It is meant to be kind of a transport protocol for messages, also having encryption and timestamping built in.

As you can see, both developers are interested in expanding the Ethereum protocol, and Aragon is one more move in that direction. If all things fall into place for them, and it seems they just might, they could be looking at a very successful future as a leader in blockchain-for-business solutions.

Investment Details

The Aragon ICO will begin on May 17th and will run until June 16th. A complete development roadmap is available. The ICO will only be conducted through the Ethereum platform, and more details about how the actual transactions will take place is available here. You can, of course, acquire Ethereum using Bitcoin if you do not already have any.

Although they are doing a bug bounty to find problems in advance of the ICO launch, they have in place a mechanism to stop and restart the ICO if necessary. This would mean that people would get their funds back and would have to invest again if there were some problem. This adds a measure of relief to anyone overly worried. Another thing that is interesting is that they will not have access to the funds at all until the end of the sale.

Going back to the genuineness of the players involved, it seems that transparency is also very important to them, as it is to most cryptocurrency investors and aficionados.

The Verdict

This project is cool. Very cool. Businesses of the future who are looking to integrate the blockchain into their business models will certainly be considering the Aragon platform, for its ease of use and powerful features. The chances of it competing swimmingly in the arena of blockchain-for-business is very high. It’s easy to see more modules being developed for the platform. A moonshot thought is that someone like UPS or FedEx might integrate their own data into the network in order to help businesses track packages as well as to help themselves keep track of them in an immutable way. One assumes these companies already have proprietary solutions in place, but Aragon could be very attractive to them nevertheless, or a big help to competitors for them in less-developed regions.

Given all of the above, including the Forbes recognition of Cuendes, it’s hard to give this thing a lowball rating. The author feels that this would be money well-invested, and so we’re going with a solid 6.5/10 on Aragon ANT tokens. You can check out the contract for ANT here.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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5 stars on average, based on 1 rated postsP. H. Madore has covered the cryptocurrency beat over the course of hundreds of articles for Hacked's sister site, CryptoCoinsNews, as well as some of her competitors. He is a major contributing developer to the Woodcoin project, and has made technical contributions on a number of other cryptocurrency projects. In spare time, he recently began a more personalized, weekly newsletter at http://ico.phm.link




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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. SlavDaddy

    May 17, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Fair warning:
    Had big hopes for this ICO- Lost out due to metamask not being able to process ahead of private ETH nodes. Lesson learnt and will not be trying to use metamask for ICO purchases again. To those who did manage to get some. Nice.

    • P. H. Madore

      May 18, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      Well, like I often say, this could be a good thing. The value could drop sharply right after and recover over a long period, giving you opportunities to buy in at an even better price. Sorry you had that problem, though!

  2. embersburnbrightly

    June 6, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    I just bought a bit of this coin two days ago. Just a small amount. I think I might go ahead and buy a bit more, having now read your review.I see a lot of positive things about the approach being used with this coin, and lots of potential for its uses. I won’t break the bank to invest too heavily; but I will certainly buy some more. Thank you.

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Analysis

Daily Analysis: Oil Extends Rally as Nasdaq Leads Stocks Higher

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Friday Market Recap

Asset Current Value Daily Change
S&P 500 2749 1.38%
DAX 12,483 0.18%
WTI Crude Oil 63.58 1.29%
GOLD 1330.00 -0.16%
Bitcoin 10,14 -0.09%
EUR/USD 1.2295 -0.28%

US equities built up some bullish momentum towards the end of the week, ignoring the technical damage that the volatility-crash caused, and the major US indices rallied into the close today, squeezing the shorts. The Nasdaq, which led the rally as we expected, took out the key 6850 level in late trading and added another percent to, incredibly enough, finish only a hundred point of the all-time high.

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NASDAQ 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Should the tech benchmark retest the high next week, it will be amid very strong negative divergences, but hey, those divergences have been building for months now. The rally in equities was boosted by the dip in Treasury yields, especially at the long end of the curve, while Amazon continued ot lead the charge, closing right at the historic $1500 per share level.

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Russell 2000 (Small Cap) Index, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The advance in the Dow and the S&P 500 is much less convincing and with small caps also lagging the tech-behemoth juggernaut, we remain skeptical regarding the sustainability of the move. That said, if the broader indices stay above the key levels, we will be trading the long side in equities, even as from an investment standpoint, valuations are still way above acceptable.

Forex Markets and Commodities

The lackluster performance of European and Asian stocks adds to the negative divergences, especially as the Euro stopped appreciating against the Greenback, and that should be helping stocks of the old continent. Of course, the DAX and the EuroStoxx 50 could play catch-up next week, barring another surge in the common currency.

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The most-traded forex pair remains in a short-term downtrend, as it failed to recapture the previously broken rising trendline, and the commodity related risk-on currencies also remained under pressure. The Canadian Dollar did bounce back off yesterday’s 8-week lows, boosted by the much hihger than expected inflation release and the jump in the price of crude oil.

USD/CAD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Oil benefited from the positive shift in sentiment, while the Syrian situation, which took a backseat in the headlines, still supports the rally. The Japanese Yen and gold were stable amid the risk-rally and that adds to our suspicions regarding the upside potential form these levels.

Cryptocurrencies

The segment started out the day with a strong bounce that carried the major coins higher by around 10%, but given the recent steep short-term pullback, even that wasn’t enough to turn the tide, and the day ended with an (almost usual) sell-off after the US close. Despite the recent volatility, the overall picture is still encouraging, with most of the majors being safely above the crash lows, likely in a new bullish cycle that has the potential to last for several more weeks or even months.

While new all-time highs are it guaranteed following the 60-70% declines among the largest coins, but even without those, plenty of upside potential is left for investors. With that in mind, investors should hold on to their coins and even add to their holdings on the short-term dips like the current one.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Analysis

Technical Analysis: Majors Stage Rally but Strong Levels Still Ahead

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The cryptocurrency segment has recovered from a broad correction today in early trading, with the most valuable coins all turning into green during the session, despite the bearish start to the overnight session. With bottom-to-top gains of up to 15%, the rally helped in easing the worries of bulls, especially in the case of the relatively weaker coins.

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Bitcoin and most of the largest altcoins remained stable during the selloff, and BTC recaptured the $10,000 level quickly after trading as low as $9600 overnight. The initial rally topped out near $10,400, and the coin is trading back near the $10,000 level, as the bullish momentum faded away somewhat.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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That said, we expect the uptrend to continue even if the correction could still carry Bitcoin lower. Further strong support is found between $9000 and $9200, while targets are ahead at $11,300, $13,000, and $14,250.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum showed strength during the bounce again after yesterday, together with the early leaders of the rally, and although the coin dipped below the $845 level in the second half of the session, the signs remain positive for bulls. Support levels are now found at $780, $740, $625 and $575, while resistance is ahead near $910 and $1000.

(more…)

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 115 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Analysis

Pre-Market: Stocks Refuse to Fall Even as China Takes Over Key Insurer

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Although it should have been a very quiet week in China, thanks to the New Year celebrations, the recent surge in volatility and the plunge in equities didn’t pass without consequences in the key market. Just shortly after effectively shutting down the Chinese version of the Volatility Index (VIX) (presumably to calm the markets…), one of the main actors of the monstrous financial web, Anbang, of the country had to be taken over to avoid a systemic event and stop the “creative” financial engineering that involved criminal activity (the shadow of 2008).

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China will likely need many more duck-tapes like this one if it wants to stop the largest credit bubble in human history to collapse, but for now, the solution could work. Equity futures edged higher since yesterday’s volatile close, and as the major US indices are holding up well, not far off last Friday’s highs, our bearish short-term view might have to be revised.

Nasdaq 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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As we discussed before, the long-term uptrend is intact, and we expect at least a re-test of the highs even if we are in a large-scale top formation, but we thought that the technical damage caused by the crash three weeks ago would require more healing.

We are not turning bullish just yet, but today’s session could finally decide if we the BTFD-crowd is strong enough to turn the tide after the choppy drift lower this week. We are still focusing on the Nasdaq, as the broader market seems to be following the lead of the tech benchmark, and a move 6850 (in the Nasdaq 100 futures, and still the 2735 level in the S&P) would be a very positive sign for bulls.

DAX Index, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The German DAX index is also showing some tentative short-term relative strength although it remains almost 10% below its all-time high, and it remains a strong negative divergence to be monitored.

Forex Markets Quiet

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The main pairs are trading in a choppy narrow range today after the strong move in the Yen and the drop in the USD yesterday. US Treasury Yields are edging lower today, helping the calm in equities and currencies, but on a bearish note, commodity currencies failed to rebound so far, and they were providing good signals since the crash. Day-traders should note that the Canadian Dollar will likely be very active again, with the Canadian CPI report coming out pre-market.

To sum the outlook up, we are still leaning on the risk-off side here regarding the short-term outlook, but we wouldn’t bet the farm on that, as there are mixed signals before the weekend.

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Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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