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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.

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.

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 2 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

Ethereum Takes Baby Steps to Recovery as Global Markets Surge 10%

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Following the first serious rebound from the last week’s carnage the global market gained 10% overnight, pushing back through the $200 billion barrier after a brief dip to $190 billion yesterday.

Ethereum Price Recovery

The rebound was not distributed equally, with many of the altcoins which had previously lost the most now benefiting in turn. Ethereum made a strong push in the last twenty-fours as it climbed from a near year-long low of $254.56 up to the current range in the $280’s, where it sits at the time of writing.

The 11% gains for the day sound good, but amount to relatively little in dollar value considering how much the coin lost in recent weeks. At one point during the night ETH climbed to a unit price of $290 – but that’s as far as it could go during this particular twenty-four stretch.

The sudden surge over the last twenty-four hours wasn’t enough to take Ethereum to the £300 mark, although that could be achieved following another 5% growth. The current $284 price per ETH is still one of the lowest witnessed in the last 11 months, so there’s still plenty of scope for investors to jump on board.

Predictably, USDT trades are the most popular today, making up close to 20% of the daily total as a significant portion of ETH becomes un-tethered. Wash-trades, or transaction mining on multiple exchanges once again comes close to equalling the actual recorded daily volume of $1.8 billion.

Global Surge Re-Rearranges Altcoins

While nothing could be termed normal in the crypto world, several coins have returned to their former market cap positions from before the dip. EOS is back in 5th place after temporarily being ousted by Stellar, and Cardano has returned to 8th spot after briefly giving up its place to Tether.

TRON and IOTA are still lingering outside the top ten, with Monero holding strong in the 10th spot previously occupied by TRON, and then IOTA in recent times.

Correlation and Causation

You’ve probably seen the Google Trend charts which show an alignment between ‘cryptocurrency’ Google searches, and the total cryptocurrency market cap. Right now the search volume is as low as it has been since before the surge of 2017 – but that isn’t necessarily an indicator of a lack of interest. It just means that people aren’t typing the word ‘cryptocurrency’ (or Bitcoin, which has an immensely larger search volume) into Google any more.

It says nothing about the number of people checking CoinMarketCap every day, and it doesn’t let you know how many people have suddenly become interested again after seeing prices drop to such long-time lows.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 38 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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Analysis

Pre-Market: Selling Resumes as Dollar Extends Rally

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Global stocks are sharply lower today after the US open, as a bearish Asian session was followed by a lackluster European showing, and the major US indices also opened lower, erasing yesterday’s gains. Emerging markets are still to be blamed for the current selloff, even as the underlying cause is still the global tightening cycle and the Dollar’s rally.

S&P 500, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Chinese stock market and the Yuan led the way lower today, with the Shanghai Composite getting close to hitting new bear market lows, and with the currency hitting fresh 13-month lows. European stocks also continued their relatively weak streak, with the DAX trading at the lowest level since the end of June. The undoubtedly leading US benchmarks are all down by more than 1% today, but they are still close to their all-time highs, even as the divergences are just getting deeper and deeper.

Shanghai Composite, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Turkish Lira is still in the center of attention, as the battered currency added to yesterday’s gains after the Turkish central bank intervened in the interbank markets. The bank made it harder to short the Lira, which in effect also make it harder to hedge against the decline of the currency, so basically the country started on the road of capital controls.

USD/TRY, Daily Chart Analysis

While preventing a run on the currency is a legitimate goal, by not changing its confrontative stance and not taking steps to clam the market, the risk of a massive capital flight is still very high. The broad rally in the Dollar is just making matters worse for the country, and contagion is far from being dodged by global markets at this point.

With several European markets being closed the large pre-market moves are not a surprise, even as the key economic indicators leaned bullish before the bell. The most awaited US retail sales report was a sizeable beat in both the headline, and the more reliable core figure, although the previous numbers were revised lower. The Empire State Index was also well above the consensus estimate, but US industrial Production missed, similarly to yesterday’s Chinese and European indicators in the segment.

Dollar Break-Out Continues

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The US Dollar’s surge is arguably the most important trend globally, and the reserve currency confirmed its break-out to new 13-month highs today, as the EUR/USD pair hit 1.13, the GBP/USD pair trading with a 1.26 handle for the first time in a year, and with commodities suffering heavy losses again.

Copper Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

We have been following copper’s struggle to stay above the key support zone near $2.7, and today’s Asian weakness sealed the faith of the commodity for a while as Dr. Copper hit a new 14-month low itself, signaling that more trouble is ahead for China and the commodity-complex.

Gold is also at levels not seen since early 2017, and crude oil gave up its recent bounce falling to an 8-week low, getting close to $65 per barrel with regards to the WTI contract.

Featured image from Shutterstock

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 318 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

Crypto Update: Lisk’s Bearishness Hides True Trend

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Many avid cryptocurrency traders have taken Lisk off of their watchlist (LSK/BTC) and for good reason. The pair has plummeted like a shooting star crashing down the surface of the planet. From the high of 0.003398 on February 10, 2018, LSK/BTC is down below 0.00043 today. The pair’s fall wiped out almost 90% of its value.

Nevertheless, long-term investors shouldn’t be worried. As bearish as Lisk looks, we are convinced that it is not yet ready to go the way of the dinosaurs. On the contrary, LSK/BTC is flashing signals that it is about to come back to life soon. If it does, it will confirm our assumption that Lisk is currently range trading.

Lisk is Locked in a Wide Trading Range   

If you’re an experienced technical analyst, then one of the things that you probably do is map out key areas of support and resistance. This helps you determine the overall trend of the market. It is then easy to come up with a strategy once you establish the trend.

We performed these steps in our analysis of Lisk and the charts showed us that the pair is range trading when looking at it from a long-term perspective.

Weekly chart of LSK/BTC

LSK/BTC is locked in a wide trading range. The bottom of the range is support of 0.0004, the middle is 0.0016, and the top end is 0.0032. The market has been trading within this range since May 2017.

The “smart money” investors buy the bottom of the range. You can see this as volume spikes whenever the pair drops to this level. This tells us that they accumulated enough positions to influence market movement. As soon as they are ready, they spark a rally and constrict supply to inflate market price. Then, they wait for the top to start distributing positions.  

Volume differences in the daily chart of LSK/BTC

The “smart money” investors are very likely to repeat the process once LSK/BTC hits the bottom end of the range. We see that process developing right now.

Breakout from a Falling Wedge

Lisk is fond of falling wedges. Between June and December 2017, the pair broke out from three falling wedges as it range traded between 0.0004 and 0.0016. This appears to be the pattern used by “smart money” investors to distribute positions and keep prices from climbing further.

Fast-forward to today and we see that LSK/BTC has created another falling wedge on the daily chart.   

Daily chart of LSK/BTC

What’s interesting is that the apex of the falling wedges always formed around the bottom end of the range at 0.0004. This usually sets up the market for a bounce and a breakout that sends the pair to the midpoint of the range.

We believe that the market is repeating the same process today. LSK/BTC is in extreme oversold territory on the daily RSI. On top of that, the stochastics are respecting support of 3.08. This support has never been breached. The market may linger on this level but it always bounces. This tells us LSK/BTC can only get stronger from this point.

Bottom Line

LSK/BTC may have lost over 90% of its value from the high of 0.003398, making the market look ultra bearish to many investors. However, technical analysis from a long-term perspective show that the pair is currently range trading. Breakout from the current falling wedge should confirm this assumption.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

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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3.6 stars on average, based on 223 rated postsKiril is a financial professional with 4+ years of experience in financial writing, analysis and product ownership. He has passed all three CFA exams on first attempt and has a bachelor's degree with a specialty in finance. Kiril’s current focus is on cryptocurrencies and ETFs, as he does his own crypto research and is the subject matter expert at ETFdb.com. He also has his personal website, InvestorAcademy.org where he teaches people about the basics of investing. His ultimate goal is to help people with limited knowledge of finance and investments to create investment portfolios easily, and in line with their unique circumstances.




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