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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 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

Bitcoin Bears Running Out of Gas, According to Price Manipulation Theory

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A group of researchers at The Crypto Fam have linked price manipulation to bitcoin’s bear market, suggesting that the arrival of institutional trading allowed investors to dump oversized holdings of digital currency.

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Bitcoin Price Manipulation?

According to a new theory, it is no coincidence that bitcoin’s long unwind began on Dec. 17, the same day that bitcoin futures were launched. Over the next several months, the bitcoin-dollar exchange rate would fall from a high near $20,000 to a low of $5,980.

The rapid decline was aided by futures trading, which allows traders to short assets much more easily. As we’ve written before, shorting bitcoin was practically impossible prior to the launch of futures.

The theory posits that institutional money was stocking up on bitcoin well before Dec. 17, likely in anticipation of the CBOE/CME futures contracts. The bear market that ensued consisted of three major down moves, with the third leg beginning earlier this month.

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Each down move follows a similar pattern: (1) a fake-out dump, (2) a failed rally and (3) a major dump. Each leg down is driven by lower selling volume with each drop less severe than the previous.

The compelling study was presented this week in a series of tweets by The Crypto Fam, which describes itself as “a community of crypto enthusiasts bridging the gaps.” The group’s stated goal, according to its website, is to “make crypto not so cryptic.”

In describing the pattern, the researchers concluded that “the bear market is running out of gas” because their supply of bitcoin has declined since the pump culminated on Dec. 17.

“This is a very simplified explanation of how markets work. A great deal of the total BTC supply is not traded. Some is lost forever in idle or forgotten wallets. Other Bitcoin is hodled by strong hands who never sell. This gives [market makers] greater power with their share of BTC.”

End of the Downtrend?

With the bears and market makers running low on supplies, the researchers concluded that the end of the downtrend is near. Bounces are more shallow than before while bottoms aren’t nearly as low.

Bitcoin prices fell below $7,300 earlier this week but have since recovered to the $7,500 range. Since bottoming below $6,000, prices have failed to test new lows. On the opposite side of the ledger, rallies have also been limited to $12,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Institutional adoption is widely viewed as a positive development in the evolution of cryptocurrency trading, though the latest study sheds light on the downside risks of derivatives trading. A similar conclusion was drawn earlier this month by the San Francisco Fed, which compared the launch of bitcoin futures to innovations in securitization in the mortgage market. However, this model has been criticized heavily for mistaking correlation with causation.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 417 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Analysis

Long-Term Cryptocurrency Analysis: Correction Deepens but Leaders Remain Stable

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As the major cryptocurrencies got hit hard this week, losing around 20% on average, the long-term picture in the segment got close to an entry point for investors. The overbought readings that developed during the late-April rally are now cleared and although the short-term trends are still clearly negative, we still expect the coins to resume the recovery. With that in mind, long-term investors could start accumulating the relatively stronger coins.

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On a negative note, even the leaders violated key support levels during this week’s selloff, but the secular long-term trends are not yet in danger. The prior leaders Ethereum, EOS, and IOTA are still in the center of attention, as we expect them to form a bottom soon. Bitcoin and the other relatively weak coins, like Litecoin, Monero, Dash, and NEO are still lagging the form a technical perspective, but they are also well above the support levels that would indicate an end of the secular bull market.

BTC/USD, Daily Chart Analysis

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Bitcoin is below the key $7650-$7800 support level and it remains the biggest drag on the market, despite a brief period of relative strength this week. The upper boundary of the base pattern that we identified in April is found near $6150, with a weaker zone around $6500, and with the short-term trend clearly being negative, the latter might be tested before a bottom forms. Further resistance is ahead at $8400, $8700, and between $9000 and $9200, and traders and investors still shouldn’t enter positions here.

ETH/USD, Daily Chart Analysis

Ethereum is testing the $555-$575 support zone after violating the $625-$645 range, with the declining short-term pattern being intact. A bottom near the $500 would still keep the recovery intact, but the correction low might already be in, and investors could already add to their holdings here. Further resistance zones are ahead between $735 and $780 and near $845, while support is found near $450.

(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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4.6 stars on average, based on 257 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: Oil Plunges Below $70 as Markets Mixed Before Long Weekend

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Financial markets are relatively calm today, despite the hectic week that was highlighted by the Turkish currency crisis, wild swings in bonds, and a step back in US-North Korean relations. Stock markets turned lower globally, with US equities outperforming the rest of the world, essentially drifting sideways all week long, thanks to the slight correction in the Dollar’s rally, and the dip in Treasury yields that was triggered by the dovish Fed meeting minutes.

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S&P 500 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Today, the durable goods report came out before the opening bell and although the headline number was a tad worse than expected the more important core figure beat the consensus estimate, helping the slightly dampening economic outlook, even as yields continue to fall, especially with regards to long-dated Treasuries.

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EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Although emerging market currencies are way less volatile today than recently, despite the rebound in the Dollar, equities shed their early gains and are now slightly in the red. The all-important EUR/USD pair hitting yet another 6-month low near 1.1650, and the test of the key long-term 1.1450-1.15 zone looks more and more likely in the coming weeks, even as the pair is a bit oversold.

Energy Markets in Turmoil as OPEC Signals Production Increase Again

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

It seems that the crude oil market is in for a strategic switch yet again, as the OPEC, together with Russia made it clear today that the price of the Black Gold finally reached a desirable level. The cartel will be targeting a higher level of output later on this year in order to keep the US shale players under pressure by capping the advance in the key commodity’s market.

The WTI contract reached a 4-year high at $72 per barrel recently and the Brent contract which is more exposed to Middle East woes rose as high as $80 per barrel after trading below the $30 level just two years ago. The last phase of the advance extended above the level where a large portion of the shale plays turn profitable, and as global growth worries also surfaced, the commodity entered a selloff this week.

Gold Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Safe haven assets continue to be bid despite the relatively calm environment, and gold hit a two-week high today despite the bounce in the Greenback as buyers are back after the wash-out plunge below $1300. With the long-term setup and fundamentals still being favorable for the precious metal, the short-term downtrend line is in danger here.

As US markets will be closed on Monday, which usually favors an active session, volatility might remain high throughout the day.

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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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4.6 stars on average, based on 257 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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