It’s been a while since we have published an update about what has been happening inside the Nest program! In this post you’ll learn everything you need to know about the current and past Nest grantees.
The program initially launched in late 2017 in order to fund teams with innovative approaches to solving challenges in Aragon and the broader Ethereum ecosystem. In its first months, Nest received a number of awesome applications and quickly became an appealing grant program in the Ethereum ecosystem.
The majority of the teams presented in this update have been awarded a Nest Grant in 2018. The momentum acquired by Nest in its first months helped shape its identity. It also helped the program navigate the agitated waters of the bear market where it received its fair share of turbulence. Overall the learning curve has been steep, and the program’s team is always learning about how to make grantee’s experience as smooth and fruitful as possible.
At a time where we work hard to substitute human trust with technology, Nest is a bet on creating long lasting and trustful relationships working around Aragon’s mission. This is a precious aspect of the Nest program and we will do our best to foster this sense of community in the future.
With Aragon expanding, the Nest Program is refocusing on the Aragon ecosystem. 2019 grantees are working more closely than ever with the Flock program. Nest has also been proving itself as an opportunity to grow significantly and two former grantees were awarded a Flock membership in the past months.
Finally, we hope to turn Nest into an autonomous platform providing all the support they need to grantees. Doing a first step in this direction, the Aragon Association will propose Nest to be run as a DAO in Aragon Network Vote #3.
We are now pleased to relay updates coming straight from the Nest teams.
Any question about Nest? Ping @louisgrx on the Aragon Chat!
For those unfamiliar with the project, the aragonCLI is a tool used to develop Aragon apps, and to interact with DAOs (create, install apps, etc.). In April we've received a Nest grant to actively maintain the project and to plan for its development.
Our mission is to improve developer experience and to provide power users with an easier way of customizing DAOs without having to interact directly with the blockchain or to wait until the Graphical UI is fully-featured.
Initially this implied offering support to developers in setting up their environment, publishing apps, etc. This allowed us to prioritize bugs that prevent people from continuing their work and to add features that bring them the most value short-term.
What has changed
We have achieved a couple of milestones in regards to maintenance, which will free some of our bandwidth and which we hope that will enable a large number of contributors to get along:
Along the way we are also figuring out what are the best practices for developing:
And, in a true web3 spirit, we've been documenting most of these in our repository.
Note: these are very early drafts that require a couple more iterations, but we are confident that soon, we will be onboarding new contributors in no time.
As far as new features go, the most noteworthy would be:
A lot of this work (if not most) has been done by the wider Aragon community and facilitated by us. A big thank you to everyone participating in this project!!!
And a special thanks to @sohkai who has been giving us a lot of valuable feedback along the way!!
Challenges so far
One of the recurring issues people have with the CLI is that they cannot install it or that it stops working unexpectedly. This is often due to external dependencies and because "we" (the maintainers and Aragon community) don't install the CLI all the time, the first people to notice are new users. This is a terrible first experience, and people often think that it's their wrongdoing and become discouraged.
To tackle this, we wanted to set up end-to-end testing. We initially considered sharness because the IPFS folks are using it, but after some time decided to drop it due to shell scripting being difficult to learn and very time-consuming (as compared to node). As far as node frameworks go, we tried nixt and dropped it, favoring a few utilities we wrote that do the job well.
We also faced a few challenges when dealing with dependencies, lockfiles, monorepos or mocking dependencies in tests. If we can help you with any of these please reach out or check our internal docs! 👋
What is next
Being almost in a place where the aragonCLI is a stable and reliable tool, we will soon shift our efforts towards:
Until next time, happy hacking!
Aragon Mesh has been granted 100,000 DAI in April 2019 in order to operate for 6 months.
BrightID is an identity network of unique humans. Its purpose is to keep fake users out of applications. It uses a decentralized, anonymous graph of people and records cryptographic connections made between them. We've created an algorithm to analyze the graph and make determinations about which vertices in the graph represent unique humans. The connection data is shared in a standard way, but server node operators can apply different graph analysis techniques for verification besides the one we provide as a reference.
It’s an open source project on Github with wonderful volunteer contributors.
How did the project come into existence?
I created BrightID in late 2017 because there was no way to prove that someone is a unique human in a digital environment. In 2018, I was joined by several people I met at decstack and through Giveth’s social coding initiative.
BrightID was awarded a Nest Grant in Aug 2018 and launched in Jan 2019 followed by a demo at Aracon.
The most important update to BrightID this year will be launching app integrations. Here are our milestones for BrightID core for the next 5 months.
In the long run we are inspired by several areas where we think BrightID could be leveraged: for example Land Return, RadicalXChange, global Universal Basic Income, automated companies and services that pay dividends to all of humanity, social media that allows you to turn off fake accounts, groups and forums that allow effective bans, and worldwide votes. Eventually, people just won't put up with fake users, and they won't have to.
Bright ID has been granted $90,000 USD equivalent in ETH in October 2018 for 4.5 months of work. The team received a 15,000 ANT reward for their work under Nest.
About Prysmatic Labs
Prysmatic Labs is a team working on core upgrades to the Ethereum protocol, including proof of stake and sharding. This initiative is part of the greater roadmap of Ethereum 2.0, an all-encompassing term for the next iteration of the Ethereum blockchain.
Prysmatic’s main project is Prysm, an open source client that implements the official Ethereum 2.0 research specification maintained here. In the same way as current operators of the Ethereum network run Geth or Parity nodes, we envision Prysm to be the de-facto standard of a production-grade node for Eth2.
We had three milestones upon receiving the first grant award. The first one was a proof of concept of an Ethereum 2.0 client, released in October 2018. The second milestone was a public test network for Ethereum 2.0’s phase 0, released Q2 2019 here. Our final milestone is set to release early 2020 as the public mainnet for Ethereum 2.0, in tandem with other clients. A stepping stone towards that final milestone will be a multi-client test network, set to release by end of this year.
We have achieved significant progress, growing the team to 6 individuals and have led by example in terms of creating a well-documented, tested, and strong client implementation.
Eth2 has radically changed since we first started working on it and applied for the Nest grant. Originally, it was an extremely early, uncoordinated effort that very few teams were working on. There was little to no project management on behalf of the Ethereum foundation, and most of the research updates happened through scattered blog posts and markdown documents.
Since then, the initiative has matured significantly. There are over 8 teams working on Ethereum 2.0, and the Ethereum Research team has been fantastic and maintaining a solid specification through an official Github repository all teams contribute to. Throughout the process, we have learned how to deal with a moving target in terms of the underlying research of the protocol. We have always aimed to be on the bleeding edge in terms of our implementation, which has often led to big refactoring challenges as new bug fixes or better approaches are found in the specification.
What’s to come?!
Over the coming months, we aim to work closer towards interoperability for a multi-client testnet. That is, we are focusing on getting our codebase 100% aligned with the specification and working towards communicating with another client in the same way the current Ethereum network has many clients on it which implement the protocol. Our roadmap remains the same, and we expect to keep growing even more as a team and always learning from those around us.
_Prysmatic Labs has been granted $100,000 USD equivalent in ETH in June 2018 and is still working on delivering their ambitious roadmap.
Tennagraph is the app for creation/collection of network sentiment for better Ethereum governance. Enabling more perspectives through:
What We’ve Been Up To
Through the app we' gathered ~170 personal stances on EIP 1057 (ProgPow) from twitter. Added a new team member – Anett from Slovakia to help with community work. Also the community created several fundraising campaigns for us (now Aragon DAO, Giveth, GitCoin & WeTrust).
Last month we’ve Collected ~10 ETH donated for Tennagraph on gitcoin. It was used to produce a set of tweaks and improvements (like usability or interoperability with hive.one) identified after the launch.
Also we’ve made consultations with Hudson Jameson, Lane Rettig and more experts around the current state and further development. So far it proved to be interesting, with volume of votes to be a significant improvement in the future.
Now we’re researching further directions for development (integration with github, eth address clusterization and more)info is coming soon. Thanks again to all supporters, including the Aragon, Gitcoin, Hudson Jameson and many more. You can follow more updates on Tenna’s twitter account.
Tennagraph has been granted 15,000 DAI and a 6K ANT reward for their work under Nest in 2018.
About Level K
This is Level K ’s first update, but there is much to talk about. Level K was started in 2017 and develops decentralized applications. We were given a Nest grant in December 2018 to build an Aragon futarchy app, and deployed our first version of this app to Rinkeby in March.
More recently Level K was awarded a Nest grant to build an Aragon Oracle Manager app and to utilize it along with the Aragon futarchy app to launch futarchy signaling markets for the Aragon Network Vote. We are currently working on the oracle manager app and providing an integration with Uniswap as a price feed oracle.
What We’ve Been Up To
Futarchy has been theorized to be a powerful tool for governance for determining how to best achieve some already defined objectives. Organizations would continue with current methods of setting values and objectives, but futarchy could help make decisions around how best to pursue the organization’s values/objectives.
Back in April, 2018, Level K proposed a couple approaches on how to implement futarchy. We built on our previous work with Gnosis around implementing the first option described where there is a categorical market for the outcomes, and scalar “conditional” markets for each outcome predicting the impact on the success metric under the condition of the given outcome.
The code for the futarchy app can be found at https://github.com/levelkdev/futarchy-app. We first deployed the Aragon futarchy app to Rinkeby in March and are currently looking for beta testers. If interested please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The current version of the futarchy app is designed to use an ERC20 token price point as the metric of success, and relies on a centralized oracle to report this price point. In order to be a reliable mechanism for decentralized governance, the futarchy app should rely on a decentralized price feed. The motivation for building the Oracle Manager App is to provide this decentralized price feed to the futarchy app, or to any Ethereum dapp that chooses to utilize it.
Level K has also been considering how best to test futarchy and bring it live. Through our discussions with the Aragon One team, we hatched the idea to launch “signaling markets” for specific proposals in an Aragon Network Vote. The idea is to run futarchy markets for an AGP decision alongside the actual voting during an Aragon Network Vote. The markets will allow anyone to bet on the impact that a given AGP decision will have on the price of ANT. The futarchy markets will not trigger the actual decision. We can observe how people interact with futarchy, and how the outcome of the futarchy markets compare with the actual decision. And if the futarchy market decision is the same as the actual decision, we can see how the predictions on the ANT price play out over time. Deploying a signaling market for an AGP decision is part of the work for the current Nest grant.
In the coming months we aim to deploy the Aragon Oracle Manager App to Rinkeby with an interface to Uniswap. We also plan to run beta tests for the Aragon Futarchy App (if interested in participating reach out to email@example.com) and to develop an Aragon DAO kit for easy setup of an Aragon DAO that uses futarchy. This work will culminate in the launching of futarchy signaling markets alongside an AGP vote on main net. Level K will soon release a more detailed road map about our plans with futarchy. For more information about how futarchy might be used by Aragon, check out this post on Futarchy Courts. We’re excited for the promise futarchy holds for on chain governance.
Level K has been granted 130,000 DAI for their second Nest grant in May 2019. They received a 25,000 ANT reward for their work on Futarchy completed under their first Nest grant, which was for 80,000 DAI.
We are pleased to announce the first demo release of the Espresso Drive! This release also marks the end of our Aragon Nest program and before we begin with our recap, we would like to thank Aragon for giving us this incredible opportunity and for providing all the help and support that we needed during our development. It was truly an amazing experience to be part of the Nest program.
If you are not familiar with the app, Espresso Drive is an Aragon application that aims to provide a Dropbox-like user experience for decentralized storage. It is specifically built for DAOs and currently supports IPFS and Swarm. Here is the link for the demo.
Folders and labels
Up until now, it was only possible to share files individually, so sharing 10 files would require 10 separate actions. This is far from an efficient process, quite costly and repetitive. It is now possible to create folders to group these files together, making the sharing process much easier and enabling more diversified classification structures.
When a folder is shared with another user or group, every file and subfolder inside it will automatically inherit the appropriate permissions, with a single transaction. Labels are now also available.
Comment threads, file recovery, and search bar
Efficient communication is crucial to an organization’s success, and DAOs should be equipped with tools that facilitate the exchange of information. This is why we are introducing a new comment section where users have the possibility to add notes, leave feedback and express their thoughts. Each file has its own comment thread. A new search bar and a file recovery feature are also now available.
Being able to store files privately is probably one of the most important feature that remains to be integrated into the Espresso Drive. In the previous months, we began implementing basic encryption algorithms and the app now supports AES with the CBC and GCM modes, both available with 128-bit and 256-bit keys. The next step will be to handle the management of the encryption keys.
Another task we are planning to do next is to refactor the Groups section and create a standalone Aragon app from it. We believe the app would be valuable to many developers as groups are a fairly common pattern found in numerous apps. Mathew, one of our members, has also started working on a new Solidity tool called Quantal.
Espresso has been granted $100,000 USD equivalent in ETH in July 2018 and a 15,000 ANT reward for their work.
Let us start with a quick refresher of the DAppNode project: DAppNode aims to truly decentralize the infrastructure layer of P2P networks like blockchains or DApps. And it does that by providing Open Source software that makes it as easy as one-click install to start running nodes for these networks. In this way, we can eliminate the reliance on centralized 3rd parties to run decentralized systems and we open the door to incentive schemes for users to be paid to run nodes and strengthen the network. For more information you can check this post!
We would like to thank the Aragon Nest project again for its support! DAppNode is a firm believer in Aragon. Our package registry uses the Aragon Package Manager and is a permissionless system for devs to register their packages install it in any DAppNode. Not only this, but we were also the first DAO in the Ethereum mainnet!
Let’s jump right in on the updates since the last time, which you can find here.
Tools, tech and core packages
We have a lot in store in our roadmap, but I think it can all be summarized by: content, content and content! We are working very hard to bring nodes to strengthen the networks we love. In this initial phase we have made it very simple for everyone to run a node, so our next phase is going to be all about bringing in content to the DAppNode, to increase its utility value and create more network effects.
Dappnode has been granted $60,000 USD equivalent in ETH in July 2018 and has received 25,000 ANT as a reward for their work under Nest.
A leap forward for decentralization and sustainability!
Much progress has been made in the development of Pando, a politically and architecturally decentralized alternative to Git leveraging the governance capabilities of Aragon OS, and that of Apiary, that has become the Fundraising app for Aragon DAOs.
By a vote of ANT token holders during Aragon’s 2nd Network Vote, we’ve been humbled and honored to join Aragon as the 3rd Flock team: Aragon Black.
As a Nest grantee that has made the leap to fully fledged Aragon team we aspire to set an example for other grantees and the larger ecosystem.
This is a crucial matter in the fight for freedom and decentralization: inspiring and enabling committed and passionate contributors from around the world to participate in the development and adoption of a protocol enabling the emergence of unstoppable and modular organizations.
We will soon be presenting a more complete report on the progress of the Aragon Black Flock, however we can already share some developments on the Nest front.
Steadfast progress is being made on the Fundraising app and we are nearing launch.
We have sent to audit the following smart contracts used by the Fundraising App: Fundraising Controller, Batched Bonding Curve, Collateral Pool, Tap. Results are expected to be delivered this month.
The front end development is in the final stage with a view of publishing a Rinkeby app after audit results are delivered and relevant adjustments are made.
The team is finalizing the Fundraising Template (ex-kits) for deployment by DAOs via the CLI (and later on from the Client’s UI)
These efforts on the app are followed in parallel by research on a Fundraising library that will allow the configuration of various curve types, initialization parameters and taxation mechanisms. As the app launch is getting closer, we are finalizing the specification for the v1 library.
On the community facing side of things we’ve released a blog post presenting Fundraising at a high level. The blog post was widely shared in the community and received numerous applications for on-boarding. This effort is being followed through with governance and curve design workshops.
In May we released the Rinkeby version of Pando Network that can be accessed here!
This version allows for pushing commits via the command line interface as well as repository creation and approving pull requests both via CLI and the Aragon client UI.
With aragonOS’s permissions system you can for example set up a repo to allow the core developers to directly commit while allowing any other contributor to submit a pull request that is approved by the Voting app.
You can also now connect your DAO-controlled Pando repo to git/GitHub and your favorite extensions thanks to a git-remote protocol.
More recently there have been intense under the hood work as we refactored the library after a major IPFS update where IPLD.js moved from using callback patterns in their API to using promises.
With that we took the opportunity to create types for the different data structures to make it easier for our front-end to consume and send data to IPFS.
Pando is nearing its first user facing update by enabling markdown editing of repository content directly from the UI. This update requires an upcoming update of aragonCLI to support the above IPFS library updates and will be published later in the summer.
Shipping to the public the Fundraising App is our priority!
Through the on-boarding process we have identified commonly demanded curve types and will be focusing on delivering a constantly evolving library of bonding curves.
Research on IPFS pinning and merging is ongoing while we continue developing and enhancing the features of Pando in view of a mainnet launch, as well as developing a GitHub2Pando script to synchronize GitHub and Pando repositories on a regular basis.
The Pando team had received a grant of $100,000 USD equivalent in ETH to work on Apiary in December 2018 and gave up on part of this grant when they transitioned into a Flock team. They had also been granted $107,000 USD equivalent in ETH to work on the Pando Network app in March 2018. Finally, they received a 25,000 ANT reward for their work on the Pando Network app.
At Frame we’ve been hard at work on meaningful account and infrastructure updates.
Smart accounts will change the way we use the web. In v0.2 we’ve added support for an important type of smart account, Aragon DAOs. Enabled by Aragon Agent, you can now add your DAO as an account in Frame and use it to interact with any dapp on behalf of your DAO. This opens the door to endless possibilities using your DAOs to interact with the decentralized web.
More Account Updates
In v0.2 accounts are now persistent. This means you can use your accounts even when your signer is asleep or disconnected. You’ll only need your signer to be available when signing a payload.
In addition to smart accounts we've also added hot accounts. Hot accounts store your private keys on your machine rather than using a hardware signer. They can be created with a mnemonic phrase, private key or keystore.json file.
We believe Frame should be truly decentralized and unstoppable. Any user, regardless of technical understanding, should be able to pilot Frame without relying on centralized services. To support this effort we’ve been expanding the underlying infrastructure of Frame. In v0.2 users will be able to run Ethereum light clients and IPFS gateways with the flip of a switch.
Future & Flock
We’re excited to be working on the Aragon platform. We're focused on extending the abilities of Aragon DAOs via provider and signer level integrations. Our goal is to make using and interacting with Aragon DAOs as seamless and intuitive as possible. As part of our commitment to Aragon we will be submitting a Flock proposal. We hope the Aragon Network will support us working on this effort full time.
Frame has been granted its second Nest grant in April 2019, amounting to 120,000 DAI. They have received a 25,000 ANT reward for their previous work under Nest.
Autark began contributing to the Aragon ecosystem in April 2018 when we were funded by the Nest program to build That Planning Suite, a suite of Aragon apps that allows organizations to curate issues, collectively budget, and design custom reward & bounty programs.
What we have been up to lately
On January 26, 2019, we were officially voted in to become a full-time Flock team when AGP-19 passed. We subsequently launched That Planning Suite to Rinkeby in April 2019, and received organic interest from p2pmodels, 1hive, and Aragon Mesh. Autark is now rebranding That Planning Suite to Open Enterprise.
Lately we have been building out many of the features defined in AGP-19 such as profiles, discussions, a customizable home app, and general upgrades to Open Enterprise. As far as this Flock work goes, we have written detailed updates in our transparency reports which are located at blog.autark.xyz.
Security audits for Open Enterprise have just began and we are aiming for a Mainnet release no later than Q4 2019.
We are applying for our second Flock grant in Aragon Network Vote #3 which begins July 25, 2019. Check out our proposal and provide feedback.
As we have concluded our Nest work, please follow our future updates on our Flock work at blog.autark.xyz!
The Autark team working on The Planning Suite (now renamed to Open Enterprise) has been granted a grant of $150,000 USD equivalent in ETH in April 2018 and gave up on part of it when they became a Flock team. The team received a 25,000 ANT reward for their work under Nest.
Thanks to John Light and Nest team members for their contributions to this post.