Aragon + Zug = ❤

April 25, 2018

Aragon’s legal entity and operations are moving to Zug, Switzerland

We first met with the government of Zug a year ago, thanks to Ethereum's cofounder and Aragon's advisor Mihai Alisie. Mihai set up Ethereum Foundation's operations in Zug back in the day, and he was one of the early proponents of the Crypto Valley — a vibrant crypto ecosystem across Switzerland and Lichtenstein — with Zug at its epicenter.

But Zug is a very special place for multiple reasons. Let's explore them.

Switzerland has decentralization in its DNA

I remember hearing this multiple times from Swiss people. It's hard to wrap your head around it at first, at least for me, coming from very monolithic nation structures.

Switzerland is organized by cantons — member states of the Swiss Confederation — that retain a lot of independency in decision making.

Everything works "like a Swiss clock"

Due to decentralization in decision making, they don't need to always wait for someone else's approval. This makes administrative processes comperatively fast. They also have the right mindset. From the official government's webpage:

In the Canton of Zug, taxpayers are considered as clients, not debtors.

Furthermore, everything not government related also works like clockwork. No one wants to lose your time.

Everyone in Zug's government speaks crypto

Crypto requires a lot of understanding, because it changes how societies fundamentally function.

Nation states as we know them will have to adapt to these changes. And the first nations taking the initial leap will reap the rewards of attracting the next generation of entrepreneurs creating massive economic and societal value for the public.

I feel that the canton of Zug properly acknowledges this tectonic shift and tries to embrace crypto as much as possible.

This also easens administrative processes — we don't have to spend time on explaining the basics of crypto to them, because they already know! Of course don't expect them to be Solidity programmers, but at least they understand and want to learn, which is so hard to find.

This is common not only in the government, but in the legal, accounting, and many other kind of firms operating in the area.

Aragon's relationship with Zug

Although Aragon's vision is to eventually be a DAO itself, we are not there yet. Not from a technical standpoint, not from a legal one. We need a transition period.

Right now the non-profit entity that represents the interests of the project is Aragon Institution MTÜ, an Estonian entity.

As we speak, we are creating a Swiss entity, established in Zug, that will replace most of its functions. We will therefore benefit from all the knowledgeable authorities, lawyers, auditors and accountants the Zug ecosystem has to offer.

We are also taking advantage of this transition to start decentralizing Aragon's development, and creating another entity which will be comprised of the current Aragon team, separated from the non-profit.

Our commitment to a thriving ecosystem

We are not just moving the legal form and leaving a PO box there.

We believe that governments who understand crypto and want to help it create a fair world deserve to be embraced.

In order to embrace Zug as key crypto ecosystem, we are taking multiple steps.

First, Jorge and me, both Aragon co-founders, have moved to Zug and will be living here and participating in the local ecosystem.

Second, we are joining multiple events in Zug, starting with Blockchain Summit (main sponsors) and the Crypto Valley Conference, and will start hosting local meetups too.

Third, we will help propel initiatives that will help the government incorporate the technology behind decentralized organizations, voting, and transparency.

Fourth, we will hire locals to fill some positions within our organizations. We are already hiring an Office Manager.

And, fifth, we will praise the Crypto Valley to other projects that are looking for a crypto friendly environment to run their operation from.

It is hard to find a government that understands and embraces crypto. We are thankful to Zug and looking forward to helping it navigate the uncharted waters of crypto, together, in order to empower freedom and fairness.