The poster called out from the wall it was taped to as DevCon4 attendees walking by pointed and wondered aloud what the message meant. The URL at the bottom provided a hint, once entered into a web browser: www.unfreedom.org.
The concept was simple: anti-propaganda propaganda. Ironic authoritarianism to spite authoritarians. That was the trick.
The treat was a surprise announcement for DevCon4 conference-goers: Aragon 0.6 was live on mainnet and ready for anyone to start building their decentralized organizations. This is software that empowers people to fight against the forces of centralization and control, to organize autonomously on Ethereum. Isn’t this what so many of us are all here for?
Taking a step back...
DevCon4 Day 0 & 1
Every DevCon is special. But this one was especially special to Aragon. We had most of the team in Prague for the occasion, several of whom also attended the wonderfully organized #CryptoLife hackathon and the Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians Council of Prague in the days preceding the annual Ethereum family reunion. At this year’s DevCon, we were out to share the good news: Aragon is bringing DAOs back, mainnet style.
We launched Aragon 0.6 on the Ethereum mainnet on Tuesday October 30, 2018, Day 0 of DevCon4. By the next day, we had spread our propaganda around Prague where we knew Etherians would find it: around the DevCon venue, in and around the National House Smichov where Status was hosting their livestream, and around several of the after party venues, including a warehouse that would play host to Ravecon0 on All Hallows’ Eve.
DevCon4 Day 2
After the excitement of launching to mainnet and spreading the word with Owi's amazing artwork, the Aragon team prepared for our next event: the Aragon Dream DAO party on November 1, 2018, Day 2 of DevCon4.
I had decided weeks before the party that in the spirit of DevCon, I would try to use as many Ethereum ÐApps as possible for our Dream DAO party. So I set up RSVPs on Kickback, an events app that uses collateralized smart contracts to provide event attendees an incentive to show up. Then I created bounties on Bounties Network to have greeters welcome guests to our party and ensure that only registered guests got in. (We did end up letting in some folks who were not on the list once it became clear that we had enough room to let more people in.) And finally, pitch contest winners received ANT and DAI prizes for their efforts.
Overall, my experience using ÐApps to organize the Dream DAO party went really well. Kickback attendees got a nice little ETH bonus from everyone who no-showed, all of our bounties on Bounties Network were fulfilled by three excellent helpers, and DAI remained stable as ever throughout the whole week, with the price at exactly $1.00 USD per DAI when I made the transfer to pay the pitch contest winners.
Ah yes, the pitch contest! The Dream DAO party centered around a special main event, a little something I came up with that harkened back to my days in Silicon Valley: a Dream DAO pitch contest.
In Silicon Valley, it is not uncommon to see startup pitch contest events hosted at night clubs or VC offices. “Pitch your startup for a chance to win...!” Same concept here, only instead of startups in Silicon Valley, contestants were pitching their “Dream DAO” to an audience of crypto-enthusiasts at an underground bar in Prague. I had no idea what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised by every entry to the contest.
A big congratulations to the winners Daniel with Perpetual EnDAOment and Lorelei with Unicorn DAC! And a huge thanks to the judges - Simona Pop from Bounties Network, María Gómez from Aragon One, and Griff Green from Aragon DAC and Giveth - as well as all the other contestants who shared their Dream DAOs with us.
You can watch a video of the whole pitch contest here:
To finish things off at the Dream DAO party, Aragon’s own Luis Cuende spun a DJ set that brought the house down and had all the eagles and unicorns dancing and vibing together. An excellent ending to an excellent night :)
DevCon4 Day 3
The day after the Dream DAO party was Day 3 of DevCon, the last official day of the conference. Aragon One team member Jouni Helminen was scheduled to give a presentation about the UX of Aragon, including the new design system we are releasing, Lorikeet. (More news on this soon!)
Also exciting (to me at least!) were the previews that Jouni showed of what’s to come with Aragon user experience design, including fully responsive Aragon apps so that Aragon works well on mobile and a notification center that informs users about the status of their transactions.
Expect video from this presentation to be published online within the next couple of weeks. Big thanks to the DevCon organizers for giving Aragon a platform to share our work!
Update: Jouni's presentation can be found here.
Overall, DevCon4 and the “Prague Blockchain Week” festivities that came with it were a ton of fun and hugely impactful for the Aragon team and our community at the conference. We launched Aragon 0.6 on mainnet, got creative with anti-propaganda, bonded with the Aragon community at the Dream DAO party, and connected with developers and designers at DevCon4, along with tons of other amazing and unforgettable moments in between.
This year’s DevCon was a spectacular success and we look forward to seeing what surprises DevCon5 brings us next year!