The Aragon Court protocol is the backbone of the world's first digital jurisdiction, the Aragon Network, and it's launching soon.
The arbiters of this jurisdiction are not politicians or judges in stone-clad buildings, but you and other digital natives from all over the world.
Your mission? Help resolve disputes between other people and organizations.
These disputes will have binary outcomes, and your job is to pick the outcome you believe other jurors will pick too.
If you do well, you will be rewarded.
If you don't, you will be penalized.
These rewards and penalties are designed so that disputes can be resolved by, and for, anyone.
If you want to help increase global access to justice while earning rewards for services rendered in the process, keep reading. This guide will explain what it takes to become a juror and how you can get juror tokens early for a fixed rate only available during pre-activation, which lasts from January 7th to February 10th.
Before becoming a juror you should familiarize yourself with three basic, but perhaps counter-intuitive, concepts underpinning Aragon Court and how they affect your role as a juror:
Unlike traditional courts, Aragon Court jurors are not asked to rule impartially on disputes but instead are asked to rule the way they expect other jurors to rule. Jurors who vote with the majority are rewarded, those who do not are penalized. Not only would it be unfair to penalize a juror for providing their impartial opinion after asking for it, if you don't penalize those in the minority then attacks would be free, and therefore, the system would not be a secure way to resolve disputes. This type of system is known as a Schelling Game.
Aragon Court is a permissionless protocol where any participant can come and go without asking for anyone's authorization. Therefore the protocol must function with integrity even in the presence of malicious actors, who may pose as multiple jurors at once to "Sybil attack" the Court. The defense against these attacks begins with a simple staking system where juror impact is weighted by their active stake of Aragon Court's native token (ANJ). You may be thinking if a cartel gets a majority of ANJ, they'll have a majority weight and attack the system unopposed since they'll influence more than 50% of the decisions. However, there are multiple mechanisms like iterative appeals, commit & reveal voting, and locked withdrawal periods that prevent a cartel from acquiring and misusing a majority of tokens. For more details about these mechanisms, check out the documentation.
Aragon Court tries to reach consensus over a ruling involving the minimum number of participating jurors. The optimal number of participants involved needs to tend to zero, that is, everyone's trust in Aragon Court is so high, that misbehaving is disincentivized by the very threat of the Court's existence. When a dispute is created in Aragon Court, a small random set of jurors is drafted from the active juror pool (weighted by active stake for Sybil resistance) and asked to rule on the dispute. This initial number of jurors can be as small as three jurors (or even just one), and they are expected to provide the ruling that a majority vote among all active jurors would have produced.
The advantage of this is reducing the number of participants that need to review the case and evidence, resulting in a more efficient and cheaper system. Because only a small number of participants is involved, any observer can appeal a decision and make a profit if the ruling ends up being flipped. Every appeal increases the number of jurors drafted to adjudicate the next round. After a certain number of appeals, there's a final majority vote in which all active jurors can vote to produce the final ruling.
If jurors were only rewarded when drafted to work, by doing their job really well and maintaining a super honest court, they would be decreasing their future returns, as the incentive to create disputes in a highly effective court is low, as both parties to the dispute can predict what the outcome will be. If jurors leave the Court because the returns are decreasing as a result of a well functioning Court, the market cap of the token will decrease, making attacks cheaper.
For this reason, Aragon Court charges subscription fees to its users for the right to use the Court should a dispute arise. These subscription fees are then distributed to all active jurors during that period proportional to their relative stake. Even if no disputes are created in a period, jurors should expect a predictable income from passive users of the Court who are getting security from it even if they don't need to create disputes. The Aragon Network DAO will also get a portion of Subscription Fees, for now it is set to 0%, but the AN DAO will increase it over time.
When Aragon Court launches on February 10th, so will the Juror Dashboard, which will serve as your digital control room for tracking all the relevant information you need to do your job well. It will make understanding precisely what you need to do, and when you need to do it obvious and straightforward. So don't worry if you're concerned about keeping track of everything, you'll have the tools you need to ensure you don't miss anything. The Juror Dashboard will also be released with comprehensive documentation, so if you're unsure about something, you'll have access to the answers you need.
Before that, though, there are some responsibilities all jurors should be aware of.
While you're active and eligible for adjudicating disputes, you can be drafted at any time, and if you are drafted, you will be required to perform specific tasks by specific times. By activating you will receive email notifications with updates about your pending juror obligations. It's important you are available to perform those tasks, sometimes for as long as a month, if the dispute is appealed multiple times. If you miss an action, you will be financially penalized.
The main caveat here is, as described in 'Dispute prevention > dispute resolution,' a well functioning Court should rarely be used since the mere threat of using it should resolve the dispute before it is ever escalated to the Court in the first place. The more effective the Court becomes, the overall juror workload should decrease, and active jurors can continue to reap the rewards of monthly Subscription Fees.
All active jurors are eligible for the rewards listed below:
When Aragon Court launches, before integrating Aragon Court support in Aragon DAOs, there will be an at least 2-3 month long "precedence campaign" which will consist of a series of mock disputes. The Precedence Campaign intends to seed the Aragon Court with initial disputes, which will help establish the reputation of the court and highlight potential use cases.
Real juror rewards & penalties
From your perspective as a juror, the only difference between a mock dispute and a real dispute will be the content of the disputes themselves. Rewards and mechanics will function as they would under real-world conditions, so Subscription Fees, Dispute Fees, Appeal Fees will function normally. The same goes for penalties, so you should treat it as though it were a real dispute. The Court will be granted an initial reward subsidy of 25,000 DAI administered by the Aragon Network DAO per AGP-129. Depending on the progress of the precedence campaign additional subsidies may be granted by the Aragon Network DAO, which will need to be proposed as an AGP and approved by ANT holders.
Dispute bounty program
Even though Aragon One will have some initial mock disputes ready to seed the Court, we are considering opening up the dispute creation process for the community to engage with and receive rewards for creating disputes which end up being appealed. It still will cost real money to create and appeal disputes, so it will not be profitable to create or appeal disputes, however, during the precedence campaign it should be profitable to create a mock dispute (staging a fake dispute and presenting evidence for both sides) that naturally gets appealed. We can think of these initial disputes that get appealed as those which are non-trivial or non-obvious outcomes, and by uncovering these disputes, we are helping to establish the precedence history and case law of Aragon Court.
Note: We are still exploring what a mock dispute bounty program would entail, so our current ideas are subject to change, but we are opening the discussion to the community to gauge interest and gather input
Now that you understand the role of a juror, you're ready to pre-activate. The whole process should take you less than ten minutes.
Some quick notes about pre-activation:
During pre-activation ONLY, the ANT:ANJ conversion rate will be fixed to 1:100. When pre-activation ends February 10th, ANJ will only be available at a variable rate set by a bonding curve.
If you already have at least 100 ANT skip to Step 2.
To pre-activate, you must convert at least 100 ANT into ANJ.
Increasing the amount of ANT you convert to ANJ will increase your chances of being drafted and overall reward earning potential.
At the time of posting, the cost of becoming a juror is approximately $45 (ANT = $0.45).
To access the ANJ Conversion Module, go to anj.aragon.org.
To enable your account, select your preferred Ethereum provider from the Conversion Module show below:
You should see three fields:
Once you are ready to convert your ANT to ANJ, click "Become a Juror."
"Your account's active balance" will update to show your new current active ANJ balance.
Since you are pre-activated, you will automatically be an active juror when Aragon Court begins February 10th. Monitor notifications until then for new information about the Court like juror guides, announcements, and other important updates. After February 10th, be sure to check your notifications, assume you will be the first juror drafted because you just might be!
If you prefer to interact directly with the smart contract to get and activate your ANJ, you can do so by sending an approveAndCall transaction to the ANT smart contract.
You can use any method to perform the direct smart contract call, like MyCrypto or Etherscan's Write Contract functionality.
The parameters for the call are:
1. What is ANJ?
ANJ is the native token of Aragon Court. If you want to be a juror in Aragon Court, you must hold, stake, and activate at least 10,000 ANJ.
2. What is "pre-activation"?
Before Aragon Court goes live and ANJ activation is enabled, we are creating a time period where all prospective jurors have the opportunity to acquire ANJ at the same rate. We are calling this the "pre-activation" period.
3. How long will the pre-activation period last?
The ANJ pre-activation period starts on January 7, 2020 at 16:00 UTC and lasts until February 10, 2020 at 00:00 UTC.
4. What is the "official" web address of the ANJ pre-activation module?
5. What tokens can be used to acquire ANJ and what is the conversion rate during the pre-activation period?
ANJ can only be acquired during the pre-activation period with ANT. The conversion rate during the pre-activation period is fixed at 1 ANT = 100 ANJ. After the pre-activation period, prospective jurors will be able to acquire ANJ with ANT at a floating conversion rate using a bonding curve smart contract that has been deployed on the Ethereum mainnet.
6. What is a bonding curve?
A bonding curve is an automated market-maker smart contract. In this case, the bonding curve is used to convert ANT into ANJ and back. After the pre-activation period, the more ANT is sent to the bonding curve, the fewer new ANJ will be released back to the sender, and vice versa. You can find a technical explanation of bonding curves here and find the source code for the specific smart contract the ANJ bonding curve will use here.