Aragon Launches Defensive Measures Against Potential 51% Attack

Aragon Launches Defensive Measures Against Potential 51% Attack

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Aragon, a framework designed to facilitate the launch of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), has shuttered plans to give ANT token holders voting rights. 

The Switzerland-based organization alleged that investors, including hedge fund Arca, were launching a 51% attack. 

Arca’s Open Letter 

Aragon was already embroiled in a battle with a tight-knit group of activist investors. These activist investors were highly critical of the project leadership and demanded that disenchanted investors be given a smooth exit ramp. The problem between Aragon and these investors began last week when the protocol banned half a dozen Discord members. Aragon alleged that the banned individuals were not actual community members but rabble-rousers. The list of banned members also included Alex Woodard, a research analyst at Arca. 

Woodard took particular issue with such a characterization and stated that all of his questions pertained to transparency regarding important matters such as the treasury. Woodard stated, 

“There is no doubt that community management and governance are hard, but selectively removing the voices of the few token holders who want to engage strikes me as a massive step in the wrong direction.”

Arca has vowed to work with other token holders, something that could give significant momentum to the activist investors’ ongoing efforts. In an open letter, Arca has called on Aragon to conduct buybacks of its ANT token. Arca’s involvement gives significant institutional weight to the battle between Argo and several activist investors. 

“We are planning to work with other token holders to propose that Aragon continue the buybacks to return ANT to book value.”

Arca is a prominent crypto hedge fund with over $200 million in assets under management. 

Aragon Association Shutters Plans Following 51% Attack 

Initially, Aragon intended to give holders of its native ANT token voting rights to determine the future direction of the protocol. However, after shuttering these plans, the Aragon Association, which oversees the management of the took to Twitter, stating that it had exercised its fiduciary duty and secured the treasury and overall mission. It added that it was repurposing the Aragon DAO as part of a new grants program. 

According to Aragon, it made the decision following a 51% attack suffered by the protocol. The attack was orchestrated by a group calling themselves the Risk Free Value (RFV) Raiders. According to DAO, the group was planning to manipulate the use of the ANT token to realize financial gains. 

“Today, the Aragon Association acted on its fiduciary duty to secure its treasury by repurposing the Aragon DAO into a grants program. This is a response to a coordinated attack by the group known as “Risk Free Value Raiders,” who took down Rook DAO. Last week, a coordinated 51% attack was launched on the Aragon DAO. Arca Capital Management, a U.S.-based asset management firm, is leading the effort. Evidence suggests that Arca’s involvement is aimed at extracting value from Aragon for financial profit.”

According to a blog post that shed further light on the developments, Aragon alleged that the RFV Raiders are activist investors linked with Arca Capital Management. 

Blog Post Explains Decision 

Aragon’s blog post shed some light on why Aragon may have made the decision. Aragon stated that Swiss regulations compelled it to secure funds in the Aragon treasury from those looking to access them and make financial gains. 

“The Aragon treasury was established with the explicit mission of supporting builders to advance decentralized governance infrastructure. There is clear evidence that the entities involved in Aragon’s attack are pursuing that end.”

Aragon explained that it had transferred an initial payment of 300,000 USDC to the Aragon Grants DAO. According to Aragon, these funds will remain on-chain and be governed by wrapped ANT (wANT) token holders. Aragon’s repurposing of its DAO comes just over a month after it announced a collaboration with Ethereum scaling solution Polygon. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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