Anatomy of an Aragon organization

An Aragon organization is made up of software programs known as “smart contracts”. While traditional legal contracts are ultimately enforced by coercion and the ability to physically seize assets in case one party to the contract does not fulfill their obligations, smart contracts are enforced by computers that ensure the contracts are executed exactly as they are programmed. This “self-enforcing” property of smart contracts can reduce the risk involved in certain types of contracts.

The smart contract system Aragon is built on is called aragonOS. This system ensures that only authorized accounts and contracts (what Aragon refers to as “entities”) have permission to perform specific actions in an organization. The same way that a legal contract defines what rights and obligations a party to the contract has, the aragonOS smart contracts define what rights and obligations entities have in an Aragon organization.

Each Aragon organization has apps that can be “installed” on aragonOS. These apps extend the functionality of the organization and give members new ways of interacting with each other and the organization itself. Some examples of applications that can be added to Aragon organizations are the Tokens, Voting, and Finance apps. Anyone can develop their own app, add it to their own organization, and publish it for others to use as well.

You can find more information about the technical details of how Aragon works, including how to develop your own Aragon app or deploy your own custom organization, in the Aragon Developer Portal.

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