Unwinding PrimeDAO <> Aragon Token Swap


In October 2022, Aragon Network DAO and PrimeDAO executed a token swap as the first step in a succession of collaboration initiatives. As of July 2023, the intended collaborative initiatives have yet to materialize, so we propose to unwind the original swap. The proposal is simultaneously presented to the Aragon DAO and PrimeDAO.


If the proposal passes across both communities, the following actions will take place onchain:

Note: The execution of these steps is not automatic and will depend on trusted actors within the two communities to initiate the respective transactions.

In addition, the voluntary unwinding of the token swap will preserve the good relationship between the two communities and ensure future collaboration opportunities can be pursued collaboratively when they emerge. Furthermore, it will be a powerful signal to both communities and the overall web3 ecosystem that DAOs can act in good faith even when plans fall through.


The objective is two-fold:

  • Preserve the excellent relationship between PrimeDAO and Aragon DAO and ensure the feasibility of future collaborations
  • Empower both teams to focus attention away from a stagnant opportunity instead of spinning wheels with a failed initiative


The respective original proposals can be found as follows:

The swap was executed through Prime Deals with the respective transactions as follows:

The proposals were a first step towards deeper collaboration between the two projects. While the teams were in an active dialog, no collaboration has not materialized over the past nine months. Below is a list of attempted and unsuccessful collaborative initiatives:

  1. Publish and co-market a guide on leveraging Prime Launch and AragonApp to create new DAOs and bootstrap liquidity [Not published]
  • Since the swap, Aragon has released a new product suite, including Aragon OSx and Aragon App, making a guide focused on the legacy product impractical.
  • While Aragon’s products are live on the Ethereum and Polygon Networks, Prime Deals mainly focuses on the Celo Network, making it difficult for the two products to be used together.
  1. Sharing of prospective projects interested in using the respective product of the partner [zero shared leads]
  • While Aragon’s products are live on the Ethereum and Polygon Networks, Prime Deals mainly focuses on the Celo Network, making it difficult for the two products to be used in conjunction with each other.
  • Overall negative market sentiment has decreased demand for new DAO formation and liquidity bootstrapping in general.
  1. Participation in each other’s governance process between PrimeDAO and Aragon DAO [no cross-governance activity]
  • PrimeDAO has not wrapped its ANT balance to vote in the Aragon DAO.
  • No PrimeDAO representatives are actively involved in the Aragon Forum.
  • As of May 2023, Aragon DAO still cannot participate in PrimeDAO’s governance which is still not based on the D2D token subject to the swap despite the passing of PDP #013 on February 1st, 2023
  • No Aragon DAO representatives are actively involved in the PrimeDAO Forum
  1. Deeper integration proposals [not published]
  • The PrimeDAO team has drafted a proposal for customizing Prime Launch as an Aragon native functionality.
  • The Aragon team advised against moving the 4-month-long $240,000 project as there was lacking evidence of demand for a combined value proposition (see point 2 above).

Furthermore, shortly after the swap was executed, the core counterparties at PrimeDAO who championed the original proposal shifted their focus toward different projects (Kolektivo Network and Inverter Protocol, respectively), slowing the overall progress and communication flow.

Risks & Dependencies:

  1. Unwinding is enforceable on the social layer only - Aragon DAO and PrimeDAO should each pass their respective proposals to unwind the swap successfully. As onchain DAO-to-DAO swaps are nascent, there are no legal or onchain repercussions if either community refuses to unwind the swap. We rely on social layer consensus and personal and organizational reputation to ensure collaboration.
  2. PrimeDAO liquidity - the current balance of PrimeDAO treasury is below the value of the ANT tokens that PrimeDAO received during the swap. As a result, even with a positive outcome of the respective votes across both Aragon DAO and PrimeDAO, it is possible that PrimeDAO will not be able to honor the unwinding in full.
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​Hi Ivan,

  1. If given clarity on how to access Smart Contracts through the New Aragon Dapp - I’m confident Prime contributors would still be open to creating this guide.

  2. Prime Launch is live on Mainnet, Abritrum, and Celo - Prime Deals only on Mainnet.

  3. PrimeDAO passed a proposal and implemented the Snapshot strategies to allow D2D (and the pooled version) to function as the governance token. Anybody with 25k or more D2D - including AragonDAO, can submit a proposal at any point via snapshot. Meanwhile, AragonDAO has yet to launch and still needs to be funded. Conversely, it was shown that ANT token votes aren’t final, which could justify the low participation from D2D stakeholders.

  4. As far as I’m aware - there are no ways to request funding for co-development. Even the [300k grant proposal(Aragon DAO) is projected to fail at this point. PrimeDAO has limited resources and relies on partnerships/grants to build new modules.

The deal doesn’t include any unwind clauses - so we’ll have to rally on token-voting to make anything happen. Given that PrimeDAO still holds 22k ANT, you can submit a proposal to PrimeDAO governance to swap any amount of ANT for D2D.

Hi everyone and hi Luuk,

I’ve been a fan of some of the work Prime has done in the past and am friends with several members of the DAO. As the Head of Growth at Aragon I was excited to originally see the token swap proposal go up, the purpose of which is to create deeper incentive alignment from a governance perspective. I was not a part of the design nor agreement.

To say that I am disappointed with the outcome is an understatement. I understand we all have lives, priorities, and this obviously simply didn’t work out and that’s okay. I believe there are good people on both teams and intentions were always good, no question. Thus I believe this unwinding is the best methodology to keep the relationship strong between both parties. It does not take a token swap to continue working together. However, the reason it’s quite obvious the token swap should be unwound is that no governance overlap has happened and PrimeDAO has already I believe sold some of the ANT. This completely undermines any purpose organisations would have in completing a tokens swap together. Aragon has undoubtedly had some challenging months in governance (while our new product line is looking great and receiving excellent first responses), it’s exactly at this time we could have used Prime’s leadership and candour as a third party with aligned incentives in our forum, unfortunately that never came.

I’ve spoken with several members from Prime at both EthBarcelona and EthCC who mentioned since the token swap the project has dwindled and the group leading the swap have had their focus elsewhere (such is life!).

Thus let’s do the right thing and unwind this swap, wipe our hands of a poor showing by both teams, and move forward with no resentment and our heads held high. There’s lots of opportunity for both of us in the future. Let’s keep experimenting with governance at the speed of software as we like to say! :slight_smile:

Thank you all!

  • Anthony
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Antony, thank you for the support and the added context! Indeed the ability to act in good faith and recognize unsuccessful initiatives will be a powerful signal that operators in the industry are maturing. I believe your reasoning here hits the nail on the head.

Luuk, thank you for the added perspective!

Apologies for missing this. The misunderstanding came from the fact that all seven proposals that have been voted on since PDP#013 have been based on REP. I will amend the original post to reflect my omission.

We will work on bringing the current proposal to snapshot this week.

As one of the sponsors of the original deal, as well as the sole large D2D holder or core contributor that has engaged in this discussion, could you please advise on how we can engage other token holders to rally support?

I will also amend the original text to reflect that the unwind can be partial as per your advice.

Edit notes:

I am unable to amend the original post as a new forum member I cannot submit posts with more than 2 links. Please note the following changes:

  • The extent of the unwind will be ~74% of the original token amounts as PrimeDAO has sold off part of the originally received ANT
  • Aragon DAO has not voted on any PrimeDAO proposals as all 7 proposals since the passing of PDP#013 have been based on REP, not D2D held by Aragon. Until now Aragon DAO has not put forward any proposals to PrimeDAO

Just a quick update - we are waiting for Aragon Association to transfer the D2D tokens into a wallet that the Aragon DAO guild members can access for us to bring the proposal to Snapshot. Apologies for the delay

As the capital was providing on a vesting basis assuming continued work that will now not materialize, i think this would make sense

A new forum thread has been started with the intend for D2D stakeholders to pick their collective position in this Swap Proposal soon.

We invite D2D stakeholders to share their thoughts and vote on the upcoming proposal.