What is Project Catalyst?
Project Catalyst is a series of experiments which seeks to generate the highest levels of community innovation. Catalyst is bringing on-chain governance to the Cardano blockchain by allowing the community to self-determine priorities for growth. It also lets participants deploy funding to proposals which tackle challenges and capitalize on opportunities that arise in the life cycle of Cardano.
To do this, Project Catalyst is divided into a series of funds. These funds will illicit ideas in the form of proposals from participants. Each proposal will focus around a challenge issued by the Project Catalyst team or the Project Catalyst community. The proposals will then go through a community refinement process where they are vetted for feasibility, auditability, and impact by a group of incentivized Proposal Assessors (formerly known as Community Advisors). Once the proposals have been finalized they will be voted on by the community and funds will be distributed in the form of ada to winning projects.
Anyone can participate in Project Catalyst. Ada-holders, and those new to Cardano are more than welcome. We are also looking for both technical and non-technical expertise. This is all about casting a wide net to find great ideas and make them better. So, you can take part in Project Catalyst in the following ways:
Suggest feedback on other ideas
Help refine the idea into a proposal
Offer help in implementing proposals through a professional service
Help in problem definition, evaluation or breakdown
Share insights about competitive analysis of other blockchain solutions
Share relevant knowledge in regards to problem-solving
Review finalized proposals to help ada holders make the best decision
Provide feedback on how to improve the process facilitating its efficiency
Why innovate collectively?
In short, because we can achieve more collaboratively than individually. The purpose of collective innovation is to maximize the benefits of our community resources. We believe that working together to derisk and build a decentralized global platform is the key to rapidly addressing arising challenges, opportunities and complexities. Furthermore, by tasking the community with the development and implementation of beneficial ideas through a series of funding cycles, we can achieve significantly more than working on initiatives in a centralized fashion.
What do you mean when you call Project Catalyst an experiment?
Experiments are about trying things out, testing ideas, iterating, improving – and that is exactly what Project Catalyst is all about. Voting, treasuries, and generating global consensus are tricky business and we assume that our initial efforts won’t be perfect. That is why we have chosen to develop on-chain governance through a series of experiments meant to expose flaws, reveal dependencies, and test the system as a whole. With each iteration we will take lessons learned and apply them to the next funding round. The end goal of these experiments is a robust voting, innovation, and treasury system which works for everyone.
If crowdsourcing is better why aren’t all decisions made this way?
One day, they will. Many centralized organizations do not place a high premium on development through community interaction. Furthermore, their limited scope means that a relatively small amount of challenges need to be solved at any given point. Cardano is building a decentralized global financial and social operating system so increasingly, we’ll be looking to our highly motivated community to set direction, create value and address issues.
Is the innovation platform set in stone, or will it change over time?
It will continue to evolve and adapt over time. Given that Project Catalyst is a series of experiments meant to build a global on-chain governance system it will naturally change to become stronger as new ideas emerge. One of the reasons that we are including the community in this work is to ensure that their voice is heard in the final outcome. So yes, the innovation platform will change with each iteration.
Is the voting strictly based on the work done in this paper, "A Treasury System for Cryptocurrencies: Enabling Better Collaborative Intelligence", or have there been changes?
This paper was an important jumping off point for defining how governance works for the treasury. Since then, the Catalyst governance protocol team has worked to generate updated protocol taking into regards community feedback and technical constraints.
What is the purpose of the innovation phase?
The purpose of the innovation phase is to generate high quality proposals which respond directly to the challenge set out by the fund. At this point, ideas will be pitched on the innovation platform. The community will then offer refinements in the form of feedback.
What is the purpose of the governance phase?
The governance phase will ensure that the best mix of proposals will receive funding.. Governance makes sure that everyone is coloring inside of the lines set out by the fund challenge itself.
What is the purpose of the execution phase?
During the execution phase funding, will be given to teams or individuals working on the project. Implementers will go to work building the idea outlined in the proposal. Regular reports will be required to inform the community about progress and difficulties encountered during the development process. If these reports are not made then funding can be removed from projects which are not bearing fruit.
Can there be multiple projects for one particular fund?
Yes. We hope that there will be. There is no hard and fast rule against the fund being split up across multiple projects. Furthermore, the system allows for multiple challenges to be addressed within each fund.
Will voter rewards be tied to how much ada is held by the voter?
Is a minimum ada needed to participate in voting?
Yes, you need to have at least 500 ADA in your wallet to be able to vote.
Is there going to be a challenge for each voting period? Who picks this?
Yes, in fact there might be several challenges for each voting period. We must have an intention for each voting period. Challenges are proposed and defined by the community through the "Challenge Setting".
IdeaScale is the company we have commissioned to provide a collaborative workspace – our innovation platform – that allows discussion and innovation between IOHK and Project Catalyst participants.
Can participants be non-technical?
Absolutely, building Cardano requires the input of both technical and non-technical individuals. We’re building a platform that works for everyone so we want everyone involved.