Cardano Foundation: Encouraging active participation on Catalyst

Project Catalyst exists to ensure we can bring on-chain governance to the Cardano blockchain by allowing the community to self-determine priorities for growth. However, it needs active and inclusive participation from a broad spectrum of community members to be successful. At the moment participation is not as high as we, or those concerned with constructive debate and discussion within the ecosystem, know it should be, nor is it reflective of the different stakeholder groups within the community. For this reason, from Fund 7 onwards, the Cardano Foundation will become an active participant in Project Catalyst voting to inspire and encourage others to do the same.

In consideration of our goals for 2022 and beyond, it was concluded that as a member of the ecosystem it is important that we are also actively participating in the governance of the Cardano ecosystem as an active member. Especially as a key goal of ours is to equip our community. As such, It is important we participate in Catalyst to encourage innovation, collaboration, and diversity of values and opinions. This decision reflects our commitment to supporting and growing the positive adoption of Cardano on the global stage. Simultaneously, we recognise the impact large votes from the Cardano Foundation could have and this is why only partial votes will be issued.

At a basic level, there is a need for more eco-system development. As such, the Cardano Foundation has a duty to lead by example and raise awareness through action. The aim of engaging at this stage is to encourage broader engagement and active participation. While Catalyst is still in development as a delivery under Voltaire for on-chain voting, the platform itself serves as an important venue for off-chain community discussion and consensus.

The Cardano Foundation is dedicated to ensuring Catalyst is moving towards becoming a democratic platform for community led innovation. To do this we need active participation from our whole community.

To ensure transparency and an understanding of our process, there are some key points we want to note before we delve into the challenges we’ve chosen.

  • We will only vote on challenges. An important distinction between the Foundation and community members is that we will not vote on funding for individual projects, or proposals. We will limit our involvement to the selection process for the next Fund challenge topics and budget amounts.
  • We will only vote with 14.5 million ada. This is only a fraction of our total voting power. To put this figure in additional context, it is only 0.4% or the total ada registered for voting and just under 5% of ada used to vote in the last round.
  • We will not be doing any further voting in this round. We will only vote on these challenges and we only vote with 14.5 million ada.
  • We will only upvote. We will not partake in downvoting any projects or challenges.

How did we decide on our vote?

When deciding on our votes, our core guiding principle was ensuring the challenges selected supported our mission, our north star—for Cardano to become the future financial and social operating system for generations to come. We want to ensure that robust governance, standards, and ethics exist throughout a decentralized and transparent platform.

To help us achieve this mission there are key goals we are striving to accomplish, such as creating a “robust and diverse ecosystem of active participants”. The Fund 8 challenges we voted on provide broad support for the developer ecosystem and will increase the quality of on-chain activity via applications and global participation strategies. Achieving this goal is crucial to the advancement of the Cardano ecosystem.

In acknowledgement of this principle and the importance of our community, we also took into consideration feedback we received from the Fund 7 Market Survey and the strategic goals set for Fund 8 set by the Catalyst Challenge Setting Team. These two initiatives are independently led by community groups, and are the first step in developing feedback loops within the community to add additional insights for the community, by the community.

In summary, while there are many exciting and beneficial challenges, we have chosen challenges which:

1. Support those willing and able to make contributions to the ecosystem;
2. Enhance Cardano as an open source project;
3. Accelerate the growth and evolution of the developer and app ecosystem.

And now for the reveal, the challenges we voted for, including our rationale, are as follows:

Fund 7 Voting: Fund 8 Challenge Setting

Now you know who we’ve voted for, disagree? Agree?

Leave us a comment. And most importantly, get together, start debating, and then cast your vote! You have one week to go - voting ends on Feb 3rd 11am UTC.

So don’t delay!

We want each and every individual in the ecosystem to be involved and for registered ada holders to vote. This is an inclusive platform and inclusive process. For those of you new to Catalyst, detailed documentation on how to register your wallet and vote can be found here.

(Disclaimer: We shall not be casting any further votes in this round. It is up to you the community to move the needle in the direction you want!)

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