Early Announcement: Cardano Improvement Proposals (CIPs)

Greetings Stakepool Operators! One of the things that the Cardano Foundation has been working on is a clear avenue for community proposals. A formal communication process was needed on how to achieve compatibility, to add features that depend on integrations and to agree on standards.

We are pleased to announce the initial draft of the Cardano Improvement Proposals (CIPs) process, which are building blocks for future platform development – a move towards standardization and better quality control for proposals.

Cardano Improvement Proposals (CIPs) are formalized documents for the Cardano community, providing information or describing new features or processes. CIPs contain the technical specifications for the proposed changes and act as a single source of truth for the community.

Next steps:

  1. Preview CIP 1 which contains the proposed guidelines for CIPs;
  2. Leave your feedback: https://cardanocommunity.typeform.com/to/QAikTo.

Please ensure all your feedback is captured in the survey form or in the ‘Issues’ of Cardano Foundation’s GitHub. A polite reminder that Typeform and GitHub are the only two places where feedback will be captured and assessed.

As we look forward to the continuing development of the platform, and ultimately the on-chain governance process that will come with Voltaire era functionality, now is the time to start formalizing and standardizing how we define, curate and formalize proposals for improvement. This is an early but important step.


I briefly reviewed this and it looks like a great start, thank you!


Okay. I have a suggestion, still unsure where to put/write.It is somewhat as an incentive for all, possible reward as a community. It is about transaction fees

I like, this was good read and very focused.
Gave me ideas how to improve my project documentations (unfortunately not related to Cardano)

“editors” the unelected single point of failure.

You can post your suggestion in the “Community Initiative” category and allow for it to be recategorized if it needs to be, it is coming from the community so it seems like a good place for it.

A well thought out and well written idea and the benefits it would bring is always welcomed.

This is an idea for a CIP correct?

(polite heads up> transaction fees are an equation of the Incentive/Sharing schemes and have been researched quite a bit just sayin…)

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Much thanks. And yes, for a CIP. I just didn’t see any sticky or forum topic solely dedicated to them.

Before I offer ideas, I see there has been questions and ideas probably for years on here, so at that, I will read over everything I can just in case something has been suggested already. Thanks again for the quick reply

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For sure!
I expect any well built CIP proposal would also need to move through the Developer category at some point as any CIP would require developer evaluation and input to ensure that it is even feasible with out affecting the network - hopefully all Proposed difficult CIP’s are researched and verified by such research to remain in-line with one of the communities core values - Science.

Good luck! I hope to see something in the future!

CIP Editors don’t make a value judgmet on an idea. They’re function is to ensure ideas are submitted correctly in terms of format and structure. It’s an admin role.


We will create a CIP category for the forum, however, I wanted to make sure everyone involved in operating a stakepool saw this first. When visiting the forums you might view by ‘latest’ or by ‘category’. It seemed a safe bet to select ‘staking and delegation’ to post, and then to move to ‘CIP’ a little later. I hope the you agree this makes sense.

they remain unelected and in a high position of power. besides, the diagram illustrates different to what you now write here. for example: “draft - editors can reject for multiple reasons.” this is basically like the personal petty power play over trivial matters that moderators (now paid ambassadors) have been exerting here on the forums - without accountability or recourse. ¯_(ツ)_/¯


My ideas seemed simple, or what I had premeditated in my head to post in a random forum. Atleast there will be a space dedicated for it soon. Staking and delegation is definitely offputting in regard to knowing where to guess at where to post.

Might take me a few days as I’m going to read every white paper first. And then, it should be slightly easier. The terminology looks killer in terms of comprehension. Especially browsing quantum ect. in a title. Fortunately, I’d bet I can write something, structure and give some beneficial science once I’m finished. If not, somebody here is that good!

Wait…you get paid for this? Saving the world is priceless


I’m listening @misteraxyz. I can promise you all feedback, sentiment, and activity is shared internally cross-teams because I am delivering it. And I hear what you’re saying, and like you, I’m passionate too.

Let’s talk about CIP Editors. The CIP Editor’s job is to ensure the proposals are of a good enough quality and standard. Without a properly formatted CIP, a proposal is just another person with an opinion. CIP Editors don’t decide which proposals are adopted. The decision is based on community consensus, which is recorded in a CIP before it is submitted. The diagram is illustrative to demonstrate workflow. Its job isn’t to contain all the information of CIP1 (because a map is not the territory). When we expand point 4 in the CIP, it gives a fuller description that explains merging does not imply acceptance or agreement, merely the formalizing of the discussion. Check it out here.

I hear your comments on accountability. I am accountable to the community, which includes you. Accountability is answerability. We start here. We’re going to change the world… you and me. But it won’t happen the way you think if you think someone is else is going to do it, or you’re waiting for top-down answers. The essential quality of a community member is that they’re a citizen of Cardano. To be a citizen is so much more than staking or commenting! To be a citizen is to DO. We are an open-source community, which means answers come bottom-up. It’s you and me, and if we want to improve a process, then we must ‘do’ it. That’s what CIPs are. A process that helps to formalize ideas, achieve compatibility, and agree on standards and processes. Without it, it’s hard to achieve a ‘source of truth.’

Now is a good time to talk about this. The draft CIP1 isn’t an active CIP yet, and it’s been put together in conjunction with my research into other improvement proposals and best practices. If there are improvements, let’s hear them. If there are gaps, let’s find them. This is an invitation for you to get involved. To help build better models, and to submit them for scrutiny and discussion. To be a citizen of Cardano, so let’s ‘DO’ it.


Good question @polarvortex. CIPs are not a funding or governance mechanism. However, you could see a request for funding for a CIP at a later date. The draft CIPs process are a building block for future platform development.

Talking about accountability. Wouldn’t it make sense to have a regular community vote on who will be CIP editor. Otherwise there may be a situation where we get stuck with someone that was hired, and is doing a poor job.


CIP1 is now active - the initial editors (Matthias, Sebastien, Duncan and myself) are intently distributed across orgs (Cardano Foundation/Emurgo/Input Output) for the original processing. I am for community involvement, and we are discussing a way to engage individuals towards editorship if feasible. In the meantime, as the CIP process is intended as public, we will be publishing simple minutes for the CIP Editors meetings so the community can have visibility in the discussions and actions (for the CIP repo items, not the protocol).