Fund 9 overlapping categorisation risks


What’s happening in fund 9?

In fund 9 there are 6 challenge setting categorisations being proposed for fund 10 that overlap with Development & Infrastructure.

There is a high risk of having a very large amount of funding going to the development and infrastructure focus areas across a number of similar categorisations. This can easily result in other focus receiving little to no funding. This is caused by overlapping categorisations with similar focus areas that can all be voted in together.

The 6 overlapping categorisations with Development & Infrastructure include:

  • Developer Ecosystem - The Evolution
  • OSDE: Open Source Dev Ecosystem
  • SPO Tools & Community Projects
  • Marlowe Open Tools & Use Cases
  • Cardano For Scala Superstars

Problems & previous examples

For fund 9 the fund 8 voting results for categorisations led to the product & integrations focus areas receiving over 65% of the fund allocation due to two repeated categorisations being voted in that represent the same thing. This outcome came at the expense of other focus areas such as community, outreach and the Catalyst ecosystem receiving little to no funding.

Overlapping categorisations increase complexity for proposers, voters and assessors and use up more of Catalyst resources for little benefit. This is covered in more detail in a comparison of unique and overlapping categorisations.

Overlapping categorisations increase the issue of voter decision paralysis in trying to determine how they should vote to get a desirable outcome. This complexity is here as voters do not know how the rest of the community will vote when faced with the same large number of options. This makes it increasingly difficult to yield the outcome they are looking for and also one that is preferred by the majority of the community due to the decision complexity.

With many overlapping categorisations it becomes easy for the focus area of development & infrastructure to receive vastly more funding than the community may want. This outcome would come at expense of other focus areas that the community may also want to receive at least some funding.

Another problem with overlapping categorisations is it introduces proposer game theory of trying to put their proposal into categorisation that are the least competitive as they have a proposal that can fit into many categorisations. This complexity is unnecessary and can lead to a less competitive funding environment for some of the overlapping categorisations.

Why is Development & Infrastructure effective?

The Development & Infrastructure category creates a more competitive and inclusive environment for ideas that are focussed on Cardano development and infrastructure. It achieves this by being a broad categorisation that is more inclusive than the other overlapping categorisations.

What can be done?

Challenge settings cause a large range of issues for funding categorisation in Catalyst that wastes effort and resources that could be better allocated elsewhere. Funding categories have been created as a replacement to the challenge setting process and offer a more effective solution that uses broad, inclusive, unique and recurring categorisations. Funding categories promotes the importance of the community being able to vote on the budget weightings used in the funding categorisations instead of challenge teams making unilateral decisions on the budget weightings that the community has no control over in the voting process.

The change proposal to replace challenge settings with funding categories has been shared with IOG - 2. Replace challenge setting with funding categories - Catalyst Improvement Proposals

One thing the community can do to help improve funding categorisation is to understand the funding categorisation analysis documentation to explore and analyse what makes effective funding categorisation. After this any feedback or suggested improvement is encouraged followed by sharing with other community members to help spread awareness of the importance of improving funding categorisation for Catalyst to most effectively function.

Fund 10 voting

For the next round of voting the most effective way for fund 10 to be inclusive of all forms of idea, test a more effective approach to funding categorisation and create a healthy and competitive funding round is to vote for the funding categories full fund categorisation. Vote for the funding categories full fund proposal for fund 10 - Funding Categories Full Fund.

Twitter - Follow for funding categories updates