Cardano is becoming fully decentralized. Besides IOHK , Emurgo and Cardano Foundation there are no officially sanctioned entities. To officially sanction would mean that there is a centralized entity which is overlooking all aspects of the network.
However, there is project Catalyst where Cardano community votes which proposals to fund. List of winning proposals will be as close as to having stamp of approval as it gets (unless Charles personally likes and promotes a project ). For example you can find winners of funding votes to round 4 here: Project Catalyst - Fund4 - Voting Results (official) - Google Drive
They are currently on fund 6.
True! However, no one has the time and resources to check all the projects if they are real or fake. Not to mention that some real projects will fail as well.
This is an inherent risk in investing into decentralized projects. The only protection you can have is research and portfolio risk management ( same as with regular investments). You smell something fishy, then leave. As you said, there will be thousands of others to look trough.
Everybody with a laptop and a YouTube account is a financial advisor since crypto and Robin Hood became a thing. I watched 100’s of channels so far and most of them do no research. They just farm content so they will take any project they can. Why? Because if you go on YouTube and type that projects name, then their video pops up and they get views. Out of 100’s I’ve seen I only came across 3 that actually did research and I don’t always agree with their conclusions either.
Ecosystem metaphor is used to group interconnected systems that are part of a same network. In this case Cardano Network. If your system/ project is not on Cardano, doesn’t use ADA, has tokens issued as ERC20 and not Cardano Native token, then you are not part of that ecosystem. Also, that means nothing if you are talking about scams. There are scams that are part of Cardano ecosystem. Ecosystem is just a buzzword to add credibility but offers little to no information.
To be sure you must look for and be satisfied only with proof. Buzzwords, YouTube/ TikTok advisors, website presentations mean nothing. Check for code, product, implementation and visible progress.
Remember, if it was easy to make money everyone would be a billionaire.
Hope this helps