Project Catalyst Fund 10 Reflections - What Works & What Doesnt

Hey there and happy day everyone :slight_smile:
Project Catalyst Fund 10 Voting results are out, marking the end of Fund 10 and ringing the bell towards Fund 11.

This Category invites everyone to share thoughts, insights, experiences and impressions from Fund 10, aiming to collect community perspectives so that we can reflect and ideate on them and ideally build a shared understanding and collective map of all our individual point of views.

There is also an additional to further collect insights
A evergreen report on the Poll responses can be found here


Some ideas and maybe considerations for next fund.

-Implementation of Quadratic Voting
-dReps as a new layer of proposal steering (extra impact on the results based on public dReps, ADA delegated to a public dRep worth 1.2ADA in weight)
-Only public dReps can downvote with a rationale behind

-A fund round with a capped amount in request, for example only proposals with a max request of 100k, the idea is also to give a chance for more community members to bootstrap new initiatives. (during this round only unique individuals can be awarded. for example, 1 proposal per person. )

The next fund the restrictions are removed.


Only makes sense if voters cannot just split to retain higher voting weights. And preventing splitting requires unique identification of voters which is an incredibly hard problem – especially if you want to roll it out globally.

I personally find dReps scary enough as is. Choosing a proper dRep is in many ways harder than just deciding on the proposals. I’d assume that a lot of voters will just delegate for likeability/popularity and not care much what their dRep does.

If people want them anyway, okay, but giving them more voting power?!? Never! Strongly oppose! Will fight tooth and nail that this does not get implemented!

We can talk about globally removing downvoting and going back to pure approval, only upvotes, or to a much better voting system.

But restricting that possibility to special VIPs and even requiring a justification for a totally legitimate choice of voting? Also strongly oppose!


What are your ideas? Because everything has pros and cons… I just don’t think we should keep doing the same and expecting different results.


Agree on that.
One large issue which we can observe. Catalyst grew very quickly and didnt had the tools nor expertise on place to catch up with the rapid growth. This resulted in a +6month stop between Fund 9 & Fund 10. Due to that fast growth, Catalyst became very static and there havent been any realy improvements or innovations since earliest funding rounds tho. The only thing what changed is that foundational year-old problems didnt got resolved and only scaled up then.

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I like this visualisation of the impact of quadratic voting. Albeit that this represents a perfect implementation, any moves toward this seem very worthwhile even if circumvented by some/many.


The “NO” vote would have the function of voting against proposals that do not meet the challenge or that are irrelevant/unfeasible. There could be a lock,like: if the community reviewers rate the proposal at least 3/5, “NO” vote would be disabled at the voting stage?

Still the same ideas as a year ago:

Public vote recommendations instead of dReps: Everyone can publish a whole slate of recommended votes, with or without short reasonings, with or without a general policy for those recommendations.

Using a standard format for those recommendations would allow users to import and combine them from multiple people whose opinion they value (but not necessarily unconditionally trust). Developing tools that just highlight the proposals where the recommenders differ would than be very easy.

If we finally get an API for submitting our votes instead of that horrible voting app that should have never gone into production, those tools could also allow to directly construct and submit a final ballot out of the recommendations, the decisions on diverging points, and the voters own preferences on some proposals.

Voters can then very freely decide how much effort they put into that. A fire and forget like with the dReps is totally possible, but if the possibility is there to at least have a look, to easily modify with own impressions on some projects known personally by the voter, to just import another recommender, my hope would be that a lot of voters at least do a bit of that.

It just needs an API to really submit the vote (otherwise that would still have to be done by hand). The rest is totally permissionless. We don’t need no freaking registration of very important dReps with some IOG bureaucracy that never answers. Everyone can just publish recommendations and voters regard it or not.

Change the voting system to highest-median: To remove the quite heavy strategic consideratrions of score or approval voting (what we have now, “Should I vote for that even if it could take away funding from my favourite?”, “Should I downvote it for that risk even if it is somehow okayish?”), switch to, e.g.:

We grade proposals with grades like “Bad”, “Passable”, “Good”, “Very Good”, “Excellent” and they get the median grade – the grade where 50% of voters gave a better and 50% a worse grade.

Since the median and not the average is chosen, there is no need to exaggerate.


SingularityNET’s Innovation Fund at DeepFunding solves that quite elegant with a eligibility - review phase, where community members check and filter out proposals which do not align to the Funds purpose and mission. After that, a peer-review starts.

I think thats a quite simple and effective approach to get rid of money-grap proposals and to increase the quality of proposals which are then open to be voted on.


If it is done wallet-based: Yeah, we can try. I’d very surely split my wallets heavily and just delegate them to the same voting key to not have more effort voting. But we can try.

If it shall be done with some kind of identity solution: Really, really doubt that an acceptable solution can be found – let alone until the next fund.


In my opinion, the first thing we need is push for a deeper voting report.

It’s evident that there’s room for improvement in the voting system. However, it’s not possible to make improvement proposals if we can’t delve more deeply into the voting results. Without the necessary information, we would be making improvement proposals semi-blindly.

We have to make data-driven improvement proposals for next funds.

Right know some of the available information is:

  • Casted votes per proposal
  • Total positive voting power per proposal
  • Total negative voting power per proposal

But for example, the publication of the number of positive and negative vote casts received by each proposal was disabled since Fund5.


With this simple improvement, which, in my opinion, doesn’t compromise the privacy of the voting wallets, it would allow for a much more accurate analysis of the influence of whales and the other participants in the voting system.

We have a snap of the registered F10 voting wallets.

If you found this chart useful and revealing, imagine what we could accomplish with a deeper voting system report.

In order to build the required momentum for change, we need to establish compelling evidence, and this can only be accomplished with data.

Thats, in my opinion, the first step we have to take.


What could also help a lot: Lock up ADA for the whole voting period to get voting power instead of just a snapshot. This would massively discourage DeFi, CEXes, … from participating or even make it impossible for them.


could also defray the wider risk of renting (or rehypothecating :grimacing:) voting power, via bonds etc. :thinking:

But also seems to come at the cost of having diverse ways to show voter preferences. As an experiment, to evaluate a hypothesis about participation, might be a good thing to design for testnet…

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One thing to examine is how much diversity came out of the Open and Students challenges:

  • smaller challenges
  • had budget caps for proposals within them
  • yet these two proposals increased the diversity of unique funded proposers by 43%, almost doubling diversity for the entire fund

We can make some assumptions about how larger categories led to larger (and more, via splitting) proposals, and ask why increasing the amount of funds available actually led to fewer unique projects being funded than in previous funds. Leveraging competitive advantage seems to correlate to the amount of funds at stake, something that was showing up in fund 9…

We can also make assumptions about how limiting budget asks is a form of structural cooperation (easy enough to get around, but intent is not obscured in those instances). Many proposers actually take into consideration the question of if they are asking for too much (whether from a strategy perspective “Don’t ask for more than 4% of the total fund or you will be downvoted”, or a more ethical or principled perspective “I want others to have a chance at funding too”)

I see polarities of competition :left_right_arrow: cooperation, and consolidation :left_right_arrow: fragmentation in these assumptions/observations. Right now, F11 has only 4 Categories under consideration, down from 13 in F9 and F10, themselves down from 23 in F8 (though with a ‘tracks’ type of subcategorization being investigated). This seems like it will continue the metastasizing of unaccountable competitive leverage for F11.

It seems like adding coordination via cooperation structures (budget limits or budget-limited tracks, more governance around the use of “leftovers”, etc) could give us some control over where we are on the competition<->cooperation spectrum. Similarly, adding 3 funding tracks (big, med, small roughly) to each current category (thus fragmenting the funding pools back to 12…without increasing conceptual complexity) could help us navigate that polarity as well.

Or, invert that and have 3 budget-based categories with 4 sub-categories each… or forget subcats and just have 3-4 budget categories :thinking:


also, dont want to be the bad guy, tho it has been a constant effort from the community to push for voting alternatives since earliest catalyst funding rounds with yet no success at all to get IOG Catalyst Team to implement any suggestions. ^^

main idea is to reflect and to mainly reflect on what works and what doesnt and we would be naive to push or focus on any improvements for catalyst (once again)… we did that since years now and should learn from that as well :slight_smile:

I think the best we can get out is to see it as an experiment from which we as community can get very insightful knowledge and expertise which can help us in our own projects which we build ourselves, tho do not try to bring these expertise to catalyst itself, once again, we tried that since years already :slight_smile:

P.s… just trying to manage expectations better than we did in previous rounds*


I sincerely hope, Ideascale will be history for Fund 11 … finally. Should have never been used.

I always found all those topic challenges just confusing and adding arbitrariness to the process. Their budget was set before anybody knew how many proposals were in there. Proposals could get funding with a far worse vote result just by going into the right challenge and arguing why they belong there wisely enough to not get moved by the powers that be.

And the categories do retain some of this arbitrariness.

I want one big Catalyst where everything competes with everything over the whole budget and the proposals with the best vote results get our money.

At the very most, what could work without too much arbitrariness or bureaucracy are tiers by funds requested. But we’d still have to arbitrarily set the budget for these tiers. Also a problem.


It is a bit sobering that the takes from people who do not refuse to attend all those Catalyst community events are not much better than mine (who refuses to attend time-eating online meetings that could have been an e-mail just to maybe find a spot to put in ideas or maybe not).

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well, IOG Catalyst Team has a 800K Ada Proposal in Fund 10 to finally replace ideascale after 3 years :slight_smile: ( )

( little lemon slide: not sure why they need 3 years to come up with a proposal to actually replace that, but well its nice to have that finally done ( or at least in progress :slight_smile: )

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Ye agree, i think that the IOG Catalyst Town Halls dont make a great deal in informing people and i dont think that attending a lot of IOG Town Halls makes anyone an expert in anything… but i see a lot of value in meeting people and projects which i couldnt meet through an email :slight_smile:


These are insanely good insights @juan.pippo
Thanks a lot for taking the time to put that together. Rly good work :slight_smile:

Agree, more insights on voting data would be actually a key for any of deeper understandings.
@lidonation does some really good work as well at their platform and on voting analysis. Maybe you two should connect ?