Reflections on Cardano Midwest DRep Workshop & Intersect Meetup

On June 29, 2024 I had the pleasure to host a DRep Pioneer Workshop followed by an Intersect Meetup in the Chicagoland area of the USA. The Workshop for DRep Pioneers ran from 10 AM - 5 PM and then additional community members joined us from 5-7 PM for the Meetup portion of the event.

The Workshop focused on governance roles and actions that can be taken by DReps. We started with an overview of CIP-1694 governance and the relationship of DReps to SPOs and Constitutional Committee members. The DRep is important because they are not just a representative for the Ada holders tho delegate to them, but they should also be educating their delegators on what is happening in the wider Cardano ecosystem. We discussed the idea that in the future, it would be nice for Ada holders to be able to designate different DReps for different Governance Actions (i.e. One DRep will always represent me for Hard Fork votes but another DRep will represent me on all other actions).

For the organization of DReps we discussed the Code of Conduct and ideas of Compensation. Right now the Code of Conduct is unenforceable and must be a strong suggestion, where Ada holders look for DReps to voluntarily uphold it. We discussed the idea there could be a judicial body that is empowered to cancel a DRep certificate if the DRep engages in egregious behavior and how this could be a necessary or dangerous thing. We believe that the idea should be considered for the future but approached cautiously so that DReps do not become controlled by some central power. We also discussed the ideas for DRep compensation and were unsatisfied with the ways that this could be broken down since we think that there will be many DReps who don’t need to be compensated that do qualify while other DReps that could use compensation would not qualify. We would like to explore ideas of using DRep compensation funds to focus on education and incentives rather than blanket rewards.

We also discussed the ways to become DReps and the lifecycle of DReps. We believe that with a robust choice of governance tools anyone will be able to register and serve as a DRep and this will be a great benefit to the representative system of Cardano. However, we are concerned about the longevity of DReps and amount of participation that will be maintained over time. Because DReps must vote to stay active, there is a chance that some DReps might start off very active but then fall away from activity and go into inactive status. This would mean that their delegators are unrepresented and not counted in the governance system. We would like to consider the idea that these delegators actually be disconnected from the DRep and prompted to choose a new DRep. We could also do something like set “term limits” where a DRep certificate is only good for a certain period of time, such as 2 years. At the end of the term we might allow the DRep to manually renew their certificate so that they can keep serving, otherwise their certificate will expire and delegators will have to choose a new DRep.

At the Intersect Meetup we hosted Ben O’Hanlon from IOG to talk about mapping the Cardano Ecosystem. We had a few members of the Chicago Fintech community joining us, so this was a great showcase of Cardano as a unique network. We started off the meeting with an introduction to Intersect as the Members-Based Organization that supports Cardano with community development, governance support, and technical coordination and told everyone how they could join. A version of Ben’s talk should be available online at some point as he promised to continue sharing it as he developed his work further.

Overall this was a very successful event with great participation! We had about 20 people complete the DRep Pioneer workshop and an additional 10 come for portions of the workshop and/or the Intersect Meetup.

IMAGE 2024-07-09 06:28:18