Sustainability of Cardano; Decentralized Organization & Governance for Cardano; Guardians, Priests, Doctors, Fighters, Scientists, Wizards, Inspectors

This is from another topic I created (, but would like to spin off the subtopic from there as being quite a different direction.

I believe a fully decentralized cryptocurrency such as Cardano requires a fully decentralized dedicated organization from the members of the Community to manage the sustainability over the next decades. Not sure whether Cardano Foundation is meant to transform into such an organization one day, but it would make sense to offload certain functions and keep them operating in parallel for a while.

Such an organization would be incentivized via regular compensation from the Treasury (OPEX cost), it would be elected via liquid democracy, have a clear multidimensional structure, agenda & mandate, goals & targets and corresponding measures & metrics. Maybe even have some sort of empowerment to influence / configure the Platform in some extent via multiple approval cycles (including the Community Approval itself).

Members of such an organization would take certain roles such as Guardian (overlook, monitor & supervise some essential quality of Cardano such as infrastructure decentralization), Priest (evangelist of Cardano bringing the message to new communities and proposing candidates for various roles for the Organization), Doctor (providing quality support & aid for any problem someone might have with Cardano), Fighter (fighting the trolls, fake news, hackers or any enemy of Cardano), Scientist (monitoring the platform qualities and suggesting configuration updates for optimization), Wizard (proposing “next best” items to the Cardano roadmap along the Product & Adoption Vision in the context of the continuously changing environment), Inspector (reviewing the operation & performance of members of the Cardano Organization with the previous roles), etc.

Members would have their reputation to manage within the Cardano community providing regular, transparent & verifiable updates of their operations and justification / proofs of the value they bring to the Ecosystem.

The challenge would be to make the decentralized Organization to be well-meaning, efficient, incorruptible and transparent bringing tremendous human intelligence dedicated to make Cardano sustainable.

As an example: in the main topic linked above, I was referring to having licences granted / revoked to Stake Pools depending on their reputation and whether they support the infrastructure decentralization quality of Cardano via not running their nodes through a cloud provider, BUT on premise. You could delegate such responsibility to the decentralized organization.


valid points and questions.

thing is, at the moment i think there’s a less than optimal progress or effort put to solve fundamental aspects which would mean others further down the chain would in-turn be solved.

for instance both cardano foundation and emurgo state their objectives as to be responsible for the commercialisation of the platform. this to me seems to be duplicative and inefficient. that’s not even mentioning the unresponsiveness for related enquires via email or web contact form.

the quality of communication ought to be much higher, for instance - apparently a new cardano website is in the works - but how do i know this? through the incomprehensible roadmap? where it ought to be? no - because it’s not on there. why? ¯_(ツ)_/¯ i came to know through a comment on a blog post by an admin on an unrelatedly topic.

as it is i’ve been trying to get someone to care about this but to no response.

perhaps internal bureaucracy is to blame, which i feel is counterproductive and not future or forward thinking. i’m aware charles has mentioned that after prometheus/icarus comes efforts to focus on community - and i understand one needs to start from a centralised standpoint then decentralise, but so far i see no signs or effort towards realising the DAO decentralised autonomous organisation that will be the cardano steward.

cardano has great promise, but at the end of the day it’s success is path dependent. inaction now has disproportionate effects in its near future exponential growth.

ultimately it all comes down to incentivisation. as it stands the thin me-centric network needs to evolve into a thick we-centric community, as the mercenaries give way to the missionaries - then only may we finally leverage the latent super power that is the community - before it’s too little too late.


Gents, I proposed a discussion about the necessity of a DAO to be introduced next to the Cardano decentralized platform & ADA Cryptocurrency as I don´t really see how sustainability will be managed otherwise.

Let´s keep our discussion around this topic and put our ego away :slight_smile: You can always play it out in private messages, but why post on the topic itself?

So the question is, do you believe a voting centre & treasury (which are on the roadmap) is enough to lay down the pillars of sustainability expecting the Community to self-organize and run all important aspects in a self-driven way or we do need a flexible DAO as well?

Obviously a DAO would allow for operational functions (the ones mentioned in the root of this topic) being served by an active, committed and dedicated decentralized, multidimensional “virtual” organization. Nevertheless this DAO organization would have an OPEX cost to be paid on regular basis from the Treasury (I would definitely expect to keep paying Charles to stay the High Priest & Guardian Angel of Cardano).

As far as I understand the current sustainability vision is to simply have roadmap items (new features, capabilities, fixes, DAPPs, etc.) voted by the Community to be delivered by a selected 3rd party as a CAPEX investment from the Treasury.

I feel this will not be enough to sustain Cardano & ADA for decades, but the DAO is inevitable, though as from current legal standpoint quite challenging to “formalize”. This is where Cardano Foundation could mediate until regulations and legal developments reach the maturity of having DAOs fully supported.

What functions, roles & responsibilities, structure & hierarchy, policies & processes, metrics & measures, etc. would you expect from such a DAO?

Obviously it may very be possible that IOHK will not research & develop the DAO for Cardano, but will be one of the suggested items on the roadmap the Community might vote for and be paid from the Treasury. However I would not risk this to come down to a future Community decision & consensus …


Governance is a difficult issue that many in the space are working on.

I lean more toward game-theoretic solutions that won’t require any “structures” to reach the goals (adoption, and solutions) of the platform.

How those game theoretic solutions will look like? I really don’t know. But a DAO based structure with reputation seems incredibly complex. That said anything is possible in a liquid democracy.

Once the system is decentralized, it is hard to see where it will go.


I think your idea is very good and it makes a lot of sense, I was thinking and Cardano can be understood as a ‘’ central bank ‘’ for the community that wants to decentralize its currency and control its money, currently the central banks are controlled by politicians, who are elected for us through the vote (well let’s be honest, only in some countries is that done in a democratic way). I think that for the usual world community to accept Cardano, it will be when he has real participation in his process, I think that the best way will be through the vote to choose a person that deals with each process of the foundation, a representative in each area, it would be like a government ministry 100% elected by the voters, something not very usual among the ministers and deputies of today. The hard part to control are the nodes, for its correct functioning and acceptance of the system a “law” could be added to the large nodes for its power of voting in the network, that law could be corresponding to the maximum funds to be withdrawn from the network. year, his obligatory participation in the foundation contributing projects. If we see bitcoin the miners are now very centralized, they have a great voting power in the network, but for their existence the public must have access to that network, (Passes both in Bitcoin, Ethereum and may happen with Cardano, centralize the miners it is a good idea, a foundation can direct the Cardano ecosystem) an accession like the one that has a 1 cent coin in its country, and for that we must have a growing market “controlled” to transmit a confidence to those people to use Cardano. With the cold portfolio of all the nodes in a Cardano foundation would generate more security avoiding manipulations, the market would continue to grow as it is of its nature for its decentralized creation, but unless there was a large union of purchasing forces we would not have large fluctuations in consumers, then yes a democratic foundation with a reading power could be very beneficial for the decentralized network in my opinion, which of course will continue to expand a thousand ways to generate value. The good possibility for this to work is that in Cardano we can build side chains, then the nodes could benefit from the growth of the ecosystem, generating value in other chains, with benefits for their DPoS miners for mining other crypts of projects that they support. This way the node realizes that it is really important in the creation of the ecosystem and not the monetary power that can lead. :ouroboros:

edit: ‘’ non-profit foundation ‘’, I do not see that it is necessary to reward a service provided to the community by people working in the foundation as ‘moderators’, the ADA currency must emanate from the power of the community and be spent by its owners without interference beyond the transaction rate, otherwise, we will see a lot of junk trying to be part of something for its monetary benefits, power control and not for the contribution of real ideas. If someone wants to donate to the foundation, they will be free to do so, a percentage assigned to the foundation can be divided at the moment of its creation (but it would fit the founding members to decide, I think)

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Its important to have a reboot function the Community might vote on, which would reboot the entire governance structure & system would the evolution take us to such a dead end where no other options seems to be reasonable.

We should be able to make huge mistakes, learn lessons and start all over again with a clean sheet, without having to deal with the heritage of a complex, rigid, non-efficient system we might have ended up.

Maybe it´s possible to take this a step further with checkpoints (not only the root state) we should be able to fall back to with the Govenance framework.

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if it makes sense, we could avoid generating evils on the part of the hackers by returning the system to a safe point of the network, the voting system should be propocional in all the layers of chains, between nodes and forks…

I think your concept is really good and highly elevates, extends and clarifies the inital DAO proposal.

What I don´t think will work is to have “pure liquid democracy voting” & “treasury” capability and throwing this at a Community to decide the fate & future of the Cardano ecosystem. That´s a recipe for disaster.

You do need a living, dedicated organization, geographically distributed, somehow structured (Roles with RACI, multi dimensional, hiearchically, matrix, etc.), following certain processes & policies, being fully transparent & auditable (blessing from operations in Blockchain) and somewhat empowered to drive the Cardano Ecosystem towards adoption & success. This is an OPEX cost to be paid. This is a complexity & challenge to resolve.

Here is an initial concept regarding a DAO operating in the Blockchain (I have originally prepared this for ClimateCoop which would be an SDG DAO).

So you have a network of Nodes in a multidimensional hiearchy (geographics may be one, the other can be different aspects of the Ecosystem, etc.), where each Node has some sort of autonomy, mission & empowerment and resources to achieve this. The interesting part is how Nodes should be regulated via their relationships in the Network.

Below you may see the different relationships a Node may have.

And here you may see zooming into a Node more specifically in which context it has to operate.

Eventually Cardano DAO should end up with something similar, having a Virtual Organization structure & governance, that would oganically grow, collaborate, align and represent Cadano. It´s not only the Virtual Organization you need but a Value Network among the Nodes, where value may flow.

The decentralized governance model should incorporate:

  • strategy, goals, KPIs (to make sure the organization is heading towards an aligned & agreed direction)
  • policies & rules (to make sure Nodes follow & operate in limited, agreed, “regulated” context)
  • votes, decisions (to allow nodes to judge, rate their parents, grandparents, child, grandchildren and beyond)
  • monetary supply & resources (to make sure nodes have sufficient resources to carry out their part of the agenda)
  • etc.

It´s not like the Community would not be part of the DAO, eventually the members of the DAO would be recruited from the Community and the Community would still keep it´s voting power with the liquid democracy principles to influence and control the operations of the DAO and carry out any organizational & governance changes whenever necessary.

But making sure instead of a single global pipeline of roadmap items and one big treasury pot, we also have geographically distributed ones with the understanding of the local context (politics, religion, culture, law, society, technological advancement, eocnomical advancement, etc.) is very important for the sake of adoption. You need to empower local Cardano communities to push things forward within that local context.

Just imagine the difference between a global Community with Liquid Democracy vs. a disciplined & empowered DAO with local communities understanding of the local context however overseen by the global Community.


magnificent, I understand the concept. It is like a large family tree connected to the Internet, point 1. It is much more efficient than the management of Bitcoin, Ethereum, since it is 100% virtual, it feeds the network in all its essence. point 2. much better than democracy since it is much more adaptable in the participation relationship. You can use futarchy to get all the actions. I have been thinking for a while about this idea of ​​how to “outsource” the chain and return the democratic system with DPoS with efficient participation and it really makes a lot of sense, the main node ‘’ grandfather ‘’ will be benefited by more “relatives” within its genealogical network, where everything is linked to a cycle that feeds the system, the nodes, the solvers and the community that believes in this system. In my sincere opinion, it is a good way to democratize the network, but there is another thing the laws should be like the 12 commandments in the network. Point 3. The voters of that network must maintain the correct functioning of the bases for the correct functioning of the system, for that reason the RACI must be as accepted as possible by the solvers, and the voters. Another problem is the “hierarchical” structure that is in accordance with one’s “value” system, that concept must be changed to the public because its automatic association with money, instead of associating that “value” with something monetary in the network , associate it with the development of solutions that can, if executed successfully, raise the level of value of said asset, to eventually rise hierarchically, associate the risk / success of each investment to what generates or destroys value that eventually modifies the positions hierarchical, but something for the creators. For me, the entire base of the Foundation in this sense of global geographic DAO is the right path, since diversity is a loophole in its essence, which is the work of banks and a node in my opinion is the closest thing to the banks, but with these new functionalities that you describe, and with a truly democratic government.

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Now talking about data, as the network will have to have a data exchange between base and foot highly scalable and secure, I think maybe matrices would be fine, the hierarchy that you propose I think it is only possible to achieve with a technology like blockchain and you already know because, tell me more about … :ouroboros:

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Hmm. I want to dual class. In all seriousness I think it all depends on what purpose the treasury is going to have. If its role is limited to decentralize also the development process of Cardano while keeping founding for proof of work after the ada limit is hit I do not see any need for any advanced government models. Myself I am leaning for a small but functional governance with the treasury for Cardano and have layers for other stuff, just like how Cardano can have sidechains with coins or rules on top of the base layer I think the same could apply to a treasury model. With a global technology you cannot possibly hope to agree on more than basic rules (imho but I guess this will sort itself out in the voting of proposals). This is how most international law systems work as well. (basic human rights etc.) the rest you will need to fraction up into the different communities and the usage THEY want from.

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If the use is the most important, I hope that the system is as efficient as possible and addresses all the faults that other older systems do not address. Only then can we trust ourselves to keep the network functioning, since everyone would accept the protocol because of its efficiency and nature. :slight_smile:

For anyone interested this is the paper on the treasury model:

I am worried about “fake” experts wanting to get delegated stake and putting up a very basic proposal that is just a framework to get the rewards and just rewarding people say 50% of whatever reward they get as experts with a ballot. I am also interested into time frames a proposal is valid for and if it is irreversible. Are votings going to be “all or nothing” meaning full amount paid for a full proposal - or are we going to see sub goals with foundings transfered as these sub goals are achieved and only giving full founding after a successful project. I can easily imagine scenarios where an all or nothing type of voting could fail and be misused and I can also see how it can put Cardano itself at risk if the stars align in the wrong way (for example 100% founding already locked in for a period while a crisis happens causing forking or massive need for founds from the treasury) Again for me it seems wiser to have a very clear goal and direction with the treasury and to focus only these tasks for cardano itself. A treasury that makes sure Cardano has development resources behind it and drives it forward and makes sure there is enough Cardano for rewarding staking and voting processes seems to me some basic tasks a treasury could do that would be more than enough and make Cardano more robust that other coins. If more advance features is required this could be put into sidechains with alt-coins and not put the whole cardano system at risk. As more and more projects populate the Cardano system I could even see conflict of interest between sidechain coin owners and how they would vote in the treasury. So again, much better to divide advanced voting features into the different sub communities.


I agree, so the system would have several pillars of wealth creation, in different altcoins in side chains supporting Cardano, but for that you need projects that provide value as you say, not only divide rewards, it could even be done but in 10 years Cardano would be dead, her solution is mass adoption, to my seeing the only possible way to get to the world currency. In relation to how each project would be financed within a side chain will have to be according to what was agreed by each node and developer in the end there will be much speculation as always but each node has to present at least 1 or 2 value proposals in Cardano for the development of your community, and it will be up to the market to decide whether or not there will be rewards for the entire network for this new line of liquid democracy. :ouroboros: :ada:

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What we also have to understand is whether Cardano Foundation is expected to stay forever with us supporting the Cardano Ecosystem and adoption strategy.

I believe that a Sustainability solution should not assume that this organization will be always around and solely represent the interest of Cardano.

I would feel much more comfortable if the functions this public sector organization is practicing as of today would be partially and after a few years fully be delegated to a DAO in Cardano.

This does have the precondition that legal developments must catch up with the Blockchain technology and you may have a DAO as a legally accepted, registered corporate entity, which may act and conduct business as any other corporate entity.

Emurgo is a different story, it supposed to be a profit oriented, private sector organization so it’s less of our interest in this context. Nevertheless when they develop the Yoroi Wallet, or build partnership with Ledger, or partner up with Sirin Labs I would like to understand how they make profit out of it. It seems they are the ones who manage the Cardano Ecosystem from technology point of view, while Cardano Foundation from other aspects. I do not really see how functions are separated between these two organizations, maybe someone has more clarity on this.

What we may take for granted that we will always need an organization (whether in a foundation or as a DAO) to guard and manage the Cardano Ecosystem and this function will not be something we can solve with the simple governance model of liquid democracy over voting roadmap items to be financed by the treasury.

It would be nice to see what is the vision of the Cardano Foundation & Emurgo in terms of the Sustainability path.

It would be absolutely crazy to have anonymous voting about “certain Cardano feature development” vs. “Local Adoption Project in Nigeria” vs. “3rd Party Partnership with XYZ” vs. “Fixing Bug #2132” by the Community globally following liquid democracy. This is where I see the value of a multidimensional, hierarchical, geographically distributed, transparent DAO with experts recruited from / voted by the Community who have their reputation to be managed in the blockchain.


Geographical dimension:
Global - Area - Country - Region - City - District - …

Cardano Sustainability dimension:

  • technological development & evolution
  • 3rd party partnerships
  • support & maintenance
  • community management, reporting & communication
  • adoption - DAPPS
  • adoption - Bank the Unbanked
  • adoption - Financial Instruments (ETFs, Futures, etc.)
  • adoption - Merchants
  • adoption - Developers
  • adoption - Community
  • adoption - Media

So we would have Governance nodes with parent-child relationships like:
(Global, Cardano)
(Africa, Cardano)
(Africa, Adoption)
(Nigeria, Cardano)
(Nigeria, Adoption)
(Nigeria, Bank the Unbanked)

The approach would be to empower and provide some level of autonomy to these nodes, though having supervision and control from it’s neighbours (parents & childs) in the hierarchy.

Once you have a node established (you would not have all combinations existing for efficiency reasons) you would have the corresponding Community to vote (via liquid democracy) the members / representatives of the board for such a Node.

You would inherit the strategic goals, KPIs from the parent nodes, which you would interpret in the particular local context (having the expert know how) and translate into actions as well as items you would further delegate to the child nodes.

The nodes would be interconnected via a value network allowing for transparent transfer of funds, assets, resources, policies, goals, KPIs, etc. between the nodes.

This also means each node would have it’s own treasury to cover it’s operations.

The global Cardano Community would vote on:

  • global policies
  • global strategy and goals
  • global distribution of treasury funds between the global nodes (sustainability dimension topics)

The local Cardano Community would connect to the corresponding Nodes within their interest and expertise, and have voting / approval of certain decisions - actions the Nodes would carry out in their regular operations.

So a Community member would have the opportunity to contribute both globally and locally in the Nodes he has relevant experience and understanding of the local context.

I can’t emphasize more how important the local context is, regarding the political,legal, cultural, environmental, economical, technological, sociological, etc. differences that may have completely difference recipes for success.

The global voting would be on a monthly, quaterly and yearly basis, while local voting would be much more adhoc based on the activity of the node.

Forget about anonymity if you want to participate in the Governance of Cardano and be prepared to manage your reputation in the blockchain!


It makes sense when you have a DAO created, the users will also be accountable, all those who create a project want to do it in the best possible conditions, and if the central body of the network demonstrates that trust towards the base through an efficient and sustainable DAO , where your project would be within the blockchain, which will help in privacy, and the legislation, an agency that represents the entire network, will make your work as close as possible to perfection, as we manage the ecosystem, the laws can apply directly to the central DAO, and their concern for your company and improve the ecosystem with voting, ideas, not on legal problems, or problems of a possible central organization ‘malignant’ or ‘disinterested’ etc. In my opinion, DAO de Cardano must be above all, so the technology must be generated by them at a global and participative level, proposing and asking for opinions. I hope that over the years these dating companies will join the network as one more participant, thus helping in the decentralized technological development of the network, where everyone will be interested in creating blockchain technology, where we have more weight within of the projects, an investor-developer P2P would be the way for this, eventually I think that the Foundation is incorporated into the network by philosophy.
The second text in my opinion perfectly describes what I also think, my only ‘but’ would be in relation to the benefits of the nodes descended from a node, point A. The people who agree to govern a subnet must have a great incentive to develop the guidelines established by the main nodes to improve their reputation and upload to the main node to contribute more ideas to the network according to its ‘effectiveness’, since previously it was demonstrated that it was able to easily control a subnet that developed all its projects. Point B. The main nodes have to swap their chairs regularly, then the ‘base’ projects will be born and die constantly to generate value, when one node perpetrates its reign over another, capitalism within the network must go to the side that everyone wins , or at least a large part of the network. What I am saying is that the owners of nodes in Cardano will have a great power to ‘induce’ the vote, for that reason the analytical part of the information must be managed by each node, to offer the best possible transparency in its chain, projects, and aim to improve the network as a whole, not only its network by centralizing power, so in my opinion the main nodes have to think globally as a help of salvation for all. As you describe, it is the right thing to do, but we will always have to manage people, and for that those projects have to be the size of Cardano’s innovation. :ada:

Cardano could have a legally compliant DAO. Wouldn’t be too hard or cost too much. The “share token” could simply require KYC/AML and be compliant with the rules of whatever jurisdiction the organization is domiciled in. It’s possible to build shareholder rights into share tokens (restricting transferability etc).

1 Like - automated kyc aml…could also be outsourced.

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imho such roles should be voluntary rather than a job, they should be driven by passion and contribute solely for the benefit of the eco-system rather than any monetary gain. bringing money into the equation is a bad idea, but then again i am not sure why we would need a dedicated team or even an organization… all we really need is an engaged community, inflentual people will participate in an open discussion with the community at large…

if you create a structure, select and employ people then eventually it will work against cardano, it is just a matter of time

you can’t escape corruption when people are involved, it’s in our dna, a perfect system would be one without people or one without hierarchy

“Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

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