Voltaire Update: Q1 in Review - Cardano’s Governance Advances and Future Outlook

As we approach the end of the first quarter of 2024, it’s an ideal moment to reflect on the developments within the Cardano Governance space over the past three months and explore the path ahead. We can see a slew of activity related to Cardano Governance across the entire ecosystem, from DRep workshops to community-hosted Governance surveys and groundbreaking collaborations, notable with Polkadot via the uniFires initiative.

Innovations and Community Engagements

A milestone early in the year was the release of the GovTool Beta for SanchoNet in January. This tool revolutionizes participation in Cardano Governance by allowing users to easily register and vote as DReps, delegate their stakes, and review governance actions. The complexity of setting up a Cardano node and navigating the command-line interface is now a thing of the past, paving the way for broader community involvement.

The Governance Parameter Working Group, a crucial component of the Parameters Committee, conducted a stake-weighted Voltaire Governance Parameter Survey from January 30 to February 9, 2024. The objective was to gather insights from the community on the initial governance parameters. These parameters include the different threshold settings for the governance action types and the ada deposit amounts for registering as a DRep or submitting a governance action, among others. Notably, just hours before the survey’s launch, working group member Nicolas Cerny released a detailed report on these parameters, underscoring their significance.

Technical Progress and Testing

On the technical front, the implementation and testing of on-chain governance features, as outlined in CIP-1694, have been progressing steadily on SanchoNet. The release of Cardano Node version 8.8.0-pre in early February introduced support for Plutus V3, enhancing the capabilities for governance and voting through smart contracts. This opens the door to novel and more efficient ways of managing voting power and governance mechanisms.

March witnessed heightened community engagement, exemplified by a rigorous stress test of SanchoNet conducted by a committed group led by Mike Hornan from ABLE pool. Despite submitting over 8000 governance actions, the protocol showcased its resilience, a testament to the robustness of Cardano’s governance framework.

Community Events and Initiatives

March has been vibrant with community events, including the weekly Cardano Governance Office Hour spaces on X and notable gatherings like the Governance Workshop in Tokyo and the DRep Workshop by the Cardano Ghana Community. These events not only foster community engagement but also contribute significantly to the governance discourse within the ecosystem.

Looking Forward

As the quarter concludes, we reflect on the progress made toward minimal viable on-chain governance. The dedication of community members and teams has laid a solid foundation for a dynamic and inclusive governance system. With ongoing efforts and community support, we are setting the stage for the full implementation of on-chain governance, marking a significant milestone in our collective journey toward a decentralized future.

To support the ongoing governance transformation, Intersect is giving out grants to its members to address governance challenges. Any Intersect member can apply for grants, so make sure to check out their official documentation.

The governance journey is a community-led effort filled with rich discussion, innovation, and collaboration. As we look ahead, the lessons learned and achievements garnered will move us closer to establishing a governance system that is robust, inclusive, and effective.

Q1 2024 - Cardano Governance Timeline

Date Description
January 1, 2024 GovTool Beta was released. GovTool allows you to seamlessly register and vote as a DRep. LINK
January 20, 2024 The First Community DRep Community Workshop took place in Oslo. LINK
January 30, 2024 Nicolas Cerny published a Report on the Governance Protocol Parameters. LINK
January 30 - February 9, 2024 Voltaire Governance Parameter Survey went live to collect input from the Cardano Community about the initial parameter settings. LINK
February 6, 2024 Updates focused on strengthening operational security were pushed to CIP-1694. LINK
February 8, 2024 Cardano Node 8.8.0-pre was released. It includes the ability for Plutus V3 with Conway-era transactions, enabling governance features to be used with smart contracts. LINK
February 17, 2024 DRep Workshop in Indianapolis, USA hosted by Adam Rusch. LINK
March 2, 2024 SanchoNet was stress-tested by community members. Spearheaded by Mike Hornan. LINK
March 5, 2024 Weekly Cardano Governance Office Hour series started by Nicolas Cerny. LINK
March 16, 2024 Cardano Governance Japan Workshop hosted by Adam Dean and Cardano Ambassador Yuta. LINK
March 23, 2024 DRep Workshop with over 60 attendees hosted by the Cardano Ghana Community. LINK