Cardano community calls for improvement on project catalyst's process

Not long after Cardano project catalyst fund 9 results were released, several community members have expressed their displeasure with the process. Largely, there is a concern that the process incentivizes low-quality proposals to be submitted and even funded. Such proposals game the well-meaning governance initiative to benefit from the Cardano treasury while suffocating the chances of better, more practical, feasible ideas to be funded.

To be clear, these concerns did not just emerge suddenly. The community has been aware of these wrinkles in the process for some time.

The funding of Daedalus Turbo via fund 9, and the subsequent admission by Charles Hoskinson that the idea isn't feasible now, has resurfaced the conversation. The proposal was allocated $759,000 after receiving 2000 votes and an evaluation trust score of 5. That amount represents 6% of the Fund 9 budget.

Turbo Daedulus proposal initially downvoted

So far, we only downvoted the proposal "Daedalus Turbo" because is exactly what Mithril archives to solve. Full node security in lightweight wallets. And for the asked funds, in our opinion, that $ can be better allocated. ~ ADABreathes Stake pool September 6th

A community member, Sooraj, expressed his disappointment that the proposal attained this outcome, despite earlier warnings by members that it was not well constituted.

Even after #CardanoCommunity, red flagging this proposal way before the voting stage, through informal channels.
The lack of accountability and the technical knowledge of vPAs actually resulted in this proposal getting funded ~ Sooraj via twitter

Sooraj proposed that the process ought to ensure stricter quality assurance & technical feasibility of proposals. At least ones that requested a large amount of funding. A higher degree bar for vPAs accountability is needed. Lest Cardano community's funds are lost through catalyst.

Cardano fan lamenting on wastage of catalyst funds

Sooraj isn't alone. Rick McCracken, a member of the DripDropz team and who also is a DIGI stake pools host, conducted a poll on Twitter. The poll was to determine whether or not Project Catalyst needs a gap analysis to determine if the Cardano ecosystem actually needs it. Here are the results of the pool with a day remaining until the poll end:

Project catalyst gap analysis twitter poll

From follow-up threads, there's also a concern that catalyst now has too many categories. Some argue that as the number of categories grow:

  1. The voting process becomes more confusing as it becomes harder for average ADA holders to figure out what to vote for.
  2. The proposal review process becomes more laborious as there are simply too many proposals for the vPAs to go through.

Community members have expressed similar sentiments on Charles' Daedalus Turbo video comments section.

Catalyst responds to concerns

Starting with Fund 10, the project catalyst will be switching to a milestone based approach. This requirement will apply to:

  1. All proposals by dApps, products or integrations APIs
  2. All projects whose budget is at to above $75,000

Proposals that fit the above criteria will be required to declare their milestone deliverables. A proposal shall have at most five milestones, each with a clearly defined delivery timelines, costs and completion strategy.

Once approved (funded), project catalyst will fund the milestones incrementally i.e starting with the first milestone. Subsequent milestones will be funded upon proof of completion of the preceeding milestone.

Proof of life, agreement of proposers's statement of milestones and milestone completion will be evaluated by IOG and catalyst's challenge team. IOG is the custodian of catalyst funds.


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