Governance: “The system by which an organization is controlled … the mechanisms by which an organization and its people are held to account.”
Every project or organization is ‘governed’ somehow; goals must be set, and decisions must be made. We are mostly accustomed to governance in a top-down structure, as in most companies, or in a representative democracy, as in many countries. Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt our long-standing assumptions about how governance works.
2022 promises to be a pivotal year for governance in Cardano. Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson has said as much in several “Ask Me Anything”-style YouTube shows. In these conversational presentations, he has compared the near future of Cardano to something like the Linux Foundation’s custodianship of the Linux kernel and ecosystem. For Linux, this means that more than 700 member organizations, representing nearly every influential hi-tech company, share oversight of Linux’s core development. Thus far, Cardano’s infrastructure and codebase have been held and governed by IOG. Releasing control to community governance has always been on the roadmap, so what we are seeing now is the next step of that carefully laid plan.
Starting January 24 there was a community-led Cardano “Governance Week”, corresponding with the voting week for Fund 7 of Project Catalyst. There were online discussions, workshops, and activities on multiple platforms, all centered around what “distributed governance really means for all of us.” Governance week closed out with an epic 24hr Twitter Space (live audio chat room), hosted by Lido Nation and made possible by hosts from “ADA Cafe” (a consortium of Twitter spaces) and many other guests and participants from the community.
So far, Project Catalyst has been the “playground” and reference point for all of us to understand and experience what distributed governance might look like in Cardano. For all that it has accomplished so far, it has only been a half-baked cake: IOG still sets many of the parameters of Project Catalyst, including how much funds are available in each round, and more. On the agenda for 2022 is transitioning all Project Catalyst parameter governance to the Catalyst Circle, in conjunction with a new technical advisory board. The next round of voting for Catalyst Circle representatives is coming of Feb 12, 2022 @ 17:00 UTC. Anyone who holds ADA is invited to attend and vote for their next representative on the Circle.
Another exploration in decentralized governance for Cardano will be taking shape with the Decentralized Consortium Fund (DCF). This initiative was introduced at the Cardano Summit in September 2021, as an exploration for funding massive projects and big teams for longer periods of time than what’s currently being done with Project Catalyst.
Key components of how the Cardano infrastructure is managed are going to look very different come 2023. If you have any interest, stake in, or opinion about how Cardano is governed, 2022 is a great year to participate!
LIDO Nation is busy launching our PHUFFY Coin initiative, in the hope that we can have some fun with governance here on the site. If you are delegating to LIDO, be sure to register your wallet and join the fun!