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Cardano Project Catalyst by the Numbers

By The Numbers Lido Nation
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Project Catalyst is exciting and inspiring - anyone in the world can participate in building and shaping the Cardano blockchain network.

Project Catalyst is wild and controversial - anyone in the world can participate in building and shaping the Cardano blockchain network!

Cardano was founded and launched by IOG, Emurgo, and the Cardano Foundation. To a great extent these entities still lead development and decision-making for the network; in other words, it is largely “Centralized”.

Someday, however, this power will be transferred entirely into the hands of Cardano-holders. The Cardano network will be managed by a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). Project Catalyst is the proving ground and laboratory for the Cardano Community to learn what it means to function as a DAO:

  • What works, and what doesn’t?
  • What is inspiring, and what is discouraging?
  • How can we hold collaboration in one hand, and accountability in the other?
  • How can we be inclusive and global in light of diverse languages and competing world-views?
  • ….this list is just a start - there are A LOT of questions!

Each Project Catalyst participant is entitled to their own ideas and opinions about what would make the experiment better. Indeed, that’s the whole point - especially if they are willing to jump in and do the work!

However, as with all areas of life, our individual perceptions can be insular, myopic, and small. As of this writing, Project Catalyst is in the midst of Fund 8. The experiment is still very young, but it is no longer brand-new. It’s time to get up out of our little corners and start looking at the larger trends and results in Project Catalyst Data.

What can we learn from what has happened so far?

What questions can be answered?

What new questions should be posed?

Lido Nation is here to jump-start a conversation in the Project Catalyst community, where we look at the data, and use it to elevate the experiment.

We are not data scientists.

We hope some of you are, and will jump in and help!

We also think that you don’t have to be a data scientist to ask a question or start a conversation, so we hope lots of people will participate with their suggestions and ideas.

Here’s a few charts to kick off the conversation!

Where are we spending our money?
Where-are-we-spending

Funding budgets are allocated to different “Campaigns” in each round of Project Catalyst. To try to see the trends in funding, we tried grouping campaigns into different “categories” – this effort is a work in progress, but some interesting trends can already be spotted: Fund 5 & 6 had a big funding focus on “Developer Tools”. In Funds 7 & 8, the big focus has shifted to “DApps & DeFi”. Fund 8 also shows a huge NEW focus on “Scaling & Cross-Chain Enablement”.

Are Proposals Getting Better? Are-Proposals-Getting-Better

Early rounds of Project Catalyst included a fair number of low-quality proposals. This was evident even to casual observers; as a result, there has been notable effort invested to elicit better proposals. The data suggest these efforts are paying off. Green indicates FUNDED proposals - this percentage has remained roughly steady, around 25% of all proposals in past rounds have been funded.

Blue indicates proposals that were “Approved” by voters - they didn’t get funded, simply because the money ran out in the fund. Red indicates “UNAPPROVED proposals - where the “no” votes outnumber the “yes” votes. The percentagepercent of NO votes has decreased steadily over the last 3 Funds.

I’m very curious to see if this trend continues in Fund 8!

Is Work Getting Done? Is-Work-Getting-Done

Project Catalyst Proposals include budgets, timelines, and deliverables. Getting funded doesn’t entail a payday and a farewell wave. Rather, there is supposed to be a finish line, where funded proposers report back on what they have accomplished. Being an experiment, we may expect some flops, but if we are moving in the right direction, we hope to see some measurable returns on our investments!

So far, the number of finished proposals (“Gold” in the chart above) is pretty low. Reasons for this could include: Projects take time! For Fund 7, only a couple of months have elapsed, and some projects have timelines of up to a year. The Project Close process is not clear or easy. This is an area we could improve together!

Proposers are busy, creative people, who don’t want to stop to do paperwork! Solving this may go back to the last point - the project-close process needs to be made more clear. It may also be the case that more incentives (ie “carrots & sticks”) are needed to get more participation in the project-close process!

To that last point, an effective method may be just to talk about it - as we are doing now. In the weeks since Lido Nation started surfacing data about project-close statistics, we heard that Project Catalyst has seen a record influx of Project Close reports! Check back here for updated statistics soon.

This line in a recent IOG Blog Post Caught my eye:

“In little over a year, what began as an experiment in collaboration, competition, and elevating human potential has become the world’s largest decentralized innovation fund. The latest iteration, Fund8, will control $16m in ADA.”

Pretty cool! Other headline numbers from the project include:

  • 75 Projects Funded
  • Over 1 Million Votes Cast
  • 800M ADA currently in the Cardano treasury, earmarked to continue funding decentralized innovation!

There is a wealth of interesting numbers to look at. Considering them thoughtfully and creatively can help us ask the right questions, and pose the right answers.

Please comment with your feedback, questions, and ideas. What data from Project Catalyst would you like to see next?

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