On July 2, the Cardano Project Catalyst team posted the final voting results for “Fund 4”. According to the project’s website: “Project Catalyst is a series of experiments which seeks to generate the highest levels of community innovation.” Every six to eight weeks, the project puts up money from the Cardano treasury to anyone who wants to build a business or service on the Cardano platform. Members of the Cardano community have the opportunity to review all the ideas, and vote to determine which will receive funding. Anyone who holds at least 500 ADA in a recognized Cardano wallet is eligible to vote. There have been 3 rounds already. Fund 4 marked a milestone for the community, drawing about 2.3 billion ADA held by 216,749 unique Cardano wallets casting votes. Project Catalyst is a precursor to what will become a fully functioning DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) after many rounds. These funding rounds, currently happening at cardano.ideascale.com, are an iterative experiment to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Fund 4 had over 200 proposals under consideration; after the votes were cast, 56 received funding. Stay tuned at Lido Nation for reviews of some of the most exciting projects as they get underway!
The idea of funding community innovation as a way to stimulate and grow the ecosystem is not unique to Cardano. What is significant is that the blockchain industry has never seen higher levels of engagement than with this project. Uniswap for example has had 5 voting events garnering the participation of about 36 Million UNI tokens. Another popular blockchain community, Maker DAO, saw only about 32 unique participants out of 76,000 plus token holders during its last five founding rounds.
The ultimate goal of Cardano’s Project Catalyst is to achieve something akin to a “liquid democracy” – a hybrid of direct and representative democracy that provides the benefits of both systems. This approach allows for the highest level of participation by ADA holders. Every ADA holder will have the opportunity to vote directly, or if they choose, to delegate their votes to a community expert to vote on their behalf. If successful, this could provide a useful template for restructuring geo-political governance to finally deliver on the long-promised premise of “government for the people, by the people.”
You can get involved! If you are an ADA holder, you can join the fun and vote for future proposals. Voting registration for Fund 5 has already closed, but you can sign up for updates at cardano.ideascale.com/ to be notified when Fund 6 kicks off. Why would you want to get involved? You can shape the future of the network, by influencing what kind of apps and services get built. You will also get paid a small amount for voting!
If you are a small business owner or budding entrepreneur, developers.cardano.org/docs/fund-your-project/ is a great resource. Here you can learn how to receive funding to deploy your current business on Cardano or start a new business in the ecosystem.