completed
PRISM DIDs for CA Onboarding
Current Project Status
Complete
Amount
Received
$75,000
Amount
Requested
$75,000
Percentage
Received
100.00%
Solution

Partner with a community-led education team providing CA onboarding and issue DID Credentials verifying CA participation in the course.

Problem

Cualquiera puede ser un AC y revisar propuestas. Aunque es maravilloso en muchos sentidos, esta inclusividad radical puede contribuir a la baja calidad de las evaluaciones.

Addresses Challenge
Feasibility
Auditability

Nosotros

3 members

  • Project Information
  • Community Reviews
  • Team Information
PRISM DIDs for CA Onboarding

Background:

The Catalyst Community Advisor (CA) process serves as an essential and critical element in ensuring that the world’s largest decentralized innovation platform delivers the desired outcomes. Radical inclusivity and very low barriers to entry result in hundreds of CAs from around the globe writing 1,000s of assessments. The “Wisdom of the Crowd” should ensure that the best proposals receive the highest ratings. Studies of past funds demonstrate a strong correlation between high CA rankings and successful funding.

As Catalyst grows, a few challenges with the CA process have emerged. Anonymity, while critical for providing impartial feedback, allows for fake profiles and gaming of the system. Low quality reviews mean extra work for Veteran Community Assessors (vCAs).

-> In Fund7, vCAs excluded 46% of assessments

-> In Fund6, 40% of assessments did not make the cut

As each successive fund grows in size, the CA community must deliver more assessments.

-> Proposers submitted over 1,000 ideas in Fund7, requiring at least 3,000 individual reviews

As more and more proposers submit high quality proposals, the five star rating system does not allow sufficient ranking and prioritization of equally well-conceived proposals.

Importantly, our proposal team has not cataloged these critiques independently or in isolation. Rather, a significant part of the research that led to this proposal involved intensive interaction with the CA community. Kenric Nelson, Catalyst Circle v2 Representative for the CA community built on the initiatives developed by Victor Corcino (CCv1 Rep for CAs), which Nadia Hopkins (CCv3 Rep for CAs) is continuing. Kenric is a co-proposer and core team member, and we continue to work closely with Nadia, particularly the CA Onboarding & Education Initiative she has launched, to ensure that community feedback drives our solution.

Solution - Qualifying Course:

Many proposers, CAs, and vCAs have identified a lack of CA education and understanding as an important reason for low quality reviews. To provide just a couple of examples, CAs confuse challenge-setting proposals with regular proposals, do not understand the requirement to provide feedback in each of the three review sections (Impact, Feasibility, and Auditability), or lack the basic understanding needed to assess more technical proposals. Our team is seeking to address this challenge, while maintaining CAs anonymity and while supporting the philosophy of radical inclusivity by keeping barriers to entry low.

In our proposal, anyone wishing to serve as a CA would attend a brief virtual course. Upon completion of the course, the Educational Institution (EI) offering the course would issue the CA a Verified Credential (VC) that the CA would hold in their decentralized identity wallet. When registering to serve as a CA in the next fund, the CA would present the VC in Ideascale in order to unlock the capacity to write assessments. The CA would then use the VC to sign each assessment they write.

As part of the pilot envisioned in this proposal, we would establish this process only for the Decentralized Identity Challenge (or a related DID challenge. We would measure the impact of the onboarding course by comparing reviews written for proposals in the pilot challenge compared to other challenges, which did not require the onboarding course.

Assuming successful implementation of the pilot, the issuance of VCs to CAs could serve as a building block for many other improvements to the CA process, such as the development of a reputation model, the issuance of credentials identifying specific CA skills and capabilities, and the ability to provide voters with information about a CAs experience while maintaining CA anonymity.

The team has submitted an accompanying proposal, PRISM DIDs for Catalyst (<u>https://cardano.ideascale.com/c/idea/399040</u>), which could support the development of these follow-on initiatives. (Please note the referenced proposal also stands on its own and would support the team’s work on other uses of DIDs to improve the CA process).

Draft Workflow For the Proposed Solution:

  1. Prospective CA registers with the Educational Institution (EI)
  2. CA attends and passes the course
  3. EI issues a “CA” credential (If the CA does not pass the course, no credential is issued)
  4. CA registers on Ideascale by providing an email address, ADA address, and "CA" credential
  5. During the assessment phase the CA signs reviews using the “CA” credential
  6. For a Graphical Illustration of the Proposal Workflow, see slide 9 of the attached deck

The Challenge calls for solutions that support the rapid growth of Cardano. The Catalyst CA Onboarding pilot provides the perfect use-case for implementing PRISM technology. All of the stakeholders are already deeply embedded in the Cardano community and committed to the blockchain’s success. They also already have the basic blockchain understanding and technological skills (use of virtual wallets, ability to attend virtual courses, familiarity with providing blockchain data such as an ADA address) that make adoption of the PRISM solution feasible and likely. There isn’t a better community to target regarding implementation and usage of Atala PRISM.

Catalyst itself is scaling rapidly, in order to support the continued rapid growth of Cardano. As more and more proposals request funding, the community needs to find a way to rapidly scale the CA process, while not compromising on the quality or thoroughness of the reviews. Providing a decentralized identity for CAs would serve as the first building block of a broader reputation system, which would serve as a key feature of achieving the twin goals of scalability and quality.

The Challenge Brief also highlights the need for interoperability, noting that “most digital credentials sit on Hyperledger Indy ledgers.” The ProofSpace team brings deep experience with Hyperledger Indy and already provides SSI capabilities for that ecosystem. This proposal does not require interoperability with Hyperledger, given that all the stakeholders, all credentials, and all activity will occur within the Atala PRISM environment. However, as CAs are beginning to use identity wallets and gaining VCs, it is an important feature that these tools provide interoperability for the next use-cases that will emerge down the road.

The Challenge Brief recognizes the need to create “alternatives to accredited education and career paths” and the importance of “developing technology and governance primitives to support any community that wants to establish new education and career paths.” By delivering a successful model of a decentralized means of issuing education credentials, the CA Onboarding program can serve as an example that other groups and communities can easily replicate.

Risk - The CA community does not agree with the approach

Mitigant - Decentralization and community-led solutions serve as foundational principles for this proposal. As mentioned previously, identification of current problems with the CA process and recommended solutions have come from deep and intensive discussions with the CA community. The proposal team plans to continue close collaboration with the CA community. We are working with Nadia Hopkins (CCv3 Rep for CAs) and participating in initiatives to discuss the process of providing CA education.

Importantly, this proposal team has not yet identified an Educational Institution to provide the onboarding course. The focus of our team involves implementing Atala PRISM technology to support improvements to the CA process. We will continue working with the strong CA community to identify the best partner (or partners) to provide the course, and defer to the CA experts regarding the content of the course and the requirements for a CA to “pass” the course.

Additionally, while an onboarding course may add a very small hurdle for participation, on the other hand, having a completed a course may provide potential CAs with additional confidence to begin writing assessments. Many CAs express hesitation or concern regarding their lack of understanding of the process. Taking a course and receiving a Verified Credential may actually encourage participation from those considering the CA role by providing assurance that they have received the necessary training.

Risk - IOG currently controls the Catalyst process and must agree to any changes

Mitigant - We have been closely discussing this proposal with IOG PRISM (Tony Rose and Anushka Soma-Patel) as well as with the IOG Catalyst team. IOG has indicated initial support, and it appears that integrating PRISM technology into the Catalyst process sits squarely on the IOG Roadmap. While completely in-line with IOG planning, the proposal would provide an important opportunity for the CA community to continue to influence the development and evolution of the CA process.

Risk - The proposal requires several technical implementations with third party systems

Mitigant - Ideascale currently serves as the platform for CA registration and assessment writing. The ProofSpace team is already investigating API documentation and believes integration would be relatively straight-forward. Kenric Nelson has significant experience in overseeing technical integrations and can take the lead in ensuring a smooth process. Similarly, when the COTI team launched a Challenge, the Catalyst updated the CA registration questions to include a field for entering a COTI payment address, so the precedent has been set for making sensible changes to this process.

As an additional benefit, beginning to store data in a decentralized manner, in the CA identity wallets, provides the Catalyst community with more flexibility should we one day decide to move away from Ideascale.

The Educational Institution will also need a virtual platform upon which to offer the course, and will need to have VC-issuing capabilities integrated into that platform. Through additional discussions with Tony Rose, we understand that the PRISM team may have a solution that we could incorporate into our pilot. ProofSpace would be able to work with that platform to provide the integration for VC issuance.

Risk - Atala PRISM is not yet live on mainnet

Mitigant - The ProofSpace team has deep technical experience delivering SSI solutions. IOG has recently provided access to the PRISM SDK, and ProofSpace has received Catalyst funding to build out their PRISM capabilities. The proposal team will continue working closely with IOG to develop a roadmap that fits with the IOG release timeline. If the pilot is ready for integration into Catalyst before the PRISM mainnet launch, it might be possible to launch a Proof of Concept project at a small scale using the testnet, in order to demonstrate feasibility.

Tasks:

  • Onboard Educational Institution (EI) and Ideascale
  • Work with stakeholders to define the Governance Framework
  • Develop and get stakeholder acceptance for technical workflow in-line with Governance Framework and EI / Ideascale systems
  • Support EI and IOG respectively to implement workflow in ProofSpace Dash
  • API integrations with EI and IOG as necessary to fulfill credential flow
  • Deploy CA workflow to ProofSpace App
  • Run acceptance testing with key stakeholders and dummy data

Milestones & Deliverables:

March/April - ProofSpace was funded in Fund7 and is building a no-code solution for Atala PRISM, which should be ready to launch by the conclusion of Fund8.

Early May:

  • Funding Provided (we hope!)

May/June

  • Confirmation of participation by EI and IOG
  • Publish Governance Framework
  • Publish workflow

July

  • Integrations complete and workflow deployed
  • Video of working prototype that is accepted by the key stakeholders (can be run on Hyperledger as a demo, and switched to PRISM as soon as the SDK is integrated into ProofSpace; this integration work is now underway, given IOG’s very recent release of the SDK)

Plans for Fund9 (Aggressive Timeline) and/or Fund10 (Conservative Timeline):

  • Run training sessions for CAs on the new process during the Ideation and Proposal Writing Phases
  • Offer multiple sessions of the onboarding course and issue credentials in the two weeks prior to the assessment stage (and perhaps one final course at the beginning of the assessment stage)
  • Monitor the process during the assessment stage to ensure everything functions to plan and respond to any bugs or issues
  • Upon the conclusion of the fund, measure the impact by comparing the number of reviews filtered out (and the reason for filtering) in the challenge that required the onboarding process compared to the challenges that did not require onboarding
  • Gather feedback from the key stakeholders to support iterative improvement of the process and products
  • Report the results to the entire Catalyst community during TownHall and through a variety of other channels

Other future work may involve helping to scale this process by utilizing a smart contract to define a Trust Registry for Educational Institutions that are permitted to issue CA credentials. ProofSpace has a complementary proposal filed in F8 that would ensure this functionality is available to Catalyst (see “Trust Registry Defined by A Smart Contract” https://cardano.ideascale.com/c/idea/400313).

nullA copy of this budget is also included as an attachment.

Allison Fromm left a 20+ year career in finance, banking, and business development to launch Crypto Alley in 2021. She has been involved in the cryptocurrency industry since 2012. Upon discovering Cardano in early 2020, she has focused primarily on projects in that ecosystem.

Allison first participated in Project Catalyst during Fund0, she attended the inaugural Atala Prism Pioneers program, she was elected to the Catalyst Circle v2 in November 2021, and she is now a member of the Community Governance Oversight Group. Allison has served as a CA in multiple funds and as a funded Challenge Team member. She previously received funding for two Fund7 proposals.

Outside of Cardano, she serves as a Co-Chair of the AML Working Group of Switzerland’s Crypto Valley Association. Allison now lives in Switzerland but had spent most of her prior working career in the US.

More details about Allison: <u>https://www.linkedin.com/in/allisonfromm/</u>

More about Crypto Alley: <u>https://www.linkedin.com/company/crypto-alley/?viewAsMember=true</u>

and <u>www.cryptoalley.ch</u> (coming soon, hopefully prior to the voting phase)

ProofSpace is an advanced no-code SSI SaaS platform for issuing and verifying reusable identity credentials, with a track record in the US health system, international development and e-government. The key members of the ProofSpace team supporting this proposal include:

Viktor Radchenko - CTO and mobile dev for ProofSpace. 20-year R&D track record. Skilled in project and product management, solution architecture, science consulting, blockchain, mobile, web, game, and embedded development. 6 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Ruslan Shevchenko, PhD - Solution Architect and BE for ProofSpace. Skilled architect and scientific researcher with 30-years’ experience across blockchain, telecom, advertising and financial services. Researcher in the Institute of Software Systems and Founder of several successful ventures including NBI (an Internet Provider), GradSoft (a software development firm) and UA Scala user group. 10 publications in peer-reviewed journals, co-authored book entitled “Methods of Algebraic Programming” and is an active columnist for the Ukrainian developers' community portal.

Alexey Hodkov - FE/BE for ProofSpace. Talented web backend and frontend solution architect and developer with 17-years’ experience. Team leader, tech mentor and CTO in complex projects for various companies like Yandex LLC and Megogo.

Ilya Che - UI/UX for ProofSpace. Talented and multi-displinary UI/UX designer with 10+yrs experience and a skill for making complex things simple for end users. Past experience with Leantegra, ScanForce, SingleCare and others.

Nick Mason - CEO for ProofSpace. Experienced social entrepreneur and venture analyst with a proven track record of social venture funding and of starting and growing ventures in Europe and Africa. Background as Consultant venture analyst at Toniic, Head of Portfolio and Operations at BeyondMe, UK Director for Sierra Leone based education charity and Trustee for Street Child. Co-Founded ProofSpace (formerly ZAKA in 2019).

Kenric Nelson, Ph.D.

Scientist * Engineer * Educator * Executive

Founder and President of Photrek, <u>https:\\photrek.world</u>

Kenric is an innovative leader in the research, development and deployment of systems for complex decision-making. For the Catalyst community he served as the Community Advisor Representative to the Catalyst Circle v2 and successfully delivered the Fund 4 Diversify Voting Influence project. In these roles, Kenric has been a strong advocate for improving the quality and inclusivity of decentralized governance. Kenric completed the Atala Prism Pioneers program and is currently enrolled in the Plutus Pioneers program.

<u>https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenric-nelson-ph-d-7495b77/</u>

Every phase of the project described above in the Feasibility section will be fully visible to the community.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) include:

  • Publication of deliverables through community channels, which will demonstrate adherence to the project plan
  • Open sessions will ensure community involvement in the drafting of the governance framework
  • Number of participants in planning sessions and number of sessions will be reported
  • Educational sessions about the project will be open to anyone, and the number of meetings will be tracked and reported
  • The onboarding course will be open to anyone, and the number of sessions will be tracked and reported
  • Number of CAs participating in the onboarding course will be reported
  • Number of reviews written by CAs that passed the onboarding course will be reported
  • Comparison of data between reviews provided under the pilot challenge compared to other challenges will be reported

Successful publication of the deliverables will indicate the project is on track.

The most basic measure of success is that the pilot project is integrated into the Catalyst process and works as envisioned.

The more important measure of success will involve a comparison of the number and quality of reviews submitted in the pilot challenge as compared to other challenges to determine whether the onboarding course improved the quality of reviews and reduced the workload of the vCAs.

This is an entirely new project. However, Allison Fromm, Kenric Nelson, and the ProofSpace team have all been funded previously, in many cases on related projects.

The ProofSpace team has an F7 funded proposal entitled “No-Code SSI SaaS for Mass Adoption” (see <u>https://cardano.ideascale.com/c/idea/385204</u>). The implementation of Atala PRISM in ProofSpace SSI no-code platform will enable the production usage of PRISM credentials in this proposal.

Photrek was funded in F4 for Diversify Voting Influence and built relations with the WADA, SWARM and other Catalyst teams regarding expansion of the community.

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