The assessments completed by Community Advisors and the quality assurance completed by veteran Community Advisors is a linchpin in the Cardano Catalyst program. Voters rely on the (v)CA assessments to make critical decisions regarding which proposals to fund. Proposers depend on the objective impartiality of the assessments to assure that a) the valuable time they have contributed into writing proposals is treated fairly and b) that the reviews provide them with meaningful paths to future improvement. As such, the integrity of the (v)CA process is critical for the long-term success of Cardano’s development efforts.
During 2021, Cardano Catalyst rapidly grew into the largest DAO in the world. During this rapid growth, intense scaling of the (v)CA capacity was a principal focus. With this rapid growth came systemic weaknesses which now need to be given high priority to resolve. These problems, as documented in the Project Catalyst Iterative DropBox v2, include individuals registering duplicate Ideascale accounts, poor quality submissions requiring rejection, automated assessments lacking in informative value, a ranking and rewards system that biases toward favorable reviews, bias in the selection and completion of proposal assessments, coordination among the (v)CAs which may be perceived as collusion, and other actual and potential threats.
The Improving Integrity of CA Processes (iiCAP) will seek to prepare for implementation critical improvements by a) partnering with CryptoAlley’s development of a CA digital identity program, b) partnering with one or two of the best initiatives documented in Iterative DropBox, and c) evaluation of alternative ranking methods to remove bias toward favorable reviews using methods such as Quadratic Voting (QV).
The iiCAP project will focus on the following KPI contributions to the CA Improvements Challenge:
Build a new tools for the integration of CA reputation with digital identity. KPI: Specification of reputation method and collaboration with digital identity projects
Foster a culture of continuous improvement in maintenance of CA processes. KPI: number of community meetings attended to mentor improvements
Complete a comparative evaluation of quadratic voting as a method for scoring proposals. KPI: Increased variance in scores as an indicator of an increase in the information content of the rankings regarding selection of proposals
Identify and support the community's best initiatives in developing a reputation system. KPI: number of community leaders supported in developing out of the box ideas
Provide recommendations regarding how improved reputation and scoring can facilitate improvements in the compensation algorithm. KPI: communication with IOG and Circle via documentation and meetings attended
Developing a reputation system depends on the availability of a digital identity system. Nelson and Fromm have completed the Atala PRISM program, have submitted two DID-focused proposals, and are partnered with the ProofSpace team, who have F7 funding to transfer their HyperLedger Identity capabilities to Atala PRISM.
Effective selection and integration of a dropbox proposal and proposal lead to partner with will be important. Nelson and Fromm are actively engaged in the CA process and will be continuously evaluating proposed improvements.
Modifications to the assessment scores and compensation need to balancea) ease of implementationb) difficulty of training andc) effectiveness in equitable scores and compensation. To facilitate the experiments with Quadratic Voting, Nelson is advising the Snapbrilla on Open Source Ecosystem proposal and is participating in the RadicalXchange community.
iiCAP will be executed as a four month project, tentatively scheduled for May thru Aug 2022 spending on the actual funding start time. Throughout the four months, three objectives will be pursued in parallel:
- Development of a CA Reputation System integrated with a digital identity
- Identification of and support of the best CA community initiative as described in the DropBox
- Evaluation of the risk and benefits of using Quadratic Voting to rank assessments
Month 1: Launching CA Integrity
* Define the reputation model for CAs
* Integrate into the project, the leader of a promising CA initiative regarding integrity
* Specify the protocol for comparative ranking of proposals using QV.
Month 2: Integration with DIDs
* Coordination with ProofSpace regarding the DID capability
* Specification regarding reputation, integrity, and ranking with a DID capability
Month 3: Evaluation of CA Integrity initiatives
* Complete experiments prototyping the reputation, integrity, and ranking initiatives
* Determination of the cost/benefits to implementation of recommendations
Month 4: Coordination with Community
* Completion of Final Reports (written and video).
* Meeting with IOG/Circle/Community to review implementation recommendations
* Plan future steps to ensure the realization of the recommendations.
The deliverable outputs for the project:
* Recommendation for reputation system with cost/benefits for implementation.
* Support for a community leader in implementing their idea for improving integrity
* Evaluation of the feasibility to improve the ranking system.
* Coordination between stakeholders regarding path for implementation.
* Final reports that will enable community to continue development and implementation.
In addition to the principals, Kenric Nelson and Allison Fromm, the project will employ a veteran Community Advisor and a developer. The vCA will be someone who has documented an important innovation for the integrity of the CA program that requires funding to prototype. The developer will have experience in Atala PRISM and or Plutus to provide guidance on tool development needed to realize the capabilities.
The $15,000 high-level budget breakdown will be:
Photrek, $9000, Kenric Nelson and developer, responsible for project management, defining and developing the reputation enhancing methods.
CryptoAlley, $2800, Allison Fromm, responsible for integration path with digital identities
vCA and assistant, $3200, responsible for prototyping an innovation for the improving CA integrity
The funding will be allocated evenly over a four-month period:
Month 1: Launch CA Integrity, $3750
Month 2: Integration with DIDS, $3750
Month 3: Experimental Evaluation, $3750
Month 4: Coordination with Community, $3750
Kenric Nelson, Ph.D.
Scientist Engineer Educator * Executive | Photrek
Innovative leader in the research, development, and deployment of systems for complex decision-making. Proven record of creative research, team building, and customer-focused development spanning materials, electro-optic devices, signal-processing algorithms, and AI/ML decision systems.
Cardano experience includes initial investment in 2017, ITN stakepool operator, F4 Diversify Voting Influence, Catalyst Circle v2 representative for Community Advisors, F7 Community Governance Oversight, and Forecasting Cardano Native Tokens.
Managing Director at Crypto Alley
A leader with a track record of strategic planning, sales development, risk mitigation, and client relationship management in both the blockchain and corporate banking sectors. Catalyst Circle v2 representative for General ADA Holders. F7 Community Governance Oversight.
Skills include: leadership, financial analysis, problem-solving, development of strategic partnerships, compliance, and networking.
Our quantitative indicators will be:
- Number of Dropbox ideas moved from Draft - Finalized to Under Review, Approved, and/or Implemented.
- Number of experiments completed to document potential impacts on reputation
- Number of influencers engaged in discussions regarding review and approval process
- Number of developers collaborating with project team members to contribute to and/or evaluate reputation methods.
- Number of new proposals submitted to the Iterative DropBox
Successful project completion will consist of three components:
- Having a CA reputation method leveraging DIDs reviewed by IOG and the Circle
- Mentoring a veteran CA in shepherding their improvement idea towards formal review
- Provide experimental evidence of the cost/benefits of ranking by Quadratic Voting.
iiCAP is a new initiative that builds upon the work by Nelson to educate the Catalyst community about secure, equitable voting methods in the F4 Diversify Voting Influence project (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1V1dRJ0WydqFDv2Kmx_FByMgfrUNsHhhA?usp=sharing) and upon his efforts to improve the integrity of the CA process while he was the Catalyst Circle v2 representative.
The project will leverage capabilities developed in related F8 projects if funded:
PRISM DIDs for CA Onboarding: <https://cardano.ideascale.com/c/idea/399036>
PRISM DIDs for CA Process: <https://cardano.ideascale.com/c/idea/399040>
Cardano Quadratic Voting Funding: <https://cardano.ideascale.com/c/idea/396834>
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