Project Catalyst

Project Catalyst is an experiment in on-chain governance that puts the community at the heart of deciding the priorities for the growth of the Cardano network.

Project Catalyst gives stakeholders in the Cardano blockchain i.e. those that hold ADA, also known as “the community”, the ability to partake in deciding what projects that are being built on Cardano best help the network propagate itself throughout the world. This is based on the wider blockchain community philosophy of “we can achieve more collaboratively than individually.”

This is all achieved through multiple funding rounds to which people submit proposals and stakeholders vote on which ones they believe should receive funding. The winners then receive funding from the Project Catalyst fund for their idea.

Each funding round is centered around multiple challenges set by both the Project Catalyst team and the Project Catalyst community during previous rounds.

Each funding round goes through a series of phase, with each one being a week long:

  1. A period for submitting draft proposal.

  2. A community refinement process, where feedback is provided to the proposers by the community on how to make their proposal more robust and more "voteable".

  3. Proposers then have the opportunity to refine and finalize their proposals based on the feedback received from the community.

  4. A review period where Community Assessors, CAs, review and rate proposals on their: Impact and Alignment with their chosen challenge, the Feasibility of the proposal, and the Auditability of the proposal.

  5. Proposers are then given a week to review the reviews submitted by the CAs and to refute any they deem to have a bias, or to not have sufficient evidence for the conclusions drawn.

  6. Veteran CAs review the review of the reviews and remove those that are deemed to not to be up to the Project Catalyst standard.

  7. A snapshot of voting power i.e. ADA quantity in registered voters accounts, is then taken.

  8. Voters vote on proposals.

  9. Votes are tallied and published

  10. The rewards are then distributed, of the requested US dollar amount, in ADA to the winning proposals.

  11. Progress reports are sent to the community by the winning proposers at regular intervals.


  Project Catalyst is an “experiment” in on-chain community governance and the whole process, from submitting proposals to the distribution of funds, is explicitly evolving between each funding round. 


Whilst considered an "experiment" Project Catalyst is the first step in feeling out how on-chain governance is going to work for the whole of the Cardano network when it upgrades to the final era on its current roadmap, Voltaire, which is the era concerned with network governance.

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