IOG Catalyst Team: Proposed Solution Description

Catalyst is one of the major entry points for new builders and ecosystem contributors to join the Cardano community. It represents thousands of individuals, projects, and innovators all accomplished in less than the three years it's been running. Each funding round relies on lively community participation and consent to produce high-quality decisions that represent the best interests of the Cardano ecosystem. However, over the course of the nine previous funding rounds, several barriers to entry have surfaced that negatively impact adoption and utility for the broader ada community.

For example, today’s fragmented voting experience presents a major barrier to adoption, limiting the capacity of our collective decision-making. Infrequent, timeboxed windows to participate are easily missed. Unfamiliar processes, information overload, and lack of formal onboarding further exacerbate any new user’s challenges.

As a growth enabler for the broader Cardano community, Catalyst provides many vital aspects to the community including critical funding for new builders and ecosystem contributors. In order for the Cardano community to reach critical mass and produce the best decisions possible, the Catalyst voting experience must be accessible, understandable, and as seamless as possible for all users. At the heart of Catalyst is a belief that the more voices heard, the smarter the choices made.

Proposal deliverables:

  1. Unified user-experience for web browser-based Catalyst voter and DRep registration, proposal submission, voting directly on proposals or delegating voter power to DReps

  2. Liquid democracy, enabling voters to delegate voting power to DReps

Proof of concept prototypes are demonstrated here:

Browser-based voting and liquid democracy [VIDEO]

Proposal submission prototype [VIDEO]

The Catalyst Team at IOG (“Catalyst Team”) proposes to deliver production-ready advancements to the Catalyst system by:

  • Streamlining the existing Catalyst experience into a single Voting Center platform, enabling

    • Creation of role registrations on Cardano mainnet to participate as a voter, representative, or proposer (and enabling all new roles in the future)

    • Browsing, collaborating on, and submitting proposals (at any time) with all updates signed by an authorized wallet

    • Casting, confirming and auditing encrypted votes on Catalyst’s privacy-preserving voting sidechain

    • Viewing eligible and received rewards tied to a connected wallet

  • Delivering a Decentralized Authentication / Authorization (AuthN/AuthZ) framework to enable role-based access control for sensitive activities including collaborative (yet private) document editing and Catalyst dRep voting. Without collecting emails, usernames, passwords or relying on third parties like OAuth.

  • Collaborating with the community on CIP changes and wallet integrations to associate key activities for proposal submission and vote casting with on-chain registrations to increase auditability and accountability across funding decisions and project delivery, while unlocking future reputation systems.

  • Laying unified foundations for future open-source collaboration with the community to refine processes and develop new capabilities inside a single, unified front-end interface without limiting opportunities for parallel community experimentation on the Catalyst Continuous Testnet.

Introducing Catalyst Voices

Through this 12 month project, the Catalyst Team proposes to unleash the wisdom of the community by delivering a front-end web-browser based application that radically lowers the barriers to meaningful participation in collective decision-making for voters, representatives, and proposers.

A unified front-end interface to meet the needs of the Catalyst community. Developed with continuous feedback from the community, the Catalyst Team will deliver a unified experience to replace the patchwork composed of wallets, Ideascale, standalone web apps, and the Catalyst mobile app today.

The proposed product design is informed by insights gleaned over nearly three years of operating Catalyst, ongoing discovery research, and feedback from the community.

Prior feedback and research indicate 3 significant opportunities to improve the Catalyst experience with a unified platform:

  • Streamline the experience by designing modules to serve the needs of each role

  • Unlock continuous opportunities for ideation, feedback, building skills and reputation, as well as earning rewards

  • Offer better guidance by creating context based on identity, preferences and intent

The proposed outputs will:

  • reduce the time and steps required of Catalyst users to complete important actions eliminating the frustration of context switching

  • accelerate the onboarding and upskilling of both casual and committed Catalyst users

  • improve the quality of participation with just-in-time tips, and more data provided to voters about Catalyst proposals

  • introduce participation history that maintains data and context over time,

Simplified user processes mean more time spent on activities that matter, enabling new capabilities and co-building opportunities that push the boundaries of distributed decision-making.

All these benefits add up to productivity gains, a more collaborative and focused community, and better funding decisions that create more value for the Cardano ecosystem.

Unlocking Incremental Value With Milestones & Continuous Testing

The proposed project will be delivered via a series of milestones, each unlocking new capabilities and creating value for Catalyst and the Cardano ecosystems.

Milestones include:

  1. Open Source Setup

  2. Architectural Updates to registrations to support multiple roles

  3. Backend and Wallet Integration Updates

  4. Voting & Delegation

  5. Proposal Submission & Commentary

Continuous Testing & Learning

Along the way, continuous delivery to the Catalyst testnet will ensure that the community has meaningful feedback loops to help guide development - rather than waiting to give feedback. Voters, representatives, and proposers will have a chance to test drive the entire Catalyst process end-to-end every 2 weeks from inside Catalyst Voices once available.

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