Project Catalyst is core pillar of Cardano's active development and one of the largest decentralised innovation funds in the world. The project holds funding rounds every three months, with a set amount of ADA (Cardano's native token) ready to allocate to various ideas.
At the start of each Fund, the community has three weeks to submit proposals to meet challenges set in the previous round. After the community review stage, the proposals are selected by community vote and funding is allocated to bring the projects to life. Votes are weighted depending on the amount of ADA each voter has. The minimum requirement for participating is ₳500 ($125). To date Project Catalyst has allocated $32,789,225 to different projects via 9 previous funds.
The total budget of Fund10 is equal to ₳50,000,000 ($12.5 million). This round community members had to decide between 1,467 proposals. An eventual 192 proposals were approved (but not all of them funded). The ideas were spread across the 13 challenges initially raised in June 2023:
- Catalyst Fund Operations
- Catalyst Systems Improvements
- Developer Ecosystem - The Evolution
- Development & Infrastructure
- Products & Integrations
- Startups & Onboarding for Students
- Catalyst Open - developing small, low-budget ideas that don’t fit any other Challenge in the Fund
- DAOs <3 Cardano - making Cardano the number one choice for building DAOs
- Building on NMKR - making the Cardano NFT ecosystem more accessible using NMKR, one of the biggest NFT APIs on Cardano
- dRep improvement and onboarding - enhancing voting process by allowing users to delegate their voting power to representatives
- OSDE: Open Source Dev Ecosystem - providing resources to teams that want to develop their projects and contribute back to the community by sharing part of their efforts (open source projects, open-source frameworks etc)
- SPO (stake pool operator) Tools & Community Projects - supporting SPO-related ideas and experiments
- Atala PRISM: Launch Ecosystem - accelerating adoption and product-market-fit.
“Products & Integrations” was the most popular challenge: inspiring 466 ideas for ₳9.08 million of budget. It included ideas for new products and integrations that would offer more high impact use cases to the Cardano ecosystem to drive adoption. The top-voted idea was the common open standard for cross-game achievement system, intended to grow player engagement. The idea receiving most funding is the upgrade of Cardano Hydra, an L2 scaling solution for the blockchain that aims to increase the transaction processing capacity of the network. A total of 32 ideas were approved and 29 of them funded.
Second place went to the “Development & Infrastructure” challenge, with 188 ideas proposed and ₳8.7 million allocated. These aim to make it easier to develop projects on Cardano as well as operate the network there. The most wanted by the community was improving the UX by enabling auto-signing of messages. Others top ideas include integration of game engine Paima and development of a system that allows users to call EVM contracts (sidechains) directly from any Cardano wallet.
An honorable third place mention goes to the “Developer Ecosystem - The Evolution” challenge, which focuses on developer support and the provision of proper tools and working infrastructure. The leading proposal here was the creation of templates for games & gamification to help builders use the above-mentioned Paima. Other ideas approved include codebase and libraries updates, and, surprisingly, Cardano's promotion in Japan via introduction at the largest trade shows and launch of a dedicated Crypto Magazine that highlights Cardano's advantages.
The other 10 challenges also saw numerous compelling ideas, including but not limited to numerous educational initiatives around the world, a DAO governance solution, a transparent platform for dReps, a Cardano Asia TikTok Channel, etc. It is worth noting that several of the proposals approved were closely connected to gaming and NFTs.
Despite multiple innovations and active development of the Cardano ecosystem its native token ADA has been falling over the last year, although its largest whales and sharks have been accumulating the coin.