—- FUNDING CATEGORIES BACKGROUND —-
Funding categories offer an effective approach for doing funding categorisation in the Catalyst funding process. Funding categories if fully adopted can remove the issues and inefficiencies surrounding challenge settings.
Funding categorisation has a number of properties that can be analysed. Categorisation can be broad or specific, inclusive or exclusive and recurring or changing. Funding categories have been created based off the properties which are more effective for funding categorisation. Funding categories focus on being broad, inclusive and recurring - https://docs.catalystcontributors.org/funding-categorisation-analysis/categorisation-properties
Using more effective categorisation properties results in a number of advantages. Funding categories offer a more efficient, simple, flexible, scalable and egalitarian approach to do funding categorisation than challenge settings. Funding categories are effective for directing funding and also help to increase healthy competition - https://docs.catalystcontributors.org/funding-categorisation-analysis/funding-categories-advantages/overview
Funding categories achieve similar or often better outcomes than challenge settings for ensuring each focus area has access to funding in a given funding round - https://docs.catalystcontributors.org/funding-categorisation-analysis/historical-analysis-and-comparisons/funding-access-for-each-focus-area
Funding categories provide a 80% total cost reduction when used as a replacement to challenge settings. The numbers used for this estimation are also conservative - the savings are likely higher! Read more here - https://docs.catalystcontributoars.org/funding-categorisation-analysis/historical-analysis-and-comparisons/categorisation-overall-cost-comparison
The full list of funding categories can be found here - https://docs.catalystcontributors.org/catalyst-funding-categories/
—- BUDGET WEIGHTING VOTE —-
The total budget that gets applied to each funding category is determined using a democratic budget weighting vote.
Funding categories are assigned a percentage by each voting participant in the vote. A weighted average percentage is then achieved from the voting results. This percentage is then converted into the equivalent ADA value that will be requested for that funding category from the total amount of funding that will be available in the next round.
To register and participate in the budget weighting vote you can find all of the details in this funding categories documentation - https://docs.catalystcontributors.org/catalyst-funding-categories/budget-weighting-votes/fund-9
Development & Infrastructure is focused on the following areas:
- Creation and improvement of tools and software that help make it easier for projects to develop on Cardano and for the community to operate stake pool nodes in the network.
- Research, analysis and creation of standards, resources or documentation that bring either novel innovation to the ecosystem or help with improving the education around what is available in the ecosystem for development or running infrastructure.
Why this category is important
The Cardano developer ecosystem and operation of stake pool nodes need to be easy for newcomers and budding talent to start learning and using.
To make it easy to develop projects on Cardano as well as operate the network there is a need for high quality resources, standards, tools, scripts, libraries and SDKs for developers and operators to use.
Types of proposals to include
- Node & SPO tools & software - Development tools, scripts, libraries and SDKs that helps the SPO community more easily start and run their Cardano nodes or other ecosystem infrastructure.
- Plutus and IELE tools & software - Development tools, libraries and SDKs that helps developers more easily write and deploy smart contracts onto the Cardano blockchain. Keep in mind that IELE is yet to be released to the wider community.
- Native asset tools & software - Development tools, libraries and SDKs to improve how the community and developers can issue and manage native assets.
- Data oracles, indexers & explorers - Tools and software that integrate real world data into Cardano or that make existing Cardano data more easy to use and accessible.
- Scalability research & solutions - Rollups (e.g. zero knowledge rollups, optimistic rollups), sharding, state channels, zero knowledge proofs, side chains.
- Technical documentation & education - Technical documentation and educational resources on how to use different tools, libraries or SDKs in the ecosystem.
- Technical standards - Creation and improvement of standards used within the ecosystem that help to improve the overall quality of software deployed.
- Blockchain interoperability - Research, software or any other useful initiatives that help increase the interoperability of Cardano with other blockchain systems
- Research & development
Potential success metrics for proposal types
- Node & SPO tools & software - Amount of adoption from other projects, metrics around any scalability, security or cost improvements.
- Plutus and IELE tools & software - Amount of adoption from other projects, metrics around any scalability, security or cost improvements.
- Native asset tools & software - Amount of adoption from other projects, metrics around any scalability, security or cost improvements.
- Data oracles, indexers & explorers - Amount of adoption, reliability or availability of new data sources or number of ways to interact with both blockchain and real world data.
- Scalability research & solutions - Total transactions per second achievable, increases in transaction efficiency achieved, security guarantees achieved.
- Technical documentation & education - Amount of people viewing resources, reduction in number of common questions for contributors due to better resources.
- Technical standards - Increase in any security thresholds for new applications, Increases in performance achievable by applications.
- Blockchain interoperability - Increase in number of chains or applications used between multiple chains, research papers completed, innovations in bridging technology or for any other areas of improvement.
- Research & development - Number of projects utilising new novel approaches to development or node operation, number of new standards created due to research efforts.
Considerations for proposers
- Open source plan - Any tools, libraries or SDKs are encouraged to be open source either from the start or as soon as possible. There is no requirement to be open source immediately however proposers should include the details of their plan towards open sourcing the project.
- Commercial projects - Development projects most suited here will be open source with the aim of the work executed being available for the benefit of other projects to use and build their applications with. Commercial projects looking to build a network or DApp suited for the end user should use the Products & Integrations category for proposals. Projects are welcomed to make proposals in this category for any specific parts of their project that would be open source and should have benefit to the wider ecosystem around improving the development ecosystem or operation of Cardano.
Why is it important?
Developers need tools and software to more easily build and scale applications and integrations on the Cardano blockchain
How does success looks like?
Innovation in tools, software or research that support how developers build applications or that help with improving Cardano infrastructure
Key Metrics to measure
Tracking success for this category will mean:
- Increasing the number or quality of tools and software that improve areas such as running nodes for SPOs, Plutus & IELE development or native asset development.
- Increasing the scalability of Cardano through the introduction of solutions that could in the form of research, layer 2 solutions or integrations of existing solutions.
- Increase the number or quality of the standards, resources and research that make it easier for node operators and developers to understand the ecosystem and to improve the overall quality of the software being delivered across the ecosystem.
Individual success metrics are added for the different types of proposal in the category brief. These metrics provide suggestions for how different proposal types could be audited.