5 Things You Need to Know About Project Catalyst Funding

What is Project Catalyst and why you should bother to vote!

Cardano is a 3rd-generation blockchain with revolutionary initiatives in place to drive its long-term goals of scalability, interoperability and sustainability via a strong community-centric approach. A prime example of this approach is Project Catalyst, which provides funding opportunities to projects the community thinks will advance the overall development of the Cardano Ecosystem. Let’s get into it. 

1. What is Project Catalyst?

Starting back in 2020 with Fund1, Project Catalyst describes itself as a series of experiments in creativity, governance and innovation. The most important takeaway: it is a proposal/grant-style platform that encourages and funds entrepreneurs, businesses and developers to build their projects on the Cardano Blockchain. Funding rounds generally happen every twelve weeks and are named sequentially (e.g., we are in Fund9 at the time of writing this article), but as it is a massive experiment, a lot can be unclear in the process, so we’ll break it down a little. 

2. Why is it important?

In three simple, yet bold words: funding, future and voice. We’ll explain:

  • Funding – in each category (aka ‘Challenge’), there is anywhere from 50,000 to 2M ADA (sometimes more) up for grabs to proposals and ideas that the community deems valuable to the future of Cardano. Proposers can request all or just a portion of these funds. More than one proposal can be funded in any given Challenge, depending on how the community votes.
  • Future – The future of the blockchain lies in the hands of eligible voters, meaning whether you are a developer or not, you have the power to prioritize and decide how Cardano evolves and what it should look going forward.
  • Voice – Coinciding with the previous statement, what makes Cardano stand out amongst other blockchains is its community-centric approach. If you hold ADA (i.e., Cardano’s native coin), you have the power to vote on the projects that should/shouldn’t receive funding. It’s important to note here that a minimum amount of 500 ADA is required to be able to vote. Active voters can also receive monetary rewards for their participation, but more on that in the voting and incentives sections. 

3. Who Can Participate?

The short answer: everyone! 

The long answer: there are different prerequisites and/or eligibility requirements, depending on which type of role you choose to participate in, but it’s nothing like sending a resume or applying for a job. It’s mostly a time and intellectual investment with some sweet monetary rewards for every role. Here’s a brief explanation of the four main roles along with their requirements and some linked resources:

  • Proposers – Though not clearly stated on the IOG FAQ (IOG is the company that has been chosen to build the Cardano Protocol) or Project Catalyst sites, I’ve gathered that basically anyone can propose an idea for collaboration or submit a proposal for feedback; these participants are known as ‘Proposers’. The only eligibility requirement to be a Proposer seems to be registering and using an Ideascale Account for the submission process.
  • Community Advisors (CAs) – aka Proposal Assessors (PAs) – Don’t worry if you got confused by these terms at some point, I was too. But that’s exactly why I’m here writing this article… It’s my attempt to clear some confusion for myself, as well as others. 

So, CAs come in after proposals are final, and are tasked with providing thoughtful, thorough and fair reviews based on comparing and contrasting submissions with their respective Challenge objectives. At this point, Proposers cannot make edits or refine their proposals anymore. Anyone can be a CA and there are incentives for participating in this role (I’ve heard it’s a nice chunk of change if you give excellent reviews, but no financial advice here ;}). Definitely something worth looking into if you love to read, write, learn new ideas and do some investigative research. You can find more information about CAs here.

  • Veteran Community Advisors (vCAs) – aka Veteran Proposal Assessors (VPAs) – The same applies for this role; the terms are used interchangeably. BUT, this role is not to be confused with the former as they have some very different responsibilities. After the CAs finish their reviews, Proposers have an opportunity to flag unfair or inaccurate comments on their proposals within a certain timeframe (for Fund9, it was about 5 days). Only after that do the VCAs enter the chat. They review both the CA Reviews and Proposer Flags, filtering out bad actors and ensuring another layer of Quality Assurance in the process.

As it is now, the only requirement to apply to be a VCA is to have been a CA in a previous funding round. 

  • Voters  – This is a role very near and dear to the heart of Cardano. Voters truly shape the future of the ecosystem by collectively choosing which proposals become  real-world, funded projects. In order to vote, you must hold at least 500 ADA (excluding rewards), be staked with a stake pool and download the Catalyst Voting App to your phone. 
Looking for a stake pool to support? NEWM has one with awesome perks. Check it out at NEWM.io/stakepool 

4. Things You Need for Voting

In my humble opinion, voting is probably the easiest and most effective way you can get involved with Project Catalyst right now and earn monetary rewards. You will just need a couple of things to get started with voting. Luckily, Catalyst doesn’t require you to make an Ideascale account anymore just to view the proposals. You can browse through all the active campaigns and proposals on Ideascale today. We made it easy to find our proposals by creating a subsite with direct access here.

Since there is a minimum ADA requirement for voting, you have to download the Catalyst Voting App (links below) and register before the snapshot date. Tiny hint: First, make sure to register your Cardano wallet to vote before you hop into the App for the voting process. For the current round, which is Fund9, the deadline is 4/AUGUST/2022 @ 11am UTC, so jump on it via the links below!

Android: Download “Catalyst Voting” from the Google Play store.
iOS: Download “Catalyst Voting” from the IOS store. 
Registration FAQ: IOG

5. Incentives & Rewards

As previously mentioned, participating in Project Catalyst has rewards and incentives. To learn more about them and calculations from previous funds go here.  

About the Author

Jessica Jayakaran

With over 8 years of professional marketing experience (in-house & agency), Jessica, ‘the wordsmith’, brings a uniquely diverse skillset to the table as NEWM's Lead Content & Community Strategist. Beginning her career in the healthcare industry, she understands the vicissitudes of compliance and working with highly-regulated, yet uncharted territories of public communication. An educator at heart, she created and sold her own marketing consulting agency that supported minority-owned startups to work for the Spanish government as a Cultural and Language Ambassador in 2018. Since then, she still teaches and she still markets. She excels in simplifying complex concepts, making them easily digestible to the public. She believes ‘voice’ is everything when it comes to communication.


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