Catalyst 10, The Pareto Distribution, and Whales

Catalyst 10 is over. The Cardano Network is trying to develop a new way to govern and democratize capital distribution. Congratulations to the winners. This is an incredible experiment and problem solving mission happening in real time.

But everyone knows that Catalyst 10 was massively divisive. It is time for some honest reflection among all parties involved. Both sides of this need to look in the mirror and do what we need to do to come back together with a common mission.

For the losers. W all need to look at our proposals and realize that most of them were bad. Most of the proposals in Catalyst 10 were terrible. I read about 30 or so before writing ours and half were “influencers” who wanted to promote Cardano outreach as if you couldn’t do that for free. Others were just money grabs for existing projects. I saw the same exact text on 3 proposals in my small sample. Our proposals were bad. This was our first time and our proposals are new. I accept that.

I also read the rules, read many proposals, and talked to people at Rare Evo. Almost everyone there had multiple proposals. It didn’t take long for me to determine this would be a waste of time for us so we didn’t spend much time promoting it. When my brother told me that interest rates were spiking for Optim Finance loans because of the Catalyst 10 snapshot I saw the writing on the wall.

But we little people must understand there will always be whales. Always. The Pareto Distribution is an iron law of the universe. In any competitive system most of the resources will end up consolidated in the hands of a few. A small number of stars have most of the universe’s mass. A small number of NBA players score most of the points. In a capitalist economy a small number of people have most of the money. In a socialist economy a small number of people have most of the money. In a monarchy a small number of people have all of the money. History is replete with efforts to break the Pareto Distribution and make things “fair.” Mass graves, famine, war and poverty are the result. Any attempt to de-whale cardano will kill cardano.

But the Whales also need to understand what they just did to the Cardano Ecosystem. The winners of Catalyst 10 were a who’s who of insiders. You could not have made it more clear what the current state of Cardano is to people new to this space. It has a closed group of accumulators who will downvote everyone else. It is obvious that a bunch of people with millions of ada to vote with just went through and downvoted every proposal that wasn’t theirs without even reading them. Our proposal might have been bad. Buying 10 World Mobile Air nodes and donating them to schools and teaching students how to use them? We ended up with negative 36 million votes. This is grotesquely toxic behavior and there are many developers in this space that put a lot of time into catalyst only to have the community slap them in the face. If this behavior continues Cardano will fall.

Now that we are done with that some Solutions:
X% of requested funds required as a deposit/delegation to post a proposal.
KYC on proposers. No more anonymous spam.
For the love of Pete end downvoting.
Possibly a logarithmic curve on voting power. This would have to be a very soft curve though. Nothing would be worse than 1 wallet 1 vote.

  • X% of requested funds required as a deposit/delegation to post a proposal.
  • KYC on proposers. No more anonymous spam.
  • For the love of Pete end downvoting.
  • Possibly a logarithmic curve on voting power. This would have to be a very soft curve though. Nothing would be worse than 1 wallet 1 vote.