Cardano may be all about decentralizing currency, but it isn’t only about decentralizing currency.
In reality, Cardano is also about decentralizing every aspect of currency’s purpose, rollout, impact, and approach.
Most cryptocurrencies, for all their strengths and weaknesses, are governed in some substantial way, whether by their developers, their most successful miners, voluminous hodlers, or any consortium of the above aforementioned.
This has some benefits, but it requires an awful lot of trust from the community.
Namely, the community must trust these entities to act in everyone’s best interests rather than merely their own.
This, along with other forms of centralization unique to cryptocurrency, is another major hurdle that – sooner or later – always comes to a head.
Sometimes, factions arise, and there’s a “crypto civil war.”
This is how Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV were born. This is how Ethereum Classic was born. And so on.
That said, when developing Cardano, IOHK quickly realized that – despite the benefits of hard forks birthing new and divergent networks and tokens – a more ideal system was possible.
Such a system would be one whereby the community of users, from top to bottom, are involved in all major decisions, with plenty of lead time to argue the merits of any proposal or practice.
Of course, there’s a balance here, as not every ADA holder is a mathematical marvel capable of instituting or even fully understanding the intricacies of the science of cryptocurrency.
That, by and large, is left to the team at IOHK.
But the point is that IOHK is committed in directing other aspects of ADA and its priorities – such as marketing considerations, ideas for DApps, strategies for how to get more developers to design DApps on top of Cardano, and so on – to the Cardano community at large.
This community is extremely broad, with national backgrounds, cultures, and frames of reference that represent the entire world. In other words, the ADA community is as decentralized as ADA is!
All that said, Cardano is too big – with far too many enthusiasts and users – for IOHK to simply manage a forum and sift through the ideas and upvotes to help guide their outreach and application priorities.
Instead, to participate in the movement to push ADA ever forward (at least, to do so in a different way than simply buying into the Cardano platform and delegating ADA to stake pools), you can join Cardano’s IdeaScale network and become a contributor and voter in Project Catalyst.
While Project Catalyst is an extremely robust and involved aspect of Cardano that merits its own deep dive, the basics are adequate for now.
The TL;DR is simply this:
Catalyst Fund3 voting kicks off March 3, and you need to do a few things so you can participate (and earn some free ADA while you’re at it).
If you want to help guide Cardano’s efforts going forward – and pocket some Cardano rewards at the same time – you must do the following ASAP.
Step One: Download the latest Daedalus Wallet software or Yoroi Wallet extension for desktop and laptop computers.
If you hold Cardano, these are the two best ADA wallets to use. Please note that AdaLite does not currently support Project Catalyst participation, and Yoroi Mobile is also unsupported.
Step Two: Download the Catalyst Voting mobile app.
Step Three: Register for Catalyst Fund3.
This is a simple process, but there is one big caveat: Regardless of which compatible Cardano wallet you choose, you must have at least 3000 ADA in that wallet to be eligible to register.
The following short videos will explain exactly how to complete registration.
This video from IOHK’s YouTube channel explains the registration process for Project Catalyst Fund3 using the Daedalus Wallet (version 3.3.0 or higher):
This next video, from YouTuber Kaizen Crypto, shows the Catalyst Fund3 registration process for the Yoroi Wallet:
Once you’re all set up, you’ll be ready to vote.
Voting for Catalyst Fund3 begins Wednesday, March 3, 2021, at 1900 UTC (2:00 PM EST). Voting ends on Friday, March 5, 2021, at 1900 UTC (2:00 PM EST).
And as stated, you do earn rewards for voting. Rewards are accumulated at a rate according to the Catalyst Rewards formula.
For now, you should have enough resources to get started.
Of course, since Catalyst is here to stay, once you’re signed up, we suggest sticking with the community and continuing to help make Cardano ADA the best-in-class world-beating cryptocurrency we all know it can be!
For more information, please visit IOHK’s Catalyst F3 FAQ. You can also get detailed Catalyst Fund3 voting instructions here and learn about Catalyst in general via the official Project Catalyst 2021 blog post.