CIP-1694 Progress Update: a positive end to an incredible year of building

8 min

Time of last update: 18th December 2023

This year has been a year of community building and collaboration to advance Cardano closer to the final developmental phase in the initial roadmap — Voltaire. Designed as the infrastructure for the Cardano community to collaborate around, Intersect continues to serve as the scaffolding for distributed community building. As 2023 comes to a close, let’s review the community's impact on Cardano’s progress this year.

A temperature check on CIP-1694

Since the release of CIP-1694, the Cardano community has been providing implicit consent through active participation in multiple global workshops and direct engagement on GitHub. CIP-1694 has witnessed unparalleled activity and engagement levels, making it the most vibrant and participatory Cardano improvement process in Cardano’s history.

Earlier this month, community members weighed in on the future of on-chain decision-making on Cardano through a non-binding Cardano Ballot event, enabling the community to share feedback on Cardano's on-chain governance journey formally. In addition, Intersect member Summon Association provided a second poll compatible with hardware wallets in collaboration with DripDropz. Both ballots posed the question:

“Based on the current progress, should we as a Cardano community continue to develop and deploy minimum viable on-chain governance as described in CIP-1694, subject to the final approval of the SPOs?”

The Cardano Ballot result on CIP-1694 reveals a positive endorsement for Cardano’s governance journey and toward the CIP-1694 minimum viable on-chain governance approach. This signal comes from a statistically significant sample size of active wallet holders, fueling Cardano’s ongoing development and bringing the next stage in bringing Cardano’s fully participatory governance system to reality.

The results

Temperature check results

To view the results directly, check out Cardano Ballot and Summon Platform. The Cardano Ballot results were also verified by Intersect member Xerberus, and if you participated in the Cardano Ballot, you can audit your own vote using their verification tool.

In analyzing the results, IOG research fellow Philip Lazos, an expert in statistical analysis, added that with any opinion poll, inferring the truth from statistical evidence relies on two components: that the poll was large enough to support the claim and that the selected sample was truly random.

  1. In a typical, 1 person = 1 vote election with two outcomes (here, we can interpret a recorded ‘Abstain’ as a soft ’No’), a truly random (and therefore, representative) sample of 800 votes is large enough for the poll result to be within a 5% margin of error in the population with 95% confidence.
  2. Because participation bias is very difficult to control even in traditional elections, we cannot necessarily reach the same conclusion for the CIP-1694 ballot. This is further exacerbated by the different voter weights. For instance, if a few larger voters controlling 20% of the stake did not participate (e.g. exchanges), then clearly the result will not be accurate, no matter how many other users participated in the sample.

Given the overwhelming majority of ‘Yes’ (measured both by count and stake), the result can be interpreted as a positive indicator for adopting CIP-1694, if it is true that voters who are against were less likely to abstain, especially if they have a lot of stake. Otherwise, it is inconclusive. Minimizing this bias cannot be done with only one poll, and the model of the voter base (i.e. base rates for different voter types, correlations between weights, activity and preferences, etc) will be updated as more community polls are conducted and compared against the real election results.

An upcoming blog post will further elaborate on future polls and polling methodology. For further information on understanding the statistical analysis of polls, Wikipedia offers good pages on Opinion polling and Confidence intervals for reference.

Community feedback

Enhancing Cardano has always relied on active community input and consent. Over 1,000 members from 24 countries participated in 50 global CIP-1694 workshops this year to explore the potential of decentralized, on-chain governance. The community’s latest endorsement represents just one of many touchpoints that answer many months of consensus building towards a common vision and a shared appetite to achieve more incredible things together.

Further than voting, during the Cardano ballot event, the community had an opportunity to provide feedback via an anonymous form. Some of the more notable comments include:

‘The progress has been both swift and in the right direction, which gives good confidence for the future.’
‘I think that moving forward is the best way to progress with MVG (minimum viable “on-chain” governance).’
‘On-chain governance is worth implementing. Others will notice what has been accomplished here, and Cardano becomes the model for how it is done.’

To capture overall themes from your feedback, we’ve prepared a word cloud based on the feedback:

Cardano Ballot CIP-1694 response highlights

Looking ahead

Maintaining Cardano’s momentum will require the community’s collective focus and participation during moments such as the next temperature check on Cardano’s governance progress early next year. Driving CIP-1694’s implementation is a priority for Cardano in 2024, which will involve a range of opportunities for the community to get involved. From the Constitution global community workshop series and more, these key moments in 2024 will all ladder up to the Constitutional Convention late next year, where community-elected delegates will congregate and work together on passing a final version of the Cardano Constitution to be ratified on-chain by the Cardano community.

In line with the CIP-1694 workshops, the SanchoNet rollout this past summer provided ada holders with a safe and secure environment to test and provide feedback on CIP-1694 features and specifications. This initiative unlocked a gateway to new levels of community governance, empowering community members with the freedom and resources to experiment with Cardano’s future. This moment also introduced incentives for developers of governance tools, products, and DApps and inspired more productive community engagement on GitHub.

Good governance is complex but achievable with the support of an entire community. We hope this year's progress will inspire the community to continue collaborating and participating in charting Cardano’s path forward in 2024.

Get Involved

Intersect is a member-based organization for the Cardano ecosystem, advancing progress at the intersection of Cardano and Its community. Help shape the future of Cardano by joining a rich community of like-minded people. Let's build together - Join Us!

If you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions, please get in touch via email, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Thanks to Intersect member IOG, and Research Fellow Philip Lazos for his contribution and support of this process