The Advancement of CIP-1694 to a Ballot

4 min

Cardano has always had its vision set on fostering an ecosystem that champions community collaboration and decentralized innovation. This year in particular marks a formative period in Cardano’s timeline as more community members have rolled up their sleeves and participated in the advancement of the Cardano protocol than ever before. The Voltaire journey is as much about addressing the challenges of governance as it is about seeking consensus on how we best address these and the community’s valued contributions and continued support have been the driving force for Cardano’s ongoing progress.

This year has seen significant and rapid progress. Central to the governance journey is the technology that will empower on-chain contribution and community consensus. From January to July, the Cardano community hosted over 50 governance workshops across 24 countries, engaging over 1,000 individuals and entities to learn, network, and build towards an inclusive and sustainable governance system. The Edinburgh workshop in July marked the culmination of a democratic movement made possible by a community of talented and diverse stakeholders who care about a decentralized and representative Cardano.

This workshop series allowed participants to learn, discuss, and provide feedback on Cardano Improvement Proposal (CIP) 1694, developed as a minimal viable governance (MVG) framework for the next era of on-chain governance on Cardano. Letting the community of engineers, builders, creatives, and enthusiasts collaborate on the future of Cardano’s platform and evolve it together is a true expression of broad-based governance in action and Cardano’s commitment to democratic consent.

Since July, the phased rollout of SanchoNet, a controlled testnet where ada holders can experience and provide feedback on CIP-1694 community-building features, is bringing new opportunities for community members to get involved in testing the on-chain mechanisms of governance. Designed as a collaborative environment for the community to engage, the learnings and developments from this initiative will be key in advancing governance for Cardano.

While we celebrate our progress, let’s not lose sight of the end goal. A governance structure that is run by the people, for the people. Later this year, the community will be given their opportunity to voice their view on our shared progress via a Cardano Ballot event. The feedback received will inform the next phase of governance. Once the community endorses the progress to date and the consensus is to proceed with CIP-1694, Intersect – Cardano’s member-based organization tasked with preserving the protocol’s continuity and future development – will move forward on progressing the CIP and the technical requirements needed to enact it on the Cardano mainnet in the first half of 2024.

A ballot on governance will be an important milestone, significantly enhancing the means for exercising decision-making powers over the Cardano protocol and shared resources, such as the Cardano Treasury, to a wide range of participants. This ballot represents how far the community has taken decentralized governance and will prove how much further the community can evolve in the age of Voltaire.