Introduction to CIP-1694 (Cardano Improvement Proposal)

Cardano is on the brink of its most exciting chapter yet. The Voltaire era is just around the corner, bringing with it a fully decentralized governance model that will allow the Cardano community to have a say in everything from network development updates to project funding. At the heart of this revolutionary transformation is CIP-1694, the latest Cardano Improvement Proposal.


A bit of Cardano history

Before we delve into the exciting details of CIP-1694, let's take a look at Cardano's journey to date. Since its inception in 2015, the blockchain has gone through four eras - Byron, Shelley, Goguen, and Basho. These eras brought decentralization, native tokens, smart contracts, and scalability to Cardano, respectively.


Enter the Cardano’s Voltaire era

With the Voltaire era, Cardano is set to take its place as a true decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). With CIP-1694 paving the way, virtually any Cardano holder will be able to create a governance action, which will be ratified by three groups - a Constitutional Committee, a group of delegation representatives (DReps), and stake pool operators (SPOs). This means that the community will finally have a say in Cardano's future.


How CIP-1694 upgrades will work in practice 

The transition to Voltaire will introduce a Constitution and a Constitutional Committee that will be responsible for overseeing governance and ensuring that all governance actions are in line with the Constitution. DReps, which will be open to all ADA holders through registration, will make decisions on behalf of network participants who choose to delegate their staking keys to them.


There will be six governance actions in total, including a motion of no-confidence, updates to the Constitution, and treasury withdrawals. To prevent spamming, holders will need to deposit a fixed amount of tokens when submitting a governance action on-chain. But don't worry - this deposit will be returned after an action is ratified and enacted.


CIP-1694: a new era of governance in Cardano

Cardano is about to enter a new era of governance, and CIP-1694 is leading the charge. This CIP is still up for discussion and items can and will change. With decentralized decision-making and a Constitution to guide it, Cardano is poised to become one of the most innovative and community-driven blockchains out there. The future is bright for Cardano, and it is right here, right now.


If you would like to read more about CIP-1694 or join in the conversation, please visit Github.