Cardano was designed with the intent of long-term sustainability in mind. The goal was to build a system that could govern and fund itself without relying on donations. Cardano includes a built-in treasury system that receives revenue via transaction fees and treasury taxes on a regular basis. This is explained in detail in treasuries with Bingsheng Zhang.
Cardano Improvement Proposal
Cardano Improvement Proposals (CIPs) are a way of formally proposing ideas in an agreed-upon fashion. While they are not binding and are not a need for either treasury or protocol changes, they are an important component of Cardano governance. Someone must propose a setup for others to discuss before a decision can be made.
Fund your project with Project Catalyst
The present means to access the funds of the treasury system is through Project Catalyst, Cardano's innovation platform. It is considered as a stepping stone to Voltaire and strives to give a safe and exciting setting in which to explore human collaboration's highest potential.
The final stage of Cardano's initial development roadmap is called the Voltaire era, which is aimed at democratizing decision-making processes within the network. This phase aims to introduce an on-chain decentralized governance system, enabling all ada holders to actively participate in steering the network's future. In this system, ada holders are not just participants but pivotal decision-makers, casting votes on governance proposals. These proposals range from modifying protocol parameters, like transaction fees and block sizes, to strategic decisions about allocating the built-in treasury's funds. This direct voting mechanism allows for a more democratic approach and ensures that the Cardano ecosystem evolves in a way aligned with its community's collective vision and interests.
The proposed framework and architecture for the on-chain governance model are thoroughly outlined in CIP-1694. This CIP includes detailed explanations of the types of governance proposals that can be voted on, as well as the proposal's overall scope and limitations. It's essential to recognize this proposal as a foundational element for on-chain governance, establishing a robust base upon which future governance models can evolve.