Social media has been the defining product of the Web2 era. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have provided significant value as tools for connecting with people, organizing and sharing content, and creating communities. However, these centralized platforms hold power over the user data and experience, including the user’s social network graph and significant digital relationships. As a user, you have limited options concerning what you see – and platforms can censor users and content based on their policies and interests and lock you out of your social media accounts at will. It’s also entirely up to the platform how revenue is shared between themselves and content creators.
Decentralized social media has the potential to mitigate some of these issues through the use of Web3 toolings, such as tokens and NFTs, with the option for platforms to create native pre-coded value-sharing mechanisms, as well as offering significantly better data protection for the end user. Given their reach and traction levels, the question is how to change the Web2 narrative: It’s hard to directly challenge the incumbent social media giants. However, it is possible to build tools that are for Web3 users specifically and support the development and growth of Web3 communities.
To this end, Catalyze believes that Decentralized social media needs to focus on the critical points enabled by Web3 and the core Internet Computer Stack.
- Enhanced User Privacy and Ownership
- Centralized social media platforms can control shared content, leading to potential bias and censorship. Decentralized platforms, on the other hand, distribute control among users and rely on consensus mechanisms to moderate content. This democratized approach empowers users to have a say in content policies. It also reduces the risk of unfair censorship or manipulation.
- Censorship Resistance
- Centralized social media platforms can exert control over the content shared on their platforms, leading to potential bias and censorship. Decentralized platforms, on the other hand, distribute control among users and rely on consensus mechanisms to moderate content. This democratized approach empowers users to have a say in content policies and reduces the risk of unfair censorship or manipulation.
- Diversity and Competition
- Decentralized social media platforms encourage innovation and competition by creating a more diverse ecosystem. As new platforms and applications emerge, they will offer unique features and experiences that cater to different user needs. This competitive landscape will drive improvements in user experience and functionality, ultimately benefiting the end-users.
- Monetisation and Value Sharing
- Web3 technology enables decentralized social media platforms to introduce innovative monetization models, such as token-based incentives and microtransactions. This approach allows value to be shared directly with content creators and users rather than concentrated in centralized platform owners’ hands. As a result, users can be rewarded for their contributions, fostering a more equitable online environment.
The goal is to drive the Internet of Value: While this is ambitious and will take time to make a reality, we believe it is a worthwhile aim and that Catalyze on the Internet Computer is ideally placed to deliver on all of the above points. The remainder of this paper elaborates on how this can be done over a multi-year period.
Catalyze on the Internet Computer
What is Catalyze?
Catalyze is an innovative social application designed to run on the Internet Computer. The app serves as a community organizing tool and a social application on Web3 where you can build groups, interact with other members of your community, create/run events, and transact using your Web3 identity and wallet.
With a vast skill set and backgrounds in various industries (tech, impact, mathematics, etc…), the Catalyze software team has a true passion for community empowerment and for the development of alternate decentralized governance models.
The core team consists of:
- Ray Laracuenta, CEO, and Founder: Prior to founding the company, he was a 20+ year veteran of Gartner Inc. At Gartner, he led large research teams (both technical & management focused), had P&L and operational responsibility for a $68mm product portfolio and co-created a $20mm event series targeting midmarket IT leaders.
- Johann Hartmann, COO, and Founder: Experienced operation and alternate governance professional with a strong focus on sustainability, impact and community growth. After several experience within the sports industry, he also had the opportunity to join the team governing the Global Shapers Community (GSC), one of the most impactful and global communities of young leaders.
- Remco Sprenkles, Senior Engineer: With his 8+ years of development and programming experience, Remco is a full-stack developer fluent in both React and .Net development platforms. He is also well-versed in both Rust and Motoko development languages and the coding of smart contracts.
- Viroshan Naicker, Ph.D., Tokenomics Advisor: Skilled mathematician and tokenomics architect. He holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Johannesburg and is a seasoned researcher within the blockchain field. Viroshan further develops his skills by serving as an advisor to several blockchain/Web3 startups. He specializes in the development of tokenomic systems and governance models.
Where is Catalyze now?
Catalyze currently has a suite of organizational tools, including calendar and events planning, tasks, chat, and community groups integrated into the application. As an end-user, you can log into the app using your Web3 internet identity or Web2 credentials.
The entire application and application data resides on-chain. In contrast, the chat aspect of the application (and chat data itself) uses the Matrix protocol, an open network for secure decentralized communication. Matrix integrates with several Web2 social applications (Discord, Telegram, Slack, etc.), so it is helpful as a Web2 to Web3 bridge for users until chat can move fully on-chain. Chat on-chain will begin development in Q3 and should be available for beta testing late in the year.
As of Q2 2023, Catalyze has 6000 users who, on average, are members of 5 groups, so the gross reach membership can be approximated at 30K. There are 275 communities on the platform. There are also connected Catalyze communities to 5 Discord sites adding another 15K IDs from Discord who have access to Catalyze via a DIscord client. Catalyze has managed the growth of our user base and has prevented bots from over-running the platform by avoiding excessive giveaways or airdrop promotions. As Catalyze moves forward to a tokenomics-based system, the aim is to scale the user base to 10Ks of users and provide protection against bots through tokenized proof-of-humanity incentives.
What is Catalyze’s Canister Architecture/Tech Stack?
Regarding canister architecture, the simple diagram below shows how Catalyze has been structured to support SNS and has been integrated into the existing platform. One side benefit of designing things in this manner is that it will allow Catalyze neuron holders to participate in SNS proposal management and governance from inside Catalyze. In addition, other SNS-based groups can create neuron-gated communities to discuss embryonic proposals before they reach the submission stage. Catalyze has added polling and voting tools into the chat client to support this idea further so that neuron holders can test the waters on proposal ideas with the community before actual voting occurs. This should help make proposals better and give a broader set of neuron holders a chance to debate/discuss future plans in an open and transparent setting (backed by polling data). For more insight into our governance and tokenomics related strategy, see the Token Raise section.
Catalyze Tech Stack
The critical feature of the Catalyze application is the prospect of creating a feedback loop between founders, community managers, and members:
- For community managers, Catalyze makes it easy to keep their fingers on the community’s pulse and to know what is happening through data and dashboards.
- For members, Catalyze makes it easy to create reputations for themselves through their Web3 identity within the community through contribution and participation in governance and decision making.
The mantra here is to know your community both from the community leadership and member sides. The tools for doing this are data-driven, through metrics: Metrics and KPIs could be more attractive if those metrics help us build collaborative communities. That is, communities where users can build up their reputation scores in a way that reflects their engagement and impact, and community managers can tangibly see who adds the most value to their communities, then this is powerful.
Open Source/Code Audit
As part of the move to SNS and a DAO, Catalyze will move to an open source model using the GNU GPL V2 license. At the time of this document’s publication the code is being audited by Beosin. Once the audit is completed (estimated to be June 20th) and any issues addressed the code base will be made public under the GNU GPL V2 license. In the interim, we intend to make those components of the application not currently under audit available for public review and input. In this way we can get valuable community feedback while the key security areas are being professionally audited and remediated as needed.
Overall, Catalyze is a community development and events management tool that looks to leverage the benefits of Web3 and the Internet Computer to create a collaborative, focused approach to community building that end users can trust. We believe these efforts and investments will provide the community with a secure and solid foundation from which to collaboratively build.
On that last point we have already implemented code for community code proposals which will be implemented later in the year once the core modules of Catalyze have been fully released. A proposal will be put forth to offer community code-based proposals as part of the SNS governance process of Catalyze at a later date (post SNS).
SNS Token Launch & Roadmap
The SNS (Service-Nervous-System) is the critical construct for creating DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organisations) on the Internet Computer. The SNS is modeled on the NNS (Network Nervous System) that runs the broader Internet Computer ecosystem.
The role of the SNS is to allow a dAPP (Decentralized Application) to be run through a decentralized community. This benefits community-based fundraising, censorship resistance, tokenization, and distributed governance.
The SNS inherits both neurons and proposals from the NNS.
Neurons are token staking mechanisms whereby users stake dAPP tokens for governance rights, and the right to govern is directly correlated with the user’s staking level. The rule of thumb is that more tokens staked for extended periods equals greater voting power.
Proposals are suggestions on the dAPPs development and evolution, which either come from the founding team or the community. The community then votes to move the development of the application forward.
Why this approach?
First off, this approach allows for apps to adopt a decentralization standard. This improves on the original coin offering frenzy that accompanied the first wave of dAPPs and led to significant confusion and, in some cases, financial losses as community members aped into projects.
DFINITY’s goals are decentralized ecosystems on decentralized infrastructure that is massively distributed, secure and redundant. To build Catalyze on DFINITY, using the SNS is a no-brainer. Still, it also invites a community evolution of the dAPP that supports the theme built by communities and for communities. This is the heart of using SNS to support the next phase of Catalyze’s development.
Governance through Community
Catalyze is structured to assist communities to grow and flourish and to give them an organized place to structure decision making. Community governance is part of the vision for the application. So there is no better place to start than with the governance of the application itself.
In this sense, Catalyze is eating its own dog-food, and one of the first tasks is to integrate a proposal and voting system into the application commensurate with SNS. This entails using wallets and neurons to assess the voting power of members in the Catalyze DAO and creating an organized “town hall” where proposals can be made, tested, improved, and finally approved by the community at large.
The Catalyze SNS token launch aims to distribute 112.5 million SNS tokens (or 22.5% of total supply) and reach several different targets.
- Build a fast, responsive UX/UI for community organization, management, growth, and development.
- Integrate a secure chat-on-chain system that allows users to store chats in canisters.
- Develop and deploy a community reputation management system so that users can earn their stripes within communities.
- Build a tool for future dAPPs and communities to organize their own SNS token sales and raise. IC and Eth based application support. (similar to Slack app integrations)
- Build an insight system so community managers can understand how best to engage with and develop their communities.
- Launch 1000+ communities with the Catalyze app within the next year to scale up the user base and support the growth of the broader Dfinity ecosystem.
- Act as a DAO creator for the communities on the Catalyze app and provide launchpad tooling.
These are amongst the most important, but our key aim, by and large, is to provide a multi-tool that communities can rely on to gain traction and support. Several features are already being or have already been built on the application.
- Wallet integration allows users to access their wallets within the application.
- NFT gating allows community managers to allow or block users from specific channels depending on the NFTs that they hold.
- Neuron gating allows SNS token holders and the firms they have invested in to create private communities for discussion, debates, and pre-proposal voting and polling
- NFT Marketplace integration allows direct use/access to NFT marketplaces in the application.
- MultiSig Wallet Services allows community managers and their teams to conduct wallet management (drops, payments, etc) in a secure and accountable manner.
- Spam prevention methods charge a transaction cost (or require a stake) for bulk messaging, making it more challenging to spam many users without losing them.
These tools are only a few ways to improve community communication by integrating token and NFT services. In the longer term, building the application alongside the community and ensuring that the features being created are what users want — make the most sense. There is nothing quite like sourcing the next steps for the evolution of the application through the wider community and user base. The overall goal of the application is to solve user pain points, and there is no better way to find out those pain points than from actual users.
The Catalyze SNS token launch aims to distribute the token to users and support the development and marketing of the dAPP for the next 18-24 months. The application has sufficient time to garner users and traction during this period. Iteratively perfect the feature suite through community proposals, the founding team’s leadership, and iterative testing in the market. The aim is to acquire communities; and through communities, users, and fans of the software.
The token allocation quanta are listed in the table below. The total quantum of tokens for distribution is 500,000,000. Most tokens are allocated to the SNS Launch and the Community Treasury (51%). The remaining tokens are split between the Founding Team, Seed Investors, and the SNS Raise. Catalyze will utilize the SNS proposal process to support airdrops for early supporters, groups, and projects as part of its tokenomics model.
A caveat is that the Community Treasury (CT) is divided into sub-accounts for each category: User Incentives, Users Perks, DAO Community Grants, DAO Treasury Grants, and Reserves. The proposed allocation is that 31% of the CT is allocated to reserves, and the remaining 20% is split equally (5% each) between the categories below. The reserve allocation is then nominally available to fund application development through proposals and any marketing campaigns that the DAO may undertake.
Participants will receive their tokens in a basket of 7 neurons with dissolve delays of 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 months respectively.
The Catalyze Developer Organisation will receive its tokens in a basket of 4 neurons each with a dissolve delay of one month, but with vesting periods of 1, 2, 3, and 4 years.
Seed investors and Catalyze NFT holders will receive 3 neurons each with a dissolve delay of one month but with vesting periods of 0, 1 and 2 years respectively.
The minimum amount a neuron will need to stake in order to vote is 4 SNS tokens, with a staking minimum staking period to vote of 1 month.
Voting rewards are initially 5% of SNS tokens minted annually with a gradual reduction to 1.5% after 5 years.
⁃ Max neuron age for age bonus 6 months
⁃ Age bonus multiplier 1.25x
⁃ Dissolve delay bonus multiplier 2.5
⁃ Max dissolve delay 2 years
An engage-to-earn model has been developed to grow the user base whereby users could create a presence as content creators, moderators, and contributors to various DAOs. This model relies on building a user reputation system based on the value of their actions within a community forum.
For example, a user that makes a daily contribution to a given channel and who is responsive to other users; is assigned a contributor role (via an NFT) and based on their contribution levels over some period (e.g., when the community is growing) can claim from a token rewards pool.
Rewards are allocated daily to users through a claims mechanism:
- A daily claims pool is created.
- Funds are transferred into the pool automatically.
- A map exists between the “pseudo-currency of reputation points earned and tokens in the pool.
Notice that an arbitrary number of reputation points can map proportionally to a finite token allocation daily.
The SNS reward functionality can create daily allocation pools over four years to get the application to a suitable number of users.
The role of the Catalyze DAO here is to decide where the incentives are allocated, so there can be some class of proposals relating to user incentives. For example, the incentives are distributed to affiliate marketers only. In that case, people that refer other people to the app through referral systems will obtain reputation points and be able to convert them into tokens.
Suppose users can earn tokens through their behavior on the application, where the behavior helps the DAO. In that case, the question is how users can use these tokens on the application. There are several options.
Burn to Boost. Boosting is the model used by Discord to increase the ability of users to make their servers more exciting and increase their access to the application. Arguably, Discord doesn’t have the most fantastic UX/UI interfaces. Still, this model seems to work to get community members to improve their servers and increase their “special abilities.” Using a burn-to-boost model, a user would permanently burn some Catalyze governance tokens to get a permanent perk on a particular server.
A back-of-the-envelope calculation can show how effective this model can be from a token holder perspective since there is a permanent reduction in supply. Suppose there are 5000 active groups (the Catalyze equivalent of a server) with an average of 50 active users per group. A burn-to-boost rate that averages 0.50 tokens per month per active user per group (or 25 tokens per group per month) will burn 125,000 tokens monthly, or 1.5 million tokens per year. This is equivalent to 0.3% of the total token supply, which can quickly scale as the number of groups, users, and boosted servers increases.
Stake to Boost. Here, the premise is similar, but the user would lock the tokens up for a set period to unlock some right, privilege, or feature within the application. For example, a DAO that wants to use a particular tool feature (from, say, a feature market) would have to lock up tokens to get access to that feature.
Pay to Boost. Following on from the previous setup. If the Catalyze DAO decides to open Catalyze for user-generated plugins, some payment functionality via the governance tokens is required. In this case, a user or DAO would pay a third party from a plugin, and the Catalyze feature marketplace would take a transaction fee; that either goes into a future incentives fund.
Catalyze may require some combination of the above functions as a pricing system for in-app extras.
DAO Community Grants
The goal of Catalyze in the near term is to support the launch of multiple DAOs through the application. In turn, a portion of the Catalyze economy is allocated toward a grants program for developing DAOs; and using DAOs as a strategic vehicle for building the broader catalyze community. 10% of the Community Treasury allocated to grants for early DAO and community creation on Catalyze.
For example, Alice and Bob want to create the Decentralized Poetry Society; they apply for a grant through the Catalyze DAO creator tool. They get some initial support, with clear milestones and deliverables: including a payment structure for community size and free use of various DAO tooling. Using their network, they build up a community of members on the Catalyze application. Eventually, members contribute poems as NFTs; and there is a poetry publication model. Through Catalyze, they are introduced to Charlie’s Coding DAO, which supports them in creating their marketplace for Poetry self-publication on DFINITY. In turn, both projects attract users to the platform and into the broader ecosystem.
In summary, the goals are as follows:
- Create Win-Wins
- Create synergies between early communities.
- Support the overall growth of the broader DFINITY ecosystem.
- Use the DFINITY infrastructure to provide an open-permissionless environment for creators, builders, and the community.
- Manage the grants program through a DAO.
DAO Technology Grants
Technology has a fundamental role in protecting privacy, data, and democracy. Catalyze is a communications tool, and privacy of communication is an important consideration. In this regard, developing techniques and leveraging cryptography, using DFINITY’s architecture, will be an essential narrative within the application. This supports allocating the DAOs resources toward technology integration and privacy tooling within the Catalyze application.
At a high-level view, the ICP raise for the creation of the Catalyze DAO has the following parameters. Note (1): We are open to a lesser investment from the Community Fund (should the SNS raise come in at the lower end of the range) to preserve proper balance between CF investment and individual SNS token buyers. Note (2): Given current market conditions and SEC lawsuits, which could impact ICP directly, we have raised our ICP raise levels to reflect Token emissions and burning are highlighted below.
Token emissions and burning are highlighted below.
The neuron dissolve delay is 2 years: This is to assist the DAO in negotiating the first two years where the project is most vulnerable. Users whose tokens are staked with a longer dissolve delay receive an additional bonus voting multiplier.
SNS Token Reward Release Rates
The initial reward rate is set at 5% and the final reward rate is set at 1.5% the reward rate transitions quadratically according to the SNS rules to the final rate over a period of 5 years. Here the decline is slow and steady to just under two-thirds of the initial rate in order to have a gradual release of tokens.
For a detailed view of the SNS token sale dynamics, please see the spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rfEJ7HiQkw3RUsGMpREO3whoG4WBv32ofXDT-NwHP8c/ which was last updated on 01/06/2023
ICP Raise Allocation
Catalyze was initially developed with a decentralization roadmap in place, so that the app can serve an open ecosystem and be DAO governed. This goes back to its roots as WeACT which was focussed on supporting activist communities. That said, the operating company and developers have a fair way to go in order to complete the app’s feature suite and make it fully usable and marketable as a premier Web3 communication tool.
In order to achieve these goals; 25% of the ICP raised has been set aside for developer costs with a further 15% set aside for Swiss foundation launch/legal fees (Operations), marketing, and growth purposes. This serves application development, and drives growth both for Catalyze and DFINITY at large. The remaining 60% is allocated to the DAO treasury.
Catalyze will then be required to submit a detailed activity report and operations budget every quarter to the Catalyze DAO.
Use of funds for 1 year
The graph above represents the proposed distribution of funds for the first year.
The sole purpose of this white paper is to summarize the Catalyze platform, community, model, and value proposition. This white paper does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell shares or securities, nor is it an offer or solicitation to sell tokens. It does not constitute or form part of and should not be construed as any offer for sale or subscription of or any invitation to buy or subscribe for any securities or tokens nor should it or any part of it form the basis of or be relied upon in any connection with any contract or commitment whatsoever. Further, these materials are not for publication or distribution, directly or indirectly, in or into the
United States or its territories and possessions. All information herein is presented “as is,” without warranty of any kind, whether expressed or implied. The graphs, charts, and other visual aids are provided for informational purposes only. The information contained in this document may include or incorporate by reference forward-looking statements. No representations or warranties are made as to the accuracy of such forward-looking statements. When and if this white paper is updated, the very last version of the white paper will replace all previous versions