Catalyst SITREP #3 

 September 4, 2021

By  Emmitt Luhning

Welcome to another Catalyst situational report! Some time has passed, and with it, many new features, and goals. These last months have been a whirlwind of discussion, rapid development, and excitement for us, and we are consistently grateful to be creating this project within and for the NEAR ecosystem. Here, I’ll outline what we’ve been up to in the last few weeks, and then tease some of what is in the pipeline. 


An exciting new feature introduced to Catalyst was the addition of milestones to funding commitment proposals. These function as markers on the way to project completion, and the intention behind this functionality can be divided into three major benefits:

  • Breaks a project into manageable chunks. This keeps users from getting overwhelmed and helps improve the rate of project completion
  • Provides a quantifiable metric to measure project progress
  • Allows funds to be disbursed (via payout proposals) in smaller chunks over time, rather than only upon completion.

This new functionality manifests itself in new fields available for the addition of milestones in the ‘Edit Proposal’ page for funding commitment proposals. Now, funding commitment proposals require the creator specify a series of milestones (or just one) with individual rewards that sum to the total funding requested.

With this new feature, we have also introduced the ability to easily generate payout proposals by clicking the appropriate milestone. Referencing funding commitments, and more specifically the milestones within, will make it easier for users to justify their requested payouts, and for community members to verify them.

Opportunity Features

In the last Catalyst SITREP we introduced the concept of opportunity proposals, which allow communities to submit opportunities users can apply to complete and receive compensation in NEAR for their work.  We have continued expanding opportunities in the time since, with two major developments being the introduction of budgets and deadlines.

Deadlines: The deadline field is exactly what it sounds like, a date set by the opportunity creator beyond which application is prohibited. We introduced an easy-to-use field in the ‘Edit Opportunity’ section for deadline specification, as well as a count down on the opportunity card itself to ensure deadlines are obvious and unambiguous.

These deadlines are automatically enforced by Catalyst, and once set, require no oversight from the creator of the opportunity unless they wish to change it.

Budgets: The introduction of a budgets field was necessary to prevent users from applying for work in instances where the community had no means (or desire) to compensate them.

Opportunity creators can now set a budget, which is deducted each time a user applies to complete the opportunity, and restored should that application be rejected. This system automatically ensures the budget is never exceeded, even in the event that applications are submitted simultaneously.


We want to encourage discussion on Catalyst, and to this end we have introduced a new feature: signaling. Prior to the voting process, proposals now have a set of three indicators allowing users to easily mark their support for a specific proposal. This lets community members better gage the overall community support for a proposal before deciding whether it should be sponsored for voting.

Signals representing controversy, that is to say, many positive and negative signals alike may indicate that a proposal requires further discussion. It is ultimately up to community members to decide how they wish to weigh these signals in their decision-making process, but these indicators simply introduce a new metric by which members might inform their decisions.

Dashboard Updates

We have also recently updated the look of the dashboard. Now, your communities are accessible directly on the dashboard. Opportunities have therefore been moved -- along with their new budget and deadline information -- to a table at the bottom of the page, sorted by suitability.

New Documentation

Another recent focus for us has been the creation of some much-needed documentation to help introduce users to Catalyst, and how to get the most from the platform. Primarily this includes a new set of documentation on Vital Point AI Here, which is still being updated and refined.

To this end, we have also introduced a walk through for new users to better introduce them to the features of the application. This walk-through highlights Catalyst’s most vital components, and where to find them.

The Move to MainNet

Perhaps the most exciting development is our march towards MainNet. In the last week, we officially moved onto Ceramic’s MainNet, and after some contract verification and testing we will be making the move to NEAR’s MainNet.

Moving Forward

Besides doing everything we can to make the move to MainNet as quick and seamless as possible, we are currently working on expanding our features as usual.  Currently we are focusing on roles and reputation, as well as our discussion functionality, along with much more in the planning stage. Specifically, we have been discussing the introduction of alternative governance methodologies, and staking for community funds within Catalyst. 

Want to Get Involved?

At some point (and that point is getting closer), getting involved with Catalyst will mean using Catalyst itself - where proposals will be submitted, discussed, sponsored and managed through NEAR based smart contracts in a more open web manner.  We'll be transitioning management of project development to the Catalyst platform as soon as we can - both as a means of ongoing testing as well as pushing development forward.

Until then though, we're forced to use the tools at our disposal.  We manage the project through a Github project board and provide the development opportunities as bounty labelled issues - both of which you can always find in the resources section of Catalyst headquarters.

We'd also encourage you to join the Vital Point AI Discord server where there is a channel devoted to Catalyst development (as well as other projects in the pipeline).  We monitor it and aim to provide timely follow-up on any questions or to provide clarifications/announcements.

In Summary

We are extremely eager to get communities on Catalyst, and using all of these new features as soon as possible. In the meantime, we are committed to making Catalyst extraordinary and will continue development and discussion of improvements, and new functionality.

We have introduced a waitlist for projects that are interested in using Catalyst upon launch, accessible on the landing page Here. Sign up to know when we launch, and receive updates. For any other questions, please feel free to contact us, or comment below.

Until next time,


Emmitt Luhning

Hey! My name is Emmitt and I'm the Community Integration Engineer for Catalyst. a project of VitalPoint AI. I'm also a student of Software Engineering here in Canada, and a major fan of decentralization. I help explore new use cases, onboard users, develop new features, and create educational content for Catalyst. @davantzis <- Twitter

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