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dcSpark Catalyst Fund 10 Grant Proposals

· 25 min read

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Time has come for Catalyst fund 10, and with it a new set of dcSpark proposals to unlock the next wave of innovation for the Cardano ecosystem by building new core infrastructure we think is both unique and will help pave a path for future success of the Cardano ecosystem.

dcSpark has been one of the most reliable companies for completing Catalyst grant proposals. Despite dcSpark only account for only about 1% of all proposals, we represent about 5~10% of all completed proposals - demonstrating our ability to deliver on our promises

True to our goal of being ecosystem builders, we have contributed to many things from core infrastructure, sidechains, open-source smart contracts, specifications and user-facing products. This time, however, we've decided to put all our efforts into autonomous worlds, onchain gaming and gamification

Notably, we believe that through Paima Engine, we have the ability to build the most competitive platform in all of crypto and be the global leader in one of the fastest growing segments in Web3.

However, if you've looked more into Paima (such as in our Youtube explained), you'll notice that although Paima is building in the Cardano ecosystem, that the technology can (and inevitably will) be used on different chains as well. We're big believers in aligning incentives, and so we want to make sure that the success of Paima also means the success of everybody who has supported the team on the journey.

To explain how we plan to align incentives, first we have to talk about the business model of Paima: it is similar to a game engine. That is to say, it's free to use, but using Paima for commercial purposes and crossing a revenue threshold means you have to pay. The long-term goal is to DAOify Paima in the future. Although the exact fee system may change over time, our proposal is to give a discount to any project using Paima to deploy their app in the Cardano ecosystem. That is to say, if for example you have to pay a 7% royalty for revenue crossing the threshold when deploying your game to Ethereum, you would only (for example) have to pay 3.5% when deploying in the Cardano ecosystem. To put it more formally, Paima will reduce any costs for projects deploying in Cardano up to 50% pro-rated depending on how many of our proposals pass. If 100% of our proposals pass, the reduction will be 50%. If only ½ of our proposals pass, the reduction will only be 25%.

We believe this system will strongly align the two ecosystems together. It allows us to very easily pitch Cardano as the best ecosystem for projects planning to use Paima, not just thanks to the lower royalty costs, but also thanks to the fact that Paima will support Cardano NFTs which are generally much safer to work with than ERC721 tokens while being secured by one of the most decentralized blockchains. We hope you're as excited about the potential of Autonomous Worlds and Paima as we are, and look forward to building a strong ecosystem, together.

Proposal ranking

We have many proposals and of course we really appreciate those who support all of them. However, if you want to read or support part of our proposals, we have split them up into four categories to help you prioritize:

  1. Core: proposals that we believe are core to the success of Paima
  2. Extended: proposals that makes it easier to onboard people and companies to Paima
  3. Supplement: proposals that help Paima if they pass, but are not proposals we will actively market
  4. Partner: proposals that are not made by dcSpark, but by our partners (these will not count towards the discount mentioned above)

How to quickly vote on all proposals

Unfortunately, the Catalyst app search feature is not very good. Here is an easy way to find and vote for all our proposals:

  1. Search 「Sebastien Guillemot」and vote for all proposals (this will get you almost all our proposals)

Once you start voting, do NOT press "continue voting". Instead, press "X" and continue to the next proposal using the arrow

  1. Search 「Stateful NFT」
  2. Search 「Open Source POAP」(first result)
  3. Search 「Largest Blockchain EXPO」
  4. Search 「Thiago Nunes」and select the NFC proposal


Proposals that we believe are core to the success of Paima

Core integrations to support the fast-growing onchain games and autonomous world segment

Cost: ~130K USD

Proposal summary
This proposal is the combination of thee separate tasks
  • Shinkai Visor AI LLM to allow onchain games to leverage decentralized AI components - 40k link
  • Virtual Wallets so users don't need a crypto wallet installed to play, and potentially just play with something like Apple FaceID - 60k link
  • Social login for Paima (Google login, Microsoft account, etc.) - 30k link

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Allow using NFTs from Cardano and other ecosystem in onchain games hosted in the Cardano ecosystem

Cost: ~145K USD

Proposal summary
This proposal is composed of 3 different components to be able to reference 3 different kinds of NFTs from Paima:

Paima Projection NFTs - 145k

  • Paima Projection NFT Whirlpool continued work for Cardano 75k link
  • Paima Projection NFT Whirlpool for EVM 40k link
  • Paima Projection NFT Whirlpool for Polkadot WASM NFTs 30k link

Each proposal increases the viability of Paima by allowing games deployed to the Cardano ecosystem to leverage the liquidity of an increasing number of NFT ecosystems, as well as allow Cardano NFTs to be used in games hosted in other ecosystems

You can see the individual proposals for more details, but generally if you want to learn about the architecture for this system at a deeper technical level, we’ve written an Aiken smart contract for Cardano which has extensive documentation that you can find [here](

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Enable use-cases that require frequent message signing by introducing a safe standard for message signing without wallet prompts

Cost: ~40K USD

Proposal summary
There has been a lot of growth in use-cases that require frequent message signing in the crypto ecosystem - primarily driven by NFTs and gaming. However, a lot of users lose interest when they realize how tedious it will be to accept the prompt by their wallet every time they have to sign a message

As the authors of original Cardano message signing spec (CIP8:, we are very familiar with the cryptography involved in message signing. We are planning to release a layer on top of this message signing system to more easily allow wallets to auto-sign messages in cases where it knows it is safe to do so. Although we will create a more formal specification, you can find the initial approaches discussed in the following document: link

Notably, a lot of the power of this proposal will rely on Paima Engine - a framework for creating web3 games, as it supports playing games using only standard message signing (no real transaction required). That means that if we have a safe and smooth flow for message signing, we can unlock a significantly better gaming experience.

Notably, the project consisted of the steps:

  1. Create a specification for this message signing system
  2. Integrate it into at least one wallet

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Paima onchain game integration of Frontend Game Engines & Novel Technology

Cost: ~160K USD

Proposal summary

Currently there are integrations of Cardano wallets (through Paima) into multiple systems engines like:

  • Unity
  • Phaser
  • Game Maker
  • Javascript
  • LLM AI models

Some of these integrations can be found here

However, we plan to add integrations to the following systems as well:

  • Unreal Engine
  • GPS connections
  • iOS and Android
  • AR device if possible (like Vision Pro)

Since new engines occasionally appear, we will monitor the space to other opportunities as well and reserve the right to change our mind about which engine/platform we prioritize spending funds on to maximize impact

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Enable apps and games that require large amounts of data to function cheaply while still maximizing availability and safety

Cost: ~60K USD

Proposal summary
Currently, many growing fields in the blockchain space sometimes require kilobytes of data per transaction to work. Notably, zk cryptography, L2s and web3 gaming

Since these L2s and web3 gaming are both fairly high-frequency use-cases (transactions happen often), solutions like IPFS are not well equipped to store and pin all the different files. A common solution to this is to use a “Data Availability Layer” (DA Layer) such as Celestia or Avail that is optimized for these kinds of use-cases. However, using a DA Layer comes with a disadvantage because you have to trust the DA layer to function properly, and is generally more expensive and slower than posting the data directly to the underlying L1

To tackle this problem in Paima, we propose allowing games and apps using Paima to use “Volitions”, which try to get the best of both worlds. They allow users to choose in which case they post their data directly on the L1, and in which case they post their data on the DA Layer. This allows clients to optimize for the best experience

Notably, we plan to integrate Avail Project ( first as we believe they have the highest synergy with the Cardano ecosystem: they are based on Polkadot (whose underlying consensus is inspired by Ouroboros), and they have invested in a research-based approach working with new primitives like Coded Merkel Trees (link) to make their technology competitive

Notably, the plan for integration will have the following steps:

  • Enable Paima to follow both the settlement layer and the DA light client at the same time
  • Allow a way for clients to choose whether or not data gets posted to the settlement layer or the DA layer
  • Allow merging L1 and DA layer data into a single stream for Paima apps to handle

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Enable apps and games built in the Cardano ecosystem to leverage ZK cryptography for privacy and scalability

Cost: ~100K USD

Proposal summary
Currently many companies are looking into blockchain adoption for use-cases like commemorative NFTs point systems, DID, traceability and more. However, all of these require private data to avoid GDPR violations, which make them hard to manage with open systems like blockchains. Similarly, a lot of decentralized games are interested in similar concepts as they allow building games with information asymmetry like fog-of-war which is an important game mechanic. Additionally, the verifiability of ZK proofs also means that these could eventually be used to cheaply implement DeFi-focused components to games written with Paima (things that resemble casinos)

Currently there is no good way to build these use-cases in the Cardano ecosystem, but fortunately Paima Engine (a framework for creating web3 apps and games) has a fairly clear path to adding these primitives. Notably, as a L2 solution, it has a lot more flexibility in adding new cryptographic primitives which are always hard to add directly to the Cardano L1

Paima Engine allows writing onchain apps with Javascript, making them fairly easy to write for all developers. For the ZK circuit component, we’ve decided to partner with ZekoLabs. The reason is because they also allow writing ZK circuits in Javascript (so it feels like a unified experience for developers), and their system is based on Mina which is also compatible with Ouroboros and so it is a friendly project towards the Cardano community

Notably, the plan for integration will have the following steps:

  • Allow running ZK proofs locally and associating their results to Stateful NFTs.
  • Allow monitoring ZK appchains and merging their state into a Paima app

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Support Stateful NFTs (dynamic NFTs) for gaming in NFT marketplaces

Cost: ~100K USD

Proposal summary
Stateful NFTs can be really complex. For example, the image for your NFT could be the result of a complex aggregation of multiple events on chain and heavy computation. This means that building a NFT marketplace that renders all Stateful NFTs perfectly is a hard problem

Instead, our goal will be to create a system so that games and apps can easily and cheaply setup app-specific NFT marketplaces that render their NFTs as desired. To avoid this having a negative impact on the liquidity of the NFT, we will build it in such a way that using this system means your NFT can still appear on other NFT marketplace (albeit maybe without being able to render the information in the NFT in as rich of a way)

We also want to build a browser extension that helps render Stateful NFT information on existing marketplaces so that users can still get the full stateful information without having to resort to hunt down a lot of app-specific marketplaces

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link


Proposals that makes it easier to onboard people and companies to Paima

Open Source POAP in Cardano

Cost: ~80K USD

Proposal summary
Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP) is a protocol that uses blockchain technology to create badges or collectibles to mark the attendance at an event. It is proven to be of great adoption in the majority of the EVM compatible blockchains, with more than 6.5M POAPs already minted. Believe it or not, this is only 2M less than the ENTIRE NFT ecosystem in Cardano!

More concretely, users would receive a single Stateful Proof of Attendance NFT (SPOAP NFT) that starts out blank, and every time they participate in an event, they would get a new commemorative NFT embedded inside their SPoA. If they've ever received a single SPoA in their entire lifetime, event organizers will not have to mint them a new one which means the more users participate in the protocol, the cheaper it will get to distribute NFTs.

Additionally, to enable building soulbound NFTs, these NFTs will be minted on Milkomeda (Cardano sidechain). This has the added benefit that transaction fees are also significantly cheaper than the Cardano L1, allowing for much larger and more regular drops and also bypasses the min UTxO issue. Thanks to the Milkomeda's work on wrapped smart contracts, it's still possible for Cardano users to fully control their SPoA directly from any Cardano wallet (Nami/Eternl/Flint/etc) and will not require any new wallets to be installed for neither event organizers nor regular participants

If you like this proposal, you may also be interested in this proposal that is another approach to tackling this problem by some of the same partners as our POAP proposal.

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Extend NFT sale & drop tools to support dropping more complex assets as required for onchain games

Cost: ~115K USD

Proposal summary
If we look at funding platforms like Kickstarter, there are often multiple tiers to each preorder with (often overlapping) rewards. Trying to handle all this complexity at the NFT sale tool level is not only extremely complicated, it often introduces regulatory issues as most NFT sale platforms do not support purchasing fungible tokens for regulatory reasons.

To solve this, we will leverage Stateful NFTs created by Paima Engine. Notably, Stateful NFTs are NFTs that can evolve overtime based on user actions. We will use this to allow purchasing into preorders to receive a Stateful NFT which can later be redeemed in-game once the game is launched. This allows very flexible pre-order systems as the redemption logic and tokens do not have to be created at the time of sale (similar to Kickstarter)

Notably, the user flow will look at follows:

  • User finds a game doing a pre-order on an NFT platform that they want to participate in
  • They pay with ADA (or any other tokens the site supports) to buy into the pre-order, which uses Milkomeda wrapped smart contracts to credit them a Stateful NFT
  • (optional) if they choose to add more money into the pre-order, their existing Stateful NFT will be updated
  • Once the sale is over, use their Stateful NFT to claim their in-game reward once the game is release

We may work with Plutus Art for the first implementation, but we reserve the right to change partners depending on factors such as their availability

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Open standard for cross-game achievement system to gamify onchain participation

Cost: ~75K USD

Proposal summary
The goal of an open standard for cross-game achievements should be that any website or app can choose to support the achievement system without having to rely on any central server, as opposed to existing achievement systems that are depend on a central party like XBox Live or PlayStation

To create an open cross-chain achievement standard we have a few requirements:

  • Achievements for a game can have in-game effects (ex: a game can unlock an in-game area if you have 5+ achievements unlocked). However, achievements in one game need not be accessible from another
  • Services need to be able to efficiently read all achievements for a user’s account across games without having to rely on a centralized server
  • Companies can self-specify achievements for their game without having to register with a central server

The main implementer of this system will be Paima Engine - a framework for creating onchain games and autonomous worlds.

Notably, it will work by:

  • Defining a standard interface for client indexers written for Paima that games need to implement
  • The achievement website will scan all games written with Paima using the RPC standard to find the static data about which achievements are available in the game and which stateful NFTs are used for the game
  • The achievement website will scan the user’s wallet for all addresses they own, and check if they own any NFT related to any Paima games. If so, it will query the games through the RPC standard to find which achievements they’ve unlocked and display them

To bring this to life, we will implement this standard, create an example achievement website that leverages it, and implement it into 3 games (Jungle Wars, Wrath of the Jungle, Tarochi)

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Allow Cardano users to call Sidechain smart contracts directly from their Cardano mainnet wallet

Cost: ~100K USD

Proposal summary
Sidechains have always been part of Cardano’s scaling model, with some sidechains already existing like Milkomeda (EVM sidechain) and more planned. Additionally, L2s are increasing in popularity in other ecosystems and Cardano as well through Paima, which also help scale and add flexibility to the ecosystem.

However, it’s hard to get adoption for new sidechains or L2s if users have to download a new specific wallet for every sidechain and L2 they interact with. Having wallet developers do native integrations also just does not scale (only 24hrs in a day and they probably have other Cardano features they want to focus on).

To tackle this, we’ve developed a system called Wrapped Smart Contracts that allows users to call Milkomeda smart contracts directly from Cardano wallets (Nami, Eternl, Flint and more) without any extra work on behalf of the wallet developers.

You can find more information at

The project is (at time of writing) undergoing final integration by partner dApps before officially going live.

Notably, the project consisted of the steps:

  • Writing the specifications
  • Integrating the system inside the EVM itself on Milkomeda (precompiles)
  • Integrating the systems inside the Milkomeda bridge
  • Coordinate a hardfork of Milkomeda to introduce these upgrades
  • Having partners integrate Wrapped Smart Contracts into their dApps

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

MLabs – Cardano Game Engine Wallet - Godot Integration

Cost: ~115K USD

Proposal summary
Godot is an engine, with the following benefits:
  • It is open-source, which greatly simplifies the work needed to quickly get wallet support up and running
  • Godot is quickly gaining significant adoption, particularly among indie developers (who, we believe, are the most likely to develop innovative blockchain integrations and experiment with new designs and revenue models)
  • There are no licensing requirements or fees attached to its usage - which makes it attractive even to large game studios. (We note that Godot has recently been used by a major studio to develop a Sonic game, which demonstrates that it is suitable for both small-scale and large-scale development)
  • Supports a robust system for extending the core engine (GDExtension), which promises to make the development of Cardano integration tools relatively painless.

We plan to provide an easy way to integrate Cardano wallets into games written with Godot, as well as Paima integration in general

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Powering onchain game functionality using Cardano stakepools

Cost: ~200K USD

Proposal summary
Currently there is a high inherent financial incentive for high monitoring of DeFi-related applications and so there is a relatively easy path to decentralize the infrastructure related to dApp operation.

For gaming, autonomous world and metaverse applications however, even if the infrastructure is made to be decentralizable, it’s hard to convince others to run the infrastructure as it is purely a selfless act for the greater good. To tackle this, we want to enable Cardano stake pools to be able to run infrastructure for onchain games and, through a connection to the Cardano L1, be able to know which player is delegating to their pool and support them by, for example, reducing or covering entirely the transaction fees for their in-game actions

An interesting point of this proposal is that this infrastructure would not only allow Cardano stake pool to provide this kind of benefit to users playing games written with Paima in the Cardano ecosystem, but more generally would be able to provide these kinds of services for users across the crypto landscape, giving non-Cardano projects an easy path to leverage Cardano infrastructure to secure their game as well as introducing non-Cardano users to the Cardano ecosystem in case they want to purchase and delegate ADA to take advantage of benefits

Notably, the plan for integration will have the following steps:

  • Create an indexer using Scrolls or Carp to get pool information in the right format needed for Paima
  • Provide better customizability of the Paima infrastructure (notably the batcher system) so that pools can easily modify its configuration to choose which benefits they want to provide without having to know how to code
  • Integrate the indexer built in step (1) into the customization system from step (2) so that pools can lookup who is delegating to them to activate the benefits
  • Add a way for stake pools to register themselves for games so that users know they can leverage their infrastructure either through a registry infrastructure or an on-chain registration

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Provide multiple templates on how to write apps and games for the Cardano ecosystem using Paima

Cost: ~100K USD

Proposal summary

Paima Engine is a framework for building gamification and gaming use-cases for blockchains. It already comes with multiple templates such as board games, onchain ai, card games, rpg game and more that can be found here

We want to build even more templates, especially around gamification use-cases such as

  • Point systems where users gain points for real-life actions (such as purchasing a drink)
  • Traceability where the state of an object updates
  • Games & apps of different genre

We do not commit to any specific template as there is quite a lot to pick from, and we want to avoid committing to specific templates that others may have already built by the time Catalyst ends.

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link


Proposals that help Paima if they pass, but are not proposals we will actively market

Shinkai Visor Cardano Indexer integration (vector DB)

Cost: ~40K USD

Proposal summary

We will create a specialized connector to integrate with Shinkai Visor, a tool developed to interact with websites and other applications. This connector will be able to leverage Cardano's data and convert it into vector embeddings that can be used by Large Language Models (LLMs) to perform effective querying. The connector will be able to process data about transactions, DEX prices, and other valuable information present on the Cardano blockchain.

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Exhibit Largest Blockchain EXPO(JP):Cardano is hardly recognized in Japan. Therefore, we will exhibit at one of the largest trade shows to raise awareness and encourage developers to enter the market.

Cost: ~95K USD

Proposal summary

Japan has come to be a leader in Web3 during the bear market with the Japanese government promoting Web3 adoption. We have been extremely active in Japan attending many events with booths and speakers. This proposal will help continue to fund and scale these activities

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Unlocking a Multi-million Dollar NFC/NFT Authentication Market for the Cardano Ecosystem with Open-Source

Cost: Paima will receive ~30K USD of a this larger proposal by another project

Proposal summary

We’ll create an open-source proof-of-concept application, a mobile SDK to communicate and generate an NFC hardware wallet and validate NFT ownership with the wallet created for both Cardano as well as Paima in general

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link


proposals that are not made by dcSpark, but by our partners (these will not count towards the discount mentioned above)

Djed Osiris Stablecoin on Cardano's EVM Sidechain Milkomeda

Cost: ~67K USD

Proposal summary

Relation to dcSpark: this is a proposal that is being built on Milkomeda (EVM layer for Cardano) where dcSpark is a core contributor. The dcSpark team were some of the initial contributors to SigmaUSD (the precursor to Djed), and Djed has been a pioneer in Milkomeda functionality by being an early adopter of new technologies like wrapped smart contracts.

This implementation of a stablecoin protocol on Milkomeda is based on the Osiris version of Djed, which improves the Minimal version by allowing the sale of reservecoins even when the reserve ratio is below the minimum threshold, provided that stablecoins are simultaneously sold in a proportion that increases the reserve ratio. This makes it easier for the reserve ratio to recover and for the peg in secondary markets to be restored even in situations where the demand for stablecoins is high and the demand for reservecoins is low following a price shock (a situation that is currently affecting SigmaUSD and COTI's Djed, making them trade above the peg at secondary markets). This version also introduces maximum transaction limits, in order to reduce the wholesale discount effect described in the paper.

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Treasure Chain

Cost: ~68K USD

Proposal summary

Relation to Paima: Treasure Chain will be utilizing Paima for part of their project, including the Godot integration Catalyst proposal you can find above

Treasure Chain is a different kind of game that combines these three things.

  1. It is an NFT Art network where users keep NFT artworks called Tiles in a Deck, and can arrange them on a Map however they like. When minting an NFT using the platform, users can assign rules (called Linkages) about where it can sit on the map, what art can be contained within other art, and what art it can combine with to form new art.
  2. These Linkages are modular and can be combined in different ways. They can form a sort of neural network of art where artists can create games and collaborative worlds together.
  3. All transactions are done in crypto so users can profit from their creations and contributions. It is part game engine, part social media platform. Instead of relying on one specific art style for a game to receive mass adoption, since all artwork is user-created, players can collect and interact with only artwork they enjoy.

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

Open source Marketplace “Opensea-like” for MIlkomeda usecases and Seedstars Galaxy

Cost: ~87K USD

Proposal summary

Relation to Paima: Smart Chain plans to use Paima for their application

Seedstars is conceptualizing its first impact NFT, the Seedstars NFT provides impact contributors with an opportunity to support the impact of early-stage tech companies selected and backed by trustable VC funds. Essentially the NFTs would regroup the impact certificates and backing rights for startups in a given sector (e.g. climate, education, financial inclusion, etc). Seedstars NFT owners would own the proof of the impact, computed via an impact multiple of money formula, and thereby witness not only their backing but also the evolution of the impact they’re contributing to.

Ideascale: link
Lidonation: link

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