Development & Infrastructure

Development & Infrastructure category proposal

Category Title

Development & Infrastructure

Category question

What research, tools or software can improve the developer ecosystem or infrastructure to make it easier to build and scale on the Cardano blockchain?

Why is it important?

Developers need tools and software to more easily build and scale applications and integrations on the Cardano blockchain

How does success look like?

Innovation in tools, software or research that support how developers build applications or that help with improving Cardano infrastructure

Key Metrics to measure

Tracking success for this category will mean:

  • Increasing the number or quality of tools and software that improve areas such as running nodes for SPOs, Plutus development or native asset development.

  • Increasing the scalability of Cardano through the introduction of solutions that could in the form of research, layer 2 solutions or integrations of existing solutions.

  • Increase the number or quality of the standards, resources and research that make it easier for node operators and developers to understand the ecosystem and to improve the overall quality of the software being delivered across the ecosystem.

Individual success metrics are added for the different types of proposal in the category brief. These metrics provide suggestions for how different proposal types could be audited.

Category brief


Development & Infrastructure is focused on the following areas:

  • Creation and improvement of tools and software that help make it easier for projects to develop on Cardano and for the community to operate stake pool nodes in the network.

  • Research, analysis and creation of standards, resources or documentation that bring either novel innovation to the ecosystem or help with improving the education around what is available in the ecosystem for development or running infrastructure.

Why this category is important

The Cardano developer ecosystem and operation of stake pool nodes need to be easy for newcomers and budding talent to start learning and using.

To make it easy to develop projects on Cardano as well as operate the network there is a need for high quality resources, standards, tools, scripts, libraries and SDKs for developers and operators to use.

The higher quality and more thorough the developer ecosystem and infrastructure is for Cardano the faster that people can be onboarded and build out applications to a high quality and security standard.

Types of proposals to include

  • Node & SPO tools & software - Development tools, scripts, libraries and SDKs that helps the SPO community more easily start and run their Cardano nodes or other ecosystem infrastructure.

  • Plutus tools & software - Development tools, libraries and SDKs that helps developers more easily write and deploy smart contracts onto the Cardano blockchain.

  • Native asset tools & software - Development tools, libraries and SDKs to improve how the community and developers can issue and manage native assets.

  • Data oracles, indexers & explorers - Tools and software that integrate real world data into Cardano or that make existing Cardano data more easy to use and accessible

  • Scalability research & solutions - Rollups (e.g. zero knowledge rollups, optimistic rollups), sharding, state channels, zero knowledge proofs, side chains. This includes and tools or software for using Hydra heads.

  • Development operations tools & software - Any logging, monitoring, benchmarking, testing or debugging tools or software that helps developers.

  • Development & infrastructure education - An educational resources that will help more developers to easily build solutions on Cardano. Can include technical documentation and educational resources on how to use different tools, libraries or SDKs in the ecosystem.

  • Technical standards - Creation and improvement of standards used within the ecosystem that help to improve the overall quality of software deployed.

  • Blockchain interoperability - Research, software or any other useful initiatives that help increase the interoperability of Cardano with other blockchain systems

  • Research & development - Research and development on new novel approaches that could be used in the Cardano ecosystem. This could include areas such as security, scalability or interoperability.

  • Events - Any events or meet ups that are about any of the focus areas in this development and infrastructure category.

  • Hackathons - Hackathons aimed at helping improve the development and infrastructure tools, software and resources available in the ecosystem.

Potential success metrics for proposal types

  • Node & SPO tools & software - Amount of adoption from other projects, metrics around any scalability, security or cost improvements.

  • Plutus tools & software - Amount of adoption from other projects, metrics around any scalability, security or cost improvements.

  • Native asset tools & software - Amount of adoption from other projects, metrics around any scalability, security or cost improvements.

  • Data oracles, indexers & explorers - Amount of adoption, reliability or availability of new data sources or number of ways to interact with both blockchain and real world data.

  • Scalability research & solutions - Total transactions per second achievable, increases in transaction efficiency achieved, security guarantees achieved.

  • Development operations tools & software - Amount of adoption from other projects, average time saved for developers

  • Development & infrastructure education - Amount of people viewing resources, reduction in number of common questions for contributors due to better resources.

  • Technical standards - Increase in any security thresholds for new applications, Increases in performance achievable by applications.

  • Blockchain interoperability - Increase in number of chains or applications used between multiple chains, research papers completed, innovations in bridging technology or for any other areas of improvement.

  • Research & development - Number of projects utilising new novel approaches to development or node operation, number of new standards created due to research efforts.

  • Events - Number of locations covered, number of attendees, open feedback from attendees about the event.

  • Hackathons - Number of projects created, number of novel solutions, number of teams formed, number of projects initiated that continue after the hackathon.

Category guidelines

  • Open source - Any tools, libraries or SDKs are encouraged to be open source either from the start or as soon as possible. There is no requirement to be open source immediately however proposers should include the details of their plan towards open sourcing the project. Proposers should explain what makes their solution unique if existing open source solutions already exist for what they are proposing so that the impact and potential value to the community is clear.

  • Commercial projects - Commercial projects should support other builders in the ecosystem by making it easier for them to build solutions on Cardano. Solutions should improve the developer ecosystem around governance and identity. Commercial projects looking to target the end user should be submitted in the Products & Integrations category. Commercial projects are encouraged to make proposals in this category for development parts of their project that can be open sourced for the benefit of the builders across the ecosystem.

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