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Kraken recently announced it would let its users stake Ada on their account.

However, since Kraken owns this ADA, I understand this means it could have the voting power of all its users combined on platforms like Project Catalyst.

Are there safeguards that would prevent one party from accumulating too much voting power? Or is this a non-issue altogether?

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The current voting process is anonymous. It will be impossible to prevent any major ADA holders from influencing voting to favor a particular project proposal and take money from Treasury. However, robust safeguards are in place. These are as follows:-

  • The proposal goes through an open assessment process. Most probably, a pure money-draining proposal will get highlighted and will be assigned a lower rating.
  • Voting security has features very similar to the proof of stake therefore even for a major exchange, and it will be almost impossible to push through a wrong project.
  • Most importantly, Catalyst projects are the ones that are going to add value to Cardano. Therefore any major holder of Cardano will not be undermining Project Catalyst since it is only going to hurt his interest.

Like all features of Cardano, the catalyst process seems to be designed following "game theory". It is designed so that unless one is in self-harming mode and holds more than 50% of ADA in circulation, a successful proposal is not likely to be a pure scam. Will they be able to influence the outcome? Yes, they can and should in a positive way for their own good.

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Not at the moment, as the fund rounds are still small.

But in the very near future, in order to vote in Catalyst, you would have to freeze your funds for the period of voting. This will prevent larger regulated entities such as binance, eToro or Kraken to participate, as it is against their regulation to prevent customer's liquidity.

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I found another answer in this article about Cardano (from 2019). This paragraph in particular:

In Cardano, exchanges will get special enterprise exchange addresses that cannot participate in network consensus and governance. Although there is no technical way to enforce exchanges to use these, social pressure by the exchanges’ customers could push them to do so.

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