Cardstack is a decentralized software ecosystem that aims to revolutionize the way we use the internet by creating a new experience layer. Users are able to orchestrate their interactions with existing applications (apps) and decentralized applications (dApps) across the blockchain and cloud in an open source ecosystem that provides a cohesive user experience.
Cardstack aims to break down existing silos to ensure an open digital world where users can mix and match features from various apps or dApps without worrying about having disparate services, cloud subscriptions or utility tokens. Users are kept at the center of the ecosystem and control the services that flow through their software stack. The system enables users to personalize workflows joining services from different layers of the Internet to form a complete true application stack that bridges the gap between the blockchain and cloud that currently exists in a centralized world.
Cardstack Value Proposition
As consumers, we all manage various standalone native apps that do not communicate with each other today. Large corporations are able to put users of their services into silos, mine their data and extract the value they create for individual gain. The emergence of blockchain and decentralized technologies are disrupting the technical landscape but are yet to achieve complete mass market adoption. Cardstack wants to refocus the Internet around its users through an adaptable framework that breaks down existing data silos and replaces them with an open, digital world.
Cardstack will be a one-stop shop for users who will now be able to manage all of their services holistically as well as visualize all information together. Cardstack begins with an intuitive card-based user interface that lets users orchestrate their digital lives. The platforms configurable design provides information as mini encapsulated cards that can be actioned upon as shown below. Cards can be expanded, embedded, attached, chained, triggered, versioned, cloned, approved, rescinded and saved.
Card actions are user workflows that relay commands to the right data systems and listens to changes to build a consistent view of reality. A state of an application is turned into a card which is the visual embodiment of the key information. These cards are the primary unit of interaction between the users and competing services that sit in the cloud or blockchain.
The Cardstack ecosystem is governed by smart contracts powered by the ERC-20 compliant Cardstack Token (CARD). CARD is a utility and reward token designed for the fair exchange of value to create a sustainable marketplace where developers are rewarded fairly and users have software that adheres to their needs. When a user spends CARD, it forms smart contracts between the user and the app before being staked into a reward pool. Pooled CARD tokens are periodically distributed to the creators of apps based on anonymized usage data tracked by the smart contracts. Miners also participate in the Cardstack ecosystem as they help calculate the reward function of who gets paid out what. The users in the environment are detailed below:
- Users: Curate and combine perfect mixture of software services to fit their needs. Can also design new workflows by joining different services together across different layers of the internet
- Developers: Use the Cardstack comprehensive app framework Software Development Kit (SDK) to create card based blockchain apps. Everything is extensible and open-sourced, developers can build anything and can easily construct custom workflows using the Cardstack Hub which organizes data and value transfer across multiple blockchains and the cloud
- Analytic Miners: Help calculate the reward function of who gets paid out while also filtering spam and making the system fair and resilient. Analytic miners’ results compete in a proof-of-analytics to ensure the reward algorithms are never under a single party’s control
Cardstack employs a scalable consensus approach called Tally as seen above within the ecosystem that harnesses existing GPU mining power to perform complex calculations needed to scale up dApps. This has been utilized with future scalability in mind to facilitate large communities of users and allocates payments to a huge network of developers, cloud service providers and analytic miners proportionally. Tally uses cryptographic proof of usage messages that are efficiently validated and aggregated off-chain before reporting payment splits back to the smart contract on-chain. This dramatically improves the whole experience and reduces the demands on the Ethereum blockchain avoiding problems associated with blockchains like long wait times and rising costs.
Tally gives dApps the power to perform complex computations that digital superpowers use to organize large networks of users. Tally miners can take advantage of GPUs already in existence which means the hardware to run GPU optimized actions can be taken advantage of.
Cardstack Contributing Team and Roadmap
Since serial entrepreneur, Chris Tse created Cardstack in 2014 the number of open contributors has grown. Chris is the Co-Founder of Monegraph and dotBlockchain Media, whilst the lead developer Ed Faulkner founded LiquidFire. The rest of the contributing team all have diverse and varied experiences working across various Fortune 500 companies and amassing various academic accreditations. There is no mention of advisors working with the project outside of the companies assigned to legal and regulatory counsel.
The Cardstack roadmap can be found below:
Cardstack Token Generation Event (TGE)
During the TGE 40% of the total Cardstack tokens will be generated to the public. The tokens will be distributed through a series of batches to ensure fair allocation across the community. Details can be found below.
Name: Cardstack Token
Blockchain Platform: Ethereum (ERC20 Standard)
ICO Hard Cap: Approximately USD $35M
Soft Cap: Approximately USD $10M
Total Tokens: 6BN CARD
Available for Token Sale: 2.4BN CARD (40%)
Contribution Method: ETH
Maximum Token Distribution: 10BN CARD in 2028 (Additional 4BN CARD tokens distributed over 10 years to increase reward pools for software makers and analytics miners)
TGE Date: 2018 Q1 – Whitelist Pre-signup here
The Cardstack project has various benefits that impact its participants within the ecosystem as detailed below:
- Personalize decentralized apps and cloud apps within users ecosystem
- Create new workflow and app combinations using the Cardstack Hub
- Use CARD token to interact with all of the services within ecosystem
- Send data anywhere with the Cardstack card-based user experience
- No cryptocurrency experience required to use
- Earn CARD tokens that can be held or circulated back into the ecosystem
- Utilise a comprehensive SDK allowing the creation of apps in ecosystem
- Get paid fairly by the Cardstack community-run payment and governance algorithm
- Get reimbursed for material costs
The perceived weaknesses of the Cardstack project and its impact on participants within the ecosystem is detailed below:
- Computers and mobile phones exist today as the container to hold apps and services, is there enough of a consumer need to drive mass adoption
- Not clear how payments of multiple existing apps and subscriptions will work in the Cardstack model
- Lack of mass adoption will not provide rewards for app creations
- No advisors listed on the website, for such a complex and groundbreaking product would be reassuring to see established advisors from within the blockchain space
The Cardstack project focuses on an ambitious rethink of our relationship with the Internet and digital footprint by creating a user experience that gives people more power over their services. CryptoLingo sees real value in the Cardstack mission and finds their use of technology not only innovative and exciting but also disruptive to our existing use cases for the better. Unlocking the full potential of a decentralized Internet and generating mass adoption will be necessary for Cardstack to really challenge and disrupt the digital superpowers of today. We will be watching closely as they aim to reorient the Internet around users by creating an adaptable framework that promises to break down existing data silos and take us into the future of blockchain technology.