Cardstack The Experience of the decentralized Internet Review And CARD Token Analysis
Cardstack — the application framework and the team behind it — is ready to organize this community, in order to build an alternative app market with open-web technologies, guided by the open-source ethos and enabled by a one-in-a-generation breakthrough of blockchains.
The Cardstack Foundation is a non-profit foundation based in the Canton of Zug, Switzerland. Its goal is to promote and develop the Cardstack software, architecture, protocol, and applications. The Foundation can support and finance research and development activities that promote the Cardstack software, architecture, and protocol. It will be responsible for the planned fundraiser and ensure that the funds raised are budgeted and allocated to fulfill its founding charter.
- Act as steward for the continual development and improvement of the Cardstack software, architecture, and protocols
- Encourage the publishing of open-source code, data formats, and documentation within the Cardstack ecosystem
- Facilitate a well-functioning market that encourages adoption and usage of the Cardstack software, architecture, and protocols
- Develop and refine economic and statistical models, which guarantee a fair allocation of rewards to the participants of the Cardstack ecosystem
- Educate the world on the value of the Cardstack approach through advocacy, training, events, and all other means of communication
- Fund pioneering research initiatives that can unlock the potential of the ecosystem
- Support the Foundation’s continuous operation through direct or indirect contributions from users
- Design and implement cryptography-based trust models that reward good-faith actors and resist attacks from bad actors
- Foster an inclusive, welcoming community of contributors who believe in tolerance, respect, inclusion, and hard work
- Delegate the responsibilities to carry out the functions of the Foundation through the selection of competent agents around the world
Cardstack ICO Overview
The Cardstack ICO is offering contributors an opportunity to purchase CARD Tokens, the currency underlying a proposed decentralized software ecosystem. The Cardstack ecosystem is comprised of a comprehensive SDK for developers, community-run algorithms for miners and Cardstack Hub UI for end users.
Cardstack ICO Value Proposition
The Cardstack ICO proposes the creation of a decentralized software ecosystem to challenge the current paradigm dominated by tech giants. The three main issues Cardstack target are as follows:
- The “App Store standard” which turns software features into standalone native apps. These apps usually do not communicate with each other and require users to choose between numerous overlapping features to conduct their workflows.
- The management of multiple subscription services for cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) products, which creates an inconvenience for users.
- The lack of connectivity between different blockchain and decentralized apps (dApps), which is exacerbated by requiring users to manage the supply of separate utility tokens for each function within a given software stack.
The main value proposition of the Cardstack ICO is to breakdown the user experience of disparate software, cloud and blockchain silos which now exist on various levels of the digital world, allowing both developers and users to engage in customizable workflows.
To overcome these disparate app silos, Cardstack offers a new UI, deployed via the web or as a peer-to-peer app, which turns each service created by open-source developers into a “card”. Each card comprises a visual embodiment of key information, whereby users can then connect related cards for any type of workflow or utility they desire. These cards are the point of interaction between local services, cloud-based services and blockchain services all on one interface called Cardstack Hub.
Underlying the Cardstack ecosystem is the Cardstack Token (CARD), an Ethereum-based ERC20 token.
Each user must purchase Cardstack Tokens (CARD) to access every service in the software ecosystem. The CARDS are then converted into a stable currency called Software and Services Coupons (SSC), which are then sent to an app contract to establish a retainer agreement. The CARD tokens are then locked inside a reward pool until the reward allocation cycle is initiated, triggered by a block-based timer.
When a user uses an app, both on and offchain data are collected and reported to the app contract, signaling the user has redeemed a portion of the balance contained in the retainer (SSC). This aggregated history of redemption events is the basis on which the network-wide reward pool smart contract determines an attribution and allocation of rewards to makers and miners within the ecosystem.
The purpose of this token economic structure is to cover costs as well as fees and royalties owed to the teams who contribute to building apps and services on the platform.
There is currently a very active and publicly accessible github repo that is open sourced and available for contribution. Complete blockchain development/testing for the platform is planned to occur after the ICO, and the public release is planned to be occur in 2018 (see Roadmap).
There is appeal to the Cardstack product, given the increasing demand for cross-chain capable software development. The potential / target user-base will grow with the adoption of cryptocurrency in the general population. There is currently a some normal competition in the cross-chain technology sector, and blockchain competition will stiffen over time as adoption continues.
Competitors: Dogeethereum, Litecoin, Polkadot, Blockchain Router, Metronome
Use of Blockchain
The project’s contribution to blockchain development is in creating an open source consensus protocol that allows for decentralized application creation with cross chain communication capabilites. There is a disruptive advantage as the platform is aimed at connecting many different blockchains via cross-chain technology. There is need for a custom token, which allows for pricing and settlements as well as interaction on the platform, due to the independent consensus protocol and open-source development, which also provide some contribution to the blockchain ecosystem.
Cardstack ICO Team
The Cardstack Team comprises many open source contributors. Check out the full list of contributors here.
Heading the development of Cardstack is Christopher Tse. Christopher holds a BSc in Computer Science from Columbia University and is the Co-Founder of Monegraph and dotBlockchain Media. He has also served as Senior Director of Innovation at Businessweek.
Ed Faulkner is the Lead Developer at Cardstack. He holds a Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. He has founded three of his own tech ventures of which all are currently operational.
Hassan Abdel-Rahman is the Lead Blockchain Developer for Cardstack. He holds a BSc in Computer Science and Mathematics from Colorado School of Mines. Previous roles include over 2 years as Senior Software Designer at Monegraph and Principal Engineer at McGraw-Hill Education.
Cardstack ICO Strengths and Opportunities
One of the most important features Cardstack will deploy is an entry channel payment system that does not require users to purchase cryptocurrency from an exchange. Users can simply pay with fiat, such as a credit card, to purchase CARD tokens directly on the platform, bypassing the need for any prior familiarity with crypto.
Once users purchase CARD tokens, they are stored on a native wallet accessible from the Cardstack Hub. CARD tokens held in the native wallet are then used to purchase SSCs for every app and service they users with to access. To make any project appealing to the mass consumer market, this type of simplified entry into the cryptospace is a necessity.
Cardstack have made some progress on the development front. The code for over 30 initial modules on the Cardstack platform has been made available via their Github. Also, the Solidity code for the Scalable Payment Pool has already been open-sourced. The Scalability Payment Pool is one of the core back-end mechanisms of the platform that issues rewards to developers for their work. In addition to this, the code for another central feature of Cardstack, the upgradable smart contract, has been made available along with an explanation of its significance.
Cardstack ICO Weaknesses and Threats
The Cardstack whitepaper makes a number of claims regarding both user and developer experiences that are based on faulty premises. From the user perspective, the whitepaper points to the sequence needed to implement and use a native app on a device (searching, downloading, launching) as a major barrier to new app adoption. This is a fairly bold premise to build a product without any research which supports this claim.
The whitepaper also states that the old business model of paying to use apps up front does not exist anymore. This is correct. Users don’t normally pay for their initial download of an app because there is a new economic model that facilitates mass adoption while still providing a profit- community editions/freemium.
Open-source projects work, both practically and financially, for a reason; they generate income in multiple ways. The freemium model allows latitude for users who are not sure to what extent they will use an app, if at all.
A second premise for which we see little supporting evidence is the management and payment of multiple app subscriptions. Users who find themselves managing multiple payments for different subscriptions already have services such as Apple Pay at their disposal to fill this need.
As a platform that aims for mass consumer adoption, Cardstack rests heavily on the assumption that there is a need amongst consumers for a radical break from the current paradigm; that we as users are fed up with using different apps and managing our subscription services via the supposedly limited options which are available.
By consolidating every single app, service and blockchain into one platform, Cardstack is essentially offering a “container” to hold all these things in one place. From this perspective, the value proposition of the platform becomes redundant. We already have containers for all of our apps, services and blockchains- they are called computers and mobile phones. We simply don’t see a demand from consumers to build an additional layer into their user experience.