The movement pushing for a decentralized internet just got a boost as the much anticipated blockchain-based orchestration platform Cardstack completed its successful token generation event (TGE) for its CARD tokens. The venture successfully reached its planned cap of $35 million.
The sale was held in separate phases. Tokens were first offered to strategic contributors and pre-allocation participants. This was then followed up by the public crowd sale. Contributions to the crowd sale were limited to $10,000 per participant to allow equitable access to the token supply. Contributors also had to go through a stringent know-your-customer (KYC) and whitelisting process to ensure that only legitimate entities participated.
The funding allows the Cardstack Foundation to pursue its planned development milestones for the platform.
Chris Tse discussed Cardstack’s vision, post the successful TGE
The Problem with Centralization
As a venture, Cardstack seeks to solve issues brought about by the widespread centralization of the internet. Most of people’s digital activities are influenced by the tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook as these companies have control over almost all aspects of computing these days.
These companies unilaterally dictate the terms and conditions that govern users for the use of their services. They also exert control over the data that are generated and shared over their respective platforms. The controversies that involve alleged misuse and abuse of user information has prompted users to consider alternatives.
Centralization also creates a disjointed user experience. Apps and services that come from competing developers often lack interoperability. It’s common for users to have to use different applications and manage multiple accounts in order to create the workflow that they need. Switching contexts from one app to another is cumbersome and inefficient.
Cardstack is set to revolutionize the experience layer of the internet by breaking down the app silos created by these big companies. It promotes a more open and decentralized internet.
Through Cardstack, users will be able to create personalized user experiences. The platform visualizes the functionalities typically provided by online apps and services from the different layers of the internet such as authentication, identity, chat, and payments into individual cards. Users can then “stack” these cards to formulate their own workflow.
Various dapps and services can also be linked together based on the conditions and rules set by users. This way, users only need to interact with Cardstack rather than having to manage and pay for multiple subscriptions or handle various crypto tokens. In addition, Cardstack will eventually deliver these functionalities as open source standards which users will be free to replicate and modify based on their own specific needs.
The framework also features its own scalable consensus protocol called Tally. Earlier consensus protocols like Bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW) protocol have been hampered by lack of scalability and high costs to run. Instead, Tally uses proof-of-usage messages that are processed off-chain before sending the final transaction to the on-chain smart contract. This method is more efficient than PoW and lowers the load on the blockchain.
Driving Cardstack’s economy is the Ethereum-based ERC20 CARD token. The token is designed to function not just as a cryptocurrency. It’s envisioned to power a sustainable ecosystem for Cardstack participants.
Users need to spend CARD to create smart contracts between the apps or dapps that they use. These tokens are then staked in a reward pool that incentivizes developers. Open-source developers contributing new functionalities and improvements on the platform are rewarded with CARD tokens.
Platform participants can also earn tokens by acting as miners. But unlike miners in the Bitcoin sense, Cardstack miners help validate transactions and calculate the rewards due to developers. This creates a fair ecosystem for all.
Towards a Decentralized Internet
Cardstack’s entry into the space comes as a welcome development for blockchain and decentralized apps (dapps). By improving on the user experience that blockchain and dapps could deliver, Cardstack may just yet be the catalyst that propels these technologies to the mainstream.
By becoming a viable alternative to mainstream apps and services, the platform could finally challenge the dominance of tech giants and bring about a more decentralized and democratic internet. More people could learn to appreciate the trust and user control that these technologies provide.
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