[Short general description]: Cardstack is the experience layer of the decentralized Internet. We believe that orchestrating cohesive user experiences across blockchain and the cloud is essential to bringing decentralization to the mass market.
[Main contribution proposal]:
1) For Makers:
Cardstack proposes a new economic model for funding and sustaining the software that runs the world. This model distributes rewards fairly among the creators of the software and the open-source communities supporting them. In this decentralized software market, a buyer of applications enters into a direct deal via smart contracts, which coordinate a diverse network of software development teams, cloud hosting providers, and app coin-backed protocols. The buyer offers to cover all the material costs of running the app, as long as the cost is directly linked to the usage. The buyer will also pay a royalty that is split between those who developed the software, as a reward for initially creating and continuously supporting all the components making up that particular application. In this arrangement, the application software can be considered economically sustainable, since every buyer covers his or her costs and the software does not deplete the limited resources (like venture capital or token sale proceeds). The software developers are rewarded through a reward pool, based on properly designed incentives that lead to improvements of the software over time.
2) For Users:
Their model is based on blockchain technology, which presents us with a rare opportunity: we can break down the silos of apps defining the tech world today, in order to produce a Cohesive User Experience (CUE), which establishes a flexible design paradigm that can orchestrate all the moving parts in the user’s digital life. With the fluidity of token-backed applications, we can move beyond the one-icon-per-app business arrangement of the current mobile and cloud world. Yet, for blockchain-backed applications to gain mass market adoption, we need to bridge the gap between the power of blockchains and the convenience of the cloud. Cardstack’s application framework and token mechanisms combine the new possibilities provided by smart contracts, while leveraging the incredible global scale and cost efficiency of cloud computing, to deliver this user experience.
[Main problems tackled]:
1) Mobile Silos: One App Per Screen
2) Cloud Silos: One Subscription Per App
3) Emerging Blockchain silos: One Token per App
A break down app silos in favor of an open digital world. With Cardstack, end-users can mix and match features from multiple apps or dApps without worrying about a mess of separate cloud subscriptions or utility tokens. What’s even more exciting: our system lets users design incredible new workflows — joining services from different layers of the Internet — that simply wouldn’t have been possible in a centralized world.
This breakthrough is made possible by Cardstack’s composable design paradigm, which renders units of information as bite-sized, encapsulated cards, which can be expanded, embedded, attached, chained, triggered, versioned, cloned, approved, rescinded — or saved forever. In a decentralized world, your data should be as networked or as sovereign as you want.
Furthermore developers can use the Cardstack Framework, a comprehensive SDK, to create powerful, card-based blockchain apps. Build anything using modular narrative and discovery containers. Easily construct custom workflows using our Cardstack Hub, which orchestrates data and value transfer across multiple blockchains and the cloud. Drop in ready-to-use functionality like searchable indexes, real-time notifications, uniform user permissions, flexible containerized deployment, and much more. Everything is extensible, and is 100% open-sourced.
Improvements: Cardstack has pioneered an advanced, scalable consensus protocol called Tally. Early blockchain apps that require every user action to be submitted as an on-chain transaction are crippled by long wait times, rising costs, and absurd resource demands. Tally solves this with cryptographic proof-of-usage messages that are efficiently validated and aggregated off-chain before reporting the final payment splits back to the smart contract on-chain — dramatically improving the experience and reducing the demands on the Ethereum blockchain.
Tally gives dApps the power to perform the same complex computations that digital superpowers use to organize large networks of users. And Tally miners can use GPUs already deployed in the crypto world—which is a big deal. It means we already possess the hardware to run Tally’s GPU-optimized cryptographic proofs, statistical analysis, and machine learning algorithms — supercharging our dApps and potentially putting the decentralized Internet on parity with Silicon Valley in the very near future.