The experience layer of the decentralized internet

[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.

ICO Rating Analysis
Team Evaluation
4.50 / 5.00
4.00 / 5.00
Token Economics
4.50 / 5.00
Business Evaluation
4.00 / 5.00
Hype and media presence
3.00 / 5.00


Team - Founders:
Are the founders known? Do they have relevant experience and connections?
  • 1. Unknown people. No serious background information available.
  • 2. Partial information available, no relevant experience.
  • 3. Background information available, no relevant experience.
  • 4. Solid, relevant background and connections available.
  • 5. Solid, well known, experienced and well connected founders.
Team - Advisors:
What level of commitment, experience and connections do the advisers bring?
  • 1. No reputable advisors with relevant experience.
  • 2. Few advisors with little to no relevant experience.
  • 3. Advisers with relevant experience.
  • 4. Reputable advisors with relevant experience and connections.
  • 5. High profile highly experienced, well connected and committed advisors.
Product - Technology Layer:
Is the product innovative? Does it contribute to the blockchain ecosystem?
  • 1. No, the product is just a clone with no contribution.
  • 2. The product is a dapp with minimal interest and little contribution to the ecosystem.
  • 3. The product is a dapp, exchange or protocol addressing a real problem or need.
  • 4. Innovative product offering a solution to a high interest problem.
  • 5. Innovative protocol tackling critical problems of highest interest.
Product - Proof of concept:
Is the proof of concept comprehensive? Does it address a real problem or need?
  • 1. No, incoherent concept or no need for it.
  • 2. Difficult concept to understand, hardly any need or problem to solve.
  • 3. Clear concept which addresses a real problem.
  • 4. Clear, well thought concept which addresses a real problem of high interest.
  • 5. Exceptional proof of concept addressing a critical problem.
Product - MVP:
Has the concept been tested? Is there an MVP? How far is the launch?
  • 1. Untested concept.
  • 2. Initial tests, no MVP.
  • 3. MVP ready, Alpha launch.
  • 4. MVP ready, Beta launch.
  • 5. Fully working initial product.
Token Economics - Token utility:
Does the token have any utility? Is it a core function to the network?
  • 1. No, the token has no utility.
  • 2. Token has a limited, unclear utility.
  • 3. The token has some added, but not inherent value.
  • 4. The token is embedded in the network and has inherent value.
  • 5. The token has both inherent and added value and is embedded at the core of the network.
Token Economics - Network effect:
Are strong network effects built into the system? Are incentives aligned to encourage the growth of the network?
  • 1. No network effects built in.
  • 2. Minimal network effects, unclear incentives.
  • 3. Network effects and incentives present.
  • 4. Solid network effects with clear incentives due to inherent utility.
  • 5. Strong network effects, aligned incentives and high utility value.
Business Evaluation - Valuation:
Is the valuation reasonable ? Sufficient but not too high for the scope of the project?
  • 1. No, the valuation is ludicrous, the project could do with 1/10 of the sum.
  • 2. Valuation is higher than the project would need. Likely a money grab.
  • 3. Valuation is reasonable for the scope of the project.
  • 4. Valuation is modest for the caliber of the project.
  • 5. Valuation is impressively modest relative to the high caliber of the project.
Business Evaluation - Market potential:
What is the market potential? Does the project look like it could penetrate the market and conquer the world?
  • 1. No clear market potential.
  • 2. Limited market potential.
  • 3. Reasonable market and growth potential.
  • 4. Solid market and growth potential.
  • 5. Exceptional market and growth potential.
Business Evaluation - Competition:
Does the project have competition? How strong does it look relative to its competition?
  • 1. Awful position competing with many strong players.
  • 2. Weak position facing strong competition.
  • 3. Reasonable position facing strong competition.
  • 4. Solid position facing weak competition.
  • 5. Exceptional position, facing almost no competition.
Business Evaluation - Supply sold:
Does the team distribute a reasonable amount of the tokens so as to encourage create strong incentives and network effects?
  • 1. Negligible supply, greedy team.
  • 2. Small supply, poor incentives.
  • 3. Modest supply, weak incentives.
  • 4. Reasonable supply, responsible team.
  • 5. Large supply, solid inventive, committed team.
Business Evaluation - Vesting:
Does the team have a sufficient stake to have aligned incentives? Do they have a vesting schedule implemented?
  • 1. Large stake, no vesting.
  • 2. Small stakes, no vesting.
  • 3. Modest stakes, no vesting.
  • 4. Reasonable stakes, modest vesting.
  • 5. Solid stake, healthy vesting.
Hype and media presence:
Is the project present on social media and chats? Is there interest for it?
  • 1. No presence, negative image.
  • 2. Modest exposure and no interest.
  • 3. Reasonable exposure and modest interest.
  • 4. Solid exposure and high interest.
  • 5. Exceptional exposure, high interest and considerable hype.
Final Score


Chris Tse
Founding Director
Edward Faulkner
Lead Developer
Hassan Abdel-Rahman
Senior Blockchain Developer
Justin Thong
Data Scientist
Ken Rossi
UX Lead
Christopher Gardella
Lead Designer
Wilfred Chan
Managing Editor
William Bagby
Senior Developer
Aaron Sikes
Senior Developer
Alex Speller
Senior Developer
Venkat Dinavahi
Maximillian Kirchoff
Interaction Designer
Isla Bell Murray
Interaction Designer
Jacqueline Thong
Head of Operations
Balint Erdi
Senior Developer
Katrin Nusshold
Anne Wright
Event Producer
Steve Bobrov
Senior QA Engineer


Nicolai Oster
Head of ICO & Partner at Bitcoin Suisse AG
Thomas Graham
Co-Founder of MapD and TLDR Capital
Lester Lim
ICO Marketing & Token Strategy Advisor
David Wachsman
Founder & CEO of Wachsman PR
Oliver Bussmann
Former CIO of UBS, SAP / Advisor of IOTA, Ripple, Shapeshift


Published at
Introducing Cardstack
1 year ago
Upgradable Contracts in Solidity
1 year ago
Scalable Payment Pools in Solidity
1 year ago
Announcing the Cardstack Token Generation Event
1 year ago
Crypto prices are volatile because nobody is using blockchain (yet)
1 year ago
Blockchain Beyond Transactions
1 year ago
A First Update on Our Fundraiser
1 year ago
Building a Token Vesting Contract
1 year ago
How to Contribute to the Pre-allocation of the Cardstack Token Generation Event
1 year ago
A Second Update on Our Fundraiser
1 year ago
The Tally Protocol: scaling Ethereum with untapped GPU power
1 year ago
Four Insights About Cardstack’s Approach to Blockchain Adoption
1 year ago
Blockchain for the Real World
1 year ago
Cardstack Smart Contract Passes NCC Security Audits, Reaches Milestone
1 year ago
Tom Graham, Co-Founder of MapD and TLDR Capital, Joins Cardstack Advisory Board
1 year ago
Nicolai Oster, Head of ICO for Bitcoin Suisse, Joins Cardstack Advisory Board
1 year ago
KYC Process Opens for Cardstack Token Generation Event
1 year ago
Lester Lim, Blockchain Strategist, Joins Cardstack Advisory Board
1 year ago
David Wachsman, Founder & CEO of Wachsman PR, Joins Cardstack Advisory Board
1 year ago
Algodiversity: Thoughts on Decentralized Algorithmic Governance
1 year ago
Introducing the Cardstack Token Generation Event (TGE) Dashboard
1 year ago
An Update on the Crowd Fundraiser of Cardstack’s Token Generation Event
1 year ago
Oliver Bussmann, President of Crypto Valley Association, Joins Cardstack Advisory Board
1 year ago
Building on Blockchain the Right Way
1 year ago
Breaking Down the Silicon Valley Silo
1 year ago
A Decentralized Software Ecosystem Created For and By Its Users
1 year ago
The Contribution Caps for the Crowd Fundraiser
1 year ago