Driving Blockchain Technology: Cardano Foundation’s Activities Part 10

11 June 2024 • News & Updates
Laura Mattiucci
Director Marketing and Communications

The latest from the Cardano Foundation promoting open source, showcasing stake pool operators (SPOs), and forging new partnerships

The “Driving Blockchain Technology” series summarizes the main Cardano Foundation activities, highlighting key achievements, initiatives, and strategic partnerships that showcase the wide range of blockchain applications, as well as the growing number of industries looking to leverage blockchain for traceability, authenticity, or other types of impact on their operations. Three core focus areas guide the Foundation’s efforts: enhancing operational resilience, promoting education, and driving adoption.

To improve Cardano's viability as a public utility and basis for enterprise applications, we work to strengthen its resilience while scaling the diversity, quality, and quantity of on-chain activities. Further, the Foundation promotes a broader understanding of blockchain technology, its possibilities and potential risks. The Foundation aims to improve understanding and legal clarity around blockchain technology by facilitating open communication, funding research, and simplifying blockchain ideas. Moreover, we motivate businesses and institutions to use Cardano by enhancing its functionality, lowering adoption barriers, and supporting open-source development.

Championing open source and SPOs

The Cardon Foundation champions open-source initiatives as a core principle that leads to a sustainable and robust ecosystem capable of meeting user needs by leveraging the collective expertise of a global developer network. To further the cause, the Foundation launched PRAGMA together with Blink Labs, dcSpark, Sundae Labs, and TxPipe. This not-for-profit, open-source Swiss association will help to foster a thriving ecosystem for Cardano and other blockchains, looking to support existing projects, facilitate the development of new tools, and ultimately become a home for various blockchain-related, open-source projects. Initially focusing on key projects like Amaru, a Cardano full node in Rust, and Aiken, a smart contract programming language, PRAGMA represents a significant step towards the mass adoption of blockchain technology.

Also aimed toward the developer community, the first ever Cardano Buidler Fest received support from the Cardano Foundation and hosted over 100 participants from diverse backgrounds. The event featured 15 selected sessions on the first day and more than 20 on the second, covering diverse technical topics related to Cardano. The overall feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with participants appreciating the opportunity to connect with others in the community and learn from each other.

The Cardano Foundation also recently completed the Infrastructure Survey 2024 to gain deeper insights into the needs and challenges of stake pool operators (SPOs). The survey invited participation from SPOs and equally welcomed feedback from centralized exchanges (CEXs), resulting in a sample that significantly reflects the different stake weights on Cardano. The Foundation plans to repeat the Infrastructure Survey in future years, as it would help track the evolution of SPO activities and further enhance understanding of the Cardano blockchain's operational resilience.

To further showcase the importance of SPOs, the Foundation publishes “A Spotlight on Stake Pools”, with the first installment of 2024 featuring AHLNET, founded by Sweden-based Ola Ahlman. With expertise in deploying mission-critical servers and over 15 years of IT experience, Ahlman combines his technical expertise with a passion for working on private and open-source projects in various programming languages. Notably, Ahlam’s contributions to Cardano have led to a community vote designating AHLNET as an official stake pool for SundaeSwap ISO and Scooper. Ahlman's development expertise extends to Eternl, where he is a core contributor to this well-known Cardano wallet.

The following installment featured the ABLE stake pool, operated by Mike Hornan. ABLE aims to improve financial accessibility for global citizens, specifically those in Africa. The stake pool funds the education of African communities and provides financing for the purchase of tools that make everyday work more productive. ABLE belongs to the Cardano Single Pool Alliance (CSPA), a unique organization formed by independent SPOs within the Cardano network. The CSPA provides a collaborative space for single-pool SPOs, promoting fairness, transparency, and best practices while empowering its members to become more robust and efficient operators.

In the most recent installment, we featured the ZW3RK stake pool. Operated by Haskell expert Moritz, ZW3RK has a strong focus on supporting the Glasgow Haskell Compiler (GHC) and its surrounding ecosystem. GHC, a robust open-source project, is the primary compiler for the Haskell programming language. The ZW3RK team actively contributes to GHC's development by maintaining its CI infrastructure and supporting various Haskell projects. They also work to improve cross-compilation capabilities and even mentor the RISC-V code generation backend for GHC. Additionally, the ZW3RK stake pool simplifies the Cardano experience by providing pre-built Cardano node packages, enabling smooth blockchain access for operators and experimentation with deployment on different platforms.

Education through partnerships and panel discussions

The Cardano Foundation and Dubai Blockchain Center (DBCC) have recently announced a strategic partnership to empower local communities and advance blockchain education in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Formalized during TOKEN2049, this collaboration looks to establish a program with specialized training seminars, leveraging educational materials developed by Cardano Foundation experts and incorporating content from the Cardano Academy. The partnership, which both CEOs have lauded as a significant step towards broader blockchain adoption, also strengthens existing ties between Cardano and key stakeholders in Dubai, further solidifying the region's reputation as a leading blockchain hub and a prime location for the Cardano Summit 2024.

Also reflective of the Foundation’s educational aims, the “Let’s Talk Cardano” series offers a platform for open discussion, exploration, and in-depth analysis of various projects within the Cardano ecosystem. The series disseminates knowledge on blockchain technology, as well as Cardano's technical advancements and world applications by featuring experts, developers, and key stakeholders. This accessible format helps to simplify complex concepts, fostering a broader understanding of Cardano's potential and ultimately contributing to a more informed and engaged community. Entering the new year, the Foundation hosted several "Let's Talk Cardano" sessions focused on the transformative potential of tokenization.

In the first session, titled “Real World Asset Tokenization - Beyond the Buzz,” the Foundation’s Umar Jan (Senior Stakeholder Marketing Manager - Enterprise) met with the TVVIN team to discuss how tokenization enhances transparency, efficiency, and liquidity in asset trading. The next installment—"Tokenizing Commodities & RWAs"—featured zenGate and further examined the topic, emphasizing tokenization’s significance for the future of the blockchain industry. During the session, zenGate reflected on their experience hosting a Cardano Summit Masterclass in Dubai, underscoring the importance of utility-focused solutions and mainstream adoption. The "Tokenizing Real Estate RWAs” session also considered tokenization, focusing on property-based real-world assets (RWAs) and delving into Whimy’s mission of fractionalizing real estate, enabling individuals to invest in various properties.

Beyond tokenization, the "Revolutionizing Land Value: Blockchain Solutions for Global Innovation" session explored the intersection of blockchain technology and verifiable real estate records. During the discussion, company leaders explained how they use the Cardano blockchain to tackle property rights challenges. The panelists emphasized the practical implementation of blockchain solutions in granting land rights to unlock financial mobility, especially in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa, where land tenure systems remain complex and bureaucratic.

Most recently, the “Empowering Cardano: Unleashing DAOs and Community Synergy" session examined decentralized governance and strategies for community management. During the session, they pondered Clarity's goal of simplifying decentralized governance processes, making them accessible to entrepreneurs and community members. By leveraging blockchain technology, Clarity aims to enhance security and transparency in decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) decision-making.

Bolstering adoption through global engagement

The International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) recently presented the Cardano Foundation with the Most Exciting Project in Sustainable Innovation award in partnership with Switzerland for UNHCR. The award recognized the Foundation’s cutting-edge and community-supported approach to advancing humanitarian aid through blockchain-specific capabilities. This novel model allows ada holders to engage in impactful philanthropy by delegating funds to the stake pool “With Refugees” (WRFGS). Any rewards generated go directly towards Switzerland for UNHCR to address the most pressing needs of refugees from underfunded crises. The initiative creates the possibility of providing consistent and reliable funding, plus empowers UNHCR to allocate resources where they are needed most. As the project enters its second year, the Cardano Foundation and Switzerland for UNHCR continue to explore new ways to enhance and expand the impact of this groundbreaking philanthropic approach.

Furthering Cardano’s adoption, Foundation representatives participated in the Power Source Global Summit, which took place in Orlando, USA. The technology event brought together scientists, technologists, government and business leaders, as well as artists, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders from across the globe. This year’s theme, “Women in STEAM Powering the Metaverse,” featured women working to connect and exchange best practices and share insights within the realm of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Similarly, the Foundation participated in WomenHack, a community initiative that empowers women in tech through networking events, including a signature rapid interview process. The event aims to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace for all, hosting diversity recruiting events for women, including software developers, designers, and product talent.

The Foundation's 2024 endeavors to bolster operational resilience, education, and adoption have only just begun. During an interview with Cardano Paul, Frederik Gregaard offered a glimpse of the future to come, reinforcing the Foundation's role in advancing public digital infrastructure. He specifically discussed recent developments like the partnership with Petrobras, preparations for the upcoming Cardano Summit, initiatives to enhance operational resilience, including multi-client support, as well as plans for enhancing interoperability while continuing to engage with developers. Together, these activities represent the Cardano Foundation's commitment to long-term access and global adoption of Cardano’s decentralized infrastructure.


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