news and opinion|02 May 2023|share

Cardano Foundation Annual Report: a note from the CEO

Frederik GregaardChief Executive Officer

When I first came onboard as CEO in 2020, it was a crucial moment for the Cardano Foundation. Cardano as a digital infrastructure had matured, and so the time had arrived for the Foundation to step into its true role, not only supporting the community but also pushing infrastructure adoption. 

Now, almost three years later, we have established an environment of responsibility, welcoming to individuals and organizations alike who value reliable relations. We have a long-term strategy that can stand the test of time and build the Cardano Foundation as an organization that will both encourage ecosystem growth, plus increase enterprise adoption.

The Foundation has a mandate to champion new technologies in the digital infrastructure space. We envision a world where the technological infrastructures are made for transparency and accountability, so that all stakeholders can easily verify their interactions within any system. Only in this way can we help improve the lives of all.

The Cardano Foundation knows the importance of inclusive governance. In fact, I have witnessed it first hand. During my years in University I had an amazing lecture on commodity trading. It so inspired me that, even though I was a student on a tight budget, I immediately walked to the local bank looking to trade in commodities. The incredulous reaction of that bank clerk made me hunt for answers, and I eventually realized the world remains quite divided between the very selected few with plenty of access to opportunities and the many with little to no say in most things. We need systems that consider everyone and take into account the voices, experience, and insights of all. Together, by working in tandem and collaborating with each other, we can really accomplish marvelous improvements.

Indeed, the Foundation’s achievements could never happen without the unrelenting work of our teams. We grew from less than forty employees at the beginning of 2022 to almost eighty by last December, and I am incredibly proud of what the entire Cardano Foundation has accomplished in just one year. So it brings me great joy to present the Cardano Foundation’s first annual report. It looks back on our achievements throughout 2022, while also allowing us to share our current focuses and goals.

In 2022 alone, the Foundation provided technical assistance in the lead-up to the Vasil hard fork, established the basis for a nation-wide use of blockchain in the supply chain of Georgian wine, and contributed to showcasing the versatility of NFTs. Their scope remains fascinating, ranging  from the artistic to the utilitarian. Just think of the contrast between the aesthetic imagination of Etter Edition and the verification purposes for which veritree employs NFTs.

This diversity of transactions and solutions across the network matters. It shows vitality and ensures durability. I love to see how the range of tools, solutions, and products built by the community keeps on blossoming in number and variety. To not just acknowledge but also encourage it, the Foundation updated its delegation strategy to reward stake pool operators (SPOs) who again and again develop the tools others rely on to build on Cardano. We also worked on tuning the process for the Cardano Improvement Proposals (CIPs), so that it now aligns with the best open source practices, and we launched the first Annual State of the Cardano Developer Ecosystem survey to map tools, identify gaps, and help us direct our efforts.

Add it all up together and each and every one of these steps moves us closer to our long-term mission: contribute to providing the world with open and decentralized infrastructures that it can depend on. To do so, the Cardano Foundation functions under the three core focus areas of operational resilience, education, and adoption. They constantly interact and support each other. Adoption increases on-chain utility and ensures the future of blockchain, but it simultaneously requires that others understand the technology and that the technology itself remains reliable, robust, and fit for mission-critical applications.

The Cardano Summit 2022, the first organized by the Foundation, combined these various goals and commitments. We specifically designed it to empower the community and stir curiosity, to bring the ecosystem together and invite new enthusiasts. The sessions covered numerous topics, providing information as well as insights, and the event spanned the globe, gathering people from all aspects of blockchain, those who together ensure the operational resilience of the chain, plus the ones who might birth the next innovation or take blockchain further into the off-chain world.

Various teams within the Cardano Foundation are already abuzz preparing the Summit 2023. Others remain involved in multiple projects that not only contribute to the open source maturity of the ecosystem but also address different perspectives, opinions, and needs. And yet others keep close contact with the community as Cardano fully enters the age of Voltaire, our governance phase.

Although we as an organization will not continue to expand our team at a similar rhythm, our goals remain equally ambitious. Building on the momentum of 2022, we have already made significant progress in 2023.

The Alpha Program of our blockchain course has gone live. We will use the feedback from the numerous participants to create a better learning experience and provide trustworthy, high quality blockchain education, free for everyone. At the same time, the Foundation is preparing a series of technical enablers that will create much needed bridges between blockchain and the current financial and social systems.

Cardano offers a scalable, dependable option that works to solve the blockchain trilemma. The Cardano Foundation hopes more individuals, institutions, and organizations can realize the potential of blockchain, joining us on this journey as blockchain citizens.

An emphatic thank you to everyone involved in the Cardano community, to those who reach out with suggestions, who provide criticism, who participate in the ecosystem. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with comments or questions through any of our social channels.

Finally, a warm welcome to anyone considering joining Cardano. We would be happy to have you onboard. And if you are new to the world of blockchain, we will gladly assist and support you. This is a road we walk together.

See you soon.

Read the Cardano Foundation's Annual Report 2022.