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2020: The Year of Launches

A deep look into the new roadmap for the Cardstack Project

  • Developers, who create new tools and broaden the capability of the ecosystem
  • Protocol community, which manages the incentive and governance model, ensuring that all participants are working well together

Card.Space: Reimagining our hosting service

We planned to release a hosted version of Cardstack called Card.Space that was meant to serve as a hosting platform for decentralized apps. The aim was to empower users who do not have the technical capabilities to run their own decentralized node and server runtime (either on the computer or in the cloud), offering them a one-click hosting service that is reliable, cost-effective, and easy to use. Now, we have found a way to make Card.Space even more powerful, by adding a level of flexibility that allows this platform to combine cards on a field level.

Card SDK & Cardstack Builder: Developers and users as card makers

As a way to increase the number of cards that are available for people to adopt and use in their personal workspaces, we want to facilitate both code-driven and “no-code” approaches to card making. In our ecosystem, we see card makers as anybody who makes new cards by translating their experience and expertise into new mini-apps. This includes developers who code as well as users who don’t code, but who know how to work with Excel, how to configure a Web platform like Airtable or Notion, or how to administer Therefore, we create two different entry points for card makers, which are designed for developers and users respectively.

Card SDK for developers

Cardstack is designed to be open source. Therefore, we continue improving and updating the Card SDK, so as to provide developers with clear documentation and useful tutorials, which will guide them as they create brand-new functionalities within the Cardstack ecosystem. Last year, we launched Card SDK V1 with the corresponding documentation, which teaches developers to build applications that are similar to our open-source codebase and which tap into the full power of the Cardstack Hub — with its indexing, transactional writing, access control, API generation, and user interface support, including templating and routing. All this is part of the Cardstack architecture.

Cardstack Builder for users

The greater level of composeability offered by Card SDK V2 allows us to make it even easier for non-developers to assemble their own applications. Instead of having to write code to embed a payment processing card inside a concert ticket card, users can use the UI to simply drag a payment processing card into their ticket card.

Card Catalog: Templates over tools

As software gets more powerful — both on the desktop and on the Web — there is a growing array of tools that enable users to design and prototype websites, create applications and workflows, and customize networks or online groups. However, most of these tools require countless integrations, which have to be created through custom programming or tools like IFTTT / Zapier. This means: While many of these tools are considered “low-code” or “no-code” tools, users who can actually wield those independent tools successfully to create a cohesive experience need to be highly skilled, as the process involves a lot of trial and error. Although this process does not technically involve any coding, it is very much like a difficult engineering process that is time-consuming, error-prone, and extremely frustrating.

  • who can approve content, and
  • who can revoke the privilege of being listed on the catalog in case of security concerns or incidents.

Boxel Design System: Experience over capabilities

At Cardstack, we aim to give users a cohesive experience across all the capabilities we offer:

  • searching and collecting card templates in the Card Catalog
  • adding cards to the personal Card.Space
  • combining cards to create high-level workflows

Multi-Hub Interaction: Cooperation over conversation

There has been a lot of growth around platforms that facilitate conversations via chat groups, social media posts, comments, and forum messages. These conversations drive engagement and screen time, but don’t return a lot of transactions in terms of dollar values. On the other hand, transactional systems — e.g. for e-commerce payments, crypto, or B2B workflows — typically have very little support for collaboration. They let you interact with a form that represents a machine, hoping that you’ll click the right button to make it work.

CARD Protocol: Revenue drives rewards

At the end of the day, the only thing that drives truly sustainable value in any economy — whether it is the economy of a nation / state, the economy of a digital marketplace (like an online marketplace), or the economy of a crypto network — is top-line revenue: Customers must be willing to pay cash or a cash equivalent for products or services. That is why we need to provide useful services, for which we can charge real customers real money, thus ensuring that these services become the well leading to increasing downstream rewards for all contributors.

Governing the Card Catalog

The CARD Protocol will support staking as a means to govern the Card Catalog. This allows people who are knowledgeable about crypto economics and software quality to act as reviewers for new cards that are submitted. By using the CARD token as a governance token, we plan to delegate the ongoing management of the Card Catalog — decisions like which cards get listed in which categories under which conditions — to a community-governed process.



The collaborative OS for Web3: Cardstack opens the doors to Web3 for everyday people. Anyone will finally be able to build apps, create content and get paid in decentralized ways — no coding or crypto experience required.

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