2021: Card Pay, Card Space & Card Catalog

A look into this year’s roadmap for the Cardstack Project

Cardstack Team
Apr 9 · 6 min read

Which products are coming?

  • Card Pay
  • Card Space
  • Card Catalog

“The idea here is that Card Catalog, Card Space, and Card Pay work very nicely together to provide the future decentralized Web experience that’s as easy, if not easier to use than the current silos of different websites and different apps that people have to use on the centralized Web.”

- Chris Tse, Cardstack Founder

Card Pay

Card Pay is a payment and reward network that enables people to transact with each other at a low cost, using layer-2 technology. It consists of a DeFi protocol, an associated Web-based dApp, and a mobile app that is fast, cheap, and easy to use. The user experience will be both seamless and rewarding, as Cardstack has built an entire infrastructure around stablecoins and reward token integration.

Learn more about Card Pay and the Card Pay protocol.

Card Space

Using the same infrastructure, Cardstack is creating a dApp builder, which is essentially a decentralized version of WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix. Card Space allows users to create their own decentralized spaces, where they can present themselves as creators or businesses — just by dragging and dropping or pointing and clicking, no coding skills required.

Learn more about Card Space.

Card Catalog

Inside Card Space, users will be able to use any cards that are available in the Card Catalog (our open-source software catalog). To start out, the Cardstack team will provide a set of basic cards for text, images, videos, NFTs, and much more — all of which users can simply drag and drop into their personal space.

“We don’t imagine that will be the limit. We want people to go beyond it and have a developer build new cards that represent new workflows, new invoices, new software catalogs, new products that represent real-world objects, new wrappers around protocols. And all of those things can be designed beautifully within a cohesive experience.”

- Chris Tse, Cardstack Founder

What is the timeline?

Card Pay — Q2 2021

Cardstack’s efforts are currently focused on shipping Card Pay, for which we are planning a testnet release.

As part of Card Pay, we are building a mobile wallet (iOS first and Android to follow). We feel that it is important to create our own wallet because the user experience of dApps is very limited these days. A lot of mobile wallets, including MetaMask, are difficult for new users to figure out, in part because they require users to have ETH, stablecoins, or a Coinbase account before they can actually use the wallet. The Cardstack mobile wallet, in contrast, will make it easy to onboard new users.

Once we are sure that everything is working smoothly, we will go from testnet to mainnet.

The protocol will be initially available on the xDai blockchain, but it can be expanded to other EVM-compatible networks. The payment infrastructure will include rewards, allowing users to earn loyalty points, statuses, and badges by participating in the payment network.

Once Card Pay has been launched on mainnet, we will have created a Web3 wallet and a dApp infrastructure that allow us to build up the entire Cardstack ecosystem.

Card Space — Q3 2021

The next phase will be about Card Space — our no-code dApp builder. To start out, we want to address creators, who are exploring crypto to figure out what may come after NFTs and what they can do on the decentralized Web beyond GIFs and trading.

“We want to invite a group of people, to help them understand our full vision of Card Space, but let them guide us in terms of the initial features and content that will make their particular space their own and useful, and allow them to do the workflows they want to do. That allows us to do beta testing, where we can take all the existing UI components and the framework and test them with a real group of users, who are trying to push the envelope of what they want to do on the decentralized version of the Web.”

- Chris Tse, Cardstack Founder

After the beta testing phase follows the public launch of Card Space.

Card Catalog — Q4 2021

A set of new product features is planned for Q4, which will be placed in the Card Catalog. The catalog will be an extension of Card Space — like a template gallery or an additional plugin app store. This catalog will contain all the different features that are built by the Cardstack team and the network of developers and designers who work with us.

“It’s almost like new products and new music, except that we’re dropping new software. We want to listen to the market, see what the market wants, and then convert some of those features — that may exist in different dApps or even different websites from traditional centralized SAAS services — into modular cards, add them to the catalog, and see what people do with these building blocks as ingredients.”

- Chris Tse, Cardstack Founder

How will we grow the ecosystem?

These upcoming products play a significant role in our plans to grow the Cardstack ecosystem.

  • Card Space is about creating and launching new businesses & workflows.
  • Once those businesses & workflows are launched, people will use Card Pay to transact with each other, so customers can pay merchants and suppliers, while earning reward points.
  • Card Catalog is built by the same software that runs the Cardstack ecosystem, created by a network of open-source developers.

Users & customers, teams & organizations, vendors & providers, and developers & designers will work together to keep this virtuous cycle going:

More content will lead to new workflows. More workflows will lead to more spending. More spending will lead to more rewards for contributors, which will motivate them to invest their time to build more tools and software, which can be used by more users the no-code way, to create even more content inside this growing ecosystem that is part of the decentralized Web.

“Then we’ll observe and see what people are doing, what the users and customers and merchants are doing, and just reinforce them — through a better framework, better development tools, a better design system — as a way to help people find each other and find the strength to grow this ecosystem without a whole lot of help from the Cardstack team.”

- Chris Tse, Cardstack Founder

What are the technical workstreams?

At Cardstack, we group our technology into four different work areas:

  1. Design system
  2. Hosted services
  3. Application framework
  4. Multi-chain protocols

Based on this division of workstreams, we are able to build the technological foundation to support the product experiences we aim to deliver.

“In Q2, we focus on Card Pay — this is our DeFi product. In Q3, we’re going to figure out how to launch Card Space — this is our creator/crypto product, so the Web 3 product. Then, we’re going to follow with the open-source catalog — a marketplace of software. All three things are not three different codebases. They are all just different sets of Boxel components that leverage the underlying services, framework, design system, and protocol.”

- Chris Tse, Cardstack Founder

Learn More

If you would like to see Chris Tse’s presentation of the Cardstack roadmap in its entirety, watch this video:

Chris Tse, Founding Director of the Cardstack Project, presents the roadmap for 2021 and talks about the upcoming product releases.

To get all our latest updates, sign up for our newsletter on cardstack.com, star Cardstack on GitHub, and join our Discord channel or our Telegram group and announcement channel.


The collaborative OS for Web3


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.

Cardstack Team

Written by

Official account for the team behind the Cardstack project.


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.