In the financial center of Dubai, the Cardano Summit 2023 will gather some of the most prominent projects in the crypto space. During the three-day event, speakers, founders, and the community will voice views on the growing sector and the future of the network and blockchain technology as Cardano enters a critical stage in its development.
— Cardano Foundation (@Cardano_CF) November 2, 2023
What’s Missing In The Cardano Ecosystem?
The Cardano Summit 2023 began with a networking soirée leading to the ‘Battle of the Builders’ competition. The event, sponsored by industry leaders like CV Labs and Genius X, featured ten projects in a pitch contest showcasing the versatility of the Cardano ecosystem.
Frederik Gregaard, CEO of the Cardano Foundation, highlighted the robust number of Cardano GitHub repositories as evidence of the platform’s readiness for innovation. The number of developers working and shipping products on this blockchain has increased following its implementation of smart contract capabilities.
After intense deliberation by a panel of seasoned judges, including Gregaard and representatives from EMURGO and STORM Partners, Maestro claimed the top spot, with NEWM and zkFold rounding out the winner’s circle. The summit continues with more workshops and sessions.
Speaking with our team, Sheraz Ahmed, Managing Partner at STORM Partners, gave his perspective on the event, the obstacles of the building during a bear market, the topics dominating the Summit, the key component missing in the ecosystem, and the distinct quality of the Cardano community: passion.
STORM has been a long-time partner of Cardano and its ecosystem, aiding them in projects like Ergo Media, marketing, and educational efforts. Ahmed told us:
So there are three main topics of the conference. Operational, resilience, education and adoption. Those are the three ones that things are centered towards today’s on the innovation stage. The last discussions are around stablecoins and the importance of stablecoins within the Carano ecosystem. I think a lot of the Cardano community and projects are feeling the pressure of not having a Cardano interoperable (stablecoin). And you can really see that it’s impeding the ability to create DeFi products and applications.
Ahmed was one of the judges during the startup competition and saw how the community and the Cardano Foundation leadership leaned towards those projects building stablecoin solutions. In 2024, Ahmed expects Cardano to launch its native stablecoin, which could have major implications for this ecosystem, similar to the “Alonzo” Hard Fork Combinator (HFC) event:
So that thing is something (a native stablecoin) that’s just a missing piece of the puzzle that just needs to be filled in the Cardano ecosystem, and that it will be within the next, I’d say by mid next year, it should be the case from what I saw about some of the announcements, some of the discussions, etcetera. So that was the first one. Then education was a big topic this morning because there’s quite a wide community in Cardano. Cardano has quite a widespread community on a variety of different things.
I think one topic that wasn’t approached today that was kind of on the tongues of a lot of people in the audience was like, well, “all these things are good, but if we don’t have the funding or the money to do so, how is that going to work out?” And you probably know that the funding of Cardano happens through Catalyst, which is their funding mechanism. And they’ve done 10 funding rounds so far and so the mood at the conference was not bad in terms of the funding round 10, which was I think $5 million just closed a few weeks ago or a month ago. So people are kind of happy or in good sentiment because those that got the approval have money to start building, doing things, etcetera. Because it’d been a year since they hadn’t had a funding round, and that was quite a long time. Normally, the cycles have been at maximum of four to six months.
Ultimately, Ahmed believes the Summit marks a major milestone for the Cardano ecosystem as it moves into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Cardano Summit 2023: Founder Hoskinson Speaks
Today, the founder of Cardano and CEO at Input Output Global (IOG), Charles Hoskinson, took the main stage to speak about the blockchain’s “Past, Present, and Future.” Using his famous whiteboards, Hoskinson presented the “strategic pillars” underpinning Cardano’s evolution: Scaling, Governance, and Interoperability.
— Romain Pellerin (@rom1_pellerin) November 3, 2023
In addition, Hoskinson outlined upcoming enhancements like Hydra for scaling and governance tools like 1694 and Intersect, emphasizing the network’s direction towards self-amendment capabilities. For interoperability, the Cardano founder cited advances with sidechains and the implementation of Non-Interactive Proofs of Proof-of-Work (NiPoPoWs).
Hoskinson introduced the Cardano Settlement Layer (CASL) as a mainnet foundation for service layers, alongside PartnerChains for service layer collaboration, leveraging Minotaur’s consensus algorithm for cross-consensus interoperability. The framework will utilize Parity Substrate with Babel fees, enabling native asset transactions.
Cover image from Unsplash, chart from Tradingview