The Cardstack Ecosystem

“Cardstack is the interface for the next decade.”
– Chris Tse, Cardstack Founder

What does this mean? Let’s start by looking at the interfaces of the past two decades — because what’s coming in the 2020s is a version upgrade in the tech we use, the business models we pursue, and the way culture defines them.

The 2000s — the era of mass consumption

Tech 1.0: PCs & Macs
Business 1.0: Mass market economy (e.g. big-box retailers)
Culture 1.0: Age of the stars (e.g. TV, movie, pop stars)

The 2010s — the era of centralized platforms

Tech 2.0: Platform tech (e.g. Google, Facebook, Apple, Android)
Business 2.0: Sharing economy (e.g. Uber, Lyft, Airbnb)
Culture 2.0: Age of the influencers (e.g. users of TikTok, Twitter, Instagram)

The 2020s — the era of decentralized protocols

Tech 3.0: Decentralized protocols (e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum)
Business 3.0: Cooperation and fair rewards
Culture 3.0: Communities with deep engagement and value exchange

“Cardstack is building the foundation where the tech, business, and culture can iterate together.”
– Chris Tse, Cardstack Founder

Cardstack is building open-source tools to replace centralized apps like Facebook, Substack, or Patreon. From a business perspective, this will drive cooperative value creation, where platforms are no longer owned by one company like Uber, but by a community of members. As a result, creators are no longer at the mercy of big tech, but in charge and in control of their own work.

Can you build a decentralized Uber? Can Uber be owned by the community and not by a single company or their shareholders?
– Chris Tse, Cardstack Founder

For those familiar with the Ethereum space and new innovations:

  • Tech 3.0 is really about Web 3.0 technology. It is not just about Ethereum, but about a multi-chain approach that taps into different types of protocols.
  • Business 3.0 is about decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) as community projects. It is also about DeFi providing new financial toolsets and services that are more composable and flexible.
  • In Culture 3.0, people are experimenting with and discovering NFTs. These fungible and non-fungible tokens, e.g. community tokens, end up becoming composable Lego blocks that really come together when they are combined with Web 3.0, DAOs, and DeFi.

Cardstack’s ecosystem is a virtuous cycle

Four types of participants come together in this five-step cycle:

  1. Developers & designers build software tools.
  2. Users & customers use those tools to create content and data.
  3. Teams & organizations launch spaces and workflows for existing or new businesses, where they can transact with their customers, which leads to spending and revenue.
  4. Vendors & providers offer Web hosting, onboarding, as well as fiat on- and off-ramps, thus creating a smooth experience that does not require everyone to run their own nodes.
  5. Finally, the revenue coming from the transactions in this network is used to reward the developers & designers and other contributors, thus motivating them to build more tools and make further contributions, keeping this virtuous cycle going continuously.

Learn more

If you would like to hear more about the Cardstack ecosystem, watch Chris Tse talk about the points mentioned above and much more in this video:

Chris Tse, Founding Director of the Cardstack Project, presents the vision of Cardstack and his strategy for growing the ecosystem.

To get all our latest updates, star Cardstack on GitHub and join our Discord channel or our Telegram group and announcement channel.

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