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Cardano [ADA]

Cardano: IOHK delivers 4 major announcements on the Virtual Summit

  • With announcements for the Atala PRISM, Catalyst and Atlas projects and the cFund, the first day of the Cardano Virtual Summit featured four major announcements.
  • IOHK also surprisingly announced the release date for Cardano’s Voltaire era.

Charles Hoskinson had raised high expectations for the Cardano Virtual Summit in the last few days. After yesterday’s first day, it is clear that these were not empty promises. IOHK made four big announcements. The biggest news among yesterday’s announcements is certainly the introduction of Atala PRISM, a decentralized identity system that will provide “self-sovereign” identities and access to a blockchain marketplace for financial and social services to millions of people without a “bank account”.

Cardano‘s Atala PRISM is also designed to address the growing risks to cybersecurity and privacy by enabling people to securely exchange personal information using the blockchain. The decentralization of consumer identity management will deter cyberattacks by expanding the hacker’s reach.

As Hoskinson explained, IOHK is also seeking to add “selective disclosure capabilities” through zero-knowledge proofs, which will allow consumers to verify everything from age to employment status using a wallet, without having to reveal irrelevant data. The system will be an alternative to closed systems from Silicon Valley companies, Hoskinson said:

PRISM could give almost 2 billion unbanked people an economic identity, track global goods from source to sale, and de-risk investment in emerging markets. In the wake of an increasing backlash against Silicon Valley firms over data privacy, this decentralised identity system gives people sovereignty over their data and reduces the risk of data privacy breaches for service-providers.

Another product in the Atala group will be a traceability solution for supply chains and goods movements. Through an innovative “batching” scheme at layer 2, which bundles transactions outside the blockchain and  then stores them in the blockchain, Atala will have the ability to scale to handle large and continuous traffic. It will also be able to implement patient records and blockchain-based tracing of infections or “immunity passports”.

IOHK also announces Catalyst, Atlas and the cFund

On the first day of the Virtual Summit, IOHK also announced the launch of Project Catalyst, a tool set designed to enable ADA owners to propose and vote on financing proposals for the development of the Cardano ecosystem. The internal code name “Project Catalyst” is a pilot program, the results of which will feed into the development of the final, fully decentralized financial management system.

The development of Catalyst is an important step towards the launch of the Voltaire era, which focuses on the implementation of a democratic governance system. The project will allow Cardano users to “lock” a certain amount of ADA for a limited period of time, which will entitle them to vote on submitted proposals.

The system consists of four components: the Node Jörmungandr, the Catalyst protocol, a mobile voting app for IOS and Android and finally “Catalyst0, Catalyst1, Catalyst2”, a series of release candidates that test the feasibility, usability and usefulness of a voting and funding system. The rollout of Catalyst and thus of the next Cardano era, Voltaire, is scheduled to take place at the end of the year.

Also announced on the first day of the Virtual Summit was the Atlas project, which aims to create a seamless user experience for Cardano users when interacting with the Blockchain. The first version will be announced in the coming weeks. Hoskinson summarized the project as follows:

Our solution will not only tell users about blocks and transactions but also aggregated statistics, rewards, stakepool metrics and comparisons. With project Atlas, we are creating a platform where anyone can go and trade funds, cast a vote or manage their digital identity. This should seamlessly integrate with your desktop, mobile or browser.

Finally, IOHK also announced that it will launch “cFund” in partnership with the Wave Financial Group. This is a venture fund that supports the introduction of IOHK’s blockchain platforms, including Cardano. IOHK is initially providing USD 10 million and Wave plans to raise a further minimum of USD 10 million to create an initial size of USD 20 million.

The fund will make investments worldwide with an investment volume of USD 250,000 to USD 500,000 and will support and invest in start-ups and early-stage companies that base their products and services on IOHK’s blockchain technologies.

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