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Cardano Summit 2021: Strategic Partnerships

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

  • The Cardano Summit 2021 took place in six locations around the world between the 25th and 26th of September with a deluge of fantastic announcements from all three founding entities of Cardano: EMURGO, IOHK and Cardano Foundation.

  • Charles Hoskinson held a keynote at the start of the summit.

  • EMURGO, as a founding entity of Cardano, also delivered announcements and talks on plans to accelerate Cardano’s ecosystem, the upcoming roadmap for Yoroi Wallet, and EMURGO Academy’s blockchain education objectives. EMURGO, the global blockchain solution provider, will allocate $100 million in the Cardano ecosystem to hasten DeFi and NFT education in the space. DeFi and DEXs are already being developed and perfected on Cardano as new development and updates are rolled out on the ecosystem.

  • During the conference, we heard from all the various teams and projects building on top of Cardano.

  • Cardano announced major partnerships to fast forward their new development after the Alonzo upgrade. The successful Alonzo Hard Fork has brought smart contracts to Cardano and supercharged development for the network.

After successfully implementing the Alonzo upgrade, Cardano network capabilities grew to match those of Ethereum after transitioning to the Goguen Era.

The Alonzo upgrade served to bring Cardano’s network functionalities closer to the industry standard by enabling smart contract deployment. In addition, during the summit, Cardano announced the following partnerships to kickstart the development of new smart contract integrated features.

  • Chainlink was one of the key partnerships announced for the Cardano ecosystem

  • Cardano Partnered with Dish

  • Cardano Partnered with Veritree

  • Cardano Partnered with Rival

  • Cardano Partnered with UBX

  • Cardano Partnered with AID: tech.

Chainlink: Build smart contracts for secure DeFi applications on Cardano

Chainlink was one of the key partnerships announced for the Cardano ecosystem. The Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) network will help feed quality data and help developers build accurate and feasible DeFi smart contracts. Input-Output (IOHK) noted that market price feeds will be the first ones to be accessible to developers. Moreover, developers will then have access to:

"Sports data for prediction markets, weather data for parametric insurance products, and verifiable randomness for gaming and digital collectibles such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs)." As mentioned in a previous article about the event, COTI, which Cardano has backed up, will issue its first native stablecoin, Djed. Thus, DeFi can be a frictionless operation for users and individuals as it will mimic existing protocols on other chains.

Dish Network: Digital identities of Dish consumers on Cardano system

The most significant partnership on the first day of Cardano Summit 2021 is with a Fortune 200 company, Dish Network. In the keynote speech, Hoskinson announces that Dish and Input Output have entered into a strategic partnership.

Dish is an American Fortune 200 company that runs the infrastructure for satellite TV—it's the “rebel of the telco space,” says Hoskinson. IOHK will make products with them.

Dish Network was an early adopter of cryptocurrency as well, adopting Bitcoin as early as 2014. With the cooperation with Cardano, they have continued their forward-thinking approach to blockchain technology. With over 19 million consumers, Dish is one of the significant Telecom providers, giving users complete control over their accounts Therefore, the Cardano Foundation and Dish will collaborate to provide digital identities (DIDs) on phones to eight million Dish customers. They will be the first to have this feature in the $1.3 trillion telecom industry. As a result, overlapping identities, data capacity are just a few recognized examples by Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson of how the relationship can add value.

Finally, the Dish Network is one of the first public companies to use blockchain technology. Partnerships like these have the potential to change the entire telecom industry model. Despite the difficulties of implementing blockchain, Dish users will be able to connect to the Cardano network. This will be done without the need for any centralized organization.

It is unclear what products IOHK will produce, but “proof of bandwidth” and decentralized identity and loyalty programs are discussed. “Blockchains are useless without connectivity,” says Chris Ergen, co-founder and chairman of DISH Office of Innovation. Together, the technologies will be “exponentially bigger.”

Veritree: Reforestation verification records to be stored on Cardano

Due to its low energy consumption, Cardano is already referred to as a “green” blockchain in the mainstream. Therefore, the Cardano Foundation is taking it a step further by leveraging the expertise of the Climate Neutral Cardano group stake pools. This will establish an exclusive partnership with Veritree to restore our planet through transparent, immutable, and auditable reforestation data.

Cardano has teamed up with global land restoration and tree planting verification company veritree to secure its records on Cardano’s blockchain. Going forward, organizations using veritree's platform will be provided with an immutable, transparent and auditable blockchain based report on all of veritree’s afforestation and reforestation efforts – using a fraction of the carbon footprint of other blockchains.

To celebrate this, Cardano and veritree launched The First Global Cardano Impact Challenge, inviting its global community to make donations to veritree using Cardano’s native token ada. These donations will be used to plant the world’s first #CardanoForest. Once at least 15 ada have been pledged to the campaign, donors will receive 15 veritree tokens or more in return for their donations. These tokens are redeemable for a tree planting certificate with details of all actual trees once these have been planted next year.

Derrick Emsley, Co-Founder and CEO of veritree, said, “It’s very hard to get more than a GPS location or photo to verify our tree planting. By integrating with Cardano’s blockchain, tree planters across the globe will deliver irrefutable proof to sponsors on what sapling has been planted where, by whom, and how that site is being maintained. This provides complete peace of mind to our partners on the legitimacy of their project.”

Veritree is a company that uses blockchain to deliver a solid and transparent integrated planting management platform. Their main goal is to support worldwide restoration initiatives for tree planting organizations. The Veritree platform offers SaaS, sustainability as a service, assisting organizations in joining the sustainability revolution. Also, in weaving positive impacts into their business model.

Therefore, all givers will be able to see all the details about the plating strategy. This is achieved by combining easy access to a blockchain tool, local community engagement, and remote sensing.

Rival: Partnering up with esports giant Rival

Cardano has also partnered with leading esports and gaming platform Rival to develop agnostic NFT marketplaces, fan rewards, and more for Rival and their partners. The partnership will see Cardano facilitate the ability to create and distribute NFTs, the redemption of NFTs for physical goods, and marketplace-based royalties within the Rival platform, whose clients include the National Football League’s (NFL) Seattle Seahawks, National Basketball Association's (NBA) Detroit Pistons, and Aston Villa and Watford of the English Premier League (EPL).

Rival is a first-of-its-kind business platform that enables businesses to take advantage of the gaming industry. They help companies to get new customers. Also, they help to increase engagement, establish a loyal community, and generate new revenue streams.

Matt Virtue, CEO of Rival, said, “Our partnership with Cardano marks Rival’s entry into blockchain and is a significant step in our evolution as an enterprise platform solution to unlock the unlimited potential in gaming and esports. Rival’s integration with Cardano will help us maximize and personalize the entire Rival experience - for both gamers and partners.”

UBX: Regulated institution UBX now running a public stake pool on Cardano

In addition to these partnerships, Cardano took strides to increase on-chain DeFi activity through a strategic collaboration with UBX.

UBX is UnionBank of the Philippines’ financial technology venture studio and fund. UBX, the fintech venture studio and fund spun out of UnionBank, has launched its own public stake pool featuring Cardano. UBX stakers are now able to earn rewards on their ada for helping to secure and operate the Cardano blockchain.

John Januszczak, President and CEO of UBX said, “To further excel and maximize the potential of blockchain, we’re looking at emerging protocols like Cardano to connect traditional financial markets to the world’s most innovative financial operating system.”

AID: tech: Supporting decentralized finance identity solutions

Cardano also confirmed support for AID:tech, which provides identity based solutions for finance, payments and insurance through blockchain. The collaboration will see Cardano provide technical guidance to the AID:Tech team as they develop verifiable credentials for trusted identity management and ownership; enable customers and consumers to quickly process payments and disbursements; and reliably process vast volumes of transactions.

The Cardano Summit, and this spate of partnerships, is the latest in a series of wins for Cardano, which successfully launched its Alonzo upgrade earlier this month on the 12th September.

AID: Tech is a Web 3.0 technology company that uses blockchain and cryptocurrencies. It has received numerous awards from organizations such as Citi, the IMF, and the Dubai government. The company has offices in Singapore and Dublin and collaborates with governmental, institutional, and private partners worldwide. Its vision is to provide Digital ID solutions that are as secure and privacy-focused as possible.

Frederik Gregaard, CEO of the Cardano Foundation, concluded, “In recent months, we’ve reached huge milestones, most notably, the launch of smart contract capabilities on Cardano and successfully minting Cardano’s first Non-Fungible Tokens of Appreciation (NFTA to celebrate the launch of our Developer Portal). These partnerships mark the next phase in our development as we now seek to rapidly drive usage of our blockchain and contribute to the creation of a better economy.”

What’s more, the Cardano summit was also held in a virtual world, which gives a small precedent for where Cardano wants to focus its resources. Cardano also announced their emergence into the world of AI through Grace, a robot designed for the healthcare industry.

As a final remark, Cardano introduced the UTOX Alliance to help expand and grow collaborations between developers within Cardano’s UTOX ecosystem. Thus, Cardano seeks to advance the network’s possibilities by relying on the collaborative nature of developers as well as researchers.

Key Takeaways:

The summit gathered every moving piece from the Cardano ecosystem, started with a keynote from Charles Hoskinson, and showcased the network’s current capabilities while forecasting a new development trajectory as smart contracts have become native to Cardano.

The Hydra Layer 2 scaling solution is the next step forward for Cardano; however, the network needs to showcase its smart contract work before beginning new use cases in the ecosystem.

Why You Should Care?

The summit served to showcase the new Cardano smart contract capabilities. The new partnerships aim to reinforce Cardano’s place as the third cryptocurrency by market capitalization. However, it is worth considering that Cardano’s lengthy development process might also be reflected during the implementation process.



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