Cardstack White Paper

The experience layer of the decentralized Internet

Fundraising Schedule

The Switzerland-based Cardstack Foundation will initiate a fundraiser, followed by a series of airdropped awards, so as to distribute tokens to interested participants of the Cardstack ecosystem.

Crowd Fundraiser

The Foundation will distribute 40% of the total of Cardstack Tokens (CARD) that will be generated at the Token Generation Event (TGE) to the public. These tokens will be distributed through a series of batches to ensure a fair allocation to our community of contributors, while maintaining compliance to applicable laws and regulations.

Early Contributors (Batch A): The first batch of tokens will be distributed to teams and individuals who have been active in the Cardstack community and have plans to continue to support and grow the ecosystem. This process is conducted manually and is subjected to KYC/AML (Know-Your-Customer / Anti-Money-Laundering) rules during on-boarding processes. Contributors in this batch will be offered a bonus of 20%.

Pre-Allocation (Batch B): The second batch of tokens is available on a firstcome-first-serve basis to members of the Cardstack community who wish to obtain an allocation of up to $50,000 USD equivalent of CARD and receive a 10% bonus. Interested parties will need to complete an on-boarding process operated by our pre-allocation partner, Bitcoin Suisse, prior to the start of the pre-allocation period. Approved participants will be able to contribute Ether or another cryptocurrency or fiat currency supported by the Bitcoin Suisse platform. For further details, please visit

Ecosystem Reward Cycle

To encourage the adoption of Cardstack software, architecture, and protocols, the foundation aims to distribute the remaining tokens to the broadest network of participants possible.

Crowd Fundraiser (Batch C): The next batch of the tokens will be distributed directly through an open registration process on, where contributors who fulfill the KYC/AML requirements can contribute from a whitelisted Ethereum address up to an individual cap. For the first 6 hours of the crowd fundraiser period, the cap will be set at a relatively low number, ensuring that all approved contributors will have enough tokens to redeem Cardstack-based software and services.

To show our appreciation for those community members who have joined our community in its early days, contributors with validated email addresses showing early participation will be granted a higher cap during these first 6 hours. See Section 6.3 for more details.

After these first 6 hours, all contribution caps will be raised.

Airdrop Awards (Batch D): Following the TGE, the foundation will announce and conduct a series of airdrops that will further distribute tokens to potential, interested, and active participants of the Cardstack ecosystem

Token Allocation

The majority of Cardstack Tokens will be distributed to end users, makers, and miners of the ecosystem. A portion of the tokens will be reserved for the foundation and the syndicate, which will vest on a linear schedule.

Circulating Supply of Tokens in Year 1

The Cardstack Foundation will be generating 6,000,000,000 CARD during the Token Generation Event. 60% of the generated tokens will be distributed in Year 1 through early contributor agreements (Batch A), pre-allocation (Batch B), crowd fundraiser (Batch C), airdrops (Batch D), Year 1 ecosystem initiatives (½ of Batch E), and advisors/partners allocations. Allocated tokens will be available for peer-to-peer usage at the conclusion of the crowd fundraiser, which will begin no more than 60 days from the conclusion of the pre-allocation period. The airdrop awards will occur throughout the first year, with each airdrop event limited to 2% of the generated tokens. There will be a public announcement at least 30 days before each distribution event, allowing interested participants to prepare their prerequisites for the awards.

Long-term Token Allocation Ratio

The maximum number of Cardstack Token ever in circulation is 10,000,000,000 CARD. To encourage participation of software makers and analytic miners early in the Project’s adoption cycle, especially before a meaningful number of paying customers arrive, the Cardstack Token smart contract will mint and allocate 4,000,000,000 additional tokens over 10 years, whereafter the smart contract will automatically stake newly minted tokens in reward pools and then allocate them to makers and miners that are actively offering software and services. During the first year, 1,000,000,000 tokens will be distributed incrementally over the course of the year. In subsequent years, the amount of distribution will be diminished, with cumulative distribution at the end of each year capped by this formula: 6,000,000,000 * (y/(y+5)).

Crowd Fundraiser

We want to invite all who are interested in being part of the Cardstack ecosystem to register to participate in the crowd fundraiser. Approved contributors can contribute ether up to a statistically derived contribution limit.

Registration Process

While the pre-allocation is done through a process conducted manually, the registration for the main crowd fundraiser is conducted directly on Please check our website and our Telegram group periodically to learn when the registration process begins.

In order to comply with KYC/AML regulations in the various jurisdictions, we ask each potential contributor to create a unique user login and provide some basic level of identification information, which will be analyzed and scored through a risk management system operated by Bitcoin Suisse AG and/or IdentityMind Global, under vendor contracts with the Cardstack Foundation with strict confidentiality provisions.

Potential contributors will also need to provide an Ethereum address under their direct control, so that the Cardstack Token ledger and the smart contract can “whitelist” those addresses during the contribution period.

The Ethereum address for sending funds to the Cardstack Token ledger is viewable only after a secure user login on, once the crowd fundraising period has started. Along with the Ethereum address, all registered and approved users will see the contributor-specific data field for linking the user login with the contributor’s Ethereum address, as well as instructions on how to use an approved ether wallet to send funds.

Do not send funds to any Ethereum address you find elsewhere that claims to be from Cardstack: Not in any Telegram channel or DMs; not via email, text message, or social posts on Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit — basically, not through any other apps or websites. You need to come to to contribute funds. We will not actively reach out to you.

Individual Contribution Limits

Before the contribution period: All potential contributors must register on to take part in our KYC/AML compliance process at least 72 hours prior to the start of the crowd fundraising period. No contributor will be able to join and participate after the registration is closed. We will publicly post the exact “Target Proceed Amount in Ether” and the “Individual Contribution Limit”, once the registration is closed. These two factors will be determined based on a statistical analysis of the registration data, crossreferenced with patterns in similar token generation events.

Start of the contribution period: When the crowd fundraising period officially begins, registered and approved contributors will have the opportunity to send funds to the Cardstack Token ledger. The amount must be within the Per-Address Contribution Limit, which is implemented as a smart-contract-enforced quota on all whitelisted Ethereum addresses. Transactions that are above either the contribution limit or the gas limit will be rejected by the smart contract or the Ethereum network, respectively.

Individual contribution caps will start out low during the crowd fundraising period to ensure broad participation. Contributors who have been a part of community early on may be given a higher contribution cap during this initial period. Caps will be raised for all contributors as the fundraiser progresses.

End of the contribution period: The fundraiser ends when the amount of ether contributed reaches the Target Proceed Amount in Ether or when 30 days have elapsed, whichever is earlier. At this point, funds will no longer be accepted; Cardstack Tokens will be allocated and they will be unlocked.

Crypto Economics Design

The Cardstack project implements a payment and governance mechanism that facilitates the usage of the software and services via a hybrid token acting as a utility token, a work token, and a reward token.

Token Functions

For end users, the project token is a utility token that allows them to mix and match multiple dApps and cloud apps. When users spend a project token, the smart contract forms a retainer agreement between the users and their chosen apps before the token is staked in a reward pool.

Software developers and service providers, whom we collectively call makers, can offer their dApps or cloud apps to users as part of the project’s ecosystem; they register their apps by paying a fee, thus using the project token as a work token. The fees to be paid by makers are determined by the smart contract, so as to balance the goals of inviting new entrants and maintaining quality. Maker fees, once paid, are locked in a toll pool and taken out of active circulation.

Tokens staked in the reward pool by users are periodically distributed to makers as reward tokens, according to a decentralized algorithmic payment and governance model that rests in the hands of the community. This model is driven by anonymized usage data, which is aggregated and tracked by an on- and off-chain protocol called Tally. Analytic miners help calculate the reward function that determines who gets paid out what, while sifting out spam, therefore making the system fair and resilient. The miners’ results compete in a sortition scheme we call Proof-of-Analytics, ensuring that the reward algorithms are never under a single party’s control.

Analytic miners can register to participate in the Proof-of-Analytics scheme, in order to determine how the reward pool is split, by paying a fee for every life cycle of the reward pool. These fees are paid as work tokens and locked in a toll pool as well. If a miner is selected to report the final payment splits, that miner receives a portion of the tokens in the reward pool as mining reward for doing the useful work of number crunching and enforcing the community’s payment and governance model.

The percentage of tokens in the reward pool to be paid to miners is determined by the same decentralized algorithms that aim to minimize on-chain transactional fees in aggregate for end users and makers, yet ensuring protocol security by giving a critical mass of analytic miners incentives to compete.

To increase their chance of being selected, analytic miners can stake additional project tokens in a long-term stake pool called the voting pool. The odds of being selected through the sortition scheme are proportional to the size of a miner’s long-term stake. Miners who have tokens locked in this long-term pool can, however, have their stake slashed by the smart contract, if the results of their analytics are deemed to be fraudulent or out-of-consensus with the community.

Users and makers can also stake project tokens in the voting pool to influence the allocation parameters, smart contract upgrades, analytic algorithm changes, etc. For the purpose of allowing project token holders to influence the governance of the ecosystem, a variant of quadratic coin lock voting, which was proposed by Vitalik Buterin, is implemented in the smart contract. This way, voters who want to wield power through voting must live with their decisions for longer and align their interests with the long-term value of the ecosystem. Staked tokens in the voting pool can be retrieved after the lock-up period has elapsed.

Early on in the project ecosystem’s growth, newly minted tokens are automatically staked by the smart contract, in order to bootstrap the reward pools with a meaningful number of project tokens, so as to attract makers and miners to participate. As more end users arrive, the new revenue these paying customers bring in becomes a major portion of these reward pools, allowing the ecosystem to transition into a sustainable marketplace.

Mining Function: Proof of Analytics

The reward function in the Cardstack Token Mechanism relies on the statistical properties of the underlying analytical model to randomly select, query, and reward multiple analytic miners through a sortition scheme.

Sortition-Based Oracle Selection in the Cardstack Reward Function

  • Register with a reward pool contract as an analytic miner.
  • Extract data and run the proportional attribution and allocation model as part of Cardstack Hub. Miners can cover the cost to run the model via SSC.
  • Shuffle the order of registered analytic miners to be contacted, using the previous block’s hash as a randomization seed.
  • Query each analytic miner in the shuffled order as an oracle until the results converge. Discard outliers. Stop and skip the rest when the confidence interval is acceptable.
  • Dedicate a portion of the reward pool and/or inflation to the analytic miners who helped to fairly distribute rewards to the participants of the ecosystem.

Role of Data Science in Blockchain Protocols

Most deep data analyses of blockchain networks have been performed as off-chain processes, visualized as real-time charts, embedded as screenshots in academic papers, or presented as criminal evidence in court cases. The day-to-day functioning of blockchain networks themselves, however, has not needed to tap into the power of data analytics, statistical models, or machine learning algorithms to “decide on the next block”.

As blockchain-backed value networks expand to encompass more real-world activities, the use of data science to synthesize and make decisions affecting on-chain value creation or transfer will become an increasingly important area of study and experimentation. We hope to collaborate with those interested in this emerging area of blockchain innovation.

Voting Pool for Long-Term Holders

The governance of the ongoing operations as well as the periodic upgrade cycle of the reward function and other smart contracts in the Cardstack ecosystem will be gradually delegated to participants of the voting pool.

Tokens Not in Active Use Can Be Staked in the Voting Pool

Note: Participation in the voting pool does not grant any voting power over any Cardstack legal entities, nor do the tokens staked in the voting pool generate any interest payments or special inflationary rewards.

Proportional Influence Based On "Stake-Time"

The foundation will periodically offer ballot propositions, which the participants of the voting pool can vote on to guide the evolution of the Cardstack ecosystem. Some of these ballots are non-binding and serve as forum for stakeholder feedback. But some will trigger the automatic upgrade of smart contracts or change the key parameters governing the reward functions and other on-chain code upon approval by the voters.

Participants need to stake a portion of their tokens, by adding them to the voting pool, to gain influence over ballot outcomes. Staked tokens are locked for a period of time, during which they cannot be converted to SSC, circulated through the reward cycle, or traded. The longer the tokens are locked voluntarily, the more influence the long-term holder gains. However, voting power is progressive. This means that every incremental token from larger holders has less voting power, giving smaller stakeholders more say in aggregate.

Project Roadmap

Ambitious projects are shipped one module at a time. Cardstack has been focused on delivering breakthrough ideas by building up the architecture and features incrementally. We expect this to continue and accelerate.

Get More out of the Box

Cardstack aims to be one of the feature-richest platforms for decentralized application development, with our support for smart-contract code generation, schema-driven data management, distributed versioning, as well as messaging and workflow facilitation. Our plug-in architecture makes it possible to build complex use cases that leverage multiple blockchains and consensus models, like blending a public ledger for tradable tokens with a private ledger for scalable transaction processing within one cohesive, user-facing environment.

Looking forward, we will work to make it easier to design, develop, and deploy Cardstack experiences to any channel where end users are active. We plan to introduce user-controlled machine learning plug-ins to Cardstack Hub, which will help users automate common workflow decisions, so as to increase the velocity of interactions on business networks that are built on Cardstack.

Use of Proceeds

We have divided the work of building, growing, and governing the Cardstack ecosystem into six parallel tracks. Each track can be staffed with domain experts, who can engage their communities and spread the mission.

Multi-Organization Approach

Roles & Responsibilities

Cardstack Foundation is responsible for allocating the proceeds from the fundraiser in a way that is compliant with applicable legal and tax regulations.

Cardstack Syndicate serves as the primary research and development agency to continue to build the core platform and integrate other apps and services as plug-ins.

Cardstack Institute is a subproject of the foundation, tasked to analyze how the ecosystem is functioning and to propose improvements for the reward function and other models.

Cardstack Studio helps clients and partners adopt and deploy Cardstack solutions and is primarily funded through consulting revenues.

Cardstack Financial works to make it easy to purchase Cardstack software and services with fiat.

Cardstack Live is a subproject of the syndicate and produces events, rich media, and education materials.