Cardstack White Paper

The experience layer of the decentralized Internet

Vision Paper & Technical Paper

To help you gain a deeper understanding of the Cardstack project, our team has prepared two additional papers: one to provide business context and one to illustrate the mathematics behind the reward function.

Cardstack Vision Paper

This long-form position paper walks you through our perspectives regarding the current conditions in the software, cloud computing, and blockchain markets. It shows why a decentralized, token-driven approach will finally unlock the business value of open-source software and make way for the creation of a sustainable software ecosystem that will succeed the venture capital-driven business models.

Cardstack Reward Paper

This research paper, titled “Proportional Attribution and Allocation Model in a Dependency Network with Intervention at the Sub-tree Level“, provides an in-depth explanation of the way in which the value created in this ecosystem can be distributed fairly, using mathematical tools at the intersection of data science and crypto economics.

Talks & Presentations

Members of the Cardstack team have given a series of talks on the Cardstack software architecture, design systems, and project mission. See for yourself how our views and our software have evolved since 2014.

Cardstack Talks & Presentations

You can view our videos and slide shows under the “Resaources” tab at Here are some of the highlights:

  • Cardstack Overview: Chris Tse, the founding director of the Cardstack Project, walks you through a series of animations that build up to the information graphics included in this white paper. He shows how the concepts across technical, design, market, and crypto economics are connected to maximize the ongoing value creation in this new software ecosystem.
  • Cardstack Principles: This talk is co-presented by Chris Tse and Ed Faulkner (Lead Developer of Cardstack). It presents the 10 core principles of the Cardstack architecture and explains why we need to uphold and embrace those principles — which are derived from the open-Web architecture and open-source ethos — in order to create a successful, blockchain-backed world that is an improvement on the centralized cloud regimes. This talk is technical in nature and recommended for those who want to get a deeper understanding of the stack of Cardstack.

Open-Source Code

Developers contribute to open source to “do good”. With Cardstack, we hope that open-source contributors can “do well” economically too. Let’s get started.

Open-Source Code

  • Cardstack Hub: Our core open-source repository contains the key components of Cardstack Hub as well as plug-ins to various components that connect the Cardstack-driven experience to different data sources running on the cloud or as blockchains.
  • Cardstack UX Add-ons: The front-end components of the cohesive user experience are available for developers to use, fork, or enhance. While the Cardstack Hub infrastructure can be used stand-alone with our UX components, we believe that successful market adoption of this infrastructure will offer both a powerful (d)App integration and a consistent, polished on-ramp for users.
  • Cardstack Token: This repository contains all the Solidity source code of the Ethereum smart contract that governs the Cardstack ecosystem. We will release this codebase to the open-source community after it has been reviewed by multiple external security auditors, to ensure that the propagation of robust code incorporates the security best practices. We hope to collaborate with other blockchain developers, so we can improve on the features, efficiency, and security of Cardstack smart contracts.

How to Participate

Cardstack needs your help to become the decentralized counterbalance to the centralized superpowers of the digital age. We hope you will be our fuel and catalyst to bring about the decentralized Internet we all desire.

Become a Part of Our Movement

To learn more about our project, you can visit us on the channels listed below. We will continue to publish materials over time. If you have feedback, feel free to reach out to us on the most appropriate channel.