2019 in review: Cardano Foundation’s transformational year

(Written by @YeJi.Kim and @Bakyt_CF)

Happy 2020!

The past year was a time of growth for the Cardano community as we became more geographically and linguistically diverse, and increased in size and scope.

In 2019, the Cardano Foundation’s in-house team expanded as well: from less than half a dozen to more than 20 people across 16 locations in 12 countries (:canada:, :cn:, :de:, :jp:, :kr:, :netherlands:, :portugal:, :singapore:, :switzerland:, :taiwan:, :uk:, :us:).

As both the community and the Foundation’s in-house talent grew, so did our involvement in various events and activities in our effort to contribute to the blockchain industry and foster the adoption of Cardano.

We celebrated Cardano’s second anniversary in Bulgaria in 2019, with “embracing the community” being the main theme of the festivities. The Foundation helped youth to gain skills for the future and to lift them out of poverty by supporting academic, research and educational initiatives, such as WyoHackathon 2019 in Wyoming. The Cardano Foundation also financed Seiza (Cardano blockchain explorer) and Tangata Manu (open source codebase library).

Equipped with the achievements and lessons of 2019, the Cardano Foundation’s team will focus on taking more responsibilities for Cardano. Ahead of a very busy 2020, here are some of the highlights of the past year.

@Nathan_Kaiser, Chairperson of the Cardano Foundation, shares a high-level review of 2019 and glimpse of what is yet to come in 2020.

Watch the Cardano Foundation: 2019 in review in full here.

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Expansion of the Cardano Foundation and the global community

The Cardano Foundation empowers the global community for gradual decentralization and equips it with necessary tools. The Community Management team is leading these efforts through various projects, including its flagship initiative, the Cardano Ambassador Program. In addition to the Ambassador Program, the team also supports community activities, keeps it safe by moderating the official channels and provides information and educational materials through its regular newsletters and project breakdowns.

The Cardano Foundation expanded its in-house team by bringing much-needed skills to broaden its coverage, and to improve the management of the rapidly growing community. With the addition of recently-appointed Senior Community Engagement and Strategy Lead Casey Monroe, the Community Management team’s size has significantly increased, with Tiago Serôdio, Tommy Kammerer, Niels Schoof, Andy Hendrikx and Ryan He joining the Foundation. The Cardano Foundation’s largest team now covers time zones across Asia, Europe and the Americas. The Foundation has added German along with Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean content as our officially-supported languages.

Besides expanding the language and time zone coverage to better manage the community, the Cardano Foundation is laying the groundwork for community-led projects, as well as enhancing the Ambassador Program. The next phase of the program will include rewards to gradually increase the autonomy of the community. @Nathan_Kaiser, Chairperson of the Cardano Foundation, says: “The next step is to streamline the Community Management function and optimize the organizational structure, engagement processes and project management to improve our interaction with the community, as well as diversify the profile of the community.”

In 2019, the Foundation also strengthened the Operations and Tech teams by onboarding Hinrich Pfeifer, Gianna Abegg, Kerstin Lin, Frédéric Johnson and added two new Council Members. The Cardano Foundation’s in-house team is now made up of 18 nationalities (:us:, :austria:, :belgium:, :brazil:, :uk:, :canada:, :chile:, :cn:, :netherlands:, :fr:, :de:, :india:, :kr:, :kyrgyzstan:, :portugal:, :south_africa:, :switzerland:, :taiwan:).

@Hinrich Pfeifer, General Secretary of the Cardano Foundation, highlights the exponential growth of both the Foundation’s talent and the community in 2019 and our expansion plans for 2020.

Watch the Cardano Foundation: 2019 in review in full here.

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Improving the blockchain industry by shaping legislation

One of our missions is to shape legislation and commercial standards. The Cardano Foundation joined leading industry bodies in 2019 to lead the dialogue on establishing and improving blockchain governance.

In the past year, the Foundation became a member of the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA), Global Digital Finance, Crypto Valley Association (CVA), Algorithm Contract Types Unified Standards (ACTUS), Boston Blockchain Association, Fintech Association of Hong Kong, Swiss Chamber of Commerce (Hong Kong) and others.

The Cardano Foundation also participated in more than 100 events across the globe to present our vision for blockchain-enabled future with leading business leaders and policymakers. The Foundation is involved in the development of blockchain business ecosystems in all regions with varying policies and regulations, and will continue to be in 2020.

The Cardano Foundation joined the Messari registry in 2019 to bring a higher level of transparency to the crypto asset space through ongoing disclosures. We believe in adhering to the same values and standards set by the Messary will bring more transparency to the industry.

The Cardano project is truly global and the Foundation has criss-crossed the planet from Africa to Asia and from Europe to the Americas to study the blockchain industry’s current state and to shape commercial standards. As part of this effort, we opened a dialogue with African nations to develop blockchain governance in 54 countries of the continent. The Cardano project has been focusing on Africa from the very start to help policymakers establish a transparent governance system.

@Tamara_Haasen, Council Member of the Cardano Foundation, explains the increased importance of communication and cooperation with key stakeholders.

Watch the Cardano Foundation: 2019 in review in full here.

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Driving the adoption of Cardano through strategic partnerships and collaborations

Partnerships are one of the most important parts of driving adoption of our technology. The Cardano Foundation is forging the best ways to adapt Cardano to different business models and to develop real-world use cases.

One of the main alliances the Cardano Foundation forged in 2019 was with Konfidio Ventures based in Berlin, Germany. This strategic partnership aims to empower real-world businesses on the Cardano blockchain. The initial focus centers on use cases in banking, logistics, pharmaceutical industries and trade finance, with government and public service use cases to follow.

The Cardano Foundation also teamed up with COTI to provide an adaPay solution enabling merchants to adopt a front-end payment system. The joint effort with COTI was one of the first steps to provide a tangible payment solution to businesses and the community. The adaPay solution is now available, and you can see how adaPay works on COTI’s demo store. We have also issued Cardano-branded Tangem cards in 2019.

We are expecting to forge more partnerships to drive adoption of Cardano for additional use cases as we complete the Shelley era, and ahead of Goguen.

Watch @Nathan_Kaiser, Chairperson of the Cardano Foundation, as he highlights the importance of strategic partnerships we made in 2019 and how they will help us drive the adoption in 2020.

Watch the Cardano Foundation: 2019 in review in full here.

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Cardano Foundation empowers the community and the blockchain industry

In 2019, the Cardano Foundation has been engaging with various stakeholders discussing everything blockchain. An open dialogue and joint efforts are vital to ensure the accountability of all stakeholders and to enhance Cardano’s position in the industry. The exchange of ideas and candid discussions about industry trends represent a mutual benefit for both Cardano and our counterparts.

The Cardano Foundation attended a number of blockchain events and conferences in 2019 to raise awareness of Cardano and to share ideas with industry leaders in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe.

The Cardano Asia roadshow took place in summer 2019 and covered Taipei, Singapore and Hong Kong. We presented Cardano to local communities and shared our ideas on blockchain governance from the Asia Blockchain Summit to World Blockchain Summit in Singapore and SPOT Conference in Hong Kong. We also held meetings with local Cardano communities in Taipei, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as discussions about the future of the project.

On the other side of the planet, we held the East Coast (US) roadshow and met our supporters in New York City and Washington DC, as well as Boston. A number of events also took place in Africa and Europe.

The Cardano community is expected to grow further in 2020.

If you have not joined any local community yet, have a look at the global Cardano Community world map. Nothing in your area? Then start your own group today!

@Manmeet_Singh, Vice Chairperson of the Cardano Foundation, shares our vision about the Foundation’s growing role in the blockchain industry in this video.

Watch the Cardano Foundation: 2019 in review in full here.

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Cardano brand’s role in driving adoption and real-world use cases

The Cardano Foundation appointed McCann Dublin as the brand strategy and design agency for the Cardano brand reappraisal. This mandate marks an important milestone for the project, and for the Cardano Foundation. The Foundation hopes to deliver value amid growing demand for blockchain solutions through reappraising the brand, as well as enhancing the position of Cardano as a world’s leading blockchain platform.

Brand identity plays a critical role in Cardano’s market position. One of the main objectives is to increase our appeal to a wide range of groups and to improve engagement with non-specialist audiences: from developers to investors and from academics to corporates. The goal of the brand reappraisal is to identify fragmented audiences and find a common thread that unites them.

In 2019, the Cardano Foundation also established the Global PR, Communications and Marketing function and brought Bakyt Azimkanov aboard to join the Executive team and promoted Ye Ji Kim.

@Bakyt_CF Azimkanov, Global Director of PR, Communications and Marketing, explains the importance of brand and how it will contribute towards adoption and real-world use cases of Cardano in 2020.

Watch the Cardano Foundation: 2019 in review in full here.

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