Hello guys. Rick aka Digital Fortress posted a video as one of the Guardians of Cardano
In the video he gives some suggestions to the community. One of them where a review of the research done by Cardano Foundation so far.
Following his recommendations here is a short review of the Research Papers. Regarding my competence to review these I have two master degrees and while I am not a domain expert in the fields they are discussing I have plenty experience with writing research articles.
First of all it starts off bad with the fact that they are not research papers only for Cardano but for Long Finance and Distributed Futures as well. I could understand this if Cardano Foundation also had research purely for Cardano. But they don’t. I also would note I would not really call these research papers but more like summaries of issues as there is very few sources cited and there are no experiments or hypothesizes investigated. I could stretch myself to call these meta research as they do give overview of issues.
I have reviewed 5 out of 8 articles (I did not have time to do more as of now but I invite others to review as well) and my overall impression is that while Cardano Foundation is doing some general research that has value and use in the cryptocurrency space they are very unrelated to the Cardano ecosystem and its need. As an example why research on the need to have quantum resistant transaction models when already Cardano is at 50% (on cardanoroadmap.com) on having a quantum resistant transaction model. The need is clearly there and already established by IOHK. Why are there no dialogue between Emurgo / IOHK and Cardano Foundation to coordinate research efforts and divide tasks. Instead of a hydra with one body and many minds we have a three headed troll where two of the heads want to move in one direction and one troll in the other.
Smart Ledger Geostamping Steps Towards Interoperability & Standards
Published 20th December 2017
The core of the article is finding an efficient way to geostamp (time + geographical information) and this can be applied to for example in a smart contract the next step in a smart contract once a ship docks at a harbor with the goods included in the smart contract. The implications are large for flow of goods and people. What is lacking in the article is how does this apply to Cardano. For example IOHK have been interested in devices that have built in trust systems like more modern cell phones - why no research in how to apply geostamping that is deemed secure and verified to be true as a way to have information in smart contracts by Cardano? While the research has value it is not very much related to current application in Cardano.
Timestamping Smart Ledgers Comparable, Universal, Traceable, Immune
Published 6th June 2018
Focus on the article is on time stamping and how smart ledgers unlike other 3rd parties do not form monopolies. They also argue how time stamping on a smart ledger is very granular as the information always is sequential in a ledger and can be built up or re winded to find the exact information you want. They then discuss how this could be applied to trading, auctions and found management compliance. They then have a historic review of timekeeping and then discuss desirable properties of a time stamping scheme. While these are worthwhile goals in general again the pattern is that the research does not much relate to current Cardano developments. Why is there no applied research into how this would relate to practical applications like verified information from mobile phones and how they can be used as part of time stamping transactions. You could then look into stuff like trading of coffee beans in Africa and get a real time overview of where trades are going on and connect this information with transportation of goods for a much more efficient flow of goods. Again why is none of the research of Cardano Foundation tied to actual projects by Cardano?
Get Smart About Scandals Past Lessons For Future Finance
Published 7th March 2018
This is more of a regulatory framework article than a technology research article.
The core premises is that financial transactions have become more complex and the answer has so far been more regulation. This has caused many scandals as regulations have been broken. They have an historic review of factors causing scandals like for example political instability during ancient Rome times and try to identify what exactly is a scandal and how to prevent it. They look at ethics, training, transparency, due regulation, proper procedures and fraud & whistle blowers. I find this ironic given how little transparency Cardano Foundation itself has shown. The research has some general application that applies to any organisation but again the research is so far far from Cardano and its current problems. Why are there no research on the treasury voting system? Why are there no research on liquid democracy? These are governance issues where one needs to not only avoid scandals (for me the wrong perspective) but also have a smarter and more efficient governance system than what has been in the past and certainly have potential for this given all the possibilities an immutable ledger gives. For me this is extremely frustrating to read the article as it seems so stuck in the past when one could move forward into a better future.
Liquidity Or Leakage Plumbing Problems With Cryptocurrencies
Published 21st March 2018.
Looks at the aspect of liquidity or how assets can be converted to value in a certain amount of time. Cryptocurrencies have been plagued with being very volatile and not easy to convert into value aka FIAT historically. The article discuss the tendency to hoard cryptocurrencies currently instead of converting it to other forms of value or using it for goods purchases. They also look at legal risks with smart contracts and how this relates to liquidity. One example in the finality issues of automated contracts where when a goods is delivered an automatic release of value happens but the goods turned out to be of not sufficient quality. How do you rectify this situation in an ill liquid system where the price is highly volatile. They also look into how smart contracts can be deployed to reduce credit risk and thus make sure there is liquidity in the system. All of this is very fine and is fintech but again it is not related to issues faced by Cardano currently. Traxia is an example of a fintech that will deploy on the Cardano ecosystem that tries to provide better liquidity in the system. Why is there no collaboration with this project? Why is the research not related to the Cardano ecosystem?
The Quantum Countdown Quantum Computing And The Future Of Smart Ledger Encryption
February 20th 2018
The field of problem solving is going through a paradigm shift as for example new AI’s do not compute faster but smarter and more closely resembling the human mind and its instinctive thinking process (as an example the previous chess AI’s use far more calculations per second than newer generations yet the new generations dominate.) This also applies to the encryption field where a new form of computation called quantum computation applies a new problem solving way for computers. As far as my understanding goes quantum computers can hold several states at once and not just a binary 0 or 1 and thus they can evaluate in parallel faster than current computational models. The premises of the article is that quantum computers will be able to break current encryption methods and thus the security of for example smart ledgers. The article has good explanation of quantum computation principles (at least for me not a domain expert) and goes on to discuss how one can protect secrets with encryption in smart ledgers that are quantum resistant. They also discuss the time frame for making sure a cryptocurrency is quantum resistant and what is a best model to approach this with. While this research do have practical implications for Cardano, they already are researching a quantum resistant transaction model. Finally for me it is flawed that they do not focus on letting the USER decide when to apply it to transaction not the other way around with a central authority deciding for them. The whole idea that some central authority are the ones who will decide and model when it is useful is for me flawed thinking and a way backwards not forward.