Written by @elliothill at the Cardano Foundation
The arrival of the Mary hard fork event on 1 March 2021 brought with it the ability to create native tokens on Cardano. True to form, our community has not been slow on the uptake of native token functionality.
Just like the rapid proliferation of stake pools following the Shelley hard fork, collectively our community has already minted over 1,500 tokens in our testnet environment, and almost 600 tokens are now live on the Cardano mainnet.
But, with great token power, comes great responsibility. As much as decentralization is to be admired and promoted, there is also a need for certain centralized components that can support the growth and development of the Cardano ecosystem. In particular, reference material for our already vast amount of native tokens is of principal importance to the orderly growth of our ecosystem.
To help achieve this, the Cardano Foundation is now pleased to introduce the Cardano Registry, a trusted and curated collection of on-chain identifiers for tokens written and deployed on Cardano.
The Cardano Registry is the result of months of planning and discussion on how best to maintain our native token landscape. Here, we are going to explore what role Cardano Registry will serve within the ecosystem, and why the Foundation believes that the Registry is an important initiative for our community. We will also be looking at what role the Cardano Registry could play in enterprise and financial solutions for Cardano in the future.
The Cardano Registry is a centrally-managed register of Cardano native token data and information. At its core, the Registry is expected to function as a truth source and potentially as an eventual consolidation location of ‘on-chain identifiers’. These identifiers include public keys, hashes, token addresses, minting policies, and more.
The Registry will then map these identifiers to human-readable attributes. For those less technically inclined, this essentially means that you or other service providers will be able to read information about a token through the registry in a format that makes sense to a non-developer. This could include a token’s name, a short description of its function, an asset name, and a minting policy ID.
In an ecosystem where hundreds or even thousands of native tokens are being minted every week, collecting detailed information about individual tokens is time-consuming and difficult. Instead, the Cardano Registry will be a Cardano Foundation managed centrally accessible resource, designed to empower our ecosystem through access to the most relevant data.
Essentially, the Cardano Registry gives users access to the true character of native tokens deployed on Cardano through human-readable metadata and other descriptive information. Eventually, this data will be available to view alongside native tokens through both the Daedalus and Yoroi wallets.
The Cardano Registry will be maintained on an opt-in basis. Token owners are required to submit a single JSON file and submit a GitHub pull request for admission to the registry. Likewise, modifications to existing entries will require a pull request. Approval of pull requests will be subject to both automated checking and human manual approval.
Although registration is not required to mint or use a token, we highly recommend all users do so—not just for the good of the entire ecosystem, but also for token creators’ benefit.
Some benefits of registering a token on the Cardano Registry include:
Authenticity - Like other blockchains, it is technically possible to mint a token with the same name as another token. To prove your token’s authenticity, you could submit it to the Cardano Registry where users will be able to verify its minting policy.
Metadata discovery - It is possible to view and explore descriptive on-chain identifiers, including metadata, through the Cardano Registry. This may be essential for users of a DApp or NFT token.
Verification - Human-readable Policy IDs, token names, and tickers make it easy for token holders and users to verify native assets on Cardano.
Essentially, registering a token with the Cardano Registry opens the doors to a better experience for both the token creator and the users of the token as well.
So, if you are a token creator and you want to register your token, head over to the Cardano Registry here and submit your native token.
Read more about tokens on Cardano here: