IOHK, Cardano Foundation and EMURGO celebrate the 2nd anniversary in Bulgaria

Recap Written by IOHK’s Tim Harrison (@IOHK_Tim)

IOHK, the Cardano Foundation and EMURGO came together at the Agrarian University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria in celebration of the second anniversary of the Cardano blockchain and this community.

The event began with a speech by the Vice Rector of International Relations, Professor Svetla Yancheva. She welcomed the global community which included supporters from all over the world including Bulgaria, Japan and Mexico. Charles Hoskinson then gave the keynote speech where he laid out IOHK’s past challenges and opportunities for the future. There he dedicated himself to continually pursuing high risk, high reward solutions to creating a new, decentralized framework for the world.

Over the last two years, IOHK built the world’s first peer-reviewed distributed network from the ground up. This has combined the efforts of IOHK, the Cardano Foundation and EMURGO as well as the world’s leading cryptographers. But it also required computer scientists, mathematicians, political theorists, economists and a worldwide team of ambassadors. The end goal for IOHK is simple: fundamentally changing how wealth, value and information is shared through decentralization. The second year anniversary of the Cardano blockchain served as a milestone rather than a finish line for that journey.

Senior Research Fellow, Dr. Simon Thompson, took the stage for a workshop on writing smart contracts with the newest iteration of Marlowe. Thompson demonstrated features of the domain-specific language by building a financial smart contract live on stage. Using Marlowe an escrow agreement was written and deployed in under ten minutes. The event then moved outside to the grounds of the university, with a gingko tree planting ceremony focused on the sustainable philosophy of Cardano rather than just the technology.

In his opening remarks, as he prepared to plant the first tree, Charles Hoskinson quoted a proverb stating, “a society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” This represents the ethos of growth, sustainability and stewardship exemplified by the Cardano project. In recognition of this, representatives from IOHK, the Cardano Foundation and EMURGO joined together with Ambassador Vasil St Dabov (and other ambassadors Marin, Josh, Kenny and Carlos) for the ceremonial planting.

The latter half of the conference included a presentation from Cardano product manager, David Esser, looking at Cardano from the perspective of users, investors, and developers. Representatives from EMURGO and the Cardano Foundation also took the stage to discuss the future of the platform and their ongoing relationship with IOHK. The second year anniversary concluded with an AMA session with representatives from all three organizations. During the AMA later in the day, Charles Hoskinson took the opportunity to make a surprise announcement.

IOHK is collaborating with the athletic shoe company New Balance on an authentication pilot project, the first consumer-focused deployment of the Cardano blockchain. This is a consumer level verification solution which will allow purchasers to confirm the authenticity of footwear on the distributed ledger.

Building a robust, decentralized platform for the next century is no small task. IOHK, EMURGO, and the Cardano Foundation have dedicated themselves to building in a thoughtful, consistent and academically rigorous manner. Ultimately, this platform will be entirely decentralized and handed over to the community. This event was a celebration of how far the Cardano blockchain has come, the long road ahead, and the community that continues to make the journey so worth it.