This week was a great week for the Cardano community with meetups happening across many cities. Members of the Cardano Foundation Marketing & Community Management team were lucky enough to attend the Inaugural Munich Meetup on Tuesday. This event was organized by community members: Marc Antoine (@macousin), Christian (@Chris28) and Markus (@werkof). As a team, we wholeheartedly support community meetups as they are a great way to bring the community together beyond our online channels. If you would like to organize one in your local city, please feel free to get in touch with us!
The meetup was held at Burda Bootcamp, a startup lab by Burda Media, one of the largest media companies in Europe. The set up of the event was absolutely perfect, excluding the horrible weather and torrential downpour outside!
We started the evening with introductions from the community members who came out. There was a variety of backgrounds from IT, healthcare and medicine, film production, software development and devOps. Most people were from the Munich area, but we also met community members from Austria as well as Chris and Nico who made it out by car from Berlin!
Next, Tom and Jon from the Cardano Foundation Marketing team took the stage for an hour long presentation on the project and the Foundation.
Firstly, they discussed the importance of meetups. Though we have been fostering the online community and Cardano’s social channels, we strongly feel that community meetups are an important step in building and maintaining a healthy community.
Next, there was an introduction into the project:
“Cardano was created with a simple but powerful idea in mind; to level the playing field for global commerce and governance by delivering a strong resilient backbone of blockchain technology infrastructure, fully accessible to all without prejudice.”
The presentation went onto blockchain technology. As an organization, we see that there are many misconceptions and misinformation about the industry because of its rapid growth and popularization in mainstream media. As a team, we are working on education programs that will address this knowledge gap.
Tom shared with us the “generations” of cryptocurrencies from Bitcoin to Ethereum to Cardano.
The Cardano project has taken the knowledge and observed shortcomings of these past generations and are working to solve these problems.
Some of the competitive advantages of the project are:
- being build with high assurance code: Haskell is a functional programming language that is used when exact outcomes must be achieved (ie. in the military or space applications)
- peer-reviewed academic research: Cardano is built using peer reviewed academic research which ensures that the platform is robust enough to operate at scale, is sustainable and interoperable with other blockchains or systems
- led by industry professional: Charles Hoskinson, ex Ethereum CEO leads the development team and has years of experience in the cryptography and blockchain industry
Following this, Cardano Foundation’s role was presented to the attendees.
We are the non-profit organization, based in Zug Switzerland, acting as the oversight body that protects and enhances the Cardano protocol.
Key areas of focus for the Foundation are:
- Growing and supporting an inclusive global community
- Educate governments, enterprises and individuals on blockchain technology: there is still a lot of work to do here and we want to help people be equipped to use the technology
- Promote accountability and transparency within the project: this is through our activity such as the FP Complete audit reports that audit the code produced by IOHK. This is a trusted third-party objective view on the project. And as far as we know, we are the only or one of the few projects in the space that go through such rigour and accountability.
- Shaping legislation and standards for worldwide adoption: it is important that this technology interfaces with governments, allowing them to better understand and be on board with the technology. To achieve this, Cardano Foundation consults and works with governments. As an industry, there is a lack of standards or consistency and the Foundation is also working to address this issue.
- Encouraging enterprise partnerships and commercial applications
After this, Tom went into further details about the community responsibilities we have. With this, our focus includes:
- supporting and growing the community
- growing meetups in every possible country: wherever there are interested community members, we look to support them
- managing information: there are always rumours and misinformation in this space, so we want to make sure our community members are informed with accurate information
- we also moderate the social channels for the Cardano community: this is to create a safe space, without censorship of any kind. We do not tolerate offensive or discriminatory behavior on our channels but we will still welcome constructive criticisms to the projects
- education: this was touched on earlier but this is to address the knowledge gap currently observed in the crypto-space. This is both for organizations and government bodies and for individuals.
- social media: this includes our online marketing efforts
- fostering an amazing forum community – currently, we are close to 8K members and we find our most engaged members are active here
- providing relevant and useful information: we have a monthly newsletter and monthly digest (which is the shorter form of the newsletter). It is important to keep everyone updated regardless of what platform or channel they prefer, so we also push daily social posts across these channels about key events and project updates.
The next topic covered was the two other entities involved in the project, which is IOHK and Emurgo. IOHK is a world class blockchain engineering company that is responsible for building the Cardano blockchain. And Emurgo is responsible for fostering commercial applications being built upon Cardano ecosystem.
The timeline or brief history of the project was also shared. This includes the token sale that took place in 2015. These initial investors are comprised of 10,000 individuals, 90% of which are Japanese. Then in 2017, the Settlement Layer was launched, and in 2018, we hope to have the computation layer launched.
Next, use cases were discussed. At this stage, without the computation layer, it is quite difficult. But strides have been made in this area. Emurgo has partnered with Traxia, a project looking to change how trade finance is managed and to help small to medium businesses manage their working capital.
Other ‘use cases’ also include the MOU signed in Ethiopia to help their coffee industry and other projects in Africa that hope to address issues like land ownership.
Finally and importantly, Tom and Jon spoke and discussed with the Munich meetup attendees on what’s next for their community. The way our team sees it, we want the individuals in each community to drive the growth. Of course, Cardano Foundation will support in ways we can but to follow decentralized fashion, we want to see individual ownership.
Following the presentation, we had an engaging Q&A session. This included conversation around Haskell’s functionality, virtual machines, how to trade Ada, exchanges, Proof-of-Stake, and how people got interested in the project.
Marc Antoine, one of the organizers, also had a quick presentation on his perspective about the philosophy of project and projects that can grow in the Cardano protocol. He hopes to host many more meetups in the future to help bring people together for collaboration.
Christian, another organizer of the meetup, shared with everyone his insights into the Cardano community. He showed where they can find good information on Cardano, where to ask any questions (here in the forum! ), as well as how to get involved as community members.
Special thank you to the amazing meetup organizers for hosting a successful meetup. We look forward to seeing more in the future! And thank you to everyone who braced the rain and made it out!