A good understanding of blockchain technology empowers individuals, developers, and organizations to harness its unique capabilities. It also enables them to build, as well as contribute to, the ecosystem with confidence. Informed users are more likely to embrace the potential of scalable, decentralized infrastructure and apply it to a wider range of use cases. The Cardano Foundation, therefore, not only supports research efforts but also constantly promotes and participates in educational activities that help explain blockchain and decentralization to various stakeholders.
Early in 2023, CEO Frederik Gregaard provided a detailed explanation of the Foundation’s core focus areas of operational resilience, education, and adoption. Our inaugural Annual Report later delved into the Foundation’s activities during 2022, and an April masterclass and evening networking event in London offered a unique opportunity to dive into the ways blockchain addresses the needs of the financial industry.
Education in the realm of regulation
Regulation is essential to blockchain education and can provide a clear framework to help legitimize the technology. Specifically, regulatory understanding helps protect investors and users, fostering trust and confidence in blockchain innovations while deterring fraudulent or malicious activities. Precisely for this reason, when responding to public consultation, including the Financial Stability Board's one on its stablecoin and crypto-asset activity recommendations, the Foundation advocates for an adequate, risk-based legal and regulatory framework that takes into consideration the vast spectrum of current, as well as potential blockchain use cases.
In October 2022, Gregaard traveled to Brussels for a fireside chat at the Blockchain for Europe Summit 2022, titled “From open source to open governance.” The summit brought together representatives from multiple EU institutions that shape the blockchain sector, including academic and industry stakeholders. Notably, the two-day conference covered topics like the impact of MiCA and TFR on the industry, tokenized economy, Digital Euro, stablecoins, DeFi, data and blockchain, smart contracts and AI, and more.
Building on the momentum of this event, Gregaard appeared before the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) to discuss government-issued stablecoins. Soon after, he spoke with BeInCrypto about the blockchain ecosystem and opportunities for digital assets in the country. During this discussion, Gregaard highlighted how the current debate around CBDCs primarily focuses on privacy and expressed regret that the conversation often stalls on the retail use of digital cash. Since this discussion, Gregaard has elaborated on the potential of a digital euro, suggesting it could redefine inclusivity, efficiency, and transparency in the European Union economy.
In support of this stance, Gregaard penned an op-ed for CoinDesk, which examined the need for a revolutionary spirit and regulatory awareness when aiming to replace incumbent bank technology. The op-ed stressed how blockchain acts as a vehicle for radical transparency, giving power to identity and new forms of governance. In fact, decentralized networks empower people to participate in and shape a more equitable and inclusive digital future.
Delving deeper into the regulatory discussion, Gregaard wrote an op-ed for CityAM, discussing the importance of engaging with policymakers and how recent actions of UK regulators could provide a true agenda-setting approach. In the article, he highlighted the potential of decentralized finance (DeFi) and its ability to transform traditional financial services by eliminating intermediaries and reducing transaction costs. Gregaard reinforced this sentiment in responding to SEC filings against Coinbase and Binance thereafter.
This decentralized ethos also appeared prominently in the CV VC Top 50 Report, which featured Cardano as a leading entity. The report included an expert article from Gregaard, who wrote about the Foundation’s partnership with Georgia’s National Wine Agency—an organization that aims to bolster the country's reputation as a premium wine producer using the Cardano blockchain. The collaboration leverages blockchain's permanent, immutable, and verifiable nature to deliver a scalable, cost-effective method of ensuring the authenticity of Georgian wine. The Foundation is also tapping this unique blockchain functionality in collaboration with Switzerland for UNHCR, supporting several humanitarian initiatives.
Gregaard equally attended the CV VC Top 50 Report Launch Dinner during the World Economic Forum in Davos and participated in the “Blockchain for Good” panel. After this event, as part of the Financial Times' Crypto and Digital Assets Summit in London, Gregaard joined Levan Davitashvili, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Georgia, in the panel "Building resilience with blockchain - can the use of blockchains curtail global disruption?".
In addition, Francis Bignell of the Fintech Times interviewed Gregaard to discuss how the Cardano proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol, Ouroboros, improves the security guarantees of proof of work (PoW) at a fraction of the cost. Gregaard also took this opportunity to highlight the Foundation’s first Global Impact Challenge with veritree, an organization that provides climate solutions via blockchain-verified tree planting.
With a focus on emerging use cases, Gregaard later joined an X (formerly known as Twitter) space with Nucast, a digital media ownership and content streaming platform on the Cardano blockchain. The discussion focused on the Nucast Film Festival, the first event of its kind on the Cardano blockchain.
Building bridges across communities
In addition to Gregaard’s education-related efforts, several other Cardano Foundation members participated in various discussions and community events across a wide range of topics. For instance, Sandro Knöpfel, Head of Financial Institutions, spoke at Building Bridges, where Cardashift and World Mobile were present. During the event, Knöpfel delivered a session titled "Beyond the Hype: Blockchain Infrastructure and Communities for the Global Goals."
Knöpfel also took part via a live stream recording in the launching of Sri Lanka’s first NFT project with Coin Ceylon. Alongside this stream, national news featured the Cardano Foundation speaking at the Yakka Art event attended by government officials and organizations from the Colombo district. Sebastian Bode, Director of Engineering, examined the current and future of Layer-1 platforms in The Block’s panel discussion "Comparing Layer-1 Platforms: 2022 Edition Recap." Bode also spoke with Bitrue about the Cardano blockchain’s unique characteristics, as well as the Foundation’s role in advancing the network, later giving the opening talk at an educational session on the Web3Learn platform. The session, “Intro to Cardano Ecosystem & Opportunities,” reviewed Cardano for developers, including the first steps for developers in the Cardano ecosystem, and discussed Cardano’s grant opportunities via Project Catalyst.
A small group of Cardano Foundation representatives attended the Meta Monzón: II Blockchain and DeFi Congress in Spain. During the event, Knöpfel participated in the "Smart Regulation and Misconceptions Across Markets" panel, while Jide Fashola, Head of Technical Integrations, joined the "Enterprise Use Cases" panel, and Gregaard delivered a keynote addressing the specificities of "Protocols for the future of public administration and applications for the private sector.”
Additionally, the Foundation had a booth at the Crypto Valley Conference, with multiple people from across the Foundation present. Knöpfel delivered a masterclass on "Upgrading the Systems of the World" while Gregaard led a session titled "Enterprise Blockchain is Dead...Long live Blockchain for Enterprise".
As a further effort to equip the community and stir conversations, the Foundation launched a new series of webinars titled “Let’s Talk Cardano.” The first focused on the Women of Cardano, featuring three panels: Businesses Building on Cardano, Cardano NFTs (cNFTs), and Women in Catalyst. Later episodes discussed the ways blockchain can create positive social impact, and equally gave the Cardano community an opportunity to ask questions to our CEO, Frederik Gregaard.
The Cardano Foundation has long championed the multiple aspects of education, from fostering regulatory clarity or supporting blockchain research to providing reliable information. The Cardano Academy, which had its Alpha Program launched early in the year, comes as another aspect of this commitment.
Receiving such positive feedback for the Alpha Program and winning the People’s Choice Award at Paris Blockchain Week has not only overjoyed the teams at the Foundation, but indeed reinforced our motivation to continuously strive to do more and better. The Foundation encourages anyone with questions or comments to reach out to us via any of our channels.
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