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Cardstack ICO Review And CARD Token Analysis

Cardstack ICO Review and CARD Token Analysis

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Cardstack ICO Overview

The Cardstack ICO is offering contributors an opportunity to purchase CARD Tokens, the currency underlying a proposed decentralized software ecosystem. The Cardstack ecosystem is comprised of a comprehensive SDK for developers, community-run algorithms for miners and Cardstack Hub UI for end users.  

Cardstack  ICO Value Proposition

The Cardstack ICO proposes the creation of a decentralized software ecosystem to challenge the current paradigm dominated by tech giants. The three main issues Cardstack target are as follows:

  1. The “App Store standard” which turns software features into standalone native apps. These apps usually do not communicate with each other and require users to choose between numerous overlapping features to conduct their workflows.
  1. The management of multiple subscription services for cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) products, which creates an inconvenience for users.
  1. The lack of connectivity between different blockchain and decentralized apps (dApps), which is exacerbated by requiring users to manage the supply of separate utility tokens for each function within a given software stack.
“Cardstack’s approach to decentralization lets self-sovereign users act as their own hub, so that interactions with applications and services running on networks of different topologies flow through a software stack controlled by the users.” (quote from their whitepaper)

The main value proposition of the Cardstack ICO is to breakdown the user experience of disparate software, cloud and blockchain silos which now exist on various levels of the digital world, allowing both developers and users to engage in customizable workflows.

To overcome these disparate app silos, Cardstack offers a new UI, deployed via the web or as a peer-to-peer app, which turns each service created by open-source developers into a “card”. Each card comprises a visual embodiment of key information, whereby users can then connect related cards for any type of workflow or utility they desire. These cards are the point of interaction between local services, cloud-based services and blockchain services all on one interface called Cardstack Hub.

Underlying the Cardstack ecosystem is the Cardstack Token (CARD), an Ethereum-based ERC20 token.

Each user must purchase Cardstack Tokens (CARD) to access every service in the software ecosystem. The CARDS are then converted into a stable currency called Software and Services Coupons (SSC), which are then sent to an app contract to establish a retainer agreement. The CARD tokens are then locked inside a reward pool until the reward allocation cycle is initiated, triggered by a block-based timer.

When a user uses an app, both on and offchain data are collected and reported to the app contract, signaling the user has redeemed a portion of the balance contained in the retainer (SSC). This aggregated history of redemption events is the basis on which the network-wide reward pool smart contract determines an attribution and allocation of rewards to makers and miners within the ecosystem.

The purpose of this token economic structure is to cover costs as well as fees and royalties owed to the teams who contribute to building apps and services on the platform.

Cardstack ICO Team

The Cardstack Team comprises many open source contributors. Check out the full list of contributors here.  

Heading the development of Cardstack is Christopher Tse. Christopher holds a BSc in Computer Science from Columbia University and is the Co-Founder of Monegraph and dotBlockchain Media. He has also served as Senior Director of Innovation at Businessweek.

Ed Faulkner is the Lead Developer at Cardstack. He holds a Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. He has founded three of his own tech ventures of which all are currently operational.

Hassan Abdel-Rahman is the Lead Blockchain Developer for Cardstack. He holds a BSc in Computer Science and Mathematics from Colorado School of Mines. Previous roles include over 2 years as Senior Software Designer at Monegraph and Principal Engineer at McGraw-Hill Education.

Cardstack ICO Strengths and Opportunities

One of the most important features Cardstack will deploy is an entry channel payment system that does not require users to purchase cryptocurrency from an exchange. Users can simply pay with fiat, such as a credit card, to purchase CARD tokens directly on the platform, bypassing the need for any prior familiarity with crypto.

Once users purchase CARD tokens, they are stored on a native wallet accessible from the Cardstack Hub. CARD tokens held in the native wallet are then used to purchase SSCs for every app and service they users with to access. To make any project appealing to the mass consumer market, this type of simplified entry into the cryptospace is a necessity.

Cardstack have made some progress on the development front. The code for over 30 initial modules on the Cardstack platform has been made available via their Github. Also, the Solidity code for the Scalable Payment Pool has already been open-sourced. The Scalability Payment Pool is one of the core back-end mechanisms of the platform that issues rewards to developers for their work. In addition to this, the code for another central feature of Cardstack, the upgradable smart contract, has been made available along with an explanation of its significance.

Cardstack ICO  Weaknesses and Threats

The Cardstack whitepaper makes a number of claims regarding both user and developer experiences that are based on faulty premises. From the user perspective, the whitepaper points to the sequence needed to implement and use a native app on a device (searching, downloading, launching) as a major barrier to new app adoption. This is a fairly bold premise to build a product without any research which supports this claim.

The whitepaper also states that the old business model of paying to use apps up front does not exist anymore. This is correct. Users don’t normally pay for their initial download of an app because there is a new economic model that facilitates mass adoption while still providing a profit- community editions/freemium.

Open-source projects work, both practically and financially, for a reason; they generate income in multiple ways. The freemium model allows latitude for users who are not sure to what extent they will use an app, if at all.

A second premise for which we see little supporting evidence is the management and payment of multiple app subscriptions. Users who find themselves managing multiple payments for different subscriptions already have services such as Apple Pay at their disposal to fill this need.

As a platform that aims for mass consumer adoption, Cardstack rests heavily on the assumption that there is a need amongst consumers for a radical break from the current paradigm; that we as users are fed up with using different apps and managing our subscription services via the supposedly limited options which are available.

By consolidating every single app, service and blockchain into one platform, Cardstack is essentially offering a “container” to hold all these things in one place. From this perspective, the value proposition of the platform becomes redundant. We already have containers for all of our apps, services and blockchains- they are called computers and mobile phones. We simply don’t see a demand from consumers to build an additional layer into their user experience.

The Verdict on Cardstack ICO

Interoperability between disparate levels of connectivity is one of the crucial areas on which technological development focuses at the moment. But there is no reason this cannot be achieved via the devices and products we already use everyday.

We don’t see the value of turning this vision into reality by forcing users to adopt an entirely separate aggregation platform, which is only accessible via a web-based or peer-to-peer portal.

After taking a long, hard look at the Cardstack ICO, we are going to pass on this one.

Learn more about the Cardstack ICO from our Telegram Community by clicking here.



The Cardstack ICO may be clever, innovative, and even a good use of the blockchain. But there isn’t enough of a consumer need to drive adoption. We see little progress, and even less opportunity for long-term success with the current model.

Founding Team……………………….8.4


Token Utility…………………………..8.7




Progress To Date……………………1.0

Community Support & Hype…..6.2

Price & Token Distribution……..5.0


FINAL SCORE……………………….6.1


  • Lead team members have prior success in both tech and startup worlds.
  • Introducing novel tech solutions for scaling payments and smart contracts.


  • Platform does not address an actual need for consumers.
  • No discernible partnerships could mean little interest in platform.
  • Direct competition with tech-giants and little progress.

Today’s date: 2/16/18

Project Name: Cardstack

Token Symbol: CARD


White Paper:

Crowdsale Hard Cap: $35 million

Total Supply: 10,000,000,000

Token Distribution: 40% crowdsale, 20% Cardstack Foundation, 15% Cardstack team reserve, 10% ecosystem initiatives, 8% airdrops, 7% advisors and agencies

Price per Token: 1 CARD = $0.017 USD

Maximum Market Cap (at crowdsale price): $170 million

Accepted Payments: ETH

Excluded countries: United States, Cuba, Iran, North Korea

Bonus Structure: n/a

Presale Terms: Minimum contribution of $1k max contribution $50k for the pre-allocation with 10% bonus


Important Dates: Pre-allocation round opens March 6th. Crowdsale is planned for Q1 2018. Please see the Cardstack Medium  for more details.

Expected Token Release: TBA

ICO Review Disclaimer

The team at Crypto Briefing analyzes an initial coin offering (ICO) against ten criteria, as shown above. These criteria are not, however, weighted evenly – our proprietary rating system attributes different degrees of importance to each of the criteria, based on our experience of how directly they can lead to the success of the ICO in question, and its investors.

Crypto Briefing provides general information about cryptocurrency news, ICOs, and blockchain technology. The information on this website (including any websites or files that may be linked or otherwise accessed through this website) is provided solely as general information to the public. We do not give personalized investment advice or other financial advice.

Decentral Media LLC, the publisher of Crypto Briefing, is not an investment advisor and does not offer or provide investment advice or other financial advice.  Accordingly, nothing on this website constitutes, or should be relied on as, investment advice or financial advice of any kind. Specifically, none of the information on this website constitutes, or should be relied on as, a suggestion, offer, or other solicitation to engage in, or refrain from engaging in, any purchase, sale, or any other any investment-related activity with respect to any ICO or other transaction.

The information on or accessed through this website is obtained from independent sources we believe to be accurate and reliable, but Decentral Media LLC makes no representation or warranty as to the timeliness, completeness, or accuracy of any information on or accessed through this website. Decentral Media LLC expressly disclaims any and all responsibility from any loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from reliance on any information on or accessed through this website, any error, omission, or inaccuracy in any such information, or any action or inaction resulting therefrom.

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are emerging technologies that carry inherent risks of high volatility, and ICOs can be highly speculative and offer few – if any – guarantees. You should never make an investment decision on an ICO or other investment based solely on the information on this website, and you should never interpret or otherwise rely on any of the information on this website as investment advice. We strongly recommend that you consult a licensed investment advisor or other qualified financial professional of your choosing if you are seeking investment advice on an ICO or other investment.

See full terms and conditions for more.

Founding Team

This category accounts for the leaders, developers, and advisors.

Poor quality, weak, or inexperienced leadership can doom a project from the outset. Advisors who serve only to pad their own resumes and who have ill-defined roles can be concerning. But great leadership, with relevant industry experience and contacts, can make the difference between a successful and profitable ICO, and a flub.

If you don’t have a team willing and able to build the thing, it won’t matter who is at the helm. Good talent is hard to find. Developer profiles should be scrutinized to ensure that they have a proven history of working in a field where they should be able to succeed.


What is the technology behind this ICO, what product are they creating, and is it new, innovative, different – and needed?

The IOTA project is a spectacular example of engineers run amok. The technology described or in use must be maintainable, achievable, and realistic, otherwise the risk of it never coming into existence is incredibly high.

Token Utility

Tokens which have no actual use case are probably the worst off, although speculation can still make them have some form of value.

The best tokens we review are the ones that have a forced use case – you must have this token to play in some game that you will probably desire to play in. The very best utility tokens are the ones which put the token holder in the position of supplying tokens to businesses who would be able to effectively make use of the platforms in question.


There doesn’t have to be a market in order for an ICO to score well in this category – but if it intends to create one, the argument has to be extremely compelling.

If there is an existing market, questions here involve whether it is ripe for disruption, whether the technology enables something better, cheaper, or faster (for example) than existing solutions, and whether the market is historically amenable to new ideas.


Most ideas have several implementations. If there are others in the same field, the analyst needs to ensure that the others don’t have obvious advantages over the company in question.

Moreover, this is the place where the analyst should identify any potential weaknesses in the company’s position moving forward. For instance, a fundamental weakness in the STORJ system is that the token is not required for purchasing storage.


With many ICO ideas, the timing may be too late or too early. It’s important for the analyst to consider how much demand there is for the product in question. While the IPO boom funded a lot of great ideas that eventually did come to fruition, a good analyst would recognize when an idea is too early, too late, or just right.

Progress To Date

Some of the least compelling ICO propositions are those that claim their founders will achieve some far-off goal, sometime in the future, just so long as they have your cash with which to do it.

More interesting (usually) is the ICO that seeks to further some progress along the path to success, and which has a clearly-identified roadmap with achievable and reasonable milestones along the way. Founders who are already partially-invested in their products are generally more invested in their futures.

Community Support & Hype

Having a strong community is one of the fundamental building blocks of any strong blockchain project. It is important that the project demonstrates early on that it is able to generate and build a strong and empowered support base.

The ICO marketplace is becoming more crowded and more competitive. While in the past it was enough to merely announce an offering, today’s successful ICO’s work hard to build awareness and excitement around their offering.

Price & Token Distribution

One of the biggest factors weighing any analysis is price. The lower the price the more there is to gain. But too low of a price may result in an under capitalized project. It is therefore important to evaluate price relative to the individual project, its maturity and the market it is going after.

The total supply of tokens should also be justified by the needs of the project. Issuing a billion tokens for no reason will do nobody any good.


Communication is key. The success of a project is strongly tied to the project leaders’ ability to communicate their goals and achievements.

Things don’t always go as planned but addressing issues and keeping the community and investors in the loop can make or break a project.

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