With the increased tweets and Twitter Space discussions about the lackluster state of Cardano developer tooling and services for companies wanting to build on Cardano, we decided to add our two lovelaces to the conversation. Blockchain ecosystems live or die by the quality of lives of the people on the ground, helping businesses adopt and implement the technology in solving real-world problems. This is not unique to blockchain and could be said for any human enterprise–the people doing the groundwork (eventually) make the rules.
At the crux of the discourse is the ease of building on Cardano. Are there tools, guides, and ample reference materials for the up-and-coming college graduate? Is Cardano ready for native blockchain applications? What about a traditional business already heavily invested and reliant on digital non-blockchain services and toolsets? For the seasoned engineer, does Cardano get out of her way or hamstring them?
These last couple of questions are what this article explores. How easily can a current Web 2.0 business enhance its offering using Cardano?
The short answer is today, Nov 21 2022, Cardano is open for business and incredibly easy to use for existing Web 2.0 companies wanting to enhance their offering with blockchain technology. A single picture, many still agree, paints a thousand words. Let's paint a few ourselves that show the ease of adopting Cardano in your current Web 2.0 endeavors.
Fans or subscription based services
Streamlabs, a California based streaming solution popular with creators in the Twitch community, saw a milestone of 100 Million US dollars in tips from fans to performers in 2021 only 4 months after offering the service. One big reason for this is because streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube take up to a 50% cut for every dollar a creator makes on their platform. When Streamlabs launched their offering, all you had to do was pay for the software, and you kept all of your revenue, minus PayPal’s money processing fees.
Unlike centralized services, changes to fees associated with blockchain transactions are slow and almost always require large public consensus before being implemented. A few months after Streamlab’s offering using PayPal, PayPalraised their fee so that for every $1, creators only received about $0.48.
When you put your subscription behind an NFT mint/burn mechanism, your business does not have to pay Cardano anything! Your customers pay less than half an ada to transact! Transacting with a blockchain crypto wallet does not require your customers to give PayPal or another centralized processor their middle name and home address.
Membership rewards and gift shops
If your business offers any kind of membership rewards program, rewards points can be distributed on the blockchain. As a business, this relieves you of the burden of expensive databases to track how many points your members have earned. These points can live directly on Cardano as a Native Token associated with a secure passphrase that only the owner knows. Your members can put their passphrase in any blockchain wallet application to see their balance. When members go to redeem wares for their points, those coins can then be “burned” (or permanently removed) creating a perfect, immutable record of issuance and usage directly on the Cardano blockchain for easy reference in perpetuity.
Do you sell your products online? Offering blockchain payments could reduce your payment processing cost by as much as 2 to 20%! How can your business use an extra 20k on a 100k annual revenue you would otherwise have to give to a payment processor? Here at LidoNation, we’re doing exactly this in our bazaar.
Logins and access controls
Does your website require your user to log in? Are you storing those passwords in a database that’s centrally hackable? Is password fatigue causing your users to use the same password for every site, increasing your risk of bad actors assessing your system? NFTs and identity solutions in Cardano allow you to set up login and authentication flows that force the user to prove they control a unique cryptographic key while relieving you of the burden of recording and storing passwords in your database. At most, all you may want to do is store the hash (or record) of the user signing a unique phrase, then log the user in if they can sign the same phrase, producing the same hash.
Are you convinced yet? Perchance you’re now wondering how I do this? What’s a good next step? If you are in the early exploration phase, an excellent first stop is developers.cardano.org. There you can get an overview of Cardano, understand the components, and learn technical concepts. It also gives you a good idea of wallets, how to integrate Cardano into applications and websites, and one of the Cardano superpowers: transaction Metadata — a way to store and retrieve public customer information directly to and from Cardano.
If you’re a Web 2.0 developer guiding a business, here are some specific tools to help you gauge the feasibility and cost of implementation.
- Built on Cardano: A great place to see what kinds of things are currently being built on Cardano
- TxPipe: A collection of open-source libraries and tools for more advanced interactions and for bridging Cardano and traditional digital environments
- Demeter.run: within as little as 10 minutes, you can have a functioning Cardano-templated implementation running for you to start editing and building off with full access to an IDE and all of the Cardano infrastructure.
It’s not lost that this article does not speak directly to the many concerns on Twitter about Cardano’s readiness for building massive blockchain native applications. The goal was to focus on everyone else not often talked about in these conversations, the current digital business trying to enhance customer relations, reduce cost, and increase privacy and security by integrating with Cardano. Are you using these and any other tools in the Cardano ecosystem to enhance your digital products and services? We would love to hear about them in the comments! Are you a business exploring building on Cardano? Feel free to reach out with questions or ask for help and we’ll be sure to point you in the right direction!