A first look at the projects competing for Cardano’s Fund2

The second-ever Cardano fund is in full effect, with three of the dozens of projects now competing for a part of the 2 million ADA fund presented on the Cardano Effect podcast. We take a look at the proposals, which range from e-commerce payment solutions to educational hubs, and how they plan on using the $250,000 fund to improve and build on Cardano.

Free Commerce: An ecommerce extension for ADA payments, without an intermediary

The first project highlighted on the Cardano Effect podcast was Free Commerce, an open source, commission-free payment integration for ecommerce stores. The payment integration system will first be implemented to Shopify, as it’s one of the largest and most well-known online platforms of its kind.

Free Commerce’s developer, a Brazilian native named Jeronimo, explained that the system will work as a straight “wallet-to-wallet” payment solution, requiring no intermediaries to process the transactions sent in ADA. Instead, it will function as an open-source server that works as an observer of transactions made from the wallets of Shopify buyers to the wallets of Shopify store owners. Neither the Shopify platform nor the server will hold anyone’s private keys—to enable ADA payments, the shops will have to provide only their root key.

Said root key would then be used to generate a new receiving address every time a customer of the store makes a purchase. Creating a separate address per every order makes it easier to determine that the right amount of money was paid without having to look through mixed funds in the shop’s main wallet. Once the total amount of the order is paid to the receiving address, the owner of the store will receive the funds directly in their own wallets—the server will verify the validity of the transaction.

This approach will maintain the privacy of the online store, as no customer will be able to track the store’s main wallet and see other payments sent to it.

The de-risking and risk assessment processes have already been done, but the developer noted that the bulk of the work still lies ahead. The original proposal highlights some of the challenges found on the way, which include a slew of limitations on existing ADA wallets that will require the creation of an ecommerce-friendly wallet for Cardano.

Free Commerce seeks funding of around 725,000 ADA for the first year, which represents approximately 37 percent of the total amount allocated to the Fund2.

Lovelace Academy: An educational YouTube series about writing smart contracts on Cardano

Presented by a veteran YouTube educator, the second project seeking funding was Lovelace Academy, a series of video courses on writing smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain.

The project, which will consist of two separate courses, will be led by a three-strong team with Brazilian and Indian roots and focus on attracting and educating developers to build various dApps on the blockchain.

Lovelace Academy’s main platform will be YouTube, where the team plans on delivering 25 episodes in a period of 6 months, with the estimated cadence being one episode every week. The “Making sense of Cardano” series will consist of around 10 episodes, each one lasting between 10 and 30 minutes, featuring guest interviews, news, and updates focused on exploring real-world uses for Cardano. “Cardano’s Sart Contracts” series, however, will feature slightly longer episodes, lasting for up to 60 minutes, presenting practical and easy to understand tutorials on Marlowe and Plutus programming languages. Each episode will be followed by GitHub tutorials and various other repositories to enable easier access to viewers.

If there’s sufficient interest from the community, all of the episodes could be easily replicated in Portugese or Hindi, the team said in the original proposal.

The Lovelace Academy seeks funding of around 120,000 ADA for the six months, which represents approximately 6 percent of the total amount allocated to the Fund2.

Cardano Hub: An outpost for everything Cardano-related in Kiev

The third project presented on the Cardano Effect podcast represents a foray into brick-and-mortar rarely seen in the crypto industry. Andrii Voloshyn, the name behind the Cardano Hub, believes that creating a physical location where people will be able to access everything Cardano-related will be a huge benefit for the entire community.

With previous experience in running a cryptocurrency hub spot, Voloshyn wants to create a coworking and meetup space that will feature a library, a bookstore, and a cafe, essentially functioning as an all-in-one hub both for those deeply involved with Cardano and those new to the ecosystem.

The hub, however, won’t be passive—the space will have a structured working plan broken down into phases that correspond to the launches of Goguen, Basho, and Voltaire. The hub’s Goguen phase will be spent doing meetups to popularize Plutus and Marlowe scripting languages. Through the meetups, the space should be able to acquire high-quality developers working on Haskell, and provide various courses to companies and individuals looking to use smart contracts on Cardano.

The hub’s Basho phase will follow the CATO (Cardano Adoption Through Outreach) tactics and work on developing interoperability with other blockchains. In practice, this means opening its doors to other projects, either to cooperate or assimilate them into Cardano. Come Voltaire, the hub will focus on promoting the study of philosophy, political sciences, and economics. This, Voloshyn explained, will create a good foundation for ideas that could be used in Cardano’s governance.

While Kiev was proposed as the first location for the hub, the proposal noted that other locations were also in play—the hub could be located in Washington State of Wyoming and functions as Cardano headquarters for the Northwestern part of the U.S. Italy’s Milan was mentioned as a possible location, too.

When it comes to the project’s profitability, the proposal outlines tokenization of the hub as an option—ownership of the entire space could be turned into tokens that would provide profit for all of its users.

The Cardano Hub seeks funding of around 888,000 ADA for the first year, which represents approximately 44 percent of the total amount allocated to the Fund2.

More projects to come

While each of the presented projects was ambitious and unique in its own way, they’re not the only ones competing for a part of the $250,000 fund. With ample time for the community to explore various proposals presented on the IdeaScale platform, we can expect more of them to be presented both on the Cardano Effect podcast and on various other Cardano-related media channels.

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