Cardano: Hoskinson heralds ‘Gerolamo’ as competition to IBM’s Fabric

  • IOHK is planning to compete with IBM’s fabric with ‘Gerolamo’, which will combine a permissioned and permissionless infrastructure for Cardano.
  • The project is intended to become a “user acquisition machine”, bringing companies and government agencies into the Cardano ecosystem.

Charles Hoskinson, the inventor of Cardano, spoke in a new video about the “permissioned vs. permissionless” architecture and the onboarding strategy based on it for corporate customers and government agencies. The CEO of IOHK noted that for a number of reasons, including regulatory uncertainty, companies and government agencies initially prefer a permissioned system when planning to use a Distributed Ledger.

According to Hoskinson, IBM’s Fabric is the market leader in this area, as it provides a permissioned system in which a company has control over the consensus. For example, Walmart is using Fabric and “forces” suppliers within the food supply chain to participate in the system, while Walmart remains in control. This system stands in contrast to Cardano’s permissionless blockchain, which gets its consensus from the community.

However, in order to attract corporate customers, IOHK wrote the code for Cardano in a way that it is “blockchain-agnostic”. Atala, which hosts a permissioned system, is also used for this purpose. As Hoskinson explained, both blockchains, Atala and Cardano, are interoperable with each other, making it very likely that companies will move to Cardano’s permissionless infrastructure over the course of a partnership:

These deals we talk around, for example the Georgia deal, gives us 50,000 new users per year minimum and has the potential to scale to one hundreds of thousands, potentially getting in the tourism industry, where there are 10 million tourists per year.

Deals that IOHK has already made, such as the partnership with the European country Georgia, could pay off for the Cardano ecosystem in the long run:

In fact, a lot of cases when we say, who’s gonna run the infrastructure, they say, we really don’t want to do that. And when you are further along the business relationship you can say […] let’s go ahead and run this on permissionless infrastructure and they say, okay fine.

In addition, both Atala and Cardano will use the same ID solution, Prism, so that users will be able to move between platforms without barriers. In addition, the new Cardano code can be executed in both a permissioned and permissionless environment.

With this in mind, IOHK joined the Hyperledger Consortium to find new partners for the Cardano permissioned version. The whole system will be what Hoskinson called a “user acquisition machine”:

In essence, this is a user acquisition machine, when we gonna do a government deal, they wanna solve a problem and we are over solving the problem with the benefit of Cardano. Because when we bring them in a supply chain system and identity system and any of these things, inevitably all these people get economic identity that is portable.

Regarding the exact timetable, Hoskinson explained that the exact plans are still being developed, but will be implemented in 2021:

This is something that we gonna unify in 2021. We are writing a big proposal to continue IOHK’s participation in the Cardano ecosystem, some of this has to do with rolling up all the innovations we came up with, that are out of scope for the 2020 agreement, some of them have to do with emerging next generation technologies like zk-rollups and recursive SNARKs and all kind of scalability solutions […] and some of these have to do with unifying permissioned and permissionless together.

Hoskinson explained that this project that will link permissioned and permissionless will be called “Gerolamo” and will be developed in collaboration with the Hyperledger Consortium and will compete with Fabric from IBM.

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