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Cardano Ecosystem Strengthens With The Launch Of PRAGMA

Published 26.4.2024

Advocates of decentralization and blockchain technology are sure to welcome the formation of a new group dedicated to bolstering open-source initiatives. The cause for celebration is the establishment of PRAGMA, a member-driven, non-profit association. This association comprises prominent players in the Cardano ecosystem, including the Cardano Foundation, Blink Labs, dcSpark, Sundae Labs, and TxPipe. United by a common goal, these five founding entities are committed to nurturing an alternative open-source ecosystem that extends beyond Cardano to encompass other blockchain platforms.

First Steps

PRAGMA’s initial priority will be to bolster existing open-source initiatives within the Cardano ecosystem, with a particular focus on the Aiken and Amaru projects.

Aiken serves as an alternative scripting language for Cardano, offering a viable substitute for Plutus. It enables more efficient and straightforward scripting than Plutus while maintaining comparable security assurances. It’s fair to suggest that Aiken is emerging as the preferred choice for a majority of developers within the Cardano ecosystem. With the backing of PRAGMA, Aiken has the potential to evolve into the primary programming language for a vast array of Cardano applications.

Amaru is an alternate Cardano client (full node), developed in Rust. It has the potential to operate in conjunction with and maintain full compatibility with the existing Haskell client. This diversity in client options further strengthens the robustness of the Cardano ecosystem.

It’s important to note that having multiple alternative clients can potentially decelerate the pace of development and deployment of enhancements. For instance, should the IOG team integrate the Input Endorsers feature into the Haskell client, the Amaru team would be required to replicate this implementation in their client. This could lead to a delay in the overall progress.

An alternative programming language and a diverse client base are important in any decentralized ecosystem. It is only fitting that such a mission is under the umbrella of a member-based organization, especially one that comprises renowned entities with a proven track record.

In the future, PRAGMA is set to extend its support to a broader range of open-source projects and tools, potentially even those from different ecosystems. The expertise provided by the founding entities will guarantee the production of high-quality open-source projects. These projects, backed by such robust support, could become viable options for enterprise businesses or governments.

PRAGMA is not designed to function as a funding vehicle (similar to Catalyst). Its primary role is to serve as a collective organization for open-source development initiatives. This implies that projects under PRAGMA will need to seek alternative funding sources.

PRAGMA marks the second member-based organization within the Cardano ecosystem, following Intersect. Intersect has a more extensive mission, with a significant emphasis on governance. For instance, Intersect has taken over the control of the GitHub repositories of the Cardano project from the IOG team and is now responsible for managing it. In contrast, PRAGMA's focus is solely on open-source development. Therefore, PRAGMA and Intersect are not in competition but rather complement each other in their respective areas of focus.

Conclusion

The announcement was met with considerable excitement within the Cardano community. Several projects have declared their intention to adopt a fully open-source model. Additionally, other prominent community entities have expressed their willingness to collaborate. As such, it’s plausible that PRAGMA’s membership could see an expansion in the future. However, this will not happen before 2025. Members of PRAGMA want to bootstrap the association with a few key projects and reach identified milestones. They want to find out what works for them before they can expand the organization.

The name PRAGMA aptly reflects the organization’s pragmatic approach to addressing critical aspects of ecosystem development. The introduction of Amaru, an alternative Cardano client, is set to enhance the robustness and decentralization of the ecosystem. Aiken, as an alternative programming language, has the potential to attract more developers to the ecosystem and facilitate the creation of new applications.

We wish the new organization luck and success.

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