The Cardano space is moving too fast, I can’t keep up! I’ve spent a week collecting my favourite projects to write an article and present them one by one. Hopefully this list will keep growing over time but the amount of things that the Cardano community is trying to tackle is absolutely crazy: AI, DeFi, RealFi, Green Tech, Insurance, NFTs, micro-lending, payments, etc. Today, I present the best Cardano projects. Or at least, the ones that I enjoy following!
The Genius Yield project is a DeFi platform on Cardano and tries to help people to optimize their yield. How? It uses advanced algorithmic trading strategies as well as yield optimisation. The protocol is based on “Smart Swaps” which is based on programmatic rules to optimise returns. It also uses “concentrated liquidity” that allows dynamic allocation of capital based on price range. Finally, Genius Yield is developing an AI-powered Smart Liquidity Management protocol to optimize the APY based on machine learning algorithms to find the best risk-reward trade-off. The whitepaper is fascinating and explains all the programmatic methods running under the hood. One of the best Cardano projects for me!
The JPG store platform is an NFT marketplace and oh boy… What a marketplace! Hundreds of NFT collections are available for a myriad of web wallets that you can connect to the platform in one click. The experience is fluid, and the support truly incredible. I had an issue once with a transaction, I talked live on Discord with their support team and the problem was solved in real-time with someone fully dedicated to solve my problem. I’ve been used to way more issues with other chains and this was a great discovery: I would recommend trying JPG store for the full CNFT experience.
What is MELD? It’s a DeFi platform focusing on multiple things. First, cash loans: get an instant loan against your cryptocurrency holdings at a competitive APR! MELD claims to be decentralized, stable, borderless, democratic and secure. With MELD, you can use your crypto holdings as collateral to secure low interest loans in fiat without losing your private keys. I’ve been involved in the Celsius collapse and I can tell you that having your keys is absolutely mandatory for me to feel safe with a DeFi platform. Each of the core functions in the MELD protocol will be interoperable with other services such as AMMs, LPs, Insurance and all the rest of the financial tools available.
The Theos project is about unifying Cardano non-fungible tokens and fungible tokens on one ultimate platform that will allow liquidity pools and NFTs to coexist. This DeFi-NFTs unification is interesting because it also tries to target carbon neutrality and seems like a great thing to mix with crypto derivatives: you don’t want to create more polluting monsters in the space. The project is supported by plenty of musicians and artists like Matt Sorum or Dirk Ahlbhorn. The whitepaper is honestly very interesting and I would suggest to read it: it explains how NFTs and liquidity pools will coexist. The platform will be compatible with the Ethereum world through an ECR20 converter for secondary markets.
The Yamfore platform is very interesting: it’s a lending protocol that the community runs. There are some key elements to it. First, the borrowing comes with no interest repayments. Yes, you read me correctly, the interests will actually come from the staking, so painless in a way. Then, there is no margin calls or liquidation events making the whole borrowing-lending experience stressless. But for me, the fact that this is not a centralized exchange is really key: I feel like that’s the future of DeFi. Exit Celsius and other monsters. Yamfore comes with a token and what they call a “Non-fungible Bond Offering Mechanism” which is a fairer, more equitable token distribution/fund raising method for protocols seeking to raise capital. One of the best Cardano projects in my view!
The Cardstarter project has been around for a while and is a decentralized Cardano projects accelerator. It’s a platform to fund early stage innovators from the Cardano ecosystem to help them deliver valuable projects for the community. I consider those projects as absolutely key because the corporate world is not ready to fund crypto-related projects, and accelerators like Cardstarter are really critical to achieve crypto adoption worldwide. The project comes with a $CARDS token to fuel the platform and has a straightforward application process for crypto teams launching a new promising project.
The IAMX project is fascinating and focuses on making sure that people will own their identity on the blockchain. This is just so central, so political, so everything that I think this is an admirable initiative. They’re proposing a “Self Sovereign Identity” (SSI) mechanism that allows you to share your identity in one click based on metadata. With SSI, users have “complete control over how their personal information is kept and used. Users can store their identity data on their device and use it for verification transactions, without the need for a centralized repository of data”. This is not just a cute feature, this is trying to make sure that blockchains ARE responsible for identity and NOT the governments. Definitely one of the best Cardano projects for me.
Historically, AADA is the first project to build a lending protocol on Cardano. Their smart contract allows users to deposit assets and collect interest or borrow assets and perform financial actions. This is quite a classic but the team, the doc and the app are quite convincing and will go a long way. It is using a “Pool Lending Protocol” (PLP) making lending more straightforward and affordable as the collateral generates interests. The protocol comes with a nice UI and a good connectivity with various wallets from the ecosystem. A dashboard will summarize your gains and a governance tab is dedicated to voting in an ecosystem driven by the community itself.
The concept of Revuto is so interesting. It’s about handling your subscriptions (Netflix, Spotify, etc) for you so you can choose to deactivate them or activate them any time without cost. It comes with an app making it crystal clear and easy to use so you keep an incredible level of control on what money is leaving your bank account. It’s a funny case where decentralization is actually playing on the centralized field to do it better than “them”. In a way, you’re centralizing your subscriptions based on a decentralized protocol bringing the best of the 2 worlds together. I’m not too sure where this is going to go but it is fascinating to see. One of the best Cardano projects at the moment!
I’m a big fan of the Indigo Protocol that I’ve covered entirely in another article, mostly talking about synthetic assets. Synthetic assets are derivative products following the price of an asset, it’s a copy of the asset on another protocol. The Indigo Protocol allows you to invest in ETH through “iETH” or in AVAX through “iAVAX”. This is technically impressive and will be good for all ecosystems driving adoptions through synthetic derivatives. You’re basically trading other tokens on the Cardano blockchain but benefiting from the level of stability and safety of the Cardano network. I would also recommend reading their impressive whitepaper and yellowpaper on their website: they explain all or this very well.
The DEX project Axo is very special to me. I wrote a complete analysis of Axo here. Axo is the spiritual child of Cardano: It’s a DEX written with a formal approach that focuses on optimal designs, built by experts and finance veterans. If you read the whitepaper (good luck with that one), you will realise the deepness of the project and the amount of research put in it. They’re basically working on an AMM DEX (new generation of DEXes) that tries to be optimal In term of fees and latency, all written in Haskell just like Cardano itself. You can already stake your funds with Axo in one of their liquidity pools and invest in it through their token called $MAL.
Have you heard of Oracles? They connect the outside world with the blockchain so it’s possible to request data from it.
Chainlink has been the leader in that space but plenty of projects are trying to takeover by providing oracle utilities for their own blockchain. Charli3 is an example of an Oracle for Cardano. It’s a tool for developers and investors as you can invest in their Charli3 token via Minswap for example. Charli3 is also a toolbox, and you need to contact their team if you want to use it. Maybe soon, this will be open directly to the public as an open source tool with documentation out of the box. The whitepaper is short but gives an overview of where they are and the target in security, data sources and architecture. One of the best Cardano projects for me so far.
Have you heard of RealFi? It’s the new trending thing! It’s about generating yield based on actual value. The goal of Empowa is to unleash this in Africa to provide affordable and green home loans to all unbanked people over there. Can you really be MORE useful than that? The world that the platform is trying to shape is wonderful: it aims to be a large and impactful property developer without actually developing properties. By providing decentralized financing, Empowa is the key to the potential of the under-served African mortgage market, unlocking affordable and greener homes for more Africans. This is RealFi in action, also leading to REAL use cases for NFTs to assess ownership.
The World Mobile Token (WMT) is a revolutionary project. This is a mobile network designed to empower billions of people to disrupt an old telco monopoly. World Mobile customers pay calls and texts using local currency but way less than with regular telecommunication providers. This is done via EarthNode operators and shakers validating transaction and securing the network. The project comes with a treasury and an impressive Global TVL at the moment. It has already almost 20k holders and 34k vaults. This protocol is very disruptive and is targeting a trillion dollars legacy industry that could collapse if such a decentralized platform would happen to succeed. One of the best Cardano projects out there.
The VyFinance project is impressive and mixing everything that you want to see in a modern DEX: tokens, NFTs, staking, distributive mechanism to earn income from various sources but also more advanced things. For example, the “Auto-Harverester” module is using a deep learning technology to dynamically allocate your funds to liquidity pools on Cardano to optimize your rewards based on your risk profile. VyFinance also provides Yield Farming and a Learning Management System (LMS) to provide maximum security for your tokens. The transparency and the governance makes that platform a platform of choice for DeFi on Cardano.
Have you heard of roll-ups? They’re basically transaction wrappers prepared outside of the layer 1, on a layer 2 blockchain, to increase speed and cost. Well, Milkomeda is specializing in roll-ups for Cardano. This technique is probably the future for a lot of blockchains including Cardano. The scalability issues, in my view, won’t be fixed thanks to a silver bullet release like Hydra but will be solved based on a variety of distributed solutions. They will co-exist and Milkomeda is part of the solution in that prospect. The project will come with a Dapp and a strong layer 2 architecture allowing interoperability, speed and cheap transactions for the decades to come.
I am really excited about this one because I am a Machine Learning engineer and deeply interested in artificial intelligence solutions embedded in blockchains. That’s what SingularityNET is working on: a global artificial intelligence module to improve frameworks, decentralization, governance and blockchain solutions in general. SingularityNET comes with an AI marketplace to trade AI solutions for yourself or for your business. You can also get funded for your AI solution on their “deep funding” module that allows you to collect funds from investors believing in your solution. The list of awarded projects is already impressive and I’m excited to follow the platform in the years to come. This really is one of the best Cardano projects.
The MueslySwap DEX allows you to earn and invest on the Cardano blockchain. MuesliSwap $MILK is the utility token that powers the MuesliSwap Cardano ecosystem. Just like real MILK, this token has useful benefits offering priority trading, voting, staking but also early access to Mueslipad, the token launchpad form MueslySwap. With MueslySwap you can trade MILK, swap, stake but also have an overview of your assets with a dashboard. The DEX supports almost all the wallets of the ecosystem and offers a nice way to start earning in a liquidity pool of your choice. Trade cryptos directly on the Cardano blockchain, MueslySwap is Noncustodial and powered by on-chain smart contracts.
The Oura project is an open-source tool for the Cardano blockchain ecosystem that connects on-chain data with stream-processing infrastructure (Kafka, Elasticsearch, FaaS). I’m an engineer so I really like this one: I’ve worked with Kafka and Elasticsearch a lot and I know how useful they are to retrieve data in realtime and store that data in accessible storage for developers to develop powerful Dapps. This type of project can be a game changer to see the number of Dapps EXPLODE and reach developers who are not familiar with crypto. This could open the door for mass adoption from a developers point of view and bring very talented people to the Cardano ecosystem.
Some projects are absolutely fantastic and ADAPulse is one of them. It’s gathering all of the most impressive projects on Cardano with their links to Catalyst. Basically if there is one website that you should follow to get all the Cardano gems, it’s probably this one as it will cover small to medium size projects that have a real impact on the ecosystem. The fact that it is independent and well written makes of Adapulse a special project for me that I love to browse. I also like blogging and the format in blog post is something I appreciate as a good write up is often bringing a very good overview for people discovering a project.
I wrote an article on WingRiders already! This is a very cool DEX on Cardano focusing on providing a great quality AMM DEX. They have a token called $WRT that you can invest in if you believe in the project. The number of liquidity pools and supported wallets is really good and makes of WingRiders one of my favourite DEXes on Cardano. I’m not going to lie, I also love what the graphic designers did and the colourful sci-fi universe surrounding the project. From a technical point of view, Wingriders is pushing to use the new scalability features of Cardano including bulk transactions that will help to scale the platform.
The Lending Pond project is a big, big, big deal. It was last in my initial ranking because it’s about NFTs but I’ve moved it higher as I understand it better. So basically with Pond you can borrow ADA using a NFT as collateral. Yes, this is sick, one day you buy an ape, the other day you make passive income from it. What else do you want seriously? This has 2 benefits. First, yes, you will make money from your art. But also, it will give credibility to the NFTs themselves and validate some collections as “eligible for yield” making them more valuable. It’s one of my favourite projects and I will buy more NFTs because of it.
The Fluid Tokens project is the same story: you can borrow crypto using your NFTs. The token of the platform is called $FLUID. Holders can vote and propose collections for verification. Borrowers will have strong tiered discounts on borrowing fees. The token can be used to vote and do plenty of other thing in that ecosystem bridging NFTs and DeFi. The team is strong (have a look at their website) and the roadmap is clear with milestones up to 2024. Yet another platform convincing me to buy more NFTs to generate passive income to diversify my yields.
The first on-chain DAO creation tool on Cardano! Creating DAO on a young ecosystem is a difficult task (voting, DeFi, etc) and Summon is a tool to make it simpler for people to create their own DAO. That’s really cool. The creation of DAO is quick and easy, it allows you to manage it as well. You can create your own governance token and attach it to your project to create a real DeFi platform. The whole voting and governance part is also embraced and creators can configure this when they create their DAO with Summon. Moreover, Summon has a token called $SUMMON… Can you imagine holding this gold bullion bar when all projects will be creating their projects based on Summon?
Can you really write an article about projects on Cardano without talking about Minswap? It’s one of the most famous DEXes on Cardano to earn, farm and swap using a powerful well designed application. The number of liquidity pools is endless and this should be the go to DEX if you don’t want to take any risk. Their token is called $MINOMICS and fairly distributed with a majority of the supply dedicated to farming rewards. The activity on their Github account is sick, and gives an idea of how well maintained the project is. Give it a try!
Cardano is a revolution for EVERY domain of society: it includes culture and books. The industry of books will be disrupted too. The Book project is considering them as NFTs and wants to sell ebooks and audiobooks that you really own. It’s good for readers as they earn $BOOK tokens as they read. It’s good for publishers as they get paid without middleman. And it’s good for the society in general as the whole thing is fully decentralized without monopoly. Book is also developing mobile apps to come on iOS. Join the whitelist on their website!
NMKR is impressive: it’s an NFT launchpad, it’s a token, a payment system and a DeFi platform. Boom. So you can use their platform to market and sell your new NFT collection on Cardano, this is already massive. You can invest in their token called $NMKR powering their platform. Or you can use what they call “NMKR pay”: pay for things using your Cardano wallet! If this thing gets adopted, it is going to be absolutely massive for the Cardano ecosystem as a whole. Be ready to hear again about NMRK!
I found the Veritree project cute and very very important too. Heard about global warning (if not, feel free to come to Paris or London in August)? Well, Veritree is a platform to connect tree planters and sponsors. Built using blockchain technology, Veritree is the world’s first, fully integrated platform designed to transform the restoration space through technology. In fact, in the next decades, we will absolutely need investments in the green tech sector to reverse our carbon footprint on earth: I hope that Veritree will play a big role in this adventure.
Very fast, Taptools became the reference dashboard to manage your assets on Cardano. They have it all: portfolio visualization, charts, NFT trackers and many more. Just connect your wallet to their dashboard and you will enter a new world where everything is intuitive, providing great insights on native tokens but also on your own wallets. Taptools is also very active on Twitter delivering tips to the community on a very regular basis.
Orcfax is an upcoming Oracle technology based on Cardano. Their goal is to bring real-world events to smart contracts via an impressive technology ensuring the validity of the data ingested. The applications are numerous: sports betting, financial derivatives, ecology or even insurance. They have an ISPO coming soon and they are about to go live in 2023, with a first testnet release in Q1. A very promising project lead by Peter Van Garderen: If you want to know more about it, stay tuned, we will cover in depth in the blog later this year.
Midnight is a Cardano privacy sidechain focusing on data protection and compatibility with regulation needs. In a way, this is a Monero++ aiming at providing full anonymity to users while still being open for regulation later on. In fact, we wrote an entire article about Cardano Midnight and it will give you a good idea of the potential use cases. From medical records to bank statements: for Charles Hoskinson, the future of privacy and security is Midnight. Exciting times ahead!
Adao is a DAO on Cardano promoting and supporting decentralization across the ecosystem. Check their projects on their website and the partners (like Liqwid Finance). They have a governance token ($ADAO) allowing to vote and participate to the decisions. In a word, Adao is an impressive decentralized organization pushing for better tools, more fairness and better decentralization within Cardano.
Round Table is a fully open sourced wallet with 100% multisig support for Cardano. The development is community driven, revealed by the ADAO Community. The multisig wallet is a pure product of the Cardano mindset funded by the people developed for the people, it’s the only full supported Cardano multisig wallet out there so far. Impressive! To know more about it, check their website and follow the Siegfried (the main developer) on Twitter.
DripzDropz is an amazing token delivery platform allowing you to browse the Cardano ecosystem: news, native tokens dashboard, governance, trading charts and much more. Their product is very good looking and it works, I go there occasionally to look for new Cardano projects or look at some of their dashboards. They’re also quite active on Twitter, you can find their account here. Have a look at their tool, play with it and let me know about it!
Citaldoc is a Telemedicine platform for chat/video calls and in-office medical appointment scheduling system. Health is one of the domains where Cardano can bring a lot. Citaldoc is in fact an e-health platform that enables people to find health professionals and make online medical appointments. In other terms it simplifies and makes the whole booking system cheaper and faster backed by our favourite blockchain: Cardano!
The Metera Protocol is a decentralized protocol built on the Cardano Blockchain that allows the community to create and support tokenized portfolios (MTK’s). Each portfolio receives an impact score based on an open source rating, with this the Metera DAO seeks to reward the projects that are generating more impact to the ecosystem. Tokenized portfolios are tools that help manage assets in a more streamlined manner. Instead of managing several assets one by one, you manage one token that holds all the assets. This tool will allow users to have exposure to the Cardano Ecosystem investing in strategies and mitigating the risk. The MTKs are constantly rebalanced based on an on-chain script that tracks the markets. Making your life easier. The assets that form an MTK are held into vaults over the smart contract. These assets can only enter the vault at minting, and can only exit at burning.
USDA is a stablecoin native token that will be backed 1:1 by physical reserves. It is intended to be a reliable asset that enables quick worldwide transactions without causing delays in the legacy banking and payment infrastructure. Early in 2023, USDA, Cardano’s first ecosystem stablecoin backed by the USD, is slated to go live and add value to the Web3 ecosystem of decentralised applications. It will be the first item in EMURGO’s “Anzens” line of fintech products. To be prepared for $USDA, join the waitlist at https://www.anzens.com right away.
Thanks for reading.
n.b: this is not financial advice