Emurgo to invest and fill 21 areas ‘missing’ from Cardano: Emurgo CEO

Decentralized identities and layer-2 solutions are some of the “gaps” in Cardano that the Emurgo team is working to fill, according to its founder and CEO. 

Cointelegraph Magazine editor Andrew Fenton spoke with Ken Kodama, the founder and CEO of Emurgo — which is one of the three entities governing Cardano. Kodama talked about shifting their current approach into a venture studio model to fill 21 categories that they believe are “missing from Cardano” when compared to other leading blockchains.

According to Kodama, there are two key approaches to fill the gaps. These are either building the solutions themselves or investing. He explained:

“For those 21 categories, either we build them ourselves or we invest. We do hackathons or we give grants to incentivize Cardano builders to build and to fill the gaps. So, that’s what we need to focus on, shifting from where we are today into a venture studio model.”

While Kodama did not enumerate all the 21 categories that they are looking to fill, the executive highlighted some of them. This includes decentralized identity (DID) for enterprise adoption and layer-2 sidechains.

According to the Emurgo CEO, decentralized identity is an important piece to be embedded in blockchain protocols. “We don’t see that much DID application being built on Cardano. So, that’s the first gap, or primary gap that we need to fill in,” he said.

Apart from DIDs, Kodama also mentioned that while Cardano has a scaling solution called Hydra, they are also looking into bringing layer-2 solutions into the mix. The executive said that there’s a “really vibrant layer-2 ecosystem being built” in other blockchains that they “don’t really see in Cardano.” Kodama noted that this is one of the things that they will be working on to improve the ecosystem.

In addition to decentralized IDs and layer-2 solutions, the executive also mentioned that they are looking into zero-knowledge rollups and optimistic rollups as well. According to Kodama, they are looking to invest in these technologies and have also conducted a hackathon with these themes.

Related: The best blockchain “does not exist” — Cardano Foundation exec

Among the 21 categories that they identified, the executive highlighted that there’s one “pressing issue” that hinders adoption which is the developers’ experience. The executive recognized that in order to build in Cardano, it’s necessary for developers to understand programming languages Haskell and Plutus.

Kodama said that developers who are familiar with these languages are “quite low,” and this is why they are supporting Aiken, which is a toolkit and a new programming language for developing smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain.

“Aiken and other programming language applicability are quite important to broaden the amount of builders able to build on top of Cardano. We have been educating builders to code in Haskell and Plutus. We had more than 2,000 graduates. However, that’s not really enough.”

The executive said that they have high expectations for Aiken and any other programming languages that can be embedded into Cardano so that builders can make smart contracts in the platform using different languages.

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