Cardano recently celebrated the third anniversary of its Mainnet launch. In the run-up to this occasion, Cointelegraph had the opportunity to discuss the project's future plans with the Cardano Foundation’s incoming CEO, Frederik Gregaard.
Gregaard, who has not yet officially assumed the post of CEO, assured us that he would take on this new role sometime before Nov. 1, though he did not yet know the exact date. Currently, he is finishing his tenure at PwC, where he heads digital financial services for the multinational network. Gregaard believes that there is a natural sense of prejudice against open-source public blockchains, which he refers to as a "trust gap."
Whereas the entire crypto space is barely 10 years old, many established corporate players have been around for decades, if not centuries. They may have business plans that cover longer time horizons than the existence of projects like Cardano. In addition, it is no secret that the average life expectancy of a crypto project tends to be low. This has only been exacerbated by the many crypto-related scams and illicit connections (often amplified by the media), which has created an unbecoming reputation for much of the space in the eyes of corporate users. If a major company chooses to rely on a blockchain for one of its core use cases, it needs to be sure the chosen protocol will continue to receive proper maintenance for the foreseeable future. The lack of surety around this promise has led to what Gregaard refers to as a "trust gap" — and one of his core missions will be to make this gap a relic of the past:
“When you have an open project like this one, to convey this certainty to the larger corporations that we are going to be around in the next 10 to 20, 30 years. So you can build on us also for the long term, that we are sound both in terms of finances, but also in terms of team and people.”
Although Cardano has been criticized for chronic development delays (much like its older sibling, Ethereum), this year may be different. The platform underwent a mainnet upgrade, known as Shelley, earlier this year that brought on staking and pools. Yet according to Charles Hoskison, two more important upgrades are expected this year: Goguen, which will add smart contracts, and Voltaire, which will introduce decentralized governance. With this in mind, we asked Gregaard about the industries he sees as most promising for the adoption of Cardano.
He said that even with the current state of Cardano’s development, it can be used to tackle a number of cases that exist as part of what he calls “financial services plus”:
“Financial services plus — that includes treasury and insurance and so on. I see a lot of use cases there which we can actually start tackling already now.”
Gregaard also believes that COVID-19 has led to an acceleration of digital adoption. “It gave us five to six years of digital adoption of worldwide consumers, including enterprises in half a year,” he said. Yet it also revealed certain inefficiencies within the healthcare system:
“And I think one of the large problems we are having today is that most of the states, they say they trust each other. Most of the hospitals and institutes, they say that they kind of we are all on the same page, but when it actually comes to real life. When it comes to life and death and the security of your country, stakes go up, right?”
In his view, Cardano could be leveraged for a number of use cases in this space, like tracing the origins of medications or recording patient vaccination records. Though, he admits that this is a heavily regulated industry rather than low-hanging fruit. Still, gaining traction in these big, well-established industries is essential for Cardano if it really intends to stick around for the decades to come.