Cartesi (CTSI) is a layer-2 infrastructure, which aims to enable complex and intensive computations to run in a Linux environment, outside the blockchain, without compromising decentralization.
Developers can work in a familiar environment with no artificial limitations and with access to their favorite tools.
DApps can store data temporarily on the Cartesi Side Chain, which is governed by a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, without having to constantly communicate with the layer-1 blockchain.
The project raised 0.80 MM USD via private token sales from August 2017 to December 2019.
1. What is Cartesi (CTSI)?
Cartesi is building an operating system for dApps. The project enables complex and intensive computations to run in a Linux environment, outside the blockchain, without compromising decentralization. Cartesi aims to make dApps significantly more powerful, cost-effective, easier to develop, and portable.
Cartesi aims to bring "mainstream scalability and convenience to developers and users of decentralized applications".
Development limitations on blockchain platforms can frustrate both developers and users, turning them away. Cartesi allows developers to build on well-established software they are familiar with, and running them in a Linux environment. The project aims to bridge the gap between the centralized and decentralized worlds of application development.
Some of its key highlights include:
Scalability: intensive computations on massive amounts of data are performed off-chain with the same security guarantees offered by the blockchain;
Programmability: dApp logic runs under Linux, with a choice of thousands of open-source software components to mix and match;
Ease of Adoption: developers can work in a familiar environment with no artificial limitations and with access to all their favorite tools;
Decentralization: consensus is securely reached on-chain with no need for a reputation protocol, Trusted Execution Environment, or central servers on the cloud;
Portability: Cartesi aims to make dApps portable across the most important public blockchains that support smart contracts;
Privacy: dApp states can be kept private among application participants.
March 2020: Announced the first tournament on tower defense game, Creepts, which runs on the Cartesi network.
February 2020: Launched tower defense game, Creepts, Cartesi’s first dApp on the Rinkeby Testnet.
February 2020: Announced partnership with Newfang, a decentralized storage platform. Cartesi will look to support Newfang as a decentralized file-sharing system.
January 2020: Launched the Community Adoption Program, which rewards community members who actively promotes the Cartesi ecosystem.
January 2020: Launched Telegram channels for Russian, Chinese, Turkish, Vietnamese, and Korean community members.
2. Existing products and core infrastructure
2.1 Existing products
Creepts is a decentralized tower defense game built by Cartesi to showcase Cartesi's core technology.
Currently, players willing to enter the Creepts decentralized tournament on Rinkeby need to overcome technical hurdles, such as downloading and configuring Cartesi Nodes and setting up Infura accounts. In 2020 Q2, Cartesi plans to release a remote service infrastructure that eliminates the barriers of entry for players, with remote Cartesi Nodes seamlessly accessible by the general public. With that, gamers will be able to play a decentralized blockchain game with the experience they are used to with Web 2.0.
2.2 Cartesi Machine
The Cartesi Core is a layer-2 solution for moving intensive computations off-chain.
These computations run inside an open-source Reduced Instruction Set Computer Version 5 (RISC-V) emulator, the Cartesi Machine, which runs an embedded Linux operating system.
The Cartesi Machine enables developers to manipulate large amounts of data with computations that are several orders of magnitude faster than those executed directly as smart contracts. Moreover, developers can build on traditional software packages they are already familiar with.
From the point of view of the blockchain, a Cartesi Machine's entire state is represented by a single hash. Users commit their agreement to the initial state's hash, and post the final state's hash to the blockchain once the computation has been completed off-chain. The blockchain can then determine the honest claim between conflicting values for this hash. It can also verify assertions concerning the contents of the state, such as the result of the computation itself. dApp developers can then choose to punish dishonest claims, for example, by withholding collateral deposits in CTSI tokens.
In order for users to agree on the initial state of the machine, all associated data must be available to them. The vast majority of the state, such as the filesystems holding the dApp logic and static data, can be made publicly available before users have any stake in the dApp. However, not all data is known a priori. For instance, in the decentralized tournament infrastructure Cartesi released for Creepts in Q4 2019, the data concerning any given match is generated after stakes are set.
With Cartesi Roll-ups, which the team plans to release in 2021, Cartesi will introduce dynamic input/output capabilities to Cartesi Machines. DApps will have users accessing identical copies of a decentralized server entirely off-chain. Disputes over the state of a server will be securely and efficiently settled by the blockchain, so long as users' interactions with these servers are provably available during dispute resolution. These interactions will be too many and too frequent to be stored on the blockchain.
2.3 Cartesi Side Chain
The Cartesi Side Chain, which the team plans to release in 2021 Q3, will solve the aforementioned data availability problem. DApps will be able to read and write data to the side chain with low latency and high bandwidth, and feed them as input/output to Cartesi Machines.
The side chain will enable the data to remain available off-chain for as long as disputes are allowed. The hashes generated by the side chain will serve as receipts for the blockchain. The side chain can therefore be seen as a network port for dApps, guaranteeing the availability of transferred data, while the blockchain works as a notary.
In addition to guaranteeing the honesty of claims over off-chain computations, CTSI will play a vital role in the Cartesi Side Chain. The Side Chain will be powered by a network of Node Operators, selected to produce new blocks by a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm.
Participation will be bootstrapped by a limited reserve of reward tokens and encouraged by a controlled inflationary process that awards newly minted tokens in proportion to staked tokens. The reserve awards and inflation will be progressively phased out, as fees paid by the users of side chain services to Node Operators provide all necessary incentives for participation in the staking process.
3. Token sales and economics
3.1 Key metrics
Seed Sale Allocation
2.00% of the total token supply
Seed Sale Token Price
Seed Sale Date
August 1st - 31st, 2017
Amount Raised Seed Sale
Private Sale Allocation
5.00% of the total token supply
Private Sale Token Price
Private Sale Date
April 6th - May 21st, 2019
Amount Raised Private Sale
Strategic Sale Allocation
0.67% of the total token supply
Strategic Sale Token Price
Strategic Sale Date
December 22nd - 31st, 2019
Amount Raised Strategic Sale
Launchpad Sale Allocation
10.00% of the total token supply
Launchpad Sale Price
Launchpad Sale Date
Amount Raised Launchpad Sale
Current Circulating Supply
192,733,334 CTSI (19.27%)
3.2 Token supply distribution
Launchpad Sale tokens comprise 10.00% of the total token supply.
Seed Sale tokens comprise 2.00% of the total token supply.
Private Sale tokens comprise 5.00% of the total token supply.
Strategic Sale tokens comprise 0.67% of the total token supply.
Team tokens comprise 15.00% of the total token supply.
Advisors tokens comprise 2.11% of the total token supply.
Foundation Reserve tokens comprise 40.22% of the total token supply.
Mining Reserve tokens comprise 25.00% of the total token supply.
CTSI token distribution (%)
Seed Sale overview
The Seed Sale was conducted from August 1st - 31st, 2017 for 20,000,000 CTSI at a rate of 1 CTSI = 0.005 USD and raised a total of 100,000 USD at 457.82 USD = 1 ETH and 7,030.70 USD = 1 BTC, selling 2.00% of the total token supply. The Seed Sale was conducted in ETH and BTC, raising 172.05 ETH and 3.02 BTC.
Private Sale overview
The Private Sale was conducted from April 6th - May 21st, 2019 for 50,000,000 CTSI at a rate of 1 CTSI = 0.010 USD and raised a total of $500,000 USD at 178.15 USD = 1 ETH, selling 5.00% of the total token supply. The Private Sale was conducted in ETH and USD, raising 561.33 ETH and 400,000 USD.
Strategic Sale overview
The Strategic Sale was conducted from December 22nd - 31st, 2019 for 6,666,668 CTSI at a rate of 1 CTSI = 0.030 USD and raised a total of 200,000 USD, selling 0.67% of the total token supply. The Strategic Sale was conducted in USD.
Launchpad Sale overview
The Launchpad Sale was conducted in April 2020 for a total raise of 1,500,000 USD worth of BNB at 0.015 USD per CTSI token, selling 10.00% of the total token supply. CTSI/BNB exchange rate will be determined prior to the date of sale.
3.3 Token governance and use of funds
As of writing, Cartesi has spent 72% of the funds raised in seed and private sales since 2017.
82.57% Research and Development.
10.16% Marketing & PR.
The Cartesi team holds its funds in crypto, stablecoins, and fiat. Funds are stored with cold storage multi-signature wallets and USD bank accounts. Moving or using funds requires the approval of at least 3 out of the 5 executives of Cartesi.
The following chart represents the number and breakdown of all CTSI tokens that are to be released into circulation on a monthly basis. The Cartesi team plans to introduce token inflation for staking rewards in the future, which is yet to be finalized, and not presented in the following chart. Mining Reserve tokens will continue to be distributed after April 2024.
CTSI token release schedule
3.4 CTSI token overview and use-cases
Cartesi aims to bring mainstream scalability and power to decentralized applications through a network of nodes. The CTSI token has been designed to incentivize Cartesi Node operators to engage with the system honestly and in an efficient way. It comprises the following use cases:
Cartesi Core: the Cartesi Core relies on an arbitration mechanism that uses CTSI as collateral to enforce honest behavior;
Cartesi Side Chain users of the Cartesi Side Chain pay for temporary data storage for Cartesi dApps with CTSI. Block generators receive CTSI block rewards and the fees paid by users adding data to the Side Chain;
Consensus System: CTSI is used to participate in the Side Chain's Proof-of-Stake consensus system. Miners with the highest stakes have a higher probability of being selected to generate the next block;
Data Availability Protocol: CTSI will also power a data availability protocol to aid with the transfer of large data blobs used for machine snapshots.
4. Project team
Erick de Moura
Former Software Developer at Arizona Bay, Engineer and Team Lead at WebRadar, Software Designer at WiNGs Telecom.
Associate Professor at IMPA on computer graphics, image processing, and massive parallelism.
Chief Scientific Officer
Associate Professor at IMPA specializing on probability and graph theory, former Postdoc Researcher at Ecole normale supérieure.
Former Program Ambassador at Anchor Taiwan, Global Partnership Manager at Mobile Only Accelerator and Chinaaccelerator, co-founder of Canada China Youth Foundation.
Head of Engineering
Former CTO at Site Blindado, IT Director at B2W Digital, Director at Investtools and Ideais.
Release of read-only centralized server for Creepts.
Release of SDK documentation v1.
Release of read-write centralized server for Creepts.
Release of staking contract.
Release of Host-Target Interface ("HTIF") Linux Driver for Roll-ups.
Release of Proof-of-Stake prototype.
Release of tournament API documentation.
Release of high-level Google Remote Procedure Call ("GRPC") for Roll-ups.
Launch mining on Testnet.
Redesigning of testing infrastructure.
Launch mining on Mainnet.
Release of P2P Service GRPC.
Release of Roll-ups contracts.
Release of Cartesi Roll-ups.
Conducting Cartesi Side Chain testing and auditing.
Launch of Cartesi Side Chain on Testnet.
Conducting new infrastructure migration.
Conducting Cartesi Side Chain real usage testing.
Launch of Cartesi Side Chain on Mainnet.
Conducting Cartesi Side Chain bug bounty.
5.3 Commercial partnerships and business development progress
GoBlock: GoBlock is a Brazilian startup and Genesis portfolio company that specializes in consulting, development, and research of decentralized solutions for high profile enterprises. Cartesi and GoBlock will work together to explore implementing Cartesi’s technology to the computation of open position balances, order matching, and other complex features that would be impractical to run on-chain.
Newfang: Newfang is a decentralized cloud storage platform for Web 3.0 applications, powered by the EOS blockchain. Newfang will study using Cartesi as a computational layer on top of Newfang’s storage system. In addition, Cartesi will look to support Newfang as a decentralized file-sharing system.
Chinaccelerator: Chinaccelerator is a mentorship-driven program assisting internet startups from around the world cross borders – from the world into China, and from China to the world. Cartesi is a partner and alumni of Chinaccelerator and its network of mentors. Chinaccelerator provides introductions, corporate innovation programs, and user acquisition support.
6. Cartesi's activity and community overview
6.1 Development activity
6.2 Social and community activity
Cartesi will initially focus its community development efforts in China, Korea, Turkey, Russia, and Vietnam, and expand to other regions as the network grows.
Current community growth strategies of Cartesi include:
Conducting airdrop campaigns and bounty programs to raise community awareness.
Guerilla marketing through crypto-forums, social media and other websites.
Generic advertising through dApp sites.
Speaking at and sponsoring layer-2 events at Devcon.
Producing articles and tutorials to better educate the community.
Engaging with the community consistently via online channels.
Translating materials for international audiences.
Publishing educational articles on a regular basis.
Future community growth strategies of Cartesi include:
Conducting staking programs to secure the network.
Launching bug bounty programs to attract developers.
Conducting airdrop events with partners through crypto-based wallets, telegram communities, AMAs, etc.
Issuing developer grants to encourage development efforts around the Cartesi ecosystem.