The first blockchain OS
One of the biggest problems about crypto is the lack of mainstream programming languages for smart contracts. Linux may be the solution.
Cartesi is the first blockchain operating system. By using the Cartesi virtual machine, developers can code smart contracts through Linux with mainstream programming languages. Thanks to their custom optimistic rollup framework, Cartesi boasts an impressive 10,000x increase in computational scalability over typical L1 blockchains.
Cartesi has an SDK and Data oracle structure, called Descartes, that allows for these high performance computations to occur. Noether is a sidechain on Cartesi that increases scalability further by allowing temporary data usage for smart contracts and other computations.
There are a wide range of use cases for Cartesi. For example, there is already a gambling game built on Cartesi called Texas Hodl'Em.
Currently, Cartesi only has an ERC-20 token, $CTSI, powering its network. This means that it has a smart contract on the Ethereum Blockchain and not its own coin. However, given the size and goals of the project, there will likely be ambitions to develop their own native coin at some point.
Why do programming languages matter?
Blockchain is a new technology, given that Satoshi Nakamoto released Bitcoin only 13 years ago in 2009.
Ethereum popularized a novel programming language called Solidity, which often times is the only standard smart contract language for many other L1s, too. To solve this problem, Cartesi ports over the Linux operating system through the Cartesi virtual machine. This allows devs to code using programming languages typically not offered in blockchain, while maintaining the security benefits of the blockchain.
Cartesi will likely stay as the most popular L2 solution for Linux developers in the foreseeable future.
Despite Cartesi's obvious competitive advantages, there are some problems that need to be addressed.
Since Cartesi only recently released their rollups in December, there are naturally a low number of dapps currently live. Texas Hodl'em and Creepts appear to be popular gaming dapps, but there is no DEX yet, unfortunately.
Another issue plaguing Cartesi has been marketing. Cartesi admittedly is very active on their social media, but even if that helps existing users stay, there has clearly not been much hype about the project otherwise. There aren't many users in the official subreddit; only 7k.
In addition, the Cartesi team completed a significant rebranding a few months ago in an effort to make Cartesi more "inclusive and fair." While this is always a good goal, it's hard to understand how changing to boring colors and stripping graphics is going to accomplish that effort. Their old website was full of cool graphics and funnels you down the page perfectly. Their new website replaced the cool graphics with arbitrary stock photos and while professional, it doesn't generate much hype. The rebranding efforts would make more sense if they were attracting corporate executives, but their target audience is without a doubt developers and crypto enthusiasts/investors. Thankfully, they didn't remove the ninja star-style logo for the coin. It's a cool design for a very cool project.
The good news is these are small things that will smooth out over time as Cartesi matures.
Linux has tens of thousands of devs worldwide, and Cartesi is a unique layer 2 solution that will bring an enormous number of those developers to the blockchain world. As competitors may spring up in the future, Cartesi's seasoned team of experts will have no problems handling them. Not to mention, Cartesi has a huge first mover advantage.
There are some clear issues that Cartesi is facing right now, but they are common growing pains for a new kid on the block.
Cartesi no doubt has a very positive future.