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Introducing PRAGMA: A Collective Effort in Blockchain Open Source Development

PRAGMA MBO will focus on blockchain software and fostering an open source ecosystem for Cardano.

PRAGMA logo flyer


A Not-For-Profit Open Source Association

Recently, the Cardano Foundation, alongside Blink Labs, dcSpark, Sundae Labs, and TxPipe, announced the launch of PRAGMA, a Switzerland member-based, not-for-profit open source association for blockchain software projects.

PRAGMA's primary goal is to foster an open-source ecosystem for Cardano by hosting existing projects and facilitating the development of new tools. As a member-based, not-for-profit Open Source Association with a passionate community of software engineers, PRAGMA focuses on driving an alternative ecosystem for Cardano and beyond, fostering collaborative innovation and transparency.

As Charles Hoskinson said in X, “multiple clients and a diverse and resilient ecosystem of open source projects and utilities are required for a global scale protocol seeking to build the financial operating system of the world.”

Principles Promoting Transparency

PRAGMA endeavors to build open-source tools for developers aiming for mass adoption, prioritizing developer experience and inclusivity.

Currently in the first phase of organizational development, PRAGMA will focus on a select number of projects at this initial stage. One such key project is Amaru, the building of a Cardano full node in Rust which can run side-by-side the existing Haskell nodes in a fully interoperable manner. The second project is Aiken, a smart contract platform specifically created to both simplify and enhance the development of smart contracts on Cardano. Upon entering the next phase slated for 2025, membership will open to developers within the broader Cardano ecosystem.

Meanwhile, encouraging transparency, PRAGMA's mechanism is now setting thresholds for stake pools and maintaining constant rewards to prevent centralization.

PRAGMA And Intersect: Decentralization At Its Finest

Since the launch of PRAGMA, some members have been confused about this organization because it does not stem from Intersect, the governance structure that fullfits the role of empowering its members to play an active role in shaping the strategic direction and priorities through a governing board and specialized committees, and relies on seed funding provided by members like Input Output Global and EMURGO.

In answer, the co-founder of IOHK and the Cardano blockchain platform posted on X that “They decided to form an entirely different group and not coordinate with Intersect. I've never had a formal meeting with them about their intent or the exactly structure and funding behind Pragma. I was actually only recently informed about their existence.”

“I'm glad to see the community forming their own structures and development priorities. While Pragma will not speed up feature delivery to cardano, it does add operational resilience and also a second set of eyes on the formal specifications of cardano.“

Charles Hoskinson concluded.

Meanwhile, on the FAQ section of PRAGMA website in answer to “Is PRAGMA a competing alternative to Intersect?” we can read that it is defined as a complementary effort. “The mission of Intersect is broad, and the challenges they face are significant. PRAGMA is focused solely on open-source software development, whereas Intersect strives to be the broader governance entity for Cardano. With PRAGMA, we hope to start small, and figure out the most efficient way to work together on an initially limited number of projects. In the long run, we hope that PRAGMA and Intersect can work hand-in-hand to deliver what is best for the Cardano ecosystem” the site declares.

Goals For 2024 And Beyond

PRAGMA is a collective effort in blockchain open source development and actually welcomes contributions from interested parties and aims to open membership to new members in the future. It complements existing initiatives like Intersect, focusing solely on open-source software development within the Cardano ecosystem, embracing a diverse range of technologies.

In 2024, PRAGMA seeks to bootstrap key projects and reach identified milestones, fostering trust and collaboration within the Cardano ecosystem. By 2025, PRAGMA plans to expand its reach beyond Cardano, leveraging synergies with other blockchain ecosystems, promoting a stronger ecosystem.



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