Cartesi Q3 Progress and Milestones

4 min readOct 9, 2020


Brief overview

Cartesi brings real-world use cases to the blockchain by building a platform that people engage directly with. One of the objectives of Cartesi is to make it easy for developers who are not familiar with smart contracts to code for blockchain.

Smart contracts are logic that is part of the consensus that is reproducible. Reproducible — every single step can be reproduced in different architectures like AMD, Intel, etc. Irrespective of which architecture, it will produce the same result. Reproducibility is important for consensus. Smart contracts also introduce a permanent API which is very important for interoperability between different applications.

Despite the advantages of smart contracts ( Permanent API, reproducibility, part of consensus), it has its disadvantages. Smart contracts are too expensive to run computations and store. Also, tooling is too immature (solidity, truffle, etc). Everything that happens on the smart contract is public and this brings a privacy issue to the table.

The Cartesi smart contract — What Cartesi brings to the table

Cartesi brings many advantages to smart contracts. The consensus is enforceable even though it’s not part of it. If one of the players claim an illegal computation inside the cartesi machine, it will trigger an enforced consensus to correct the falsely gained result. This brings a delay in consensus but definite and efficient resolution.

Cartesi smart contract is reproducible just like normal smart contracts. The resolution of disputes takes only a few steps without reproducing every single step on-chain. This helps to accelerate resolution. Cartesi smart contracts run Linux OS which makes it very easy for the mainstream developer to work with in terms of tooling. With Linux OS, one can run intensive computations seamlessly and enforce a consensus on the main chain. Also, Linux offers layers of security and privacy.

Progress from the last quarter (Q3 2020)

POS prototype and mining on Testnet: The PoS prototype and mining are currently working and deployed on Testnet. The prototype allows one to run a node, test the staking of Ropsten CTSI, and get Ropsten CTSI rewards from the mine. We cannot rely on Proof of Work for the security of our transaction solution as this brings major questions about its sustainability and security. Instead, we will implement a Proof of Stake consensus algorithm.

The Cartesi token provides staking since block generators will be selected in proportion to their stakes in the economy, there needs to be a way to query and lock everyone’s balance in the system. In its current state, Descartes does not support a stateful Cartesi Machine. Instead, it works by running a single computational task that is defined by smart contracts and runs off-chain on the Descartes nodes. Albeit stateless, it allows for a large array of applications that require the execution of heavy computation in a decentralized way.

High-level Google Remote Procedure Call (GRPC) for Roll-ups: Whenever a new transaction needs to be processed, its data is passed on to the machine in the form of a new drive. The machine wakes up, advances its state by processing the input, and halts. The evolution of machine states is kept deterministic, provable, and then enforceable by honest validator nodes when the roll-ups are implemented on-chain.

Infrastructure re-evaluation: this includes Descartes API specification itself. Descartes was a success despite impeding challenges along the way. Also, The specification of the dehashing device is one of the remaining aspects of the infrastructure revaluation. And new architecture for the off-chain Cartesi Node and implementation and release of a proxy smart contract to govern the relationship between Cartesi Users and Cartesi Nodes.

Moving Forwards — The Roadmap Progress

Cartesi has a roadmap that will implement everything that will bring real-world seamless computation to mainstream developers. Cartesi keeps advancing extensively in research and development, committed to bringing vast and seamless possibilities for the future of the DApp ecosystem and developers.

In the roadmap, Cartesi is currently between integrations and mainnet. Descartes is fully on board and makes it possible to build applications that are impossible to build on-chain. Descartes is a smart contract that can be seen as a black box that receives the transaction from users and delivers results after the transactions are processed. These smart contracts run Linux and any other language ( simulations, algorithms, artificial intelligence, etc.)

In Q4, staking (with CTSI from the mine reserve) will be available on Mainnet. However, activities on the tournament API documentation has been discontinued.

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