Projects Building on Cardano

A collection of projects building on Cardano that have released a product. This article follows the "Essential Cardano Guide" and focuses on projects with which we interacted the most over the past years.

We also cover the basics of Project Catalyst, which is a community-powered ecosystem fund to spend the CArdano Treasury on meaningful projects building on the Cardano Blockchain.

Table of Content


Cryptocurrency holders use wallets to manage digital assets, make on-chain transactions, and delegate their ada stake to help run and secure the Cardano network. ‘Light’ wallets for Cardano, such as Yoroi or Lace, are designed for fast, easy access via a browser on a computer or mobile device; full-node wallets, such as Daedalus, are intended for desktop ‘power users’.

  • Lace - developed by IOG. A light wallet that brings together a wealth of Web3 features, from managing digital assets to accessing NFTs, DApps, and DeFi services, so you can discover and enjoy a new world of digital experiences.
  • Eternl - A light wallet, Eternl has become the go-to wallet for power users on Cardano.
  • Nami - Nami is an open-source and non-custodial wallet on Cardano, which you can connect to your favourite DApps. It is one of the simpler wallets to use for beginners.
  • Flint - Flint's lightweight and user-friendly design lets you manage your crypto assets. It is also a gateway into the Milkomeda Layer 2 on Cardano.
  • Daedalus - Daedalus is a full-node wallet. This means that unlike light wallets (e.g.Yoroi, Adalite etc.) Daedalus downloads a full copy of the Cardano blockchain and independently validates every transaction in its history. That way, you get maximum security and completely trustless operation without centrally hosted 3rd party servers. Recommended for power users.


  • – A platform for building and deploying DApps that can be either self-hosted or Cloud-based, everything based on open-source projects. The closest there is on Cardano to Remix
  • NMKR - NMKR offers the easiest and most flexible tools & APIs to mint your NFT on Cardano.
  • Blockfrost - Blockfrost provides free, instant, and scalable, enterprise-grade access to the Cardano ecosystem, IPFS, and Milkomeda.
  • Gimbalabs - Project-based learning courses that support everyone building on Cardano and incubating new projects.
  • Cardano Beam - Place an NFT, a Token, or ADA anywhere on the world map so that someone else can go there and pick it up. It all centers around rewarding someone for being at a certain location at a certain time
  • Mesh - Providing tools and services for easy blockchain integration.
  • Koios - A decentralized and elastic RESTful query layer for exploring data on the Cardano blockchain to consume within applications/wallets/explorers/etc.
  • Milkomeda - This is an EVM sidechain for Cardano, bringing closer integration with the EVM ecosystem.


A Cardano blockchain explorer is a web-based tool that allows users to search and view information about the Cardano blockchain. In addition, it provides a way to inspect and analyze blockchain data, including blocks, transactions, addresses, and other related information.

In more technical terms, a blockchain explorer is a web application that interacts with the Cardano node's APIs to retrieve and display information stored on the blockchain. It provides a user-friendly interface to visualize the blockchain data in a human-readable format.

Cardano blockchain explorers are useful for users who want to track their transactions, monitor the network's health, explore the history of transactions and blocks, and get insights into the blockchain's overall activity. They are also essential for developers who are building decentralized applications on top of the Cardano blockchain, as they provide easy access to the data needed for development and debugging

  • CardanoScan - Explore blocks, transactions, metadata, certificates, pools, assets
  • - Explore with a focus on showing the Stake pools and NFTs
  • Cexplorer - Explorer focusing on Stake pool information
  • Pooltool - Explorer focusing on Stake pool information
  • TapTools - A data analytics tool that provides real-time analysis for Cardano native assets trading on decentralized exchanges.

NFTs & Marketplaces

An NFT (Non-Fungible Token) marketplace is a decentralized platform built on a blockchain that allows users to buy, sell, and trade NFTs. NFTs are unique digital assets that represent ownership of a particular piece of digital content, such as artwork, music, videos, and other digital creations.

NFT marketplaces have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they provide a way for creators to monetize their digital creations and collectors to own and trade unique digital assets.

  • Ada Handle - Custom addresses that resolve to wallet addresses. You can think of it as a domain service, but where you own the address perpetually. The closest thing to an ENS domain on Cardano
  • - is the leading platform for NFT ebooks and digital content in the Web3 era. Their proprietary technology, Decentralized Encrypted Assets (DEAs), allows all types of media to live perpetually, protected on the blockchain – a seismic shift for blockchain utility. is working diligently to build an ebook and audiobook marketplace, mobile reading apps, and a publishing portal for independent authors.
  • NEWM - NEWM is building an all-in-one ecosystem to fill every gap in the current music space. There will finally be a place for artists to make a living making music and fans/collectors to benefit from a multi-billion-dollar industry through music co-ownership.
  • - JPG Store is the largest NFT marketplace on Cardano. They are on a mission to support the next generation of digital creatives & collectors by crafting exciting and innovative NFT experiences.


DeFi components create a financial ecosystem that operates on blockchain technology, providing users with more control, transparency, and flexibility in accessing financial services.

Synthetic Assets

In the context of DeFi, synthetic assets are digital assets that track the price of an underlying asset, such as a stock, commodity, or currency, without actually owning the underlying asset. These synthetic assets are created by smart contracts and allow users to gain exposure to traditional financial instruments without requiring them to hold the physical asset.

  • Djed - Djed is an overcollateralized stablecoin that uses exogenous collateral (ADA) to ensure stability. The protocol is backed by 400-800% over-collateralization and is guaranteed by its reserve coin, SHEN. The stability of DJED is based on over-collateralization, which eliminates the need for trust in a governance token, as seen in algorithmic stablecoins. The platform is also fully decentralized and community-driven, allowing for open-source development and community involvement in minting and burning DJED and SHEN.
  • Indigo - Indigo is a decentralized non-custodial synthetic assets protocol built for Cardano. Using smart contracts, Indigo allows users to create fully collateralized synthetic assets known within the protocol as iAssets.

Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs)

DEXs (Decentralized exchanges) are DeFi platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies and other digital assets without the need for intermediaries like centralized exchanges. DEXs operate on blockchain technology, which provides users with full control of their funds and offers transparency and security.

  • MinSwap - Minswap is a Decentralized Exchange (DEX). The purpose of a DEX is to enable permissionless trading of token pairs. For each swap, a fee is taken, which goes to the Liquidity Providers (LPs). Anyone can provide Liquidity as well, hence profits are decentralized.
  • SundaeSwap - this was the first DEX to launch on Cardano. Similar to Minswap, it permits permissionless trading in Cardano tokens
  • WingRiders - Launched about the same time as MinSwap and is one of the three main DEXs to swap Cardano tokens.

Lending & Borrowing

DeFi lending platforms allow users to lend their digital assets to other users in exchange for interest payments, similar to traditional banking. DeFi borrowing platforms allow users to borrow digital assets by collateralizing their existing assets, such as cryptocurrencies, with the option to pay back the borrowed amount plus interest over time.

  • Aada - a peer-to-peer lending and borrowing protocol on the Cardano blockchain. It allows users to create liquidity requests and deposits in an order book style. Borrowers can place liquidity requests by setting custom parameters like asset type, amount, collateral, term, and interest. In turn, lenders can fill orders and liquidate them.
  • Liqwid - Liqwid is a non-custodial liquidity protocol for lending and borrowing Cardano native assets. Users participate in the protocol as lenders or borrowers. Lenders supply liquidity to a market to earn interest on deposits, borrowers are able to open perpetual loans in an overcollateralized manner. Loans accrue a variable rate of interest based on a market's interest rate parameters and the current market utilization.

Identity Solutions

These aim to provide users with more control over their personal data and identity, while also addressing issues such as data privacy, security, and interoperability.

  • IAMX - Self-sovereign identity (SSI) is a model for managing digital identities in which an individual or business has sole ownership over - and control of - their personal data. IAMX provides a secure SSI solution at government level.
  • RootsID - RootsID is an open-source development group building an ecosystem of SSI software for grassroots identity projects on Cardano and Atala PRISM. They focus on using SSI standards that enable interoperability and use cases that bring secure decentralized identity to individuals, communities, organizations, and businesses.
  • Atala Prism - Atala PRISM is a decentralized identity solution built on the Cardano blockchain. It enables individuals and organizations to create, manage, and control their digital identity securely, privately, and seamlessly across various services and platforms. Atala PRISM uses advanced cryptographic algorithms, peer-to-peer networking, and smart contracts to create a trusted and portable digital identity system that puts users in control of their data. The Atala PRISM solution is being developed by IOG, the organization behind the Cardano blockchain. It aims to provide a practical and scalable solution for identity management that can be applied across different industries and use cases.

Project Catalyst

Cardano Catalyst is a series of experiments that seeks to generate the highest levels of community innovation on the Cardano blockchain. It allows the community to self-determine priorities for growth and deploy funding to proposals that tackle challenges and capitalize on opportunities that arise in the life cycle of Cardano. The funding goes to innovative projects that build on the Cardano blockchain and comes from the Treasury.

To get involved in Cardano Catalyst, you can participate as a proposer, a voter, or a community advisor.

The main website for Project Catalyst information is where you can find information on previous funds and relevant news on the upcoming funds.


The proposer is a community member who submits a proposal for funding from the Catalyst treasury. Proposers can be individuals, teams, or organizations, and their proposals can be related to a wide range of initiatives, including research, development, marketing, education, and more.

The role of the proposer in Cardano Catalyst is to create a well-defined proposal that outlines their idea, its potential impact, and the resources needed to bring it to fruition. Proposals should also include a clear budget, timeline, and measurable goals to help the community evaluate the proposal's feasibility and impact.

Once submitted, proposers are expected to engage with the community and respond to feedback and questions related to their proposal. This engagement helps to build support for the proposal and demonstrates the proposer's commitment to their idea.

Ultimately, the role of the proposer is to participate in the Cardano Catalyst process and leverage the power of the community to fund innovative projects that can help to advance the Cardano ecosystem. Proposers who are able to create compelling proposals that address the community's needs and priorities have a higher likelihood of receiving funding from the Catalyst treasury.


The role of the voter is to participate in the decision-making process for allocating funding to various projects and proposals on the Cardano blockchain.

Once a proposal is submitted, community members can review and evaluate it using a transparent and decentralized voting process. The voter's role is to carefully evaluate the proposals and vote for the ones they believe are the most promising and align with the goals of the Cardano community.

The voting process in Catalyst is designed to be inclusive and transparent, allowing every stakeholder to participate in the decision-making process. Voters can cast their votes using their Cardano wallet, and the voting results are publicly available on the blockchain, ensuring transparency and accountability.

By participating in the voting process, voters have the opportunity to shape the future of the Cardano ecosystem and contribute to the growth and development of the community. In this way, the role of the voter is critical to the success of Catalyst and the Cardano blockchain as a whole.

Community Advisor

The role of a Community Advisor is to facilitate the decision-making process of the Cardano community-led innovation fund. Catalyst is a decentralized decision-making platform that enables Cardano stakeholders to propose, discuss, and vote on project proposals that will benefit the Cardano ecosystem.

Community Advisors are appointed to help guide and support this process. They serve as mentors and ambassadors for the Catalyst program, helping to promote participation, evaluate proposals, and provide feedback to the community. They also help to ensure that the proposals align with the overall vision and mission of Cardano and provide value to the ecosystem.

The responsibilities of a Community Advisor include reviewing proposals, participating in community discussions and events, providing guidance to proposers, monitoring the progress of projects, and evaluating the impact of funded projects. Community Advisors play a crucial role in ensuring that the Catalyst program remains transparent, inclusive, and effective in driving innovation on the Cardano blockchain.

Overall, the Community Advisor role is a vital part of the Cardano Catalyst program, helping to ensure that the Cardano community has a voice in shaping the future of the ecosystem and enabling the development of innovative projects that will benefit the entire community.

How to take part in Catalyst

To participate as a proposer, you will need to create an account on Cardano IdeaScale and then submit your proposal there.

To participate as a voter, you will need to download the Catalyst voting app in the Apple Store or Google Play Store and vote for your favorite projects.

To participate as a community advisor, you can provide reviews, assessments, and mentor proposers in their delivery and presentation. You can check the community channel on Telegram for more information.


Essential Cardano Guide to the Ecosystem 2022

State of the Cardano Developer Ecosystem 2022

List of Community-build tools

Cardano Cube - Ecosystem Map

Project Catalyst

Project Catalyst - Developer Portal

Project Catalyst - IdeaScale

Cardano Cube - Ecosystem Map


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