What is Cartesi ? A Quick Overview

Written by Sushanth Kumar Reddy Kura | Published 2 years ago | 9 min read


Cartesi in a nutshell is building an operating system for decentralized applications. It aims to make DApps more powerful, portable, easier to develop, and increase their scalability. 

Currently, Cartesi is focusing on two important components:

1. Convenience:

Developing a blockchain application is not an easy task. The developers are forced to learn a new programming language and need to familiarize themselves with various tools. This learning process can be very stressful.

2. Scalability:

Blockchains in the current situation are not that scalable. They have to be as good as centralized technologies in order to be able to compete with them.

Cartesi mainly attacks these two important problems at a time, by creating an infrastructure that is compatible with current technologies and scalable at the same time.

Why is there a need for Compatibility in DApps?  How Cartesi provides this?

The current technology that we are using is the result of a continuous global effort that is going on for the past 50 years. Without this effort, none of the advanced applications that we using today would have been possible. Blockchain being a new technology cannot outperform these centralized services in a year or two. 

Blockchain needs a service that will enable it to take the leverage of the current developments and build an infrastructure that is as better as centralized services in a decentralized way. 

For example, it is really hard for current DApp developers to accomplish some tasks like transferring files, compressing data, querying a database, etc. So, in order for Dapps to survive, they should be capable of performing actions like current centralized technologies. DApps should be compatible with current libraries, tools that are used widely like in Linux Operating System. 

Developers should be able to focus mainly on specific DApp instead of dealing with side-chains or blockchain itself. Also, DApps should have cross-chain compatibility. This kind of infrastructure would remove the boundaries between skills that are required to develop centralized and decentralized applications.

This is what Cartesi is actually focusing on. They are working on a decentralized Linux infrastructure for blockchain applications. Using Cartesi, Developers will be able to take the advantage of current centralized services and develop applications that are decentralized and powerful.

Cartesi is creating an environment where you can offload some complex calculations and then after the calculations are processed off-chain in a fully-fledged Linux Operating system and then the processed result is given back to either Ethereum, Eos, or any other blockchain. Cartesi built this environment in such a way that there is no compromising on the decentralization part, Making the DApps more powerful and scalable compared to the centralized applications.

Why scalability is important in DApps? How Cartesi ensures it?

Scalability is one of the most important features that every decentralized application should have in order to compete with the current centralized applications. 

For example: In centralized applications like Instagram, Twitter, etc, There are a lot of powerful servers involved that receive and process millions and billions of messages every minute. Meanwhile, decentralized applications like Augur, Decentraland, etc can only process very few transactions per minute which also are very expensive. 

If it remains this way we cannot even imagine blockchain technology competing with current centralized applications.

This where Cartesi’s Noether sidechain comes to the rescue. Cartesi is developing a side chain that will help in scaling the number of transactions in a distributed Ledger. Cartesi believes that Data Localization is the best solution to this problem. This mechanism is already being attempted by Ethereum through sharding but the team believes that they have a better and more tailored approach.

The following are the guiding principles on which Cartesi is developing their Noether side-chain:


It needs to process a good volume of transactions per second in order for DApps to become an alternative for centralized services.

Data Only:

Since the Cartesi Core solves the problem of computational scalability on blockchains, the Cartesi team can focus on the problem of Data Availability now. As soon as transactions are available to all interested parties, processing them can be done essentially for free.


The locality solution that is being implemented in the Cartesi side-chain is flexible and decided by the users instead of fixed in the protocol.


Cartesi aims to bring the transaction costs down to the price point where it will not affect the adoption rate.

Proof of stake:

Cartesi team is implementing a proof of stake consensus algorithm on top of ethereum

Garbage Collection:

We don’t need to keep all processed transactions available forever. This would greatly limit the system, without bringing any real benefits. Note however that there is a big problem when we clean-up old data and make it unavailable: it becomes much harder for new users to join the network since they cannot reconstruct the history from genesis


There is no need for the Cartesi Chain to be a blockchain of its own, with all the complexity that this brings to its design. Cartesi is inherently a second layer solution and, as such, it can use the underlying blockchain for the heavy lifting of its protocol. This makes it very easy to solve complicated problems, such as the ordering of packages, timing attacks, randomization, elections, etc.

The Cartesi ($CTSI) Token

Cartesi Token

Cartesi is currently developing a proof of stake blockchain on the Ethereum platform which will be maintained by a network of Node Operators.

The Cartesi token will have the following features in this new consensus algorithm :


Block generators will be selected based on the amount of the Cartesi tokens staked. Cartesi token holders will be able to earn some additional income by staking and also as the number of stakes increases the security of the network also enhances.

Election of block producers:

The miners will be selected to propose in the blocks based on their Cartesi token balances.


With the help of Cartesi token, bad behavior by the dishonest actors can be disincentivized (by locking up their Cartesi tokens)

Transaction Fees:

Cartesi tokens will be used to pay the transaction fees to the Node Operators

Challenge Computations:

The Cartesi Token will also be important in order to challenge computation results posted on the blockchain. This will work as an exit mechanism that guarantees the correct execution of DApps and discourages bad behavior.

Cartesi Partnership With Binance Smart Chain

Recently Cartesi partnered with the Binance Smart Chain to provide advanced smart contract capabilities to the Binance ecosystem. Now using Cartesi’s technology Binance Smart Chain will be able to support complex computations involving large amounts of off-chain data and users will be able to make DApps that will compile and run on Linux-supporting virtual machine.

Cartesi and Binance Chain

This will open great opportunities for the developers to build a new generation DeFi products, games, etc using Binance Smart Chain. The Cartesi and Binance Smart Chain partnership show Cartesi’s continual emphasis on the mainstream adoption of blockchain tech and its commitment to allowing developers to deploy their DApps on all relevant blockchains.

Quick Overview on Cartesi

Quick Overview of Cartesi

Click here to visit the official website of Cartesi

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