What is Cardano

The project is named after the 16th-century mathematician and polymath Girolamo Cardano. At its core, Cardano is a platform for smart contracts – similar to Aetherium. The ADA coin primarily powers this decentralized, blockchain-based system. This is the cryptocurrency that underpins the entire Cardano platform.

While some may use the terms “Cardano” and “ADA” interchangeably, knowing there is a distinction is essential. While Cardano refers to the entire platform and ecosystem, ADA is a cryptocurrency.

However, ADA is integrated into Cardano’s settlement layer, making it an essential part of the platform. Anecdotally, ADA is named after Ada Lovelace, a 19th-century mathematician, daughter of Lord Byron, and often referred to as the first computer programmer.

Cardano is essentially an ambitious blockchain project founded by Charles Hoskinson, one of the co-founders of Ethereum.

Cardano was created to solve the problems of Ethereum

Cardano is designed to address and fix some of Eterium’s shortcomings. While the crypto community is far from agreeing on whether Cardano’s way is the most efficient, that is the platform’s main goal.

In fact, Cardano intends to leapfrog not only Ethereum but the entirety of the legacy cryptocurrency and blockchain sector. At the same time, Aetherium is often referred to as a “second generation” smart contract platform.

Although Vitalik Buterin’s blockchain demonstrates some of the remarkable potential associated with blockchain technology, it still has some major hurdles to overcome. These essentially relate to scalability, interoperability, and sustainability.

To solve these existing, endogenous problems associated with second-generation smart contract platforms, Cardano is designed to be a “third-generation” protocol.

Cardano is home to the Ada cryptocurrency that sends and receives digital funds. This digital money represents the future of money, making possible fast, direct transfers that are guaranteed to be secure through the use of cryptography.

Cardano is more than just a cryptocurrency – it’s a technology platform that will be able to run financial applications currently used daily by people, organizations, and governments worldwide. Cardano will also run decentralized applications or dApp services that are not controlled by any one party but, instead, run on a blockchain. The platform is built in layers, giving the system the flexibility to be more easily maintained and allow for updates through soft forks.

This is the first blockchain project developed from a scientific philosophy and the only one designed and built by a global team of leading scientists and engineers. It is essential that the technology is secure, flexible, and scalable for use by millions of users. Consequently, considerable thought and care by some of the leading experts in their fields have been devoted to the project.

A key innovation of Cardano is that it will balance the needs of users with those of regulators and thus combine privacy with regulation. Cardano’s vision is that its new style of regulated computing will bring greater financial inclusion by providing open access for all to fair financial services.

Cardano’s origins

While Ethereum is doing an admirable job as a platform for smart contracts, this generation of blockchain needs to evolve, according to Hoskinson. There are three organizations working full-time to develop and nurture Cardano.

They are:

  • Cardano Foundation.
  • IOHK.
  • Emurgo.

Cardano’s philosophy

The Cardano team wants to adhere to a set of principles and philosophies. They did not share a proper roadmap or white paper. Instead, they focused on “a collection of design principles, engineering best practices, and ways to explore.”

Here they are with those principles:

  • Segregation of accounting and the calculation of different layers.
  • Implementation of core components in highly modular functional code
  • Small groups of scientists and developers competing with their research
  • Intensive use of interdisciplinary teams, including the early use of InfoSec experts
  • Rapid iteration between white papers, deployments, and new research is needed to correct issues discovered during review
  • Create the ability to update already released systems without breaking the network
  • Develop a decentralized funding mechanism for future work
  • Taking a long-term view on improving the design of cryptocurrencies so that they can run on mobile devices with a reasonable and secure user experience
  • Bringing stakeholders closer to the operations and maintenance of their cryptocurrency
  • Recognizing the need to account for multiple assets in the same ledger
  • Limiting transactions to include optional metadata to better align with the needs of legacy systems
  • Learning from nearly 1,000 altcoins by adopting features that make sense
  • Creating a standard process inspired by the Internet Engineering Task Force, using a dedicated foundation to shape the final protocol design
  • Exploring the social elements of commerce
  • Finding a healthy middle ground for regulators to interact with the trade without compromising some core principles inherited from Bitcoin.