While Cardano is a decentralised proof-of-stake blockchain platform, it’s a little bit different to its predecessors. It claims to be the first blockchain platform of its type to be built on peer-reviewed research foundations and evidence-based systems.
Cardano’s commitment to scientific and creative innovation is evident—not just in its third-generation technology, but in its symbolism. ADA, the platform’s cryptocurrency token, is named after 19-century mathematician Ada Lovelace, the daughter of romantic poet Lord Byron. And the platform itself bears the name of Italian polymath (or learned person), Gerolamo Cardano.
In fact, the company’s roadmap is marked by historical creative giants—Byron (foundation), Shelley (decentralisation), Goguen (smart contracts), Basho (scaling) and Voltaire (governance).
In a fusion of science and creativity, Cardano wants to bring about “positive global change” by reaching “changemakers, innovators and visionaries” everywhere.
What can you do on Cardano?
Cardano allows miners to mine or validate block transactions, according to the amounts they are holding.
The strength of the platform’s applications lies in identity management and traceability, both key areas in today’s blockchain.
Atala PRISM is a decentralised ID solution allowing people to streamline and control their personal information, while transacting securely day-to-day. Atala SCAN and Atala Trace both allow users to track a product’s journey through the supply chain, from provenance to shelf.
Cardano aims to become a fully functioning blockchain ecosystem. Working towards smart contract functionality, the platform is undergoing intensive development to allow a range of DApps.
Cardano credentials on public display
Cardano uses the Ouroboros proof-of-stake algorithm to create blocks and confirm transactions. This system is around four million times more energy efficient than Bitcoin—like comparing the energy use of a home to that of a small country.
Ouroboros achieves this eco-friendly feat by doing away with the need for hash power, and the substantial computing resources at the heart of Bitcoin’s proof-of-work model.
Cardano also wants to be open and transparent, with all research released to the public and all technical development and specifications open to public scrutiny.
Cardano is being jointly constructed by three organisations—IOHK for technology, Cardano Foundation for development and promotion, and Emurgo for commercial adoption. Once completed, the platform will be handed over to community governance, the company claims.
Cardano past, present and future
Cardano was developed by Ethereum’s co-founder, Charles Hoskinson, and launched in 2017.
Like Ethereum, Cardano wants to build a connected, decentralised system using smart contracts and DApps. Yet Cardano considers itself an updated alternative to Ethereum, with third-generation credentials and scope to reach the world’s ‘unbanked’.
While smart contracts are a little way off, you can currently use Cardano to buy and trade ADA tokens. Limited NFT trade is also taking place. According to Hoskinson, Cardano has the potential to become a leading platform for the issue, curation and transfer of NFTs from one party to another.
The Cardano team is building a democratic on-chain governance system, Project Catalyst. This will manage future projects, while revamping treasury management to fund future costs.
Poetry in motion, perhaps.