Cardano is a blockchain and cryptocurrency project that aims to become the backbone of a new decentralized world computer that will be able to host decentralized applications (DApps) on mobile devices and personal computers. The project's most notable innovation is a proof-of-stake algorithm designed to protect the cryptocurrency against attacks while enabling the use of less costly infrastructure.
Cardano’s main applications are in identity management and traceability. These applications are known as Ouroboros Proof of Stake (PoS) and Ouroboros Proof of Work (PoW). Ouroboros is a mythical dragon that consumes its own tail in a continuous cycle. This represents the everlasting cycle of growth and development in the cryptocurrency space itself. It also symbolizes the idea that nothing ends and everything is never ending and ever-growing in technology (as it’s happening right now). Cardano's unique structure makes it one of the most secure blockchain projects in the world today.
What is proof of stake?
Proof of stake is a consensus mechanism in which a validator is chosen to validate a new block based on the amount of stake that they have in their wallet instead of depending on the amount of computational power that they possess. This will result in greater decentralization as we can give access to staking to any person or entity without requiring them to spend resources or invest large sums of money in order to validate the network
What makes Cardano stand out?
Cardano differs from the other projects by emphasizing a research-driven approach to design, aiming to achieve an academic rigor it believes will propel adoption of its technology. Initially described through a white paper published in 2014 and authored by former Ethereum researcher Charles Hoskinson and cryptocurrency engineer Jeremy Wood, the cryptocurrency known as ADA has followed a winding path over the past several years as it often appeared to be on the cusp of being launched — only to delay its arrival for a seemingly indefinite period of time.
Hoskinson left Ethereum in 2014 after believing that his own project would be more successful in the long term. Eventually joined by a development team of 30 people, Hoskinson and Wood set out to create a cryptocurrency powered by a proof-of-stake algorithm that would be resistant to attacks like those that affected Bitcoin and Ethereum. Their goal was to build on previous work of several people to create a general-purpose blockchain platform that would be suitable for smart contracts and other decentralized applications.
"World’s First Cryptocurrency Based on a Scientific Proof”
Cardano was originally created to run a digital platform free from financial middlemen; one that is more inclusive and sustainable than other blockchain platforms. It’s designed to support an increasing range of financial applications — from secure payments to financial derivatives. One of those applications is digital money, ADA, that will hold its value over time — so it could be called the “World’s First Cryptocurrency Based on a Scientific Proof”.
Connecting the unconnected, banking the unbanked
The blockchain platform also aims to provide banking services to the world’s unbanked. Through its ADA cryptocurrency and smart contracts with settlement guarantees, Cardano looks to revolutionize the banking and payments sectors.
Cardano was launched in 2017 and is overseen by the Cardano Foundation in Switzerland. It's funded by organizations ranging from academic institutions to high-tech corporations. The development and research for Cardano is carried out by IOHK – a blockchain engineering and scientific consulting firm headquartered in London. It’s currently the 7th largest crypto by market capitalization.
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