Cardano is a decentralised public blockchain and cryptocurrency project and is fully open-source. Cardano is developing a smart contract platform that seeks to allow complex programmable transfers of value in a secure and scalable fashion through its unique solutions. It is the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-driven approach.
Cardano uses a democratic governance system that allows the project to evolve over time and fund itself sustainably through a treasury system.
The system is also designed to allow upgrades through soft forks, enabling it to adapt and evolve quickly. A treasury system ensures the sustainability of the protocol. Cardano’s blockchain technology has well-managed maintenance and development needs and is able to adequately fund itself.
Cardano was founded in 2015 by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson with the aim to “provide a more balanced and sustainable ecosystem” for cryptocurrencies. It is backed by three entities: IOHK, The Cardano Foundation, and Emurgo, and is a self-described third-generation blockchain.
The Cardano network gained its namesake from the Italian Renaissance mathematician Gerolamo Cardano, while its native currency (ADA) is named after Ada Lovelace, a 19th-century mathematician who is often referred to as the first computer programmer.
Cardano uses a proof of stake (PoS) system called the ouroboros system and is one of the first blockchains to be built in the highly secure Haskell programming language. The protocol features a layered blockchain software stack that is flexible, scalable, and is being developed with the most rigorous academic and commercial software standards in the industry. Its decentralised platform allows for complex programmable transfers. Cardano’s multi-layer protocol performs advanced functions and has a settlement layer that is elegantly linked to a control layer. The settlement layer has a unit of account, while the control layer runs smart contracts and will be programmed to recognise identity, and assist compliance.
ADA is the cryptocurrency on the Cardano blockchain. ADA holders can transfer money and use the token to pay for goods and services. It is the native token to be used in applications built on the Cardano blockchain.