What is Cardano?

Cardano is a 3rd generation blockchain network, utilising the Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanism, to achieve its vision of a distributed consensus. Cardano’s currency is known as Ada, which is named after Lady Ada Lovelace, the first computer scientist. 

The mission/ philosophy of Cardano is Banking the Unbanked, which hopes to provide a digital economic identity to anyone, from the developed or the developing world, so that we would all share similar opportunities to change the world for the better.

Value proposition by Charles Hoskinson - Cardano's founder

The PoS protocol is based on its scientifically peer-reviewed Ouroboros protocol to ensure a high assurance code and to address 3 main concerns from the other blockchain networks, namely:

a) Scalability/ decentralisation – How does Cardano ensure faster Transaction per sections (Tps)?
Key: Slot leaders, P2P, Hydra, Pipelining, Input endorsers

b) Interoperability – How does Cardano work with traditional institutions and other blockchains?
Key: Metadata, Bridges, Milkomeda

c) Sustainability – How does Cardano continue to self-fund its reinvention?
Key: Treasury, Catalyst Fund

Cardano is methodical and backed by ~130 strong/ peer reviewed scientific papers. In an industry where the norm is to move fast regardless of user security ($10.5b hacked in 2021), Cardano’s focus is on ensuring things are done right from the onset. This has allowed Cardano to stand out as a highly developed blockchain incorporating security as a topmost priority, while working towards scalability, interoperability and sustainability.

For newcomers, we would strongly recommended that you watch Charles’s full whiteboard video from Oct 2017, detailing the vision and guiding principles of Cardano. We had also linked a 8 min condensed video explaining the basis of Cardano. Even with an elementary understanding of Cardano, we hope you would be able to appreciate the possibilities that this 3rd generation blockchain network could address, and its vision to achieve distributed consensus!

Note: Regular updates on Cardano can be found on Charles/IOHK/Cardano Foundation social feeds and blog posts.

The overarching broad and long term strategy for Cardano was further explained by Charles, using the Island, the Ocean and the Pond as an analogy. With the advent of smart contracts, Chares also shared on the latest progress of smart contracts and what’s beyond. Recently, Charles also updated on the 2022 roadmap and did a summary whiteboard on Dapps and Cardano development.

As time of writing (Jan 2023), there are currently
~1150 projects building on Cardano
~$65m in total value locked (include staking)
~$16m in funding available for successful proposals on Project Catalyst

Other resources