Cardano claims to be the first blockchain platform of its kind that was built through peer-reviewed research. The stated goal of the blockchain intended for “changemakers, innovators and visionaries” is to bring about “positive global change.”
Cardano Explained: Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain. PoS systems allow miners to mine or validate block transactions based on the amounts they hold. The cryptocurrency was founded in 2017 and uses the token symbol ADA, named after the 19th-century mathematician Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the poet Lord Byron. Cardano itself is named after the Italian polymath Gerolamo Cardano.
People Behind Cardano: Cardano was founded by Charles Hoskinson, an entrepreneur-mathematician, who was also among the co-founders of Ethereum (ETH). Hoskinson is also the CEO of IOHK, a research and development firm. In September, Cardano Foundation appointed Frederik Gregaard as its CEO. The foundation is based in Switzerland and a not-for-profit organization.
A Smart Contract Cryptocurrency: Cardano’s roadmap has a number of eras each named after a literary figure like Byron, Shelley, Goguen, Basho, and Voltaire. Each era brings about a different functionality. The Goguen era integrated smart contracts, which was a major boost for the network. A smart contract allows for trusted transactions and agreements to take place among unrelated and even anonymous parties without the need for any authority or any sort of other enforcement intermediaries. Examples of cryptocurrencies that support smart contracts include Ethereum, Polkadot (DOT), Tron (TRX), and Cosmos (ATOM).
What Sets Cardano Apart: Cardano is based on the Ouroboros proof-of-stake blockchain protocol, which is claimed to be four-million times more energy-efficient than Bitcoin (BTC). In short, the resulting energy difference is akin to the difference in energy usage of a household and a small country.
ETH is in the process of shifting from a Proof of Work protocol like the one that BTC uses to a proof of stake one. Proof of work relates to one party proving to another that a certain computational effort was exerted for a particular purpose. It is a type of cryptographic zero-knowledge proof. According to the Ethereum website, “Ethereum needs to be better for the environment. The technology today requires too much computing power and energy.”
Cardano Through Numbers: The fourth-largest cryptocurrency market cap at $13.74 billion, Cardano has a circulating supply of 31.11 billion ADA.
Cardano performance relative to Bitcoin over the years. Courtesy of CoinMarketCap.
Cardano performance relative to the U.S. Dollar over the years. Courtesy of CoinMarketCap.
Cardano is behind BTC, ETH, and Tether (USDT) in terms of market capitalization. ADA touched its all-time high of $1.33 on Jan. 4, 2018, and an all-time low of $0.01735 on Oct 1, 2017.
See Also: How to Buy Cardano (ADA)
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