What is Cardano?
Cardano is a decentralized public blockchain platform. It is developed as Open Source, so a wide community supports it. It uses Proof of Stake as a consensus protocol. It facilitates transactions between individuals and has a powerful system of smart contracts defined. Its cryptocurrency is called ADA in honor of Ada Lovelace, one of the pioneers of programming.
The platform began its development in 2015 at the hands of Charles Hoskinson, co-founder of the well-known Ethereum, a platform that he abandoned due to his differences in concept with Vitalik Buterin. Hoskinson wanted to operate this network as a private company, while Buterin agreed to operate it as a non-profit organization. For these reasons, its founder created IOHK, a company created to develop this network. It was baptized with this name in memory of Gerolamo Cardano, one of the most influential mathematicians of the Renaissance and a relevant figure in physics, astronomy, medicine, and chemistry, among others.
When it debuted, it grossed $600 million. Already at the end of 2017, it had raised 10,000 million dollars. It has come to capture at its peak about 33,000 million dollars. Today, with the huge drop in cryptocurrency prices, their numbers are more modest.
What sets Cardano apart?
Unlike other similar technologies, Cardano does not have a white paper, its design is based on scalability, interoperability, and regulatory compliance.
It does not use proof of work like Bitcoin or Ethereum, it uses proof of consensus, which avoids having to perform complex mathematical calculations to keep the chain integrated and represents great energy savings for its operation. It is currently the most important Blockchain network of this type on the market.
Cardano has several layers like other networks of this type, on the one hand, it has a transaction layer using its cryptocurrency, called ADA. On the other hand, it has the computation layer, in which smart contracts (dApps) are executed, similar to Ethereum. With the recent release of the version called Alonzo, it is now possible to develop this type of contract and test it on your testnet. To set them, it uses Plutus, an adapted version of Haskell, a functionally oriented language ideal for a distributed and asynchronous execution environment in which security must prevail.
The Cardano roadmap is defined around a series of big milestones: founding (Byron), decentralization (Shelley), smart contracts (Goguen), scalability (Basho), and governance (Voltaire). We are currently in the phase of smart contracts, progress is somewhat delayed, but it is typical of these developments.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most attractive emerging technologies in the field, which proposes creative solutions to the limitations of Bitcoin and Ethereum. It has a large community behind it and the markets support it too – with the typical ups and downs of cryptocurrencies. As its dApps layer develops further, it will take over the market gobbling up Ethereum’s turf, we’ll see who ends up getting the best piece of the pie.