What is Cardano and what is ADA?
Cardano is a smart contract platform, similar to Ethereum, with a focus on security through a layered architecture. Cardano can also be used to receive and send digital money and is home to the ADA cryptocurrency. A major innovation of Cardano is that it will balance the needs of users with those of regulators, and in doing so, combine privacy with regulation.
It’s the first blockchain project to be created from scientific philosophy and built on peer-reviewed academic research. Thus, Cardano is the only project to be designed and built by a global team of leading academics and engineers. It is essential to Cardano’s team that the technology is secure, flexible and scalable for use by many millions of users.
Thus, considerable thought and care from some of the leading experts in their fields has been devoted to the project. The scientific rigour applied to mission-critical systems such as aerospace and banking has been brought to the field of cryptocurrencies.
Cardano’s layered architecture
Cardano is being developed in two layers that separate the ledger of account values from the reason why values are moved from one account to the other. The main reason for building Cardano in two layers is to enable better flexibility of smart contracts. Thus, with Cardano, businesses can tailor the design, privacy and execution of each smart contract to better befit a specific use-case.
How does Cardano work? Is it minable?
Cardano uses the Ouroboros proof-of-stake algorithm to reach consensus on the state of the ledger. In this protocol, slot leaders generate new blocks in the blockchain and verify the transactions. Anyone holding a Cardano ADA coin can become a slot leader. The node automatically verifies transactions, thus, the users don’t have to manually verify each transaction.
As of January 2018, there are almost 26 bullion ADA coins in circulation and the Cardano team has said that there will be a maximum of 45 billion coins that will ever be created.
Cardano is an ambitious project tackling a large number of problems faced by Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The sheer scope of the project could be lethal to the project, as it leaves a lot of opportunity for error. However, Charles Hoskinson, ex-CEO of Ethereum, leading the Cardano team does help to bring some confidence that the team can handle a project of this magnitude.