Project overview

Cardano is a blockchain technology designed to build a new decentralised economy and democratize finance in emerging markets. Cardano will allow decentralised applications and contracts to be built and executed in a low-cost, secure and scalable way.

Blockchain has the potential to become a globally transformative technology, but current solutions have been hampered by a number of critical issues: lack of regulatory oversight, experimental software development with unproven security, poor governance that stifles updates and a lack of planning for the long term future of protocols.

The Cardano project is different: it openly addresses the need for regulatory oversight whilst maintaining consumer privacy and protections through an innovative software architecture.

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. Cardano will use a democratic governance system that will let the project evolve over time, and fund itself sustainably through a visionary treasury system.

Project Stakeholders

Cardano is a collective project, made up of three institutions that have separate roles, all contributing to the project’s success.

The Cardano Foundation’s mission is to “standardise, protect and promote” the Cardano technology

IOHK is a world class blockchain engineering company responsible for building the Cardano blockchain.

Emurgo is responsible for fostering commercial applications being built upon the Cardano ecosystem.

The Cardano project was initiated by a group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts, investors and entrepreneurs concentrated in Asia at the end of 2014. Input Output HK (IOHK) was engaged to design and implement Cardano. In addition, the Cardano Foundation, based in Switzerland, was created to help oversee and supervise the development of Cardano and its ecosystem, and to advocate on behalf of the users of the protocol. Another entity, Emurgo, based in Japan, was created to pursue for-profit activities on behalf of the ecosystem and community. The three entities are wholly separate in ownership and leadership.

The Cardano Foundation

The Cardano Foundation acts as a supervisory and educational body for Cardano. Our mission is to:

  • Standardise, protect and promote the Cardano Protocol and its applications
  • Be a community hub offering authoritative, timely information about the technology and Cardano’s wide-ranging potential
  • Liaise and influence government and regulatory bodies, form strategic partnerships with businesses, enterprises and other open source projects and aid the creation of formal software standards for Cardano, a crucial feature for its long term success and critical in adoption and government engagement


Founded in 2015 by Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood, IOHK is a world-class engineering and technology company committed to using peer-to-peer innovations to provide financial services to three billion people that don’t have them. The group is contracted to design, build, and maintain Cardano through to 2020.


Emurgo is the venture building entity in the Cardano ecosystem, its goal is to aid, integrate, and foster Cardano blockchain applications.

Emurgo captures the transformative power that blockchain technology brings to the developing world. Decentralized applications built on Cardano technology, funded and supported by Emurgo, will have the potential to build groundbreaking applications.

Project Road Map

  • IOHK has now released the settlement layer. This means you can transact, trade, and purchase Ada tokens fully independently of the computation layer.
  • The goal for the computation layer is to have a beta released by the first quarter of 2018. Once both settlement and computation layers are live, users will be able to setup a custom environment to build decentralised applications on the Cardano stack.
  • In 2019, IOHK intends to work on Cardano’s long-term scalability and augment its capabilities. As developers, IOHK has been contracted through 2020 to make sure Cardano is being adequately maintained. The goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem that is capable of funding and supporting itself.


The Cardano project is now being listed on a number of exchanges. You can learn more at