There are now many different cryptocurrencies and the industry continues to see companies and governments experimenting with and starting to implement blockchain technology, whether it be for efficiencies through permissioned blockchains or through decentralized solutions.
Cardano differentiates itself by being designed from the ‘ground up’ to deliver a secure and sustainable blockchain that can protect user privacy whilst allowing for regulation. Cardano aims to be a mature blockchain that is ready for large scale applications.
- Cardano is the first protocol to incorporate Ouroboros, the ground breaking proof of stake algorithm. The IOHK team employed a “first-principles” approach, driven by peer-reviewed academic research to build Cardano from the ground up.
- This uniquely collaborative effort steadily constructed the most precisely engineered cryptocurrency yet, a product that brings together such disciplines as distributed systems, mechanism design and cryptography. The result is the first cryptocurrency to be based in Haskell code, an industrial strength product that delivers the resilience necessary for mission-critical systems, in this case, securing investment.
- Cardano’s multi-layer protocol performs advanced functions, and has at its foundation a settlement layer that is elegantly linked to a control layer. The settlement layer will have a unit of account, while the control layer will run smart contracts and will be programmed to recognise identity, assisting compliance (and allowing blacklisting, for instance).
- The protocol is geared towards protecting privacy rights of users, while also taking into account the needs of regulators. In doing so, Cardano is the first protocol to balance these requirements in a nuanced and effective way, pioneering a new approach for cryptocurrencies.
- The system is designed so that it can be upgraded by way of soft forks, enabling it to adapt to changing needs and evolve quickly, when required. A treasury system is also being installed that will ensure the sustainability of the protocol.
- Completely open source and patent-free, Cardano is built in the spirit of collaboration. Engineered for efficiency and scalability, the Cardano ecosystem will develop into the most complete cryptocurrency ever constructed.
- Privacy and regulation
- The original Bitcoin blockchain was meant to be a way for individuals to transact directly and anonymously with each other outside the control of banks and governments. This guarantees privacy in financial dealings, a fundamental individual right. But full anonymity can be counterproductive, as can complete lack of regulatory oversight. Today most blockchain projects look to further either the aims of privacy or of regulation. To be effective globally, we think our blockchain must ‘square the circle’ by finding the right mix of individual privacy protection and provision for regulatory control.
- Public, decentralized blockchain projects rely on crowd-based governance models. This allows for democratic control of the network by its participants, which is essential to building truly decentralised economies. However, if they are not carefully designed, such governance can go awry. Both the Bitcoin and Ethereum communities have experienced devastating schisms on the question of how to upgrade their networks – in Ethereum’s case already causing a split. The Cardano blockchain has an airtight governance model that allow the community to democratically take clear and binding decisions.
- The Cardano blockchain has sophisticated maintenance and development needs and is able to adequately fund itself, both in terms of running costs and new investment.
The Token: ADA Voucher
Every blockchain project has a token of value commonly referred to as a cryptocurrency. Ada is the cryptocurrency on the Cardano blockchain. With Ada, holders can send value between friends, pay for a good or service, deposit funds on an exchange, or enter an application.
To perform a transfer on the settlement layer requires you own Ada, or acquire Ada through an exchange. It will also be the native token to be used in applications built on the computation layer.
The Wallet: Daedalus
Each cryptocurrency requires a “wallet” to store Ada. Typically this wallet is a software application that can be installed on any computer or smartphone.
Daedalus is a highly-engineered wallet with advanced security features that was developed by IOHK specifically for the Cardano blockchain and protects your assets with the most advanced cryptography. In the future, Daedalus will not only support Ada, but other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum Classic and many more. It is available to download here.