Great mathematicians like Gerolamo Cardano and Ada Lovelace are held in the greatest regard because of their contributions to society. Well, nowadays, their names are not just limited to academics; these names are getting popularised in the general public and especially in the world of the crypto market, all thanks to the newly emerged crypto project Cardano.
Cardano is a newly launched cryptocurrency whose development started in 2015 and was launched in 2017. Cardano was the brainchild of Charles Hoskinson, who was also a part of the Ethereum developers team. The cryptocurrency was a part of a company called Input Output Hong Kong. The blockchain network of the coin is named after the Italian mathematician Gerolamo Cardano. In contrast, the native currency is named after Ada Lovelace(ADA), who is regarded as the first female computer programmer in the world.
What makes Cardano a unique crypto project?
Cardano has many unique things to offer. Cardano is regarded as the third-generation blockchain crypto project after bitcoin and Ethereum. It aimed to fill up the existing gaps in blockchain technology we face nowadays. It is based on a proof of stake algorithm. The developers of Cardano called their protocol Ouroboros. The proof of stake has its benefits. It is considered an environment-friendly and easy way to mine a cryptocurrency. It does not require high computational powered machines, plus here, not everybody has to mine the cryptocurrency. This component makes cardano sustainable as high computational devices require a lot of electricity, money and resources. Other problems which Cardano tries to solve are Scalability and Interoperability.
Ouroboros is resolving the issue of Scalability by dividing time into epochs. Each epoch is divided into slots. A Single epoch of Cardano consists of 432,000 slots(5 days).In each slot, nodes have to select a slot leader who will mine ADA. On average, one node is expected to be nominated every 20 seconds, for a total of 21,600 nominations per epoch. Slot leader is selected through the proof of stake. Higher stake of ADA by nodes, higher chances of becoming slot leader and getting the reward as a miner.
The other important thing is that Cardano uses the VISA's computational power to upscale the transactions per second. The network, on average, handles 1736 payment transactions per second, whereas it has the capacity of handling 24000 transactions per second.
The KMZ side chain protocol resolves the interoperability issue, which helps other blockchains to interconnect.
At the time of Cardano's Initial Coin Offering, it distributed 57.6% of the supply and raised $62.2 million. ADA's maximum supply is 45 billion tokens.
To store your ADA, the desktop wallet Daedalus is used. It is a full node wallet, which means the full Cardano blockchain needs to be downloaded, and each transaction is verified for maximum user security. Other options are also available to store ADA like Light wallets such as Yoroi Wallet and Adalite, and cold wallets like Ledger and Trezor can also be used via Daedalus
Although Cardano offers features which will smoothen the blockchain ecosystem, it is still underway to execute all features. The team regularly gives updates regarding further development of the project. The team has provided a roadmap divided into 5 phases. Interestingly the phases are named after poets and mathematician
It is the foundational phase of Cardano. The project's essential infrastructure was built in this stage, and the creation of the blockchain network and Ouroboros consensus protocol was completed here.The Byron allowed users to buy and sell the ADA. Byron also witnessed the creation of the Daedalus wallet, the official Desktop wallet. The first phase was about building a community and getting more and more people to create a large network chain.
Shelley is the interesting phase of Cardano, whose main objective is smooth and hassle-free decentralisation. Cardano hard forked from Byron to Shelley without implementing any radical changes, which ensured a connection of the previous blockchain with the new blockchain consisting of changes in the protocol. Shelley incentivised the proof of stake algorithm by having a reward system.
Further advancement occurred in the third phase, the building of Decentralised Applications and Smart contracts. Goguen helps technical and non-technical people to create and execute the functional smart contract on the Cardano network. Goguen established Marlowe, making Cardano smart contract accessible to financial and business experts with no previous technical knowledge. Marlowe comes with Marlowe Playground, an easy-to-use application-building platform that non-programmers can use to build smart financial contracts.
Goguen includes Plutus, a purpose-built smart contract development language and execution platform using Haskell's functional programming language. Marlowe is based on Plutus. Marlowe is specifically used for financial contracts, whereas Plutus can be used for other purposes.
Basho phase is associated with Interoperability and Scalability. It led to the creation of side chains supporting the interconnectedness of different blockchains. It also uses the sharding method for the system.
Voltaire's final phase of the Cardano Roadmap talks about Governance. Here, the main concern is also making the whole blockchain network a self-sustaining system. Voltaire introduces voting rights. The voting rights are dependent on the user's stake and voting. The voting of the network community will decide any change in the blockchain.
The self-sustaining system of the Cardano blockchain is established through a treasury which generates its money through a fraction of transaction fees. The funds collected in the treasury will be used for development activities undertaken following the voting process.
Cardano is still nascent, but people are looking toward it with high optimism. The Ministry of Education in the country of Georgia signed a memorandum of understanding with the Free University of Tbilisi to use Cardano for the Identification verification system for Georgia.
Other famous examples of Cardano applications include corporations like New Balance, a footwear manufacturer to track the authenticity of its newest basketball shoe.
The Ethiopia Ministry of Education also launched an identity and record-keeping system on Cardano for the country's five million students.
From the above reading, we can undoubtedly conclude how and why Cardano is unique and will shape the future of the blockchain ecosystem.