Cardano is a decentralized platform that uses blockchain technology and is designed to provide a secure and scalable infrastructure for smart contracts and decentralized applications. It is the first platform of its kind to be developed through a scientific philosophy and its focus on scientific rigor and research-first approach sets it apart from other cryptocurrencies. The platform is energy-efficient due to its use of a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm and its ecosystem includes the Cardano blockchain, its native cryptocurrency ADA, and a growing number of dApps and smart contract solutions. The platform has the potential for growth and innovation and is well positioned to be a leading player in the future of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The diagram represents the interconnected components of the Cardano ecosystem and their relationships in creating a secure platform for decentralized applications.
Cardano is a third-generation blockchain and is purportedly a next step in terms of blockchain technology by offering revolutionary governance and an improved consensus mechanism.
Cardano was conceptualized as a blockchain technology way back in 2015 when Charles Hoskinson, its founder, decided behind the structure for it. Two years later (in 2017) it was launched. When it did launch, people could only trade the ADA coins because it did not have any programmable functionality. However, it recently announced that smart contracts can now be programmed on the blockchain, signaling an entirely new direction for the technology.
There is a fascinating story behind the creation of Cardano. Charles Hoskinson, who is the founder of the blockchain, was (back then) a part of the team behind Ethereum alongside Vitalik Buterin. However, there were many ideological differences between how Charles and Vitalik envisioned the blockchain, which eventually led to Vitalik (literally) firing Charles from the team. After being estranged from the initial team, Charles decided to work on his blockchain.
The idea behind Cardano was to create an alternative to Ethereum - which shouldn't come as a surprise at all given that there were some feelings of resentment that Charles must have had against Vitalik! However, that wasn't the sole purpose. He envisioned creating a decentralized ecosystem that could also provide traditional banking services to the world - all based on blockchain.
What makes Cardano special
Cardano has been focused on creating solutions for identity management and traceability. In that direction, it has done a tremendous amount of work primarily in the African continent by creating identities for over 5M people. The traceability factor can easily be used for other purposes as well, including supply chain management.
While the blockchain is being built by a team of leading tech experts, the team itself does not have a traditional hierarchical structure like other organizations. In fact, the organizational structure itself is quite decentralized, with The Cardano Foundation handling major responsibilities behind building the tech; it is a not-for-profit organization.
Cardano has several development phases that are classified as follows:
Byron - Foundational
Shelley - Decentralisation
Goguen - Programmability
Basho - Scaling
Voltaire - Governance
All of these phases are responsible for introducing different aspects to the blockchain. The Goguen phase was launched recently, which enabled programmability. What this means is that developers can now easily create smart contracts and Defi applications on the blockchain. This brings the blockchain at par with Ethereum.
Users have a love/hate following with Cardano - its fervent community loves it for its technology, while Ethereum maximalists consider it a not-so-significant technology.
The Cardano Foundation has given different grants for the proliferation of knowledge about blockchain technology.
Ethereum currently dominates the market share and has a much significant role to play in the movement of the market as compared to Cardano.
The Bottom Line
While the technology is still under development, The Cardano Foundation has been focused on improving blockchain tech and increase its applicability. Experts often say that Cardano's time is yet to come.