Cardano Explained (ADA)

What is Cardano and Where Did It Come From?

Launched in 2017, Cardano (ADA) was developed using scientific principles and is often described as a “third generation blockchain.” Cardano is closer to Ethereum (ETH) than Bitcoin (BTC) because it uses smart contracts as the basis for its transactions. Its goal is to overhaul the entire payment system; from the way financial institutions settle transactions to the way end-users send/receive funds.

What Does Cardano Mean?

Gerolamo Cardano was an Italian polymath. An expert in mathematics, physics, chemist and biology, Cardano was one of the most influential figures of the Renaissance. In fact, his work helped lay the foundations of probability theory, binomial coefficients and the binominal theorem. With the Cardano blockchain being a modern-day mathematical innovation, its name seems to be a fitting tribute to the 16th century genius.

Recommended places to trade Cardano

What’s Cardano’s Aim and How Does It Work?

Cardano coin with world map background
Cardano is often described as the third generation blockchain [Immersion Imagery/Shutterstock.com]
Cardano attempts to balance the need for regulation with decentralised principles that are at the core of blockchain technology, aiming to process transactions faster and cheaper compared to other digital coins.

To achieve these goals, developer IOHK built its own blockchain in a bid to iron out the issues of older ones like Ethereum. Third-generation blockchains are faster and more scalable than older blockchains. Bitcoin is a first-generation blockchain as it only allows decentralised transactions. Ethereum is a second-generation blockchain as it offers a way for third-party developers to create their own decentralised apps using smart contracts. Cardano is considered a third-generation blockchain because it addresses the weakness of its peers and combines their best parts in a single system.

Using a unique algorithm, Cardano aims to process 4,000+ transactions per second. It can do this because it keeps its layers separate.

Settlement layer: Allows users to send and receive ADA tokens. The Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL) is an improved version of the Proof of Stake consensus algorithm that confirms transactions and generates new blocks.

Computational layer: The Cardano Computational Layer (CCL) contains information on why transactions occur. This is where the smart contracts are based and the reason different apps can set their own rules (contracts) within the Cardano ecosystem.

By splitting its blockchain into two layers, Cardano allows for simultaneous processing of individual and commercial transactions. Personal transactions aren’t slowed down by the transactions taking place between apps using ADA tokens.

In terms of the security, Cardano is resistant to quantum computing. To protect and futureproof its blockchain, Cardano uses quantum-resistant signatures that guard against cyber-attacks, even if they come from quantum computers.

Notable Backers of Cardano

It’s interesting that the primary backer of the Cardano project is one of the co-founders of Ethereum, Charles Hoskinson. Hoskinson’s vision of what Ethereum should have been inspired him to set up a new blockchain project in partnership with the Cardano Foundation. Although the Foundation was shut down in 2018, its original mission was to standardise, protect and promote the benefits of Cardano Protocol technology.

Blockchain development firm IOHK has also been a significant backer of Cardano and is contracted to build, design and maintain applications on the blockchain until 2020. Also helping the Cardano project is Emurgo, drafted in to enhance the commercial ventures of those who wish to utilise the Cardano blockchain.

Cardano is hugely popular in Japan. Some 95% of all backers of Cardano’s initial coin offering (ICO) were Japan-based.

Why Invest in Cardano and How to Get ADA Coins?

ADA Pros

Cardano has one of the most talented support networks in the crypto space, picking scientists and engineers from top universities, including Harvard and the London School of Economics. It is the only cryptocurrency to operate peer reviews of all work conducted on its platform.

The scalable and sustainable platform that allows for the creation of 100% decentralised applications and smart contracts.

Cardano already has its own purpose-built crypto wallet, Daedalus.

ADA Cons

Cardano is bidding to transform the entire financial sector. Considering challenges from other crypto companies such as Ripple/XRPit’s by no means the only project with this lofty goal.

A lack of historical data on Cardano’s price makes it a risky investment.

While much of Cardano’s vision is to be admired, the project is still very much a work in progress.

Altcoins Similar to Cardano

Cardano uses a Proof of Stake protocol in the same way as Chinese cryptocurrency NEO – regarded as the Ethereum of China and aiming to transform the efficiency of smart contracts . However, many people believe that Cardano has a brighter future than NEO because of its layered blockchain, unique coding language and thriving community.

Keen to find crypto altcoins like Cardano (ADA)? Here are a few:

Cardano Price Overview: How ADA Price Points Have Shifted Over Time

Cardano price chart
Cardano’s price remains fairly constant [AlekseyIvanov/Shutterstock.com]
Following its 2016 release, Cardano price charts reached $1.15. This initial spike was mainly the result of the Bitcoin boom of 2017. By the start of 2018, the surge of interest started to subside and the price of Cardano started to drop. However, it’s important to note that virtually every other cryptocurrency’s value decreased.

Despite the bearish trend, ADA has remained fairly consistent. After falling below $0.10 in October 2018, Cardano coin has hovered around $0.05. Based on its underlying technology and historic performance, growth is certainly possible. If you use a Cardano calculator, you’ll see the coin’s value has previously increased by 2,200% ($1.15 peak vs. $0.05). We could see ADA make similar gains in the future.

Cardano Mining: How Minting Makes ADA Coins

In total, there is a supply cap of 45 billion ADA coins. Almost 26 billion were sold during the ICO. The rest are generated through what’s known as “minting” that’s similar to crypto mining. Using Cardano’s official wallet, Daedalus, you can contribute to the minting process and earn tokens. After joining a staking pool, you assign “rights” to the pool based on the number of coins in your wallet. These rights help to fulfil transaction requests which earns you credits. So, as well as being a digital currency you can spend, ADA can also facilitate Cardano transactions and earn users some extra money.

Wallets: Best wallets to use for Cardano with links to wallet reviews

There are many web-based and hardware wallets available to store Cardano coins. Web-based wallets and crypto exchanges that support ADA coins – like Bittrex and Binance – are good if you plan to be active with your coins, so that your tokens are always online and ready to move.

If you plan to use ADA coin as a long-term investment, you may wish to use an offline option like Jaxx wallet. Alternatively, Cardano hardware wallets like the Nano S Ledger and Trezor are good options. They operate like a hard drive, allowing you to store the private keys to your ADA coins offline away from the prying eyes of cyber-criminals.

Cardano also has its own purpose-built wallet, called Daedalus. This secure, multi-platform and hierarchical deterministic (HD) crypto wallet is tailor-made for storing ADA coins.

The Future of Cardano

Like any cryptocurrency, the future of Cardano isn’t set in stone. However, it is a strong coin that’s backed by peer-reviewed science. Its technology is aiming to address the crypto world’s three biggest issues:

  • Scalability
  • Interoperability
  • Sustainability

Assuming it can continue to fulfil its goals, the Cardano future looks bright. The blockchain stands a great chance of being a leading light in the industry as it’s taking a fresh approach to the issues of scalability, sustainability and interoperability. Even though ETH and BTC are great, their blockchains are based on older technology. In contrast, Cardano is a new blockchain, and it’s easier to make tweaks rather than repurposing or replacing old technology.

What is Cardano’s main competitor?

In terms of Cardano’s smart contract competition, there are some big hitters out there – Ethereum, NEO and EOS.

ICON, on which the ICON coin is based, and ARK (ARK), one of the most successful ICOs of all time, are also burgeoning smart contract platforms that could rival Cardano.

Cardano vs. Bitcoin: How Cardano Holds Up as an Alternative to BTC

Cardano and bitcoin
ADA has more technological potential than Bitcoin [AlekseyIvanov/Shutterstock.com]
Bitcoin has been the standard for cryptos since it launched in 2009, so it’s worth comparing Cardano’s properties to BTC. In terms of value, Cardano price charts can’t compete with Bitcoin. This is partly due to the amount of time ADA has been active in comparison to BTC. However, Bitcoin has more infrastructure supporting it – there are more exchanges offering BTC, more developers working on the platform and more mainstream businesses accepting Bitcoin payments.

Much of this infrastructure is a result of Bitcoin being around since 2009. There’s nothing to say ADA won’t have a similar level of support in the future. However, according to many experts, Cardano is already a viable alternative to Bitcoin because it’s faster, cheaper and more efficient.

Unlike Bitcoin, which uses proof of work, Cardano proof of stake is lighting fast. Indeed, technology has moved on and experts consider proof of stake to be a better way of verifying transactions. Beyond its internal strengths, the Cardano price chart is also more attractive to investors because it’s cheaper. Even for high-level investors, the current ADA price means because it has room to grow.

Of course, BTC can still reach new heights. However, its value is already in the thousands, which means growth is likely to be less dramatic. Therefore, in terms of the underlying technology and potential, ADA is more than a credible match for Bitcoin.

Cardano News and Updates

If you’re investing in Cardano, it’s important to follow ADA price charts as much as possible. However, you should also be tracking the latest developments, updates and headlines.

Without an understanding of what’s happening in the Cardano ecosystem, you won’t be able to make informed decisions. So make sure you read through the latest ADA news stories, to stay on top of the coin’s progress and see when it’s best to make some trades.

Learn More About Cardano and Cryptos

You can also get an insight into the latest happenings via our newsletter. By signing up for regular updates, you’ll not only get an exclusive guide to Bitcoin and cryptos but expert tips on Cardano future developments too.

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Cardano FAQ

What is a Cardano smart contract?

Cardano didn’t invent smart contracts. Neither did Ethereum. “Smart contracts” are an idea that has existed for many years. Computer scientists have long wanted to create algorithms to run complex programs without human intervention or oversight.

Ethereum was first to demonstrate and popularise the use of smart contracts in practical ways, but Cardano smart contracts are likely to outperform the competition by building a product based on a science and data-led smart contract platform.

Can you buy Cardano from ATMs?

It’s not possible to get Cardano coin from ATMs, but once Cardano introduces its main net, we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it included in a multi-cryptocurrency ATM.

How much will the price of Cardano grow?

It’s hard to know the future value of Cardano without a crystal ball, but at the beginning of 2018, Cardano’s price hit £0.87 per coin. There is hope that Cardano’s increased support from major wallets and as more information on its Proof of Stake protocol is understood, the price of ADA will rise again.

Featured image source: RuskaDesign/Shutterstock.com

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