What is Cardano?
Cardano (ADA) is one of the biggest market cap cryptocurrencies, founded by Charl Hoskinson, the co-founder of Ethereum. Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain platform: the first to be founded on peer-reviewed research and developed through evidence-based methods. Cardano is being developed by IOHK company, which was founded in 2015 by Charl Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood.
The Cardano project began in 2015 as a decentralized third-generation blockchain in order to solve the scalability problem of second-generation blockchains (such as Ethereum). Cardano is being developed into a decentralized application (DApp) platform with a multi-asset ledger and verifiable smart contracts. It also has a strong focus on sustainability, scalability, and transparency. In addition, it is a fully open source project that aims to deliver an inclusive, fair, and resilient infrastructure for financial and social applications on a global scale. One of its primary goals is to bring reliable and secure financial services to individuals who do not have access to it.
BYRON - (Foundation)
The first version of Cardano, Byron, was launched in September 2017, allowing users to buy and sell the ada cryptocurrency (named after the revolutionary programmer Ada Lovelace). It runs on Ouroboros consensus protocol, the first proof-of-stake protocol created on the basis of academic research with a mathematically-proven level of security.
SHELLY - (Decentralization)
Launched in July 2020, in order to progress more and more nodes to being run by the Cardano community until it becomes a fully distributed network. By the end of March 2021, the goal had been achieved where the Cardano's network became fully decentralized.
GOGUEN - (Smart Contracts)
With the integration of smart contracts, the Goguen era represents a big step forward in capability for the Cardano network, and adds the ability to build decentralized applications (DApps). It will allow users from technical and non-technical backgrounds to create and execute functional smart contracts on the Cardano network. Goguen will introduce a multi-currency ledger, which will extend the usefulness of Cardano even further, enabling users to create new natively-supported tokens.
BASHO - (Scaling)
The Basho era is about improving the scalability and interoperability of the network to better support growth and adoption for applications with high transaction volume. Basho will introduce sidechains, new blockchains, interoperable with the main Cardano chain to extend the capabilities of the network. Sidechains can be used as a sharding mechanism by off-loading work from the main chain onto a sidechain to increase the capacity of the network. This development is aiming for the Cardano to become one of the most high performance, resilient, and flexible blockchain platforms in the industry.
VOLTAIRE - (Governance)
The Voltaire era of Cardano is the final phase, whereupon the Cardano network will become a self-sustaining system. The introduction of a voting and treasury system, will allow network participants to use their stake and voting rights to influence the future development of the network. Cardano will be truly decentralized and no longer under IOHK's management when both a voting and treasury system are in place. Instead, Cardano’s future will be in the hands of the community, who will have everything they need to grow and evolve.