What Is Cardano?: The Complete Guide of Its Concepts

Cardano, based on peer-reviewed research, is the first Proof-of-Stake blockchain platform created using evidence-based methodologies. Cardano exists to shift power from unaccountable structures to the margins - to individuals and to enable positive change and progress with a top team of engineers.

In this tutorial on “What is Cardano?”, you will discover various other vital aspects revolving around Cardano.

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What Is Cardano?

  • Charles Hoskinson, the co-founder of Ethereum, launched the platform in 2017 to position it as an alternative to Ethereum.
  • Cardano is a third-generation decentralized Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain platform that outperforms Proof-of-Work (PoW) networks.
  • The infrastructure load of escalating expenses, energy utilization, and lengthy transaction times limit scalability, interoperability, and sustainability for PoW networks like Ethereum.
  • Foundation, decentralization, smart contracts, scaling, and governance are the five stages of Cardano development.
  • The Cardano Foundation, IOHK, and EMURGO are all responsible for Cardano's governance.

What Is ADA?

  • “ADA" is the name of Cardano's principal cryptocurrency. It is based on the Cardano blockchain, a first-of-its-kind decentralized network built entirely on scientific and mathematical principles by cryptography and engineering experts.
  • Its purpose is to provide a rapid and secure value transaction and allow users to operate smart contracts and applications.
  • Furthermore, sending and receiving funds instantly and for a low fee has numerous applications in the business and financial worlds.
  • It is a Proof-of-Stake coin used to fuel Cardano Ecosystem.

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Cardano’s Supply and Value

According to the market cap, Cardano’s current value is 2.1823 USD, and the maximum supply of Cardano can be 45 billion. The current circulating supply is 31 billion.


Cardano has seen immense popularity in recent times.

  • Currently, ADA, the native coin of the popular alt-coin Cardano, has risen to an all-time high breaking the previous record despite a big price crash warning.
  • The ADA/USD rate of exchange topped $2.56 for the first time on September 17, 2021, capping a 154.54 percent price surge that began on July 20.
  • Cardano is written in Haskell, a programming language that permits more strict contracts to be created.


The Layers of the Cardano Network

There are two layers to the Cardano blockchain: 

  1. The Settlement Layer, and 
  2. The Computation Layer 
  • The Settlement Layer (CSL) is mainly responsible for settling transactions made by network peers in ADA, the local currency. 
  • The Computation Layer (CCL) was built with smart contracts and decentralized applications in mind.

Developers developed a layered protocol to maximize the network's capacity for protocol modifications and soft fork implementations. 

The Working of Consensus Algorithm of Cardano

As discussed earlier in “What is Cardano?”, Haskell, a widely recognized and secure programming language, is used to create the Cardano open-source code.

  • Cardano is based on the Ouroboros consensus mechanism, which is a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain technology that is unique to it. 
  • This consensus method assures that ADA may be issued and received fast and safely and also ensures the security of Cardano smart contracts.


At the same time, as a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, Ouroboros rewards token holders who stake their ADA in the network and ensure network unanimity.

The following section covers the working of Ouroboros: 

  • First, the network chooses a few nodes called Slot leaders at random to have the opportunity to mine new blocks and control the flow of data.


  • Second, the Blockchain is divided into slots, each referred to as an epoch.


  • And at last, slot leaders can mine their specific epoch. Any person who assists in the mining of an epoch or a portion of it is rewarded. 


Also, an epoch can be partitioned an infinite number of times.

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Cardano vs. Ethereum



Launched Date

Cardano was launched in September 2017.

Ethereum was launched way back in January 2014.


Cardano was founded by Charles Hopkinson.

Ethereum was founded by Vitalik Buterin.

Consensus Algorithm

Cardano follows Proof-of-Stake.

Etheruem also intends to switch to Proof-of-Stake; it still follows Proof-of-Work.

Programming Language

Cardano uses Haskell.

Ethereum uses solidity.


Cardano has two layers - CSL and CCL.

Ethereum only consists of one layer.

The Uses of Cardano

  • One of Cardano's core principles is that the ADA is staked to the blockchain as part of the PoS blockchain protocol, which allows "stake pool operators" to verify transactions on the Blockchain successfully.


  • Those that stake their ADA on the blockchain are rewarded with extra Cardano. This staking system contributes to the blockchain's security.
  • In addition, ADA is used in voting. Unlike other blockchain projects, Cardano token holders vote and decide on protocol updates rather than miners.


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