Cardano is a fully open sourcedecentralised public blockchain and cryptocurrency project. Cardano is developing a smart contract platform which seeks to deliver more advanced features than any protocol previously developed. It is the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach. The development team consists of a large global collective of expert engineers and researchers.
Cardano’s multi layer protocol performs advanced functions, and has at its foundation a settlement layer that is linked to a control layer. The settlement layer will have a unit of account, while the control layer will run smart contracts. The control layer will be programmed to recognise identity, assisting compliance and allowing blacklisting for instance.
As a whole, the protocol’s design is geared towards protecting privacy rights of users, while also taking into account the needs of regulators. In doing so, Cardano is the first protocol to balance these requirements in a nuanced and effective way, pioneering a new approach for cryptocurrencies. In addition, while the platform has been solidly composed, its developers also recognised the need for it to evolve and adapt to changing needs. Consequently the system can be upgraded by way of soft forks, and a treasury system that will ensure the sustainability of the protocol.
Cardano uses a new proof of stake algorithm called Ouroboros, which determines how individual nodes reach consensus about the network. The algorithm is a crucial part of the infrastructure that supports the Ada cryptocurrency and is a major innovation in blockchain technology. Ouroboros eliminates the need for an energy-hungry proof of work protocol, which stands as a barrier to blockchain scaling up for much wider use. Designed a team led by IOHK Chief Scientist, Professor Aggelos Kiayias, Ouroboros is the first proof of stake protocol that has mathematically been shown to be provably secure, and the first to have gone through peer review through its acceptance to Crypto 2017, the leading cryptography conference. The level of security demonstrated by Ouroboros compares to that of Bitcoin’s blockchain, which has never been compromised.
To use Ada you must download Daedalus. Daedalus is a secure, multi-platform, HD (hierarchical deterministic) wallet for the Ada cryptocurrency. Beyond being used to send and receive Ada, the Daedalus wallet has many special features, which make it easy to use and give you a high degree of confidence about its security. These include:
- Encrypted private keys and spending passwords, offering protection against security threats such as malware.
- Wallets can be exported to paper certificates, giving the maximum security option of placing funds in cold storage.
- Ada redemption is built directly into Daedalus and supports encrypted and unencrypted redemption certificates.
- Configurable transaction assurance level monitoring, allowing users to be sure when transactions become irreversible.