Cardano is a public blockchain platform. It is open-source and decentralized, with consensus achieved using proof of stake. It can facilitate peer-to-peer transactions with its internal cryptocurrency, Ada. Cardano was founded in 2015 by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson.

Within the Cardano platform, Ada exists on the settlement layer. This layer is similar to Bitcoin and keeps track of transactions. The second layer is the computation layer. This layer is designed to be similar to Ethereum, enabling smart contracts and applications to run on the platform.

Cardano expects to implement decentralized finance (DeFi) services on September 12 2021, including an upgrade to enable smart contracts and the ability to build decentralized applications (DApps). Also included is Plutus, a Turing-complete smart contract language written in Haskell, and a specialised smart contract language, Marlowe, designed for non-programmers in the financial sector.

Cardano was funded through an initial coin offering (ICO). The currency debuted with a market cap of $600 million. By the end of 2017, it had a market cap of $10 billion, and reached a value of $33 billion briefly in 2018 before a general tightening of the crypto market dropped its value back to $10 billion.

Cardano is a decentralized public blockchain and cryptocurrency project and is fully open source.

Ouroboros is the first peer-reviewed, verifiably secure blockchain protocol, and Cardano is the first blockchain to implement it. Ouroboros enables the Cardano network’s decentralization, and allows it to sustainably scale to global requirements without, crucially, compromising security.

A decentralized team works across three independent entities to ensure that Cardano stays true to its purpose as we advance and evolve: Cardano Foundation; IOHK; Emurgo.

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