Blockchain platforms have become one of the most competitive fields in the cryptocurrency industry. Each blockchain foundation looking to improve upon Ethereums second generation smart contract abilities. Cardano, a company built from people with firsthand experience of Ethereums strength’s and weaknesses, are approaching this task in a way that not only finds solutions to these existing problems, but rewriting the entire platform design altogether.
One of the great things about Cardano is the model they put in place on how they were going to create their protocol. This says a lot about the company in general. Instead of putting together a whitepaper and moving on with the project, they instead opted to build it from the ground up, by having peer reviewed academic research as the consensus on how the project should be built. Founded in 2015, Cardano took two years of development before its initial launch. Cardano is a collective project, made up of The Cardano Foundation, IOHK (Input Output Hong Kong) and Emurgo.
It’s important to understand how the project team is made up. Each company represents their own unique role in the development in Cardano. The most recognizable name in the Cardano Project is IOHK co-founder Charles Hoskinson, who is also one of the co-founders of Ethereum. He has been the lead and face for the Cardano Project. Hoskinson left Ethereum in 2014 after having a different vision of where he thought the Ethereum project should go. In 2015 he was approached by IOHK co-founder (and former Ethereum colleague Jeremy Wood) to create IOHK, a blockchain company that would create cryptocurriences for companies and entities that wanted a “for profit” model instead of open source. IOHK is contracted to build and maintain Cardano through 2020.
Like most blockchain platforms, Cardano is looking to fix the problems that have continued to plague Ethereum; as the network continues to grow and issues like scalability and interoperability become more and more crucial to the existence of platform currencies. Cardano approached their blockchain design differently by going with two layers for their protocal:
The Settlement Layer, which is what is currently launched, is essentially the currency layer. It is ran with the $ADA coin and serves as a purpose of value. It is a proof of stake consensus algorithm which they have named Ouroboros. Cardano claims that this proof of stake algorithm has mathematically been shown to be provably secure, comparing it to Bitcoin, which has never been compromised.
The Computation Layer, which is set to be launched in the near future, will be the layer that hosts the smart contracts. This layer will also use their Ourboros consensus algorithm for transactions. Cardano also looks to enable users to allow metadata to be viewed by government, banks and other entities. This will allow the option by the user, if for any reason they needed this information to be open. Cardano looks to improve on scalabilty with their unique “Epochs” which allows slot leaders to create multiple block chains and even planning to create multiple Epochs at the same time, which allows a two dimensional creation of blockchains (think of blockchains both horizontal and vertical). This would be the first of its kind and would eliminate a lot of the scalability problems that we see now with Ethereum.
Understanding some of the problems Ethereum encountered, Cardano’s approach to a two layer system, and taking the necessary time to build upon them will give them a huge advantage for the long term. It’s much more difficult to make changes to a program that is already active and working. Running the Settlement Layer now as they build on the Computation Layer helps avoid some of these issues.
As of this blog Cardano $ADA currently sits at #7 on the Coin Market Cap at a price of $0.22. The total supply is 31,112,483,745 with a circulating supply of 25,927,070,538. Max supply is set at 45,000,000,000. Prior to the market drop, $ADA reached an ATH of $1.22 per coin. Supply is relatively high, but that has not seemed to have kept Cardano down.
I write this in two fold, both in optimism and slight pessimism. However, mostly in optimism. What Cardano is looking to do, is one of the most daunting tasks of any platform coin I have seen. It is literally a rabbit hole of ideas and protocols, which if ultimately pulled off, will make it the leading platform coin on the market. I could barely scratch the surface of what Charles Hoskinson and the Cardano team are looking to accomplish with this project. Their aim to be the “Internet of Blockchains,” a blockchain that can communicate with all other cryptocurrencies, would be groundbreaking. Instead of having a centralized intermediary like an exchange to allow currencies to communicate (buying Ether with Bitcoin,etc) Cardano has a vision of allowing them to communicate on the blockchain, which puts us closer to a system that would be easier for everyone to use.
This, along with the other ambitious projects they are working on and have planned, (Check out this thorough Cardano Road Map for more) is why sometimes you might find some pessimism about such a large endeavor being able to be completed. Most blockchain companies focus on a few ways to improve upon a working system, while Cardano looks to completely overhaul it and create a platform that will not only be the best in the industry today, but possibly one of very few left standing in the future. Cardano’s long term plans should honestly excite people who are invested in blockchain because they want to change the world we live in. This is the kind of technological innovation that may some day be the blueprint on how we run smart contracts and use cryptocurrencies.
Cardano $ADA Resources Below: