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What's So Special About Cardano?

March 5, 2018

Cardano (token ADA, market cap $7+ billion) is the first blockchain with academically peer-reviewed open source code, giving it a lot of geek appeal. Cardano is an ambitious blockchain dApp project that competes on the same field as Ethereum and NEO as a platform aiming to enable a "smart economy". But Ethereum's technology development protocol is rudimentary by comparison, relying on a governance system to upgrade and scale.


Bitcoin and Litecoin are cryptocurrencies. Ethereum and Neo are platforms that happen to support currencies. Cardano is both in equal parts. To simplify: "Bitcoin was the 1st generation of blockchain, Ethereum is a 2nd generation blockchain, and Cardano is 3rd generation blockchain."


Cardano was formally conceived and presented in 2014, not with a whitepaper, but, rather, with collective research and collaboration, focused on identifying ground up code fixes to address the limitations of previous blockchains. Poor coding and development can lead to catastrophic hacks. With Cardano, each tweak to, or iteration of, the protocol is submitted to experts and conferences for review before being added to the larger project.


Why is this important? There are probably less developers in the world right now who can effectively code a blockchain project than there are the 1536 cryptocurrencies currently posted on coinmarketcap.com today. The result? Lots of scam projects are on that list, and even more legitimate projects that are just done poorly.


How do you know that a project and its code is good? Two ways: One way is the 2nd generation of blockchain tech where tokens that are put through a "trial and error" road of adoption, like Ethereum and NEO. The second way is Cardano’s 3rd generation of blockchain tech method of "peer review".


Ethereum's primary fix was better handling of the "who, what, and why" metadata associated with each transaction on the blockchain using programmable "smart" contracts. However, with Ethereum, this information is still stored together with no separation between computing and accounting. Processing more data with each transaction costs more gas, making blockchain history node storage cumbersome. Cardano separates the transfer and the “what and why”, reducing strain on nodes, thus improving scalability while at the same time increasing security.


Cardano's blockchain 3.0 ecosystem is supported by three entities, which, between themselves, delegate the various tasks related to adoption and marketing, development and engineering, and investment and networking:

- The "Cardano Foundation" educates regulators and NGO's about the Cardano cryptocurrency; providing transparency which in turn facilitates faster and wider adoption.
- "Input Output Hong Kong" (IOHK) is large team of "accredited" researchers who work on improving technologies and digital wallets for both Cardano and Ethereum Classic.
- Japanese-based "Emurgo" invests in startups developing new Cardano products and assists larger businesses with integrating Cardano blockchain technology into existing products.


Cardano's platform improvements evolve from small interdisciplinary teams of developers and academics working on an intelligently delegated “to-do list”. Teams work in two week intervals, releasing small, incremental updates. Cardano is a 3.0 blockchain; a blockchain that can better adapt to its environment. It is a "stronger species" of blockchain. Watch for an especially powerful Cardano upgrade titled "Shelley" in Q2 2018.



By: BGN Editorial Staff

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