Cardano [ADA] - The Blockchain Built On Scientific Philosophy
Price Info - https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/cardano/
Cardano is a blockchain built in Haskell, a safer and more reliable code that can compete with blockchains like Ethereum. They want to make sure cryptocurrencies are regulated while protecting users’ privacy. The team is headed by former Ethereum CEO Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood, who’ve built their own blockchain research and development company, IOHK, from the ground up.
CARDANO IS NAMED AFTER THE ITALIAN PHYSICIST AND MATHEMATICIAN GIROLAMO CARDANO. This is extremely fitting, because cardano is one of the cryptocurrencies that is most intertwined with scholarly thought and academia. Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), the parent company of Cardano, has over 10 academic papers published focusing on topics such as Ouroboros.
One of the things going for Cardano was the fact that one of the core team members of Ethereum was leading the project. I am, of course, speaking of Hoskinson. However, despite this apparent green flag, many early investors were deterred by the massive amount of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) surrounding the formation of Cardano and IOHK.
In 2015, Hoskinson travelled to Japan with his partner Jeremy Wood to solicit investments from wealthy individuals. They used tactics such as showing how much Ethereum and Bitshares have grown in order to entice the prospects to invest in their new product. In addition, they issued vouches, instead of tokens, while they worked on the settlement layer of Cardano.
The tokens were not released until 2017; however, by then, many had already cried foul. Accusations ran wild; core members of Bitshares accused Hoskinson of being a shady individual, many called Cardano a ponzi scheme, and many twitter users claimed they wouldn’t buy into ADA until it hit sub 50 satoshi levels (the ICO price was calculated to be ~420 satoshis). It never did.
Ouroboros is Cardano’s proposed solution to creating a provably secure proof-of-stake algorithm. In technical terms, Cardano wrote an academic paper explaining how their algorithm and protocol will produce ‘honest behavior’ with an approximate Nash equilibrium.
In layman’s terms, this means that Cardano has published, in a peer-reviewed academic journal, a proof-of-stake system in which participants are incentivized to act positively as opposed to trying to cheat the system. Ouroboros, is the first proof-of-stake algorithm to be accepted in a peer-reviewed journal, making it an obvious stand-out to its competitors, which emphasizes the rigour Cardano is putting into development.
Explaining the sidechains Cardano will support.
Many question what the point of splitting up the computational layer from the settlement layer is. Many wonder what this even means.
Basically, a settlement layer is the platform on which value is sent or received. In Cardano’s case, the settlement layer is the ledger on which the transfer of ADA occurs. The computational layer, as its name implies, is the layer in which information is processed, mainly of transactions related to the settlement layer. The reason why this separation is important, and may even prove to be invaluable in the future, is because it allows the compartmentalization of computation. By this, I mean that different institutions will be able to utilize different computational layers when more information about transactions is needed.
As an analogy, think of the differences between Monero and Bitcoin. Monero is completely anonymous while Bitcoin is only pseudonymous. By having a separate computational layer, different applications will be able to process information differently. One application may need to know more about a transaction than another, making transactions non-anonymous or pseudonymous. However, another application may not care about this information and may discard any information about the transaction entirely.
Additionally, Cardano will support KMZ side-chains developed by Kiayias, Miller, and Zindros based upon their paper “Proofs of Proofs of Work with Sublinear Complexity.” The gist being that it allows “lite” Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) as opposed to full SPV. This speeds up the process logarithmically and makes the SPV much faster. The technicalities and more detail about this can be found in their paper which is publically available online. Their methods will allow the secure movement of funds from the Settlement Layer to any Computational Layer or other blockchain supported by its protocol. This will allow “more flexibility in the design, use, privacy and execution of smart contracts.”
As of right now, Cardano is using Curve25519 as its form of encryption. This in itself is not unique; however it is the same security used by applications such as Tor.
What makes Cardano unique is that it opens itself up to using other types of encryptions in the future through soft forks. This is important because encryptions, such are Curve25519, can eventually be broken making systems vulnerable to hacks.
In addition, the scalability of Cardano is vastly different than that of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s blockchain is an append-only ledger in which every node needs to have the full history of all transactions in order to validate any new transaction.
Because every node needs the full history of the blockchain, adding more nodes does not equate to added computational power. Cardano, on the other hand, takes advantage of the Ouroboros consensus algorithm to assign groups of nodes (quorums) to groups of transactions. Nodes A, B, and C can be designated to oversee transactions 1-100. And, nodes D, E, and F oversee transactions 101-200. Evidently, the increase of nodes into the Cardano ecosystem increases the computational power and speed over the transactions within.
Most importantly, it is the process of development that makes Cardano stand out. The peer review process, widely known in science as the process for poking holes in ideas and evidence, to find what stands up to scrutiny and testing. If you're looking to create a product that is first to market, individual incentive and innovation is good. But with that comes all the problems that an individual can't foresee. They don't know it until their product is release then hits a snag or a bug. If you're looking to create a whole infrastructure, you don't want the risk of it breaking. Cardano is using the best minds in cryptography, game theory, etc., to build its system conscientiously, step by step. It's meant to last.
Currently, Cardano is progressing from its current development phase called Byron to the next phase called Shelley. Byron launched in September 2017 and got the network oﬀ the ground. In Shelley, Cardano will lay the groundwork for a path to full decentralization of the Cardano network.
Over the second and third quarters of 2018, Cardano will release the features of Shelley including proof-of-stake protocol Ouroboros, a wallet backend, light client support, voting, and human-friendly addresses.
By the end of 2018, you’ll see a whole new decentralized Cardano Network.
This is big news because the opportunity is so big. Cardano wants to be the underlying financial system of the world.
Per Charles Hoskinson, “We have a vision that one day we can build a system that can have 3 billion users.”
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