Cardano (ADA)

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Founded 2017
Key People Charles Hoskinson, Founder of IOHK
Twitter @CardanoStiftung
Facebook Page

Cardano is a blockchain-based distributed ledger and smart contract platform similar to Ethereum.[1] Cardano is also the name used for the system's signature cryptocurrency, ADA.[2]

Cardano originated in a project called "Input Output Hong Kong" that was led by Ethereum alumnus Charles Hoskinson. IOHK continues to sponsor Cardano's development.

Cardano's team claim the project is engineered primarily for efficiency and stability. Cardano is built on Haskell, a coding language specifically developed to create Cardano's blockchain, as well as an original proof-of-stake method called Ouroboros.[3][4] The team that developed Cardano did so by examining past successful practices in blockchain technology and economics, and developing the technology "precisely," in an effort to create a superior open-sourced distributed ledger platform and corresponding cryptocurrency. It was also developed with adaptability in mind; the company's website specifically addresses the need to adapt using soft forks for a variety of reasons, including adapting to new regulations that may affect the cryptocurrency market internationally.[5] The Cardano team also created the Daedalus wallet, a cryptocurrency wallet specifically made for ADA.[6]

It has been called the "Ethereum of Japan."[7][8]



Cardano was launched on September 29, 2017 following a crowdfunding campaign that raised $62 million.[9] The first iteration was called Byron, which was Cardano's "bootstrap", or in-progress phase of existence.[10] It was created by IOHK, a private for-profit company, as well as a team of experts from numerous universities around the world. The company also created the Cardano Foundation, a non-profit organization, in order to support research and development of Cardano, as well as developing and managing the community around it.[11] These organizations collaborated in the hope of creating a blockchain platform that anyone could use, using its signature coin as its main currency.[12] This coin was named ADA, after the 19th-century mathematician, Ada Lovelace. In fact, the smallest denomination of ADA (0.000001 ADA) is referred to as a "Lovelace."[13][14] As of August, 2021, ADA is the third-largest digital currency in the world.[15]


In July 2019, CloudMargin launched. The Cardano-based collateral management platform announced that the Cardano Group had made CloudMargin the underlying platform for its own collateral management needs. Adopting CloudMargin involved replacing Cardano's previous in-house collateral management system, which allowed it to begin offering new services to its clients, such as reducing operational risks.[16]

Mainnet Launch[edit]

Cardano's mainnet launch was planned for June 2020, though its co-founder Charles Hoskinson said in an interview in mid-June that the launch may happen in early July 2020. During the first half of 2020, the price of ADA tokens increased 120 percent. While some attributed this to community enthusiasm for the launch, others speculated that this was simply the result of asset managers and traders cashing in on the hype and going short on ADA.[17][18]

"Mary" fork[edit]

On March 2, 2021 Cardano was hard forked, with the new fork named "Mary." The fork was designed to allow users to create additional tokens that will be native to the Cardano blockchain.[19]