Crypto Scholar




Current Market Price

$ 0.433729
0.00000652 BTC
$ 15,438,228,860
Volume (24h)
$ 296,203,728
Circulating Supply
35,567,296,769 ADA
Total Supply
45,000,000,000 ADA

What is Cardano?

Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain whose goal is to create a platform that allows “changemakers, innovators and visionaries” to bring about positive global change. The project is also open source and aims to “redistribute power from unaccountable structures to the margins to individuals” helping create a society that is more secure, transparent and fair.

ADA is the native token for the Cardano blockchain. Its named after the 19th century mathematician Ada Lovelace, widely regarded as the world’s first computer programmer. The ADA token is designed to ensure that owners can participate in the operation of the network. Because of this, those who hold the cryptocurrency have the right to vote on any proposed changes to the software. The team behind the layered blockchain says that there have already been some compelling use cases for its technology, which aims to allow decentralized apps and smart contracts to be developed with modularity. Cardano is used by agricultural companies to track fresh produce from field to fork, while other products built on the platform allow educational credentials to be stored in a tamper-proof way, and retailers to clamp down on counterfeit goods.

In August 2021, the Alonzo hardfork was announced causing Cardano price to surge, gaining 116% in the following month. On Sept. 12, 2021, the Cardano ‘Alonzo’ hard fork officially launched, bringing smart contract functionality to the blockchain. Over 100 smart contracts were deployed in the following 24 hours after the launch.

There is a maximum supply of 45 billion ADA. Five rounds of public sales of Cardano tokens were held between September 2015 and January 2017. Cardano price during its pre-launch sale was $0.0024. Approximately 2.5 billion ADA was allotted to IOHK once the network launched. Meanwhile, an additional 2.1 billion ADA was given to Emurgo, a global blockchain technology company that served as a founding entity of the Cardano protocol. Last but not least, 648 million ADA was given to the not-for-profit Cardano Foundation, which aims to promote the platform and increase levels of adoption.

Overall, about 16% of ADA’s total supply went to the project’s founders, with the remaining 84% being split among investors.

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Cardano FAQs

Charles Hoskinson, who was also one of the co-founders of the Ethereum network, created Cardano. He is the CEO of IOHK, the company that built Cardano’s blockchain. Hoskinson got involved in cryptocurrencies back in 2011 and dabbled in mining and trading. His first professional involvement in the industry came in 2013, when he created a course about Bitcoin that ended up being taken by 80,000 students.

Cardano is one of the biggest blockchains to successfully incorporate a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, which is less energy intensive than the proof-of-work algorithm utilized by Bitcoin and others. Although the much larger Ethereum is going to be upgrading to PoS, this transition is only going to take place gradually.

The project makes sure that all of the technology developed goes through a process of peer-reviewed research, meaning that bold ideas can be challenged before they are validated. The Cardano team claims that this academic rigor helps the blockchain to be durable and stable which helps increase the chance that potential pitfalls can be anticipated in advance.

In 2020, Cardano went through the Shelley upgrade which aimed to make its blockchain “50 to 100 times more decentralized” than other large blockchains. The Shelly era was brought to an end with the Alonzo hard fork which launched in September 2021. Users can develop and deploy smart contracts on Cardano, allowing native decentralized applications (DApps) to be built on blockchain. Alonzo aims to introduce “programmability” to the network. He likened the upgrade to when JavaScript was introduced to web browsers and the transition from static web pages to the likes of Facebook and YouTube.

Cardano is secured through an “environmentally sustainable, verifiably secure” PoS protocol that’s known as Ouroboros. The project says that Ouroboros improves the security guarantees that are delivered by a PoW consensus mechanism while using substantially less power, claiming that it is four times more energy efficient than Bitcoin.

It is described as a blend of unique technology and mathematically verified mechanisms, with behavioral psychology and economic philosophy thrown in for good measure. Overall, the objective of Ouroboros is to achieve sustainable and ethical growth.

An incentive mechanism means that participants in the network are rewarded for their involvement.

Cardano is based on peer-reviewed academic research; Cardano has an ethos of openness and transparency. All of the research and technical specifications that underpin Cardano are publicly published, and all Cardano development activity is made available to the public. Cardano is designed by a global team of experts who are leaders in disciplines ranging from distributed systems to programming languages and game theory and is jointly developed by IOHK and partners. IOHK develops the technology, the Cardano Foundation is responsible for supervising development and promoting Cardano, while Emurgo drives commercial adoption. When the network is fully decentralized it will belong to the community, and it will be the community who decide its future through advanced governance features.

There are 5 stages of network upgrades to Cardano on the roadmap: Byron, Shelley, Goguen, Basha and Voltaire. Each upgrade brings a new focus and update to the network. We are currently in the Goguen phase.

The Byron (Foundation) Era was about the first crucial technology developments, it was also about building a community and getting people involved in creating the blockchain of the future. Cardano has grown from a small group of enthusiasts to a global community, with ada hosted on more than 30 exchanges and with an average market capitalization that makes it one of the leading cryptocurrencies in the world.

The Shelley (Decentralization) Era is a period of growth and development for the network. Unlike the Byron era, which began at a single point in time when the mainnet was launched, the transition to Shelley is designed to achieve a smooth, low-risk transition without service interruptions.

The Goguen (Smart Contracts) Era brought the integration of smart contracts. The Goguen era represents a big step forwards in capability for the Cardano network. Where the Shelley era decentralizes the core of the system, Goguen adds the ability to build decentralized applications (DApps) on Cardano’s solid foundation of peer-reviewed research and high-assurance development.

 Basha (Scaling) Era of Cardano is an era of optimization, improving the scalability and interoperability of the network. Whereas previous development eras focused on decentralization and new functionality, Basho is about improving the underlying performance of the Cardano network to better support growth and adoption for applications with high transaction volume.

The Voltaire (Governance) era of Cardano will provide the final pieces required for the Cardano network to become a self-sustaining system. With the introduction of a voting and treasury system, network participants will be able to use their stake and voting rights to influence the future development of the network.

For the Cardano network to become truly decentralized, it will require not only the distributed infrastructure introduced during the Shelley era but also the capacity to be maintained and improved over time in a decentralized way. To that end, the Voltaire era will add the ability for network participants to present Cardano improvement proposals that can be voted on by stakeholders, leveraging the already existing staking and delegation process.

As one of the biggest cryptocurrencies in the world in terms of market capitalization, you shouldn’t have much difficulty in finding a major exchange to buy Cardano on including:

Binance (Binance.US if in USA)

Coinbase & Coinbase Pro



Huobi Global




Still not sure which exchange to use? Check out Crypto Scholars guide on the top cryptocurrency exchanges and how to register for each one.

The most popular wallets for cryptocurrency include both hot and cold wallets. Cryptocurrency wallets vary from hot wallets and cold wallets. Hot wallets are able to be connected to the web, while cold wallets are used for keeping large amounts of coins outside of the internet.

Some of the top crypto cold wallets are Trezor and Ledger. Some of the top crypto hot wallets include Daedalus and Yoroi.

Still not sure of which wallet to use? Check out Crypto Scholars guide on the top cold wallets of 2021 and top hot wallets of 2021.

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