Cardano is a high-profile smart contract platform and one of our favorite projects that we have analyzed. The platform is under development by IOHK, a blockchain consulting company led by Charles Hoskinson, the former CEO and Co-Founder of Ethereum. The team behind the project is technically competent and we have been impressed with their current and proposed technology. We caution investors that Cardano is still in a very early stage. There is a native token, ADA, and a standalone network, but all validating nodes are controlled by the project’s creators and the current iteration of the platform does not feature smart contract execution. Furthermore, many technical and economic decisions have not been definitively decided.
Cardano is a smart contract platform being developed by IOHK, a blockchain consulting company and one of the current developers of Ethereum Classic, in conjunction with members of the University of Edinburgh, the University of Athens, and the University of Connecticut. The team is led by Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK and former CEO and Co-Founder of the Ethereum project. According to Cardano’s website, the most important part of the protocol is its consensus mechanism; a Proof-of-Stake algorithm called Ouroboros. Proof-of-Stake is a new mechanism used to validate and reach consensus in blockchain networks. Rather than mining using specialized hardware, validators in Proof-of-Stake networks are required to post collateral to validate network transactions. Ouroboros selects these users randomly, and supposedly has a safer security model than current Proof-of-Stake implementations. The Cardano team is also performing research on Proof-of-Stake incentive mechanisms to diminish the attack surface of these algorithms. The Cardano team updates its roadmap monthly.