Tell me more about Cardano

Funding

Cardano never needed VCs (Venture Capitalists – financial firms that often fund large projects, in return for control of them and a large slice of the profits). Many other blockchains are reliant on them, with all the bad things that can come with that. Cardano instead has a funding mechanism called Project Catalyst. This is already funded to the tune of many hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ADA. All money generated from the initial sale of Cardano’s ADA tokens to the general public, and onwards through revenues from the operation of the blockchain (the small fee’s users pay to carry out a transaction).

Project Catalyst runs multiple funding rounds per year, each awarding millions of dollars worth of ADA to winning projects. Who gets awarded these funds? Well, that’s up to the community. The whole Cardano community decides, through the community-focused governance system that is being rolled out to ultimately control every part of the Cardano blockchain.

It simply can’t be overstated what a powerful and important feature of the Cardano blockchain Project Catalyst is. It provides the means for the blockchain and all its services to be improved now and long into the future, by the community, for the community.

Scaling - to billions of users

One of the important characteristics of a blockchain is its ability to scale. When you’re Facebook, Google, Amazon – scaling to millions and then billions of users is something hard you have to deal with. But you do it under your own control in your own data centers with your own computing hardware.

When you’re building a decentralized blockchain, scaling is something that needs to be handled by not just the software, but by the computers that run the blockchain. These computers are purchased and run by the community, in Cardano’s case, by Stake Pool Operators (“SPOs”). If you are aiming for a high level of decentralization and need a large number of independent stake pool operators running the blockchain for everyone, then you need to ensure these computers are affordable to buy and run.

Blockchains like Ethereum, Solana, etc, have largely ignored this, and have ended up with poor decentralization as a result. Cardano put a great deal of effort into researching this area before even a single line of software code was written, and as a result, now has a blockchain that runs on relatively low-grade computer hardware. Cheaper to buy, cheaper to run and also consumes much less electricity too than the ridiculously powerful setups blockchains such as Solana require.

Thats not the only consideration though, there’s also how the blockchain itself works. Cardano chose an accounting system called eUTxO. Exactly how it works is too complex for here. It’s the same system chosen by Bitcoin, but expanded to let it handle smart contracts and all that ether goodies the Cardano blockchain offers. The reason? Well, a big part of its choice is that it is a much better approach for scaling to very large user numbers, compared to simplistic accounting models such as the type chosen by Ethereum.

Open Source

Open source means that a project has published all of its source design files and given anyone a licence to look at them and even use them for their own projects if they wish. It means all of the work everyone has done on a project is made available, for free, for the entire world to use if they want.

Cardano is open source. All of its software is released to the community to be freely used by others. It’s also deliberately not patent encumbered.

That’s a short couple of sentences to read, but its implications about the intent of its creators, its community and its mission to change the world can’t be overstated.

Who's behind Cardano?

Charles Hoskinson – Cardano’s creator. He remains instrumental in its development and rollout, in no small part because his company continues to develop the core Cardano blockchain software. One aspect of Charles that can’t be overstated is his openness and engagement with the community. Both for Cardano, and for the blockchain industry as a whole. There is no other leader in the blockchain space who comes anywhere close. The reason Cardano has such a large and engaged community is because of Charles, his fundamental beliefs and aims and his ability to communicate it so well and modestly with people everywhere. One of his videos which is particuarly famous is his 2014 TED talk titled “The Future Will Be Decentralized”, where he sets out some of his vision for blockchain. Outside of that, the countless AMA’s (Ask My Anything) videos he’s done are a gold mine for anyone wanting to delve into the crypto space and what it needs to offer to the world.

Input Output – (also called IOG and IOHK) is the company owned by Charles Hoskinson (Cardano’s founder), tasked and paid to research and then build the Cardano blockchain during these formative years.

The Cardano Foundation is the independent non-profit that oversees and supervises the advancement of Cardano. It has only really properly sprung into life recently but is now making big moves to push Cardano forwards.