Cardano: A New Generation in Smart Contract Platform Design

Cardano (ADA) initially rose to fame in 2017 as one of the more anticipated Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) of the year. Over time, the project persisted through a daunting crypto winter to earn its place among the top crypto assets by market capitalization. 

In Kraken Intelligence’s latest deep dive, the team takes a closer look at this unique project and its research-driven approach to protocol design.

What is Cardano?

Cardano was conceived in 2015 by Ethereum co-founders Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood. Cardano is a permissionless, smart contract platform which runs on its Proof-of-Stake Ouroboros blockchain protocol. 

Its currency, ADA (₳), was intended to mimic Bitcoin’s maximum supply model, such that no more than 45 billion will ever exist. Similar to Bitcoin, the rate at which new ADA is minted decreases over time.

Next-generation technology

Cardano is considered to be a third-generation blockchain, designed to support a growing number of users and to interact with other blockchains all while remaining eco-friendly. Cardano and other third-generation blockchain projects like Solana and Polkadot are often branded as ‘Ethereum killers’, threatening Ethereum’s dominance over the smart contract sector. 

In this report, the Kraken Intelligence team takes a deep dive into Cardano and its unique design, including its PoS-based Ouroboros protocol and Extended Unspent Transaction Output (EUTXO) accounting model. Further the team recaps recent developments, takes a look into on-chain activity, and gives insight into what’s expected for the future of Cardano.

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