Cardano is a blockchain platform that uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, which is an energy-efficient way to validate transactions on a blockchain network. It was founded by Charles Hoskinson, who is also one of the co-founders of Ethereum, and was launched in 2017.
Cardano is designed to be a decentralized platform that can be used to build and run smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps). The platform uses a unique multi-layer architecture that separates the blockchain into two layers: the Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL) and the Cardano Computation Layer (CCL). The CSL is responsible for handling transactions and the CCL is where smart contracts and dApps are executed.
One of the key features of Cardano is its focus on research and development, as well as a scientific approach to building the platform. This approach has led to the creation of the Cardano Improvement Proposal (CIP) process, which allows for the systematic evaluation and adoption of new ideas and improvements to the platform.
Cardano’s native cryptocurrency is called ADA, which can be used for transactions on the platform and for staking, which involves holding and locking up ADA to support the network and earn rewards.