On the first day of 2021, Cardano (ADA) was only priced at $0.1753. After a sustained rally in July/August 2021, Ada became the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap (following Bitcoin and Ethereum, respectively), and was priced at $2.8 at its highest point. SecuX has also added Cardano support and it’s platform, the Ada Portal. So today, we will look into the coin that made it to the third-largest coin in just 4 years.
Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood
Cardano was founded in 2015 by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson. Hoskinson left Ethereum after a dispute with one of its co-founders, Vitalik Buterin; Hoskinson wanted to accept venture capital and create a for-profit entity, while Buterin wanted to keep it running as a nonprofit organization. After leaving, he co-founded IOHK, a blockchain-engineering company, whose primary business is the development of Cardano, alongside the Cardano Foundation and Emurgo. The platform is named after Gerolamo Cardano, while the cryptocurrency itself is named after Ada Lovelace.
Jeremy Wood became a founding member of the Kansai Bitcoin Meet-up and joined Ethereum at the end of 2013. In 2015, Wood started IOHK with Charles Hoskinson.
In Proof of Stake consensus, miners are selected according to how many coins they hold. PoS is more widely used in newly blockchain networks than in older blockchain, for example, Bitcoin network. Proof of Stake also allows users to “stake” in a token or coin, and in return, users will be paid interest for doing so. Staking is similar to investing in stocks and you get interests in return. Proof-of-stake blockchains use significantly less energy than proof-of-work chains.
Cardano uses a proof-of-stake protocol named Ouroboros. Ouroboros processes transaction blocks by dividing chains into epochs, which are further divided into time slots. A slot leader is elected for each time slot and is responsible for adding a block to the chain. To protect against adversarial attempts to subvert the protocol, each new slot leader is required to consider the last few blocks of the received chain as transient: only the chain that precedes a prespecified number of transient blocks is considered settled. This is also referred to as the settlement delay, and is the mechanism through which the ledger is securely passed between participants.
In February 2021, Hoskinson estimated the Cardano network used 6 GWh annually, less than 0.01% of the 110.53 TWh used by the Bitcoin network as estimated by the University of Cambridge. Cardano reached a market cap of $77 billion in May 2021 and solidified its position as the biggest proof-of-stake cryptocurrency.
Similar to Ethereum, Cardano is planning to launch smart contracts to expand its utilization. Cardano has planned for September, 2021, for its long-anticipated upgrade called Alonzo. Smart contract functionality is a big step that will let Cardano compete with other programmable blockchains and dramatically expand the potential solutions it offers its partners. Smart contracts will allow Cardano to enable DeFi applications, NFTs, and gaming applications in the future.
Plutus is Cardano’s own native smart contract development language. It is also written in Haskell, and a specialised smart contract language, Marlowe, designed for people in the financial sector. Cardano’s smart contract languages allow developers to run end-to-end tests on their program without leaving the integrated development environment or deploying their code.
With Cardano trying to simplify its smart contract language, it will enable more people that are not code-minded to use and write smart contracts to use on its blockchain. This will ultimately gain more users, compared to other chains that also use smart contracts.
Cardano is not only used mainly for its crypto and investment capabilities, but IOHK also plans to use it for real-life applications to improve the world.
In June of 2019, the Ministry of Education of Georgia, along with the Free University of Tbilisi, signed a memorandum of understanding with IOHK to use Cardano and Atala to build a credential verification system for Georgia. Georgia plans to use the blockchain technology for storing, tracking and verifying educational credentials.
Footwear maker New Balance announced in 2019 that it will launch a pilot program to track the authenticity of its newest basketball shoe using Cardano to provide trust and provenance for every customer. The platform, called New Balance Realchain, will launch alongside the release of the OMN1S shoes. Customers will receive a Realchain card with an embedded identity and security chip and then use the New Balance app to scan a QR code on the card with the app. Once they do, they will be prompted to scan the chip within the card and that will authenticate the shoes on the IOHK Cardano blockchain. Customers can then claim ownership of the shoes by entering a code printed on the tongue of the shoes into the app. From this point on, the ownership of the shoes is secured to the owner using the New Balance Realchain blockchain platform.
IOHK has also partnered with the government of Ethiopia to create a blockchain-based system to track student performance in local schools. The project will implement a blockchain-based national student and teacher ID and attainment recording system to digitally verify grades, remotely monitor school performance and boost nationwide education and employment.
IOHK’s Atala PRISM ID will enable authorities to create a tamper-proof record of educational performance for five million students, 3,500 schools and 750,000 teachers to pinpoint the locations and causes of educational under-achievement while targeting educational resources effectively. The aim is to give all students blockchain-verified digital qualifications that reduce fraudulent university and job applications and increase social mobility by allowing potential employers to verify all grades without third-party agencies.
For a step-by-step guide on how to use SecuX’s Ada Portal, please visit