Cardano (ADA)

Basic Premise

The company aims to dethrone Ethereum as the best platform to be writing Decentralized Apps (DAPPS) in. It feels that the current implementation of Ethereum is flawed, and that it is made in an ad-hoc manner. Cardano developers intend to create a platform for smart contracts that would have pretty much the same applications as Ethereum. Their gambit revolves around the idea that they’d be able to rectify all the flaws that are inherently present in Ethereum and improve upon the result further. To achieve it, they intend to incorporate the people involved in the academic sphere, do peer review of each step inorder to arrive at the best possible blockchain for smart contract platform.

ParticularsDetails
CompanyInput Output Hong Kong (IOHK)
Based Out OfHong Kong
TeamSee Below
Tokens/CoinsCoins
Max no. of Units45 billion
Mineable/Non-MineableMineable
Underlying PlatformIndigenous

Team:

Cardano is developed in a collaborative manner with the inputs of 3 separate foundations.

1. The Cardano Foundation: An organization that helps set the standards and benchmarks for Cardano. It is similar to the government ministries monitoring the standards (like the FDA is responsible for food & drugs)
2. Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK): The organization that is primarily responsible for development and implementation of the blockchain.
3. Emurgo: It appears to be a kind of VC firm based out of Tokyo, Japan, that is responsible for investing in blockchain startups, or help existing startups and businesses integrate their systems with the Cardano blockchain.

TeamDesignationCareer Highlights
Charles HoskinsonCEO, Founder, IOHKEx CEO/Founder of Ethereum.
Held several executive positions @ many leading companies in the crypto world.
Jeremy WoodChief Strategy OfficerEx Ethereum personnel
Served as an Executive Assistant in the Ethereum foundation.
Michael ParsonsChairmanAppears to be a well know personality when it comes to blockchains.
No notable blockchain projects were led by him prior to Cardano.
He has great visibility in the blockchain community, and often appears in numerous lists of 100 most influential people in Blockchain.
EmurgoTeam not listed.

Comments: The biggest point of comfort for Cardano is that the team responsible for development, (Primarily dudes from IPHK) are ex Ethereum people. It is safe to assume that they have already gone through a blockchain development cycle with Ethereum, and in the process gained valuable experiences as to what challenges could appear in a project like Cardano. I have not found many noteworthy materials regarding the other 2 arms of the project, but in this case the only important thing at this stage is the development team. And as long as that is sound, the others can easily follow.

Verdict

Closing CommentsThis is one of the most exciting coins out there, till now it is not minable, but upon completion of the second stage of the development process, I’d assume mining will start. This can easily be one of the main rivals/contenders to Ethereum
X FactorThere are several key upsides to the project:
1.        Experienced team
2.        PoS vs PoW which consumes significantly less energy
3.        Adoption of a more researched & scientific approach to blockchain building
4.        A strict adherence to pre-set deadlines displays the discipline and commitment of the team
Do I see this existing 5 years down the lineDefinitely
RatingJanuary 10, 1900

Understanding Cardano

The best resource to use is: https://whycardano.com/

For those of you who cannot understand what that is, should, in short, just keep in mind that Cardano’s purpose and use cases are almost the same as Ethereum. But it will be better than Ethereum for reasons as listed in the above site.

Some Specific Points:

Proof of Stake (PoS) instead of the Proof of Work(PoW) Protocol: The Ouroboros Algo:

1. The Ouroboros Protocol: It is an internally developed Proof of Stake protocol. You must have seen many memes where it is stated the BTC is now consuming as much energy as “Enter a country name here”. So it must have concerned you about how the world would keep up with BTCs increasing energy requirements? The answer lies in using PoS protocol instead of PoW protocol. The PoW protocol uses miners all solving a difficult cryptographic puzzle, and each time a miner solves it, he is allowed to add a block to the blockchain and earn a BTC. This was done to create a parity, such that there lies a decent amount of randomness amongst the miners earning the BTC. It is a reward for the energy expended. However, the PoS protocols reward miners based on the amount of coins it already holds. Unlike existing PoS protocols, the Ouroboros PoS protocol is the first PoS protocol to have been proven secure scientifically (I have written this as I read it on their website, I have no idea what they mean by this, but I feel that prima facie they’ve actually peer reviewed their work and run it across many academics before adopting that protocol)

But that begs the question that: So if one miner accumulates enough coins, he’d be chosen by the system again and again earning more and more. Doesn’t it make things skewed in favor of that miner who gets ADA first?

The answer is no, because there is a system of delegation in ADA, where a number of small miners can band together, and as a result one person buying a lot of ADA doesn’t make sense, because it’s easier to band together. And the more people that band together, the more times the rewards will be distributed thereby reducing the value of individual rewards. Thus creating one huge pool of miners coming together with their ADAs will again not be sustainable as rewards fall for each miner. This (and a lot of other scientific stuff that even I don’t understand) will help to maintain the randomness of the reward.

For curious readers Ouroboros: It is a mythical serpent that eats his own tail. It refers to the cyclical nature of the universe, where the organism Ouroboros eats himself up and creates himself from his waste. He has no need to interact with the outside world because as the universe itself, it needs nothing from outside, and gives nothing to outside. Because there is nothing besides him, i.e. there IS no outside! (Him being the universe) This mythical snake has appeared in visions and dreams of many scientists and mystics.

The German organic chemist August Kekulé described his eureka moment when he realized the structure of benzene:

I was sitting, writing at my text-book; but the work did not progress; my thoughts were elsewhere. I turned my chair to the fire and dozed. Again the atoms were gamboling before my eyes. This time the smaller groups kept modestly in the background. My mental eye, rendered more acute by the repeated visions of the kind, could now distinguish larger structures of manifold conformation: long rows, sometimes more closely fitted together; all twining and twisting in snake-like motion. But look! What was that? One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tail, and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes. As if by a flash of lightning I awoke; and this time also I spent the rest of the night in working out the consequences of the hypothesis.

So when something enlightening is about to happen to you, watch out, you might be visited by Ouroboros.

Hell I’d buy 10 ADA just for naming the protocol Ouroboros.