Cardano is the decentralized blockchain behind the ADA cryptocurrency. The company behind it is Input Output of Hong Kong (IOHK). Charles Hoskinson, the founder also co-founded Bitshares and Ethereum.
It is a designed with a completely different programming language called Haskell which is a general purpose, purely functional language. The purpose of the project is to create a functional platform that has the capacity to host smart contracts, decentralized applications, side chains, computations and accounting among several functions.
The Cardano team comprises academic experts who are proficient in programming and the project is an ongoing attempt at creating a multi functional blockchain based forum that overcomes the limitations of projects such Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is one of the few coins built 100 percent with a new code, and yet delivering more advanced features such as quantum resistant signatures. It has been described as the next generation virtual machine capable of executing far more precisely than previous protocols.
The expectation of the community based on the Cardano whitepaper is that the platform will provide the core infrastructure that future blockchain concepts and technologies shall be built on. The Cardano proof-of-stake algorithm called Ouroboro ensures that energy intense requirement is not essential for network participation.
It boasts a multi-layered system capable of executing advanced platform featuring a command and control that could be adapted for identity verification and blacklisting, if need be. This in essence should ensure compliance. At a time governments are working at regulating the ecosystem, Cardano has privacy features that balances regulatory needs.
The Cardano developers took cognizance of the evolving nature of the industry and have made provision that the platform could be conveniently updated without a hard fork. Aside this, it is completely scalable and secured from attack by the proof-of-work algorithm.
How it is different from Bitcoin
Unlike Bitcoin that uses energy intensive proof of work protocol, Cardano uses proof of stake to determine consensus among individual nodes. The Ouroboro proof of stake has the uniqueness of utility of a coin flipping method to select the node that adds the new block to the chain. The scalability issue seen in Bitcoin is overcome through a malleability that makes Cardano easy to update and upgrade without hard forks.
Where to get it
The Cardano token is ADA. It can be purchased in exchanges such as Bitfinex, Binance, Coinest and Upbeat. There have been speculations that ADA ATMs will be available in Japan soon also.
Where to store it
Cardano uses Daedalus, a multisig enabled, multi purpose wallet to store ADA.