Blockchain foundations come in all shapes and sizes, from centralized to decentralized and from corporate to non-profit. Cardano is still remarkably unique in the crypto-sphere for their adherence to a rigorous academic organization. While emerging technology research is a mainstay of the collegiate world, blockchain development is still something of a dark horse. Cardano’s drawing together of various academic foundations to build a better blockchain is a step in the right direction.
Created by Input Output Hong Kong or IOHK for short, the ADA Cryptocurrency operates on the Cardano Settlement Layer – only one of the layers that the Cardano Foundation intends to eventually release.
How the Cardano Foundation Tackles Blockchain Development
Often open source and inevitably community oriented, Blockchain development can come in many forms. Bitcoin was made by an anonymous leader, while Ethereum was created by a foundation looking to upgrade the system. Crowdsourcing is also a strong contender, allowing the community to contribute directly to the process.
Cardano uses a combination of these. They are led by the equivalent of an academic board, and all changes to the blockchain must undergo a series of peer reviews to ensure their validity and value before they are fully implemented. The code base for the platform is modular, designed for ease of soft forking and infinite scalability. Their Ouroboros Proof of Stake algorithm is the first in the cryptocurrency world to be verified as secure by peer review. Cardano notably avoids complete decentralization, and has the stated goal of complying with all necessary governmental regulations.
The Future of Cardano and ADA
Cardano’s native cryptocurrency, the ADA token (Named for pioneering computer programmer Ada Lovelace) operates entirely within the Cardano Settlement Layer or CSL. This initial layer allows the use of ADA as a digital currency, but the Cardano Foundation has an ambitious roadmap towards further usability. Adding the Cardano Control Layer to the platform will introduce smart contract functionality to the blockchain.
This will bring Cardano into direct competition with Ethereum, another coin that is showing growing pains from their increased trading volume. Ethereum’s blockchain is nowhere near as bloated as Bitcoin’s before the introduction of SegWit and the Lightning Network, but is still showing signs of age over time. Their shift to Proof of Stake may make them ultra-competitive again, but Cardano is likely to beat them to the punch in the short term.
The appealing academic nature and rigorous standards of the Cardano blockchain are an interesting experiment. Importantly, their commitment to infinite scalability will ensure that the chain never becomes obsolete – and may well become the network of choice for decentralized research applications.
Article By: Adam Stone