CARDANO — The New Generation Blockchain

As we progress into a new era, we witness progress and new trends in the block-chain’s technology. These swings will bring about great changes in the pre-existing systems. The technological evolution we are bringing up in this article is “Cardano”.

Cardano is a public blockchain for wide adoption which not only makes Decentralized Application (Dapp) development easy but it is scalable, interoperable and sustainable. Cardano Core is written on Haskell programming language and enables writing smart contracts not only on Plutus but also on other languages including Solidity, C#, C++, Java, Python etc. It is an open source public blockchain project which conveys innovative features and capabilities better than any other blockchain platform. It is the first blockchain platform that has a Research driven approach and is constructed on Peer-Review Academic Research.

Generations of Blockchain

Blockchain can be divided into three generations. First one comprises of Bitcoin and all early coins, while the second generation of Ethereum evolved with smart contracts and tokens and now we have the third generation which is up-to-the-minute and this is where Cardano belongs.

The Bitcoin Generation

This is supposed to be the first generation of blockchain. It is a distributed ledger system based on Proof-Of-Work (PoW). A Proof-of-Work (PoW) system (or protocol, or function) is an economic measure to deter denial of service attacks and other service abuses such as spam on a network by solving difficult mathematical problem.

A reward is given to the miner who first solves each block problem. It is a frame work developed for peer to peer transaction that will only involve the sender and the receiver (no third-party interference). While it revolutionized the technological world, it has its drawbacks. Bitcoin framework is highly inefficient in its performance. For any transaction on the frame work a minimum of 10 minutes are required for a block to be developed and 3.5~ 7 transactions per second. This makes the system very slow and inefficient.

The Ethereum Generation

Ethereum is the second generation blockchain framework. It is Proof-Of-Work (PoW) based as well but it extends the blockchain for its use in other applications that will be completely automated. It commenced the idea of “Smart Contracts”. These are basically self-executing codes that do not require any 3rd party to moderate the contract. Smart Contracts are immutable which make them more robust. Ethereum uses Solidity as the core language and solidity compiler for running the smart contracts. It takes 2–3 minutes to create a new block and generates 15–20 transactions per second which is still not acceptable for any system.

All these inefficiencies engendered the need of an innovative and more efficient system. That’s when we entered the 3rd generation of blockchain framework.

The Cardano Generation

There are three companies working at the base of Cardano namely; IOHK, The Cardano Foundation and Emurgo. IOHK is the core organization involved in the advancement and establishment of Cardano.

Features of Cardano:

Before we move towards the specifics, here are some important terms to understand that define how Cardano works considering design philosophy of scalability, interoperability, and sustainability.

1. Coding Language: Cardano is written in Haskell which is a functional programming language. Cardano protocols are distributed and linked with cryptography which requires a high degree of fault tolerance and Haskell is here to justify the requirements.

2. Peer-Reviewed Research: Cardano is built upon the foundation of peer-Reviewed Research which is shaped by the collaboration of world’s leading university’s academic groups and capable developers who review a number of different research papers and verify their contribution to cryptography.

3. Proof of Stack (PoS) protocol: Ourobrus is the proof of stake algorithm, which is the first ever blockchain protocol based on proof of stake (PoS). It expresses how to reach consensus about the state of ledger in the nodes.

4. Layered Technology: Scalability and Security in Cardano is offered through the layered architecture, which includes the Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL) and Cardano Computation Layer (CCL). IOHK developers established the CSL layer cryptographic currency which acts as a ledger of accounts and balance, while the CCL layers are the keys that act as a source of information on why the transactions occurs.

5. Unique Governance Model: Cardano bring novelty by introducing unique on-chain governance model where the community proposes updates to the blockchain, while the suggested updates will be voted by the Ada coin holders. The updates having more approvals will be definite to encode in blockchain.

6. Cardano Monetary Policy: Cardano includes treasury in their monetary policy and the treasury will be endowed by the small fees from the transaction occurred by the Ada coin holders and the treasury will be governed by the da holders. Minimal transaction fee that will be endowed =0.155381 ADA + 0.000043946 (ADA/Byte) * size-of-transaction.

Selection of the Slot-Leader:

Numbers are assigned to nodes starting from the one with the most positive stakes. A coin toss, similar to a cricket match toss, decides the stake holder for a new slot every time. The stakeholder who is selected after the toss is assigned a slot for the block’s verification. This stakeholder becomes the Slot-Leader for a specified slot. Every slot has a different leader for its verification. If the slot-leader fails to verify the block within the given slot then he no more remains a stakeholder and waits until he again becomes stakeholder. To generate blocks in the blockchain, a stakeholder must be elected as a slot-leader. A slot-leader can interpret who receives transactions from other nodes and can make a block of that transactions and publish it on the network by signing the block with a secret key.

Slots and Epochs:

The Proof of Stake (PoS) ouroboros protocol divides the physical time into epochs and then the epochs are then further divided into slots (SL), slot (SL) is a short period of time and every slot has one slot leader (SL). Every Slot Leader (SL) can produce only one block (BL) during the assigned slot.

Cardano is Proof-Of-Stake centered. The Proof-of-stake is based on a stake system in which users use their coins as a stake. Users with the maximum stakes (i.e. coins) would have the authority to verify the transactions. The person with the most stakes would verify the next block and for their services there is no reward, but a transaction fee is paid for the transaction services. It resolves the concerns that occurred in PoW’s structure. Not only had the speed of transaction increased in Cardano, but also its security and decentralization. It focuses on the effective application performance. It enables inter-operability and uses Ouroboros PoS centered algorithm.

Cardano has an IELE compiler (which is variant of LLVM, modular and reusable compiler and toolchain technologies) for running its smart contracts. It is better than EVM as it identifies additional errors which might have occurred when the code of smart contact is deployed. EVM is a stack-based machine while IELE is registered based machine. IELE gas calculation is based on the philosophy of “no limitations but pay for what you consume”. The more registers an IELE program uses, the more gas it consumes. Hence it boosts the accuracy of the code for the smart contract and no neglected errors remain. It provides security and scalability through its layered architecture. It is built on a solid research base which increases its authenticity. Cardano’s smart contracts are in improved human readable form. Cardano have KEVM which is semantic of Ethereum Virtual machine and is available for use.

Comparison of Cardano with other Blockchain Platforms:

The time taken to make a new block in Cardano’s frame work is as low as 5–20 seconds. Currently Cardano is in its Byron (Bootstrap Era) that is its test phase, so it makes 5–7 transactions per second. After the new update, which uses the Shelley Protocol, the transaction speed will increase to 4000+ per second. Cardano can scale billion transactions per second, it means that Cardano’s scaling will increase as per the need.

Shelly Protocol

The main purpose of Shelley is to develop a full decentralized protocol in Cordano to upgrade the network node protocol in a decentralized way so that in future Cardano will not have to rely on IOHK or any other Governance to maintain its network. Shelly Workstreams consists of following:

1. Delegation: This allows stakeholders to sign blocks to third party by delegation, by which stakeholders do not need to run their own nodes.

2. Incentives: There is a monetary incentive for the stakeholders to run the system smoothly by following the protocol. It designed the incentives in such a way which makes the entire protocol stable.

3. Networking: Networking will provide network infrastructure which will support the decentralization of Cardano blockchain. It will enable Cardano to be independent from any governance.

Cardano Consensus algorithm

Consensus algorithm of Cardano is introduced with increased features which could possibly drop the popularity of older cryptos like Bitcoin and ether. Cardano brought novelty in their consensus algorithm called ouroboros which is innovative and triggers a lot of security features. Cardano is the first ever bock chain platform which user unique and true Proof of Stake algorithm, which is never implemented by any other blockchain platform before. Ethereum is trying to gain it, while Bitcoin don’t show interest in Proof of Stake.

Plutus Programming Language

For writing smart contracts, Cardano supports plutus which is a pure functional programming language syntax like Haskel and higher level and simplified version of Haskell.


The syntax of plutus programming language has more similarity with mathematics then any programming language before. Below is the example of an additional function written in plutus:

add Zero n = n ;

add (Suc m) n = Suc (add m n)


Cardano Test-nets Virtual Machines:

Up till now Cardano Launched two of their test-nets to increase the interaction of community, who will have opportunity to sense the real hands-on experience on Cardano’s Blockchain. Test-nets includes:

· KEVM Test-net

· IELE Test-net

KEVM is the Cardano’s first test-net based on Ethereum Virtual Machine with the K-Framework, this technology was produced with collaboration of IOHK. Developers can take any application that runs on EVM (Ethereum Virtaul Machine) and then execute on KEVM which will translate it into Cardano. IELE is the second Cardano test-net launch, a new virtual machine for Cardano using IELE. Developers will be able to write the smart contracts, compile and execute them with high security as compared to the initial test-net release of KEVM. For now the recommended language to write smart contract on test-nets is solidity, while the vision is to develop a cross-language platform by which developers will be able to write smart contracts in any high-level programming languages which will be translated to IELE ensuring the optimality of code.

Cardano Cryptocurreny Wallet

Daedalus is the open source cryptocurreny wallet for Ada (Cryptocurrency of Cardano). To use the Daedalus wallet, we must download it. It is a secure and multi-platform wallet for Ada Cryptocurrency. After downloading and installing daedalus wallet, you will be asked to sync the blocks from Cardano blockchain which may take some time. After the synchronization of blocks, create your wallet. This wallet will enable sending and receiving of Ada.

Cardano is presuming to enhance the blockchain system’s swiftness of transaction, speed of block creation, security, consistency, robustness and the most important of all decentralization. We are keeping our hopes high in believing that Cardano will achieve not only what it promises but much more as it will evolve over time and would not require any centralized party control.



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