What is Cardano (ADA)? A history and timeline of Cardano

What is Cardano (ADA)?

If you look at any respectable top ten list of blockchain networks, you’ll likely see Cardano on that list, alongside its primary cryptocurrency ADA, which was named after Ada Lovelace, a 19th-century mathematician who is considered the first computer programmer. Ada is used to send and receive digital funds. Cardano is known as an up-and-coming network, a sort of stepbrother and answer to some of the problems plaguing Ethereum. According to Investopedia, Cardano is a third-generation, decentralized proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain platform designed to be a more efficient alternative to proof-of-work (PoW) networks. Cardano has a supply limit of 45 billion. 

Cardano and its main token ADA were created in 2015 by Charles Hoskin, co-creator of Ethereum. They were both launched in 2017. Cardano runs on the Ouroboros consensus protocol, according to Cardano’s official website “Ouroboros is the first peer-reviewed, verifiably secure blockchain protocol.”

One of the most unique aspects of Cardano is that it is being released in phases, and this is different from other projects. Rolling out blockchain in phases helps Cardano create safer and faster code. Cardano will be rolled out in five different phases outlined below.

Five Phases of Cardano

Phase 1 Byron – Foundation
In 2017 Cardano project was released to the public using the Ouroboros PoS algorithm. This release allowed users to send and receive funds, as well as the ability to store Ada coins in Daedalus wallet.

Phase 2 Shelley – Decentralization
On July 29, 2020 the Cardano Blockchain initiated the second phase of development of the highly anticipated Shelley upgrade. This upgrade made Cardano fully decentralized and made staking possible. 

Phase 3 Goguen – Smart Contracts
Originally the release date for the Goguen phase of Cardano was supposed to happen in March 2021, but similar to the Shelley release, this has been delayed. It is now believed that this phase will happen in late August or early September of 2021. There are three phases to Goguen: Allegra, Mary, and Alonzo. Allegra went live in December 2020, Mary in March 2021, and now the only phase left to be completed is Alonzo. According to Planet Crypto another update- Daedalus – went live on 1 April to allow users to send and receive native tokens on Cardano”. The Alonzo update will see the full use and implementation of smart contracts, which has stirred up a lot of excitement and impatience among the Cardano community. 

Phase 4 Basho – Scaling
The intention and focus of the Basho era will be all about improving the scalability of the network. One of the main developments will be sidechains, or new blockchains that interact with Cardano and that have the potential to majorly expand the potential reach of the network. 

Phase 5 Voltaire – Governance
The Voltaire Phase, which is the final phase of development for Cardano, will introduce voting for network participants. All stakeholders will be able to help influence the future of Cardano development, thus making it a self-sustainable system. Another aspect of the Voltaire phase is the introduction of a treasury system. According to the Cardano roadmap “To fund the future development of the network, Voltaire will also see the addition of a treasury system, whereby a fraction of all transaction fees will be pooled to provide funds for development activities undertaken following the voting process.” These changes will serve to make Cardano truly decentralized.

Will Cardano’s price keep going up?

It’s hard to tell if Cardano will continue to trend up but there are certainly many crypto enthusiasts who believe in its long-term potential to break out of the pack. To track the history of Cardano’s price, click here.

A History of Cardano

December 2019
ADA holders who acquired coins before November could begin earning staking rewards by helping to test the Shelley upgrade using an incentivized testnet (ITN).

June 2021
Grayscale, the largest crypto asset manager in the world announces that it will add Cardano (ADA) to their Digital Large Cap Fund

August 2021
ADA hits a new all-time high of $2.65.

September 13, 2021:
Cardano officially adds smart contracts capabilities during the implementation of the “Alonzo” hard fork.

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