Cardano - Executive Summary
- Cardano (“ADA”) is a blockchain platform with the goal of becoming the financial infrastructure for the world - a decentralized technological backbone for countries to manage identity, provide banking and establish property rights.
- The platform launched in 2015 to build a provably secure environment that is scalable, interoperable and financially sustainable. The platform’s technology stack consists of SettlementLayer, Computation Layer, Daedalus Wallet, Treasury and Network Layer.
- Cardano is developed and managed by three entities: IOHK (rebranded to IOG in 2021), Emurgo and the Cardano Foundation. Cardano Foundation is a Swiss-based non-profit engaged in promotion and standardization of the platform. Originally incorporated in Hong Kong, IOHK is a blockchain development company founded by two former prominent Ethereum blockchain developers - Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood.
- IOHK has a dedicated Cardano roadmap website that details each milestone and updates it on a monthly basis.
- Depending on context, crypto assets can be thought of as currency, tokens or ownership stakes.Their ownership is secured by a combination of private and public keys, which are hard to crack but easy to verify. Their value is dependent on their perceived utility and they trade on a truly global scale 24/7.
- Sidechains are central to Cardano’s design as a platform and to its success as a venture. They augment the platform's flexibility to create a wide range of “customized” operating environments and increase its throughput. They can also provide interoperability between different systems, including direct access into the traditional financial ecosystem.
- Cardano stakeholders have three sources of return: (1) price appreciation, (2) staking rewards and (3) transaction fees. Cardano’s value can be expressed as cash flows from transaction fees generated through (i) onboarding of the unbanked into the financial system and (ii) transfer of existing banking activity onto Cardano’s sidechains.
- Cardano competes with a number of blockchains including Ethereum, Solana, Polkadot, Avalanche, EOS, NEO and NEM. Each of these platforms has a unique architectural design and value proposition.
- Cardano is also subject to a number of non-technical risks, including regulation, adoption, platform wars and governance.