Cardano Whitepaper - Peer Reviewed Academic Research Blockchain

Cardano Whitepaper - Peer Reviewed Academic Research Blockchain

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Currency
Cardano
Symbol
ADA
Founders
Charles Hoskinson
Cardano is a project that began in 2015 as an effort to change the way cryptocurrencies are designed and developed. The overall focus beyond a particular set of innovations is to provide a more balanced and sustainable ecosystem that better accounts for the needs of its users as well as other systems seeking integration.

In the spirit of many open source projects, Cardano did not begin with a comprehensive roadmap or even an authoritative white paper. Rather it embraced a collection of design principles, engineering best practices and avenues for exploration. These include the following:
  • Separation of accounting and computation into different layers
  • Implementation of core components in highly modular functional code
  • Small groups of academics and developers competing with peer reviewed research
  • Heavy use of interdisciplinary teams including early use of InfoSec experts
  • Fast iteration between white papers, implementation and new research required to correct issues discovered during review
  • Building in the ability to upgrade post-deployed systems without destroying the network
  • Development of a decentralized funding mechanism for future work
  • A long-term view on improving the design of cryptocurrencies so they can work on mobile devices with a reasonable and secure user experience
  • Bringing stakeholders closer to the operations and maintenance of their cryptocurrency
  • Acknowledging the need to account for multiple assets in the same ledger
  • Abstracting transactions to include optional metadata in order to better conform to the needs of legacy systems
  • Learning from the nearly 1,000 altcoins by embracing features that make sense
  • Adopt a standards-driven process inspired by the Internet Engineering Task Force using a dedicated foundation to lock down the final protocol design
  • Explore the social elements of commerce
  • Find a healthy middle ground for regulators to interact with commerce without compromising some core principles inherited from Bitcoin
From this unstructured set of ideas, the principals working on Cardano began both to explore cryptocurrency literature and to build a toolset of abstractions. The output of this research is IOHK’s extensive library of papers, numerous survey results such as this recent scripting language overview as well as an Ontology of Smart Contracts, and the Scorex project. Lessons yielded an appreciation for the cryptocurrency industry’s unusual and at times counterproductive growth.

What is Cardano?
Cardano is a security focused blockchain that harnesses the latest research and engineering insights to build a platform suitable for the highest value applications.

Built on a foundation of peer-reviewed research created through partnerships with the world’s foremost universities, Cardano aims to create a platform for decentralized applications and smart contracts that can be processed with a technique called formal verification.

This allows logical proof of the correctness of code and smart contracts, for those applications where value is high and security is paramount. Cardano combines this with an innovative layered approach that separates accounting of value from all other smart contract and computation activity.

This means functionality can be added to smart contract capabilities without changing the protocol responsible for the cryptocurrency.

The Team
Cardano is made up of three companies who each have distinct roles in the project.
  1. Cardano Foundation: A Swiss non-profit and guardian of the Cardano ecosystem and community. It aims to proactively work with governments and regulatory bodies, as well as forming strategic partnerships with enterprises and other open-source projects to further global adoption of the technology.
  2. IOHK: A world-class engineering and technology company committed to using peer-to-peer innovations to provide financial services to three billion people that don’t have them. The group is contracted to design, build, and maintain the Cardano platform until 2020.
  3. Emurgo: a company formed to integrate, develop and support businesses who want to utilise Cardano's decentralised blockchain.
What is unique about the project?
Cardano is the first blockchain project to be built on peer reviewed academic research.

This level of scrutiny of the underlying technology is an industry first. Further to this, Cardano is unique in that it’s written in the Haskell coding language.

Haskell is considered to be one of the most secure programming languages, minimizing the number of errors and adding extremely robust security to the platform. This includes use of a technique called formal verification, which allows mathematical proof of the correctness of code.

Cardano is also designed to operate in regulated industries whilst protecting individual privacy. Applications built on Cardano can be individually customised to meet regulator requirements, but individuals can protect their privacy by choosing whether they want to enter regulated domains.
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