Last Updated: April 16, 2024

Cardano is a third generation public blockchain and decentralized application platform that can facilitate peer-to-peer transactions with its native currency, ADA.



Cardano was founded in 2015 by Charles Hoskinson.
Today, three separate entities oversee the development of Cardano as it moves toward becoming a completely decentralized project with the goal of becoming the most environmentally sustainable blockchain platform:

  • IOG (Input Output Global): Formerly known as IOHK (Input Output Hong Kong), IOG is responsible for the technological development of the Cardano platform. Charles Hoskinson, who was one of Ethereum co-founders, stands as the company’s CEO and co-founder.
  • Cardano Foundation: Tasked with marketing, forming partnerships and expanding the global presence of the platform.
  • Emurgo: Helps fund developers, enterprises and startups looking to contribute to the Cardano ecosystem.


Cardano launched in September 2017 building on top of first and second generation blockchain technologies. 

On March 1, 2021, the Cardano blockchain introduced the ability to create native tokens (ADA).

How does it work?

Cardano operates using a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism for discovering new blocks and adding transaction data to the blockchain, called “Ouroboros.” This PoS system involves ADA holders staking their coins in pools operated by other participants or becoming operators of stake pools themselves.
The blockchain is divided into two separate layers (settlement and computational) to fulfill different tasks and improve overall efficiency.

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