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Cardano is a decentralised platform that will allow complex programmable transfers of value in a secure and scalable fashion. It is one of the first blockchains to be built in the highly secure Haskell programming language. Cardano is developing a smart contract platform which seeks to deliver more advanced features than any protocol previously developed. It is the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach. The development team consists of a large global collective of expert engineers and researchers. The Cardano project is different from other blockchain projects as it openly addresses the need for regulatory oversight whilst maintaining consumer privacy and protections through an innovative software architecture. The protocol features a layered blockchain software stack that is flexible, scalable, and is being developed with the most rigorous academic and commercial software standards in the industry. Cardano will use a democratic governance system that allows the project to evolve over time, and fund itself sustainably through a visionary treasury system. Technological Innovation Cardano is the first protocol to incorporate Ouroboros, the ground breaking proof of stake algorithm. The IOHK team employed a “first-principles” approach, driven by peer-reviewed academic research to build Cardano from the ground up. The result of this collaborative effort is the first cryptocurrency to be based in Haskell code, which focuses on industrial strength product that delivers the resilience necessary for mission-critical systems, in this case, securing investment.
Cardano’s multi-layer protocol performs advanced functions, and has a settlement layer that is elegantly linked to a control layer. The settlement layer will have a unit of account, while the control layer will run smart contracts and will be programmed to recognize identity, assisting compliance (and allowing blacklisting, for instance). The protocol is geared towards protecting privacy rights of users, while also taking into account the needs of regulators. In doing so, Cardano is the first protocol to balance these requirements in a nuanced and effective way, pioneering a new approach for cryptocurrencies. The system is also designed to allow upgrade through soft forks, enabling it to adapt to changing needs and evolve quickly, when required. A treasury system is also being installed that will ensure the sustainability of the protocol. Cardano is built in the spirit of collaboration by being completely open source and patent-free. Engineered for efficiency and scalability, the Cardano ecosystem will develop into the most complete cryptocurrency ever constructed. Conceptual Innovation i.
Privacy and regulation The original Bitcoin blockchain was meant to be a way for individuals to transact directly and anonymously with each other outside the control of banks and governments. This guarantees privacy in financial dealings, a fundamental individual right, but full anonymity can be counterproductive. Today most blockchain projects look to further either the aims of privacy or of regulation. To be effective globally, we think our blockchain must ‘square the circle’ by finding the right mix of individual privacy protection and provision for regulatory control. ii. Governance Public, decentralized blockchain projects rely on crowd-based governance models. This allows for democratic control of the network by its participants, which is essential to building truly decentralised economies. However, if they are not carefully designed, such governance can go awry.