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What is Cardano? Everything you need to know about ADA Coin

What is Cardano? What is ADA? Let's find out all the outstanding features of Cardano and detailed information about ADA Token here.
Published Nov 20 2019
Updated Jun 27 2024
9 min read
what is ada

What is Cardano?

Cardano is a blockchain generation 3.0 using the decentralized proof-of-stake (PoS). The ambition of Cardano is to create a decentralized world of blockchain. It is built to overcome existing problems of other types of blockchain. Developers will be allowed to build DApps running on the Cardano blockchain.

The ADA token is named after the English mathematician Ada Lovelace. And his last name Lovelace is the name of the smallest unit of Cardano.

what is cardano
Cardano Website:

History of Cardano

Previously, Cardano’s founder Charles Hoskinson was a co-founder of Ethereum. However, due to differences in goals, in 2015 he and Jeremy Wood left the Ethereum team and started to build the Cardano blockchain.

Since 2015, the Cardano team has been focusing on sending research papers to be peer-reviewed by professors and experts in the field of cryptography and blockchain. Before implementation, everything needs to be considered thoroughly on the basis of true science.

history of cardano
Published Research Papers

The Cardano blockchain started running when the Byron era was officially launched in September 2017. Cardano raised funds in public ADA tokens ICO to expand the influence of Cardano. And it was a huge success with a total of $62 million from investors all over the world.

In 2018, in the Shelley era, Cardano released the Ouroboros protocol that allows users to participate in delegating ADA tokens and governance voting.

This is a very significant update for Cardano because the community is a part of the consensus mechanism strengthening network decentralization. ADA holders can vote on excellent proposed projects on Project Catalyst IdeaScale.

The long-awaited Alonzo upgrade was successfully completed in September 2021.

alonzo update
Alonzo Upgrade

Like other existing blockchain platforms, Cardano has already had Smart Contract to open a new era and wrap every component for developers to deploy their ideas on the blockchain. Currently, there are about a hundred ready-to-deploy projects that build up the entire ecosystem.

cardano ecosystem
The Cardano Ecosystem. Source: Cardians

How does the Cardano blockchain work?

Cardano’s white paper was the first published blockchain paper to be peer-reviewed by many academic experts and scholars in the fields of blockchain and cryptography in many top-ranked universities. It ensures a detailed plan to prevent future issues in advance. As a result, Cardano stands out for its innovative features.

Ouroboros is a Proof of Stake (PoS)-based permissionless consensus mechanism for cryptocurrencies. It is implemented on the Cardano blockchain and comes with a cryptocurrency called ADA. Instead of using a network of miners like BTC’s PoW, validators in PoS participate in validating and verifying transactions with their ADA stake.

All contributing validators receive ADA rewards and those who delegate their ADA tokens in staking pools receive rewards regarding their stake as well. And ADA holders are able to participate in voting for future features such as Project Catalyst voting. Project Catalyst will be discussed later in this article.

Hydra is a game-changer scalability solution for Cardano, which means Transaction Per Second (TPS) can be up to 1 million. It makes Cardano become a stable global system with the help of UTxO technology.

Cardano Quantum Resistance uses the Sha-256 cryptographic hash function, Cardano is quantum-proof. It allows any-length input to be fixed-length output. Furthermore, the input is impossible to be derived from the output hash.

In particular, to have an optimal solution for speed and scaling issues on other blockchains, the Cardano blockchain is split into two main layers:

  • Settlement Layer: This layer works like a ledger containing all the history transactions validated by the Cardano PoS protocol.
  • Computational Layer: A layer for DApps running on Cardano with the implementation of Smart Contract.

Detailed information about ADA tokens

ADA Price Today

ada coin price

Currently, you can track the price of ADA on Coin98 Markets.

ADA Key Metrics

  • Ticker: ADA.
  • Blockchain: Cardano.
  • Consensus: Proof of Stake (PoS).
  • Algorithm: Ouroboros.
  • Token Type: Coin.
  • Block time: 20 seconds.
  • Smallest unit: 1 Lovelace = 10^-6 ADA.
  • Max Supply: 45,000,000,000 ADA.
  • Circulating Supply: 32,143,026,588 ADA.

ADA Token Allocation

The ADA token has a max supply of 45,000,000,000 ADA and it is distributed to:

  • ICO: 57.6%
  • Team: 11.5%
  • Staking Rewards: 30.9%
ada token allocation
ADA Token Allocation

ADA Token Sale

The ADA token sale ran from September 2015 to January 2017 with 25,920,000,000 tokens that have a total value of $62,240,000. The sale process had 5 different tranches (periods) as the following picture:

  • ICO Price: 1 ADA = $0.0024.
  • Accepts: BTC.
ada token sale
ADA Token Sale

Cardano raised ~$61 million which was a phenomenal ICO back in 2017. As a result, Cardano has a huge community believing in its bright future.

ADA Token Release Schedule

After the ICO, the rest of ADA tokens are distributed in each epoch to users through rewards when ADA holders stake their tokens in ADA pools.

ADA Token Use Cases


Whenever each epoch is closed and a block is completed, an amount of ADA tokens is rewarded to ADA delegators in those ADA pools. Alternatively, ADA holders can run their own stake pools and invite others to stake their tokens to share the rewards.

Transaction Fee

ADA tokens are used for paying transaction fees according to the formula:

Tx Fee = a * size(Tx) + b, where

  • Parameter a is the transaction parameter equals to 0,0000393946 ADA/byte, which means the larger the transaction, the higher the fee is.
  • Parameter b is the Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) prevention parameter equals 0.155381 ADA.
  • Size(Tx) is the transaction size in bytes.

Project Catalyst Voting

To clarify, Project Catalyst is an incentive program for new projects in need of funds and support from the Cardano community as well. It brings on-chain governance to the community to decide to deploy funding to startup proposals.

ADA token holders can propose ideas and share insights on the Project Catalyst Ideascale platform. And to participate in voting for projects proposed on Catalyst, staking ADA tokens is required.

dardano project

How to get ADA Tokens

You can get ADA by buying tokens mostly on CEXs: Binance, Huobi, FTX, Coinbase, etc.

How to buy ADA Tokens

You can buy ADA Tokens on Coin98 Exchange by swapping other tokens for ADA following these simple steps on:

Step 1: Connect Coin98 Extension Wallet.

Step 2: Select PancakeSwap.

Step 3: Choose coins/tokens for trading:

  • Search ADA.
  • If the result does not come up, you can paste the contract of ADA into the search box: 0x3EE2200Efb3400fAbB9AacF31297cBdD1d435D47;

Step 4: Adjust the amount you want to swap.

Step 5: Adjust the gas fee, then click Approve.

how to buy ada coin
How to buy ADA tokens on Coin98 Exchange

How to store ADA token

Daedalus Wallet is an open-source wallet for ADA and it downloads a full copy of the Cardano blockchain to validate every transaction. Besides its security and backup feature, Daedalus also allows ADA holders to stake their tokens in ADA pools.

Yoroi Wallet is a small and light wallet for Cardano without a copy of the Cardano blockchain’s history. It’s simple and easy to use and it is available on desktop, mobile devices, and browser extension as well. Therefore, daily users love it for excellent experiences.

Other wallets include: Exodust Wallet, Ledger, etc.


Founders of Cardano have designed a detailed and academic-based roadmap for the development of the Cardano platform. It consists of five main phases, each phase is called “era” and represents specific functions that blockchain will have. There are five eras but the Cardano team is working on them simultaneously.

Byro 09/2017: It took 3 years to be done. The Cardano team focused on building infrastructure and academic-based architecture of the core network to have it running. And the Daedalus wallet and Yoroi wallet were integrated into the Cardano blockchain offering customers to store their ADA tokens. Moreover, ADA is listed on most major exchanges.

Shelly 07/2020: Decentralization is an important phase of the Cardano blockchain. At this phase, the Cardano community is involved in developing nodes to get ADA rewards from staking in pools. There is also the introduction of the Delegation and Incentive Program.

Goguen 09/2021: Coming Smart Contract allows developers and startups over the world to scale their ideas on Cardano blockchain regardless of programming languages. In this long-waiting era, developers can create native tokens, multi-asset ledgers, and even issue stablecoins.

Basho: Cardano platform will scale up fast. With the help of Hydra, the transaction speed will be up to one million TPS. Metadata and multi-chain will come into action on the Cardano blockchain.

Voltaire: called the Governance Era. Ada holders will have the right to vote to decide Cardano’s future changes. On-chain government means that the Cardano blockchain is completely transferred to the ADA-holding community.

cardano roadmap
Cardano Roadmap

In comparison with other blockchains, Cardano's roadmap has depicted specific targets in each era. Moreover, everything is planned and the timeline is updated constantly by the Cardano team.

Team, investors, and partners

Team and Partners

Cardano is a project founded by Charles Hoskinson - Co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain. And all three following organizations have their own specific roles on the journey of Cardano. The organizational structure of Cardano is considered professional.

  • Cardano Foundation: Representing Cardano’s positive development of the blockchain community, supporting people who are interested in Cardano. The main role is to work with policy-makers, governments, and countries to push innovative technology.
  • Input-Output Hong Kong: Responsible for technologies behind the Cardano blockchain. Numerous engineers are continuously researching and developing infrastructure and Smart Contract on Cardano. Moreover, they come up with blockchain solutions for public, private communities, and government clients. By collaborating with other companies, they are expanding influence quickly.
  • Emurgo: A Japanese company. It actively supports companies, businesses and has invested in many startups including Cardano.
cardano organization


Initially as mentioned in the Token Allocation sector, investors participated in the ADA ICO to buy tokens with their BTC.

Is Cardano (ADA) a good investment?

After having a massive breakout ATH in 2021, Is Cardano still going strong in the future? There are several notable and profound insights from Coin98 in order to let you put every aspect into consideration. This is not financial advice and you should Do Your Own Research for a solid understanding of Cardano.

  • Over 70% of the total current circulating ADA tokens are staked for network validation in ADA pools which is a very impressive rate in comparison to other blockchain networks. For instance, Ethereum has been a competitive opponent for Cardano since the beginning.
  • In spite of being in the development process, Cardano has massive funds and trust from the global community. There are many steps ahead for Cardano to deploy technologies. Good things take time.
  • Cardano’s vision is not limited to DeFi applications. It aims to use DeFi to create Real Finance and bring it into the mainstream. In addition, the number of projects on Cardano is rapidly increasing because there is much room on Cardano to explore. As a result, it is an ideal alternative platform for new startup projects.
  • In fact, Cardano has missed multiple deadlines and delayed many of them. They spent years just to prove the practicality of their whitepaper, and now they’re focusing on development. Gradually, many were frustrated and lost their patience to go along with Cardano.

Similar Projects

Cardano vs Ethereum

Both started in 2015, Ethereum overcame Cardano with faster growth. Ethereum has a fixed TPS of around 25, while Cardano’s TPS can be up to 1 million thanks to Hydra technology in the academically proven whitepaper. In addition, the Tx fees on Cardano are far cheaper than Ethereum’s. When Cardano’s Smart Contract comes out, there is a chance to overtake Ethereum’s top place.

cardano vs ethereum

Practically, the Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism overcomes PoW in terms of saving energy. PoW requires very intensive computing systems to verify translation on the blockchain. On the other hand, Ouroboros on Cardano significantly reduces the energy cost of the validating network.

cardano green blockchain


To conclude, Cardano has a huge potential in comparison to other existing blockchains in terms of technology and firm infrastructure. The blockchain project is backed by academically peer-reviewed proofs and huge organizations so that it is ready for mass adoption in the future.

In the foreseeable future following the Cardano roadmap, they promise to speed up the process and finish the journey to become completely decentralized. It is estimated that in 2025 the last step will be done and the governance will be totally granted by the Cardano community.

And that is all you need to know about Cardano and its ADA token. Hope you’ve gained useful information to understand the future potential behind Cardano better.