Cardano is a blockchain platform for "changemakers, innovators, and visionaries" designed to bring positive change to the world. The back-bone of the codebase is written in Haskell, a functional programming language designed to prevent side effects in code that create bugs. The blockchain's native currency is ADA (after the mathematician Ada Lovelace). ADA holders can stake their ADA with pools that participate in the Cardano network to receive rewards. Holders can also vote on proposed changes to the software. The project has prided itself on ensuring all the implemented technologies have gone through rigorous peer review to ensure their bold innovations are validated. As of March 31st, 2021, 100% of the blocks added to the Cardano blockchain are added by stake pool operators. Therefore, Cardano is a fully decentralized network - a title few smart contract capable blockchains can boast.
Cardano operates on a proof-of-stake protocol, Ouroboros, that offers improved security guarantees and lower energy costs when compared to proof-of-work protocols. It has been rigorously peer reviewed and provides a "highly scalable" and "sustainably secure" blockchain. Proof-of-work protocols rely on “miners” to solve computationally complex equations to create new blocks, while proof-of-stake selects participants to create new blocks based on their "stake" in the network (for Cardano, the amount of ADA delegated to a pool). This allows the network to scale horizontally and increases performance by merely adding more pools. You can read more about the details of Ouroboros here.
We encourage all current and future ADA holders to educate themselves about the network and it's vast potential to change the world for the better. Explore the Cardano homepage to learn more about this revolutionary project.
We believe blockchain technology is here to stay. It will revolutionize the way the world operates in terms of identity, payments, loans, and trust. Our mission is to empower Cardano as an emerging technology by operating as a node in the network, engaging with the vibrant community, and supporting decentralized finance (DeFi) applications built on the protocol.
Currently, 25 ADA per epoch that Vulcan successfully mints a block will be pooled to create "The Vulcan Fund". This fund will strictly be used to support DeFi on the Cardano network through peer-to-peer lending. As we receive repayment from our loans, the ADA will be compounded back into the fund. Vulcan delegates will be able to help us select the fund recipients. Stay connected to see how our fund grows and who we are supporting!
Note, smart contracts and DeFi will not be supported until the Alonzo Hard Fork (estimated launch of July 2021). However, we will be pooling ADA for The Vulcan Fund until a trusted DeFi application launches on the network. We hope to distribute our first payments as early as August of 2021.
Owners of ADA (Cardano's native currency) have a stake in the network proportional to their holding size. ADA holders can earn rewards by either delegating their stake to an existing stake pool or by running their own stake pool (which requires technical expertise). Each ADA staked to a given pool represents a chance for the Ouroboros protocol to choose that pool to add the next block to the blockchain (the pool "mints the block"). The more ADA delegated to a given stake pool (up to a saturation point), the higher the pool's chance to mint the next block. The stake pool operators and their delegators share the rewards earned by adding blocks to the blockchain - your reward is proportional to your stake relative to the pool size.
Staking is completely risk free. Your ADA is kept securely in your personal wallet and pool operators have no access to your funds. Staking rewards are paid directly to your wallet by the protocol so you don’t need to trust the operators to distribute your rewards.
In order to keep Cardano decentralized, ADA holders should spread their stake across many pools and prevent large, multi-pool operators from dominating the market. The pool reward is split proportionally amongst it's delegates. You will earn more ADA with each minted block when staked with a smaller pool, even though the pool will mint blocks less often; this earns you approximately the same return on investment delegating to a smaller pool as opposed to a larger pool.