Cryptocurrencies have seen an explosion in interest over recent years. As well as the likes of the really famous Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin, are thousands upon thousands of other so-called Altcoins. One of those coins, which has been surging in value in recent months, is Cardano. If you've never heard of Cardano, then this article will tell you everything you need to know about what it is, how it works, and whether you can actually spend it anywhere. So without further ado, let's find out about Cardano.
What is Cardano?
Cardano is actually the platform upon which a cryptocurrency called ADA is based. For simplicity we'll use the terms interchangeably. The idea behind Cardano is relatively straightforward: to create a blockchain ecosystem that can be used for a variety of transactions. Cardano differs from many other crypto assets in that it was founded based on peer-reviewed research. It also uses a proof-of-stake protocol, rather than proof-of-work, to validate transactions. The significance of this, is that it makes Cardano much less energy intensive than Bitcoin, for example. It can potentially handle up to one million transactions per second. Compare this to Bitcoin which manages 4.6 transactions per second. Even Visa manages only around 1700 transactions per second. This gives you an idea of its potential. In theory, it could be more than four million times more efficient than the system Bitcoin uses.
Another unique marker with Cardano, is that it is a fully decentralised, community-run network. This means its parent company no longer controls the blockchain, which may well make it a more attractive proposition. In future, Cardano hopes to be used for smart contracts, decentralised applications, and other protocols. Some analysts believe it has the potential to be more effective and scalable than Ethereum in this regard. So in summary: a more efficient, more comprehensive blockchain for carrying out digital transactions, as well as being used as a currency.
History of Cardano
Cardano launched in 2017, and its price has been as volatile as virtually every other cryptourrency. Cardano was founded by a man named Charles Hoskinson. He co-founded Ethereum, and applied what he learned there, in an effort to create something even better. It started life trading at about £0.01 per token, and is currently worth around £1.20. So an investment of £1000 in the early days would be worth £120,000 today. Its market cap has grown alongside its price, and it is now one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world.
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Where can I spend Cardano?
Cardano is undoubtedly a cryptocurrency full of potential. But you might also be wondering what options you have for spending it. Can you buy pizza, or a Tesla?
At the time of writing, Cardano is not a particularly mainstream method of payment. The volatility of its price is one reason for this. It makes it very difficult for a company to price its goods or services accurately. Compared to Bitcoin, the currency isn't very well-known so adoption is currently very small.
But that is not to say that nobody will accept it as a payment method. If you really want to, there are a handful of forward thinking companies out there. A list of them is available here, and another one here.
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