Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain platform, and the first of its kind to be built on a foundation of academic, peer-reviewed research. Through Cardano's evidence-based academic-rigor, it aims to provide unparalleled security and sustainability to decentralized applications.
Cardano was created in 2017 by technologists Jeremy Wood and Charles Hoskinson, a co-founder of Ethereum (ETH).
ADA is the native token of the Cardano blockchain and can be used as a store-of-value and to earn a passive yield through the process of staking. It is named after Ada Lovelace, a 19th-century mathematician who is recognized as the world's first computer programmer.
The maximum supply of ADA is capped at 45 billion tokens.
Cardano uses a consensus approach called "Proof of Stake" where the network ties its security to the honesty of the majority of token holders who are incentivized to maintain the integrity and value of the network. ADA token holders can participate in the platform's consensus mechanism and earn a passive reward known as a "staking yield" by staking their ADA tokens. Every ADA token held on the Cardano network represents a stake in the network, and the more ADA a user holds, the greater their stake in the network.
The Cardano team explains this best on their official website.
An ADA token holder can earn staking rewards in two ways: by delegating their stake to a stake pool run by someone else, or by running their own stake pool. The more stake that is delegated to a stake pool (up to a point), the more likely it is to create the block, in which case the rewards for creating that block are shared with all token holders who delegated their stake to that stake pool. Cardano maintains its decentralization by providing diminishing returns as stake pool size grows, which incentivizes users to move between pools and prevents individual staking pools from gaining too much power in the network.
Delegation allows ADA holders who lack the skills or desire to run their own staking pool (also known as running a node) to still participate in the network and earn rewards proportional to the amount of stake they delegated. The process of staking your ADA depends on the wallet that you use, but in most cases it is as simple as clicking a few buttons to choose a validator and then begin staking. You can stop staking at any time.
You can also stake your Kraken with one of the many crypto exchanges which support staking. Kraken is a top-3, US-based crypto exchange which offers buying/selling and staking of your ADA all in one place.
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