Cardano (ADA) is currently the 13th largest asset on the Brave New Coin market cap table. Other platform blockchain tokens in the top 10 include Ethereum (ETH), EOS (EOS) Binance Coin (BNB), and Tezos (XTZ).
The development of the Cardano blockchain began in 2015. The token had a US$62 Million presale which was run in Asia. The sale ran from September 2015 to January 2017, and funding was primarily sourced from Japan. A total of 26 billion tokens were sold at US$0.0024 each. Public trading of the tokens began on October 1st, 2017. There is a hard cap of 45 billion ADA tokens, 13.88 billion of which will be issued through staking rewards.
The Cardano development team includes three contributing members which hold 5.18 billion ADA between them; the Cardano Foundation which aimed to standardize, protect, and promote ADA; Emurgo which aimed to develop, support, and incubate commercial ventures; and Input-Output Hong Kong (IOHK), founded in 2015 by Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood.
IOHK provides the core dev team behind the ongoing Shelley updates. The company is a technical engineering company that works with academic institutions, government entities and corporations. IOHK was founded in 2015 by Wood and Hoskinson, has a decentralized philosophy, and a team distributed across the globe.
IOHK recently built a blockchain solution for the University of Tbilisi in Georgia to prove academic qualifications. In August, 2019 the firm built the ‘Atala’ blockchain solution in collaboration with the Ethiopian Government in order to provide financial services to people living in African countries. IOHK also works on Ethereum Classic (ETC) development and focuses on research and development in cryptography and distributed systems.
Cardano creator Charles Hoskinson recently stated that the dev team is on course to begin a wholesale transition to the Shelley mainnet on May 11th. Cardano’s upcoming decentralization-focused update, Shelley, is named after the author of literary classic Frankenstein. Mary Shelley was also friends with Lord Byron, the namesake of the previous update.
The Shelley phase is described as the “era of growth and development for the network.” The upcoming mainnet release marks the start of a “Friends and Family” phase.
This new phase of Cardano development will focus on switching from a federated network to a decentralized one, where nodes are distributed across members of the community. By the completion of the Shelley era, Cardano should resemble a fully decentralized Proof-of-Stake blockchain. Several key features will accompany the fully built Shelley chain, including a crypto asset wallet called Daedalus, an App platform, and a new Cardano blockchain explorer.
Hoskinson added that progress on the open-source code could be tracked on the Github. Most token projects use the GitHub developer platform where files are saved in folders called "repositories," or "repos." Changes to these files are recorded with "commits," which save a record of what changes were made, when, and by who.
The IOHK GitHub account has 277 repos, over 15 of which have been highly active in the past 90 days. Since June 2019, there has been steady growth in commit activity in the core “cardano-node” repo.
The most active contributor to the repo is IOHK software engineer Jordan Millar (Jimb4350). Millar is based out Trinidad and Tobago and has an MChem from the University of Oxford. The IOHK community support page describes the most recent code updates:
- Cardano Node 1.11.0- updates to add improvements to using nodes on the network. It also adds full Windows support and some pre-release features for testing.
- Cardano DB Sync 1.5.0- Improves the way nodes sync with Cardano blockchain data
- Cardano Wallet 2020.4.28 and Cardano Wallet 2020.5.6- New back HTTP application programming and command-line interfaces for sending and receiving payments on the new Cardano platform
- Cardano Coin Selection 1.0.0-A library provides a Haskell implementation of algorithms for coin selecting and fee balancing.
In November 2018, Hoskinson announced that IOHK would be leaving Hong Kong and incorporating itself in Wyoming. Then in February 2020, IOHK donated US$500,000 to the University of Wyoming and established a new Cardano research lab, that will focus on writing code in ADA’s smart-contract language.
The lab is said to be designing a hardware tool for authentication and anti-counterfeit measures on Cardano payments.
In September 2019, Hoskinson announced a partnership with the New Balance shoe company to block and identify counterfeit goods. Other reported partnerships include Polymath, StudEx, ScanTrust, Finkda Advisors, Dust Identity, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the Privilege Project, and the Berkman Klein Center of Harvard University.