Cardano (ADA) Proof-of-Stake Smart Contract Platform

A 3rd generation proof-of-stake (POS) blockchain platform. Written in Haskell.

QC by RayQuan Fields

DTC Score:

Research Summary


Founded in 2015 by Charles Hoskinson, the Cardano project aims to serve as a “trusted computation framework” for sophisticated systems, such as gambling and gaming systems. Utilizing the Ouroboros consensus protocol, Cardano is the first provably secure proof-of-stake blockchain network. This allows for extended features and energy efficiency that the Bitcoin network currently lacks.

The Cardano ecosystem currently has and operational treasury system, smart contract capability, the ability to transact between wallets and dedicated infrastructure for staking ADA.

The development of the project is overseen and supervised by the Cardano Foundation based in Zug, Switzerland, in partnership with EMURGO (Commercial Incubator) and IOHK (Research and Engineering Team).

The Cardano roadmap has been organized into five eras:

  1. Byron (Foundation)
  2. Shelley (Decentralization)
  3. Goguen (Smart Contracts)
  4. Basho (Scaling)
  5. Voltaire (Governance)

Each era is centered around a set of functionalities that will be delivered across multiple code releases. The eras are delivered sequentially and happens in parallel, with research, prototyping, and development often in progress all at once across the different development streams.


Cardano’s ADA coin was made available through an ICO that began September 2015 and ran through January 2017.

$62 million was raised, with roughly 30 billion out of 45 billion ADA sold (the public sales distribution accounts for 25,927,070,538 ADA). None of these sales were conducted with US citizens.

Currently, over 70% of the total token supply is in circulation. The remainder of the coins are made available through staking rewards at a rate of approximately 5% annually.


The Cardano project is over a million followers across its official social media pages. While Cardano is not currently sitting at the top of the smart contract niche, the project seems to be making strides in the proof-of-stake arena. The project’s development has gone a long way towards ensuring the community will oversee the protocol long-term as well. 


Based on the research conducted, Cardano (ADA) appears to be a fundamentally strong project.

Potential Red Flags

Tokenomis – The ADA native token was originally offered to the public as an  ICO.

Dark Paper

View the Cardano (ADA) Dark Paper for a detailed scoring breakdown.

While we do our best to ensure the highest quality of information in our reports, we cannot guarantee the validity of all sources derived from the public domain. Please exercise caution when investing. 

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