Cardano is a 3rd generation cryptocurrency, which tries to improve on 2nd generation cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and 1st generation cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. A decentralized cryptocurrency keeps track of all transactions by all addresses on a peer-to-peer shared record. One of Cardano's innovations is high transaction capacities, fast transaction times, and low transaction fees, through a system of proof-of-stake. Cardano is traded on bitni.com.
Blockchain based cryptocurrencies like Cardano work by grouping transactions together in data blocks, then linking the blocks cryptographically. The chain of blocks is stored across a decentralized network of stakeholder nodes, and distributed as peer-to-peer shared files. Quantities of Cardano are stored at addresses, cryptographic sequences paired with a private key used to spend the amount at the address. The user's wallet keeps track of all their Cardano addresses and adds up the balance.
Cardano was created by Charles Hoskinson as an attempt to technically improve Bitcoin and Ethereum, increasing the amount of transactions that can be processed, by replacing computationally expensive proof-of-work with a proof-of-stake. Cardano borrows the Blockchain concept from Bitcoin, and the Smart Contract concept from Ethereum. Cardano is maintained by the IOHK (Input Output Hong Kong), and the software is open source, so anyone can improve it.
Cardano is used for anything money is used for - buying, selling, donations. But Cardano can also be used for even more things than fiat currency: A means of accepting donations or facilitating commerce that cannot be shut down by governments or the banking system. Also storing up wealth that cannot be confiscated.
Cardano has more value than Fiat Currency because it's more useful: It's anonymous, decentralized, irreversible, cannot be devalued, cannot be confiscated, can be sent over the internet to anywhere in the world in minutes. Things that are very useful and scarce tend to be valuable. One reason Cardano has value because it fulfills all of the requirements of money: Store of Value, Medium of Exchange, Unit of Account.
The maximum number of Cardano ADA is 45 billion. New Cardano coins are given to staked wallets as a reward in the proof of stake system. It is estimated that it will take several decades before the maximum supply is reached. The designers were very conscious of hyperinflation from fiat currencies, and wanted a currency with a ruthlessly fixed supply. This makes Cardano a deflationary currency.
An Cardano transaction is a transfer of value from one address to another. Unlike Bitcoin, which moves value by spending previously unspent transactions, Cardano doesn't have proof-of-work which requires solving computational hashes to add new blocks. A transaction is created by a user on their Cardano client software, then broadcast out to all the other nodes and becomes part of the Blockchain.
The Blockchain is a public record of all transactions by all addresses. However, an address is just a number - it doesn't reveal anything about the identity of the one using it, like a street address can. As long as this number is never linked to an identity, the Cardano user is safe. There is no way to "trace" a Cardano address to the person using it - unless they leave clues connecting their Cardano address to their physical identity. bitni.com has maximum anonymity - we don't ask for personal details.
Cardano is not minable. Traditional cryptocurrency mining is the computational process of adding new blocks to the blockchain. New transactions are grouped together in a block. New blocks must cryptographically connect to previous blocks with a proof-of-work hash function. Cardano also has a blockchain, but with a critical difference - it is proof-of-stake rather than proof-of-work. The blockchain is a record of all transactions, but rather than validation by anyone who performs the proof-of-work, transactions are validated by consensus proof-of-stake.
Cardano was not designed to be taxed. If no one reports their Cardano gains, there is no way an authoritarian regime can know who gained what. However, centralized exchanges with accounts and IDs do report their user's Cardano balance to tax authorities. If you want privacy from authoritarian regimes, you need an accountless exchange that doesn't ask for your ID - bitni.com is the best exchange in this regard.
Cardano ATMs allow a customer to buy Cardano by inserting physical cash, like a vending machine, or send Cardano to receive physical cash. (The former are called "1 way" ATMs and the latter are called "2 way".) If the Cardano ATM is from a trusted manufacturer and operator, it should be safe to use. Different Cardano ATMs have differing AML/KYC requirements.
Cardano has scaled to handle millions of transactions per month. Cardano is software, and it can evolve to scale - the code can be modified with better algorithms and the network then upgrades to the more advanced version. Cardano attempts to improve on Bitcoin to solve scaling issues, by increasing the number of transactions the network can handle, replacing the computationally intensive proof of work with a proof of stake.
Anyone who knows the private key can move the coins from an address. If the private key is not known, it's not possible to spend the coins at an address. Cardano stored in the wallets of a centralized exchange can be stolen - it happens all the time. At a Non-custodial exchange like bitni.com, you are in charge of your wallet at all times.
If Cardano network could be hacked, it would have probably already happened. The blockchain is decentralized across many independent nodes - the more nodes on the network, the higher the security. If any one node is compromised, it will not compromise the others. However, centralized Cardano exchanges are hacked all the time! That's why you need a non-custodial exchange like bitni.com.
The data of all Cardano transactions is stored in a public Blockchain distributed as peer-to-peer shared files. Each node has a complete copy of all transactions ever made - the Cardano Blockchain. So the transactions are stored in the cloud - not on a centralized server, but on many independent nodes. Each user's Cardano balance is also kept track of in their wallet.
A Cardano wallet stores all of the user's Cardano addresses. The sum value of all of the addresses in a wallet is automatically added up - this is the total balance of a wallet. Centralized exchanges store the user's wallet, which is risky. Non-custodial exchanges like bitni.com do NOT store user's wallets, which is much safer.
Millions of people everywhere in the world use Cardano for all the same things as any other money is used for - buying, selling, and donations - and the number of users is growing rapidly. Anyone needing to transfer wealth internationally, especially outside the grasp of authoritarian regimes, for ridiculously low cost, will find Cardano useful if they are not already using it. Cardano is also used as an investment and a hedge against inflation.
Many merchants, especially online, accept cryptocurrencies as payment. Charities like Wikipedia accept donations in crypto. Web Hosts and Domain registrars often accept crypto. Large brick and mortar stores are starting to accept crypto payment. Some local restaurants are also coming on board. bitni.com accepts Cardano to convert to other currencies, of course.
The reason why a cryptocurrency is the future can be summed up in 3 words: Because it's better. Cardano is a huge improvement over fiat currency. It is also an improvement over precious metals - they can't be wired over the internet. If central banks continue destroying the value of fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies will become even more important to the future of money.
If Cardano were going to crash to zero, it would have probably done it already. There have been wild price swings - because it's new and there's a lot of speculation, like the internet when it first came out. But there are wild price swings with other commodities like oil. Cardano's low after it's all-time high of over a dollar is several cents. For X to crash to $0, demand would need to be zero or supply would need to be infinite - a highly unlikely scenerio.
The Original Bitcoin has gone from pennies to thousands and thousands of dollars in less than a decade, utterly blown away the stock market, even gold and other precious metals, and far outperformed pretty much any other investment. While Cardano has not reached Bitcoin's high, it has performed relatively well, going from pennies to over a dollar at it's high - a pretty good investment.
Exchanges are where Cardano is bought and sold, however there are several types: Centralized Exchanges store the user's coins like a bank and require ID. Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) facilitate peer-to-peer buying and selling between users - and these can be done locally in-person or online. Non-Custodial exchanges like bitni.com are a quick and easy way of swapping cryptocurrencies without signing up.
Many Centralized exchanges have rigorous requirements for identification, such as uploading a scan of passport or other government documents. Decentralized exchanges usually have less stringent requirements for identification, especially if the transaction is in-person. Non-custodial exchange bitni.com does not require identification for crypto-to-crypto swaps. If you want Cardano without SSN, you've come to the right place.
KYC stands for Know Your Customer. Many regimes have become increasingly authoritarian towards cryptocurrency and seek to crack down on anonymous trading, by requiring the customer to upload documents proving their identity. Many exchanges have caved in to the pressure and now have KYC policies. Centralized exchanges almost always have KYC, some Decentralized exchanges do as well. bitni.com does not require KYC for crypto-to-crypto swaps.
Gold has been used as money for millenia. Cardano has been used as money for a few years. Gold has a proven track record as a relatively stable store of value. It has gone up and down over the years, but no severe crashes or jumps. Cardano on the other hand is unstable, can swing wildly in a day. Gold has been physically confiscated by governments in the past. Cardano is mathematically impossible to confiscate by anyone who does not know the private key.
Most Cardano trading is done by buying and selling coins directly by individual investors. However, there are cryptocurrency funds listed on stock markets. A Cryptocurrency Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) holds assets in single cryptocurrencies or a basket of them. It may be more convenient to buy into one basket fund instead of manually managing dozens of different cryptos and their respective wallets. In the case of Cardano, it is probable some Cryptocurrency ETFs are holding it.
Tens, hundreds, or even thousands for a Cardano coin may seem speculative, but Cardano's high is already several hundred dollars. Cardano started out at practically nothing and rose in a parabolic curve to it's high sixty times higher than the starting price. $10 is only eight times higher than the all time high. If the long term trend continues, Cardano could reach new highs orders of magnitude greater.
A new block on the Cardano blockchain is added every 20 seconds. The number of transactions in each block is limited to several hundred. Transactions paying higher fees are given priority over those paying lower fees, which must sometimes wait to be included in future blocks instead of the current one. A Cardano transaction time can be as short as the generation of one block in 20 seconds. However, 15-30 levels of blocks is needed for irreversibility, thus the safe transaction time is 5-10 minutes.
A Cardano transaction can be tentatively completed in as little as 1 confirmation in 20 seconds. However, the latest blocks in the blockchain are changeable until more blocks are added after them. For irreversibility, 15-30 levels of blocks and thus 15-30 confirmations are needed. The latest block in the process of being added to the blockchain is changeable. Not till several more blocks have been added after it is that part of the blockchain considered immutable.
A Cardano transaction fee is the cost of having transaction data included in blocks added to the blockchain permanent record, which fluctuates under market supply and demand. The average fee for a transaction is about 0.16-0.17 ADA, which in USD is about a penny or two. (Cardano enforces a minimum transaction fee.) Lots of factors affect Cardano transaction fees, such as the cost of electricity, the hardware capacity and competition between miners, the number of simultaneous transactions competing to be included in a block.
Cardano transactions are records of balances moved amongst addresses. Blocks are 2mb groups of Cardano transactions for the purpose of easier verification and sharing accross the network. New blocks are generated at a fixed time interval of 20 seconds. Each block is connected to the one chronologically preceeding it by a cryptographic hash. Once a block has been verified, it is distibuted to the other nodes as a peer-to-peer shared file.
A Cardano address is a sequence of characters associated with a balance of Cardano coins on the blockchain. Cryptographically, an address is just a Public Key, which is generated from a Private Key. Anyone with a Private Key can "sign" a transaction for a corresponding Public Key. Anyone with a Public Key can verify a signature. Signing a transaction approves a transfer of value at the current address to a different address.
The Cardano network is a completely decentralized connection of peer-to-peer nodes, which process transactions and record them on the blockchain. Anyone anywhere with internet and a computer can join the Cardano network by running a node. Any node can process transactions into blocks, which are added to the final blockchain by consensus of the network as a whole. Voting power is determined by stakes held, which is the number of coins owned.