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Project history

Cardano, which is a third-generation blockchain platform launched in 2017, was the first blockchain platform to implement evidence-based scientific peer-reviewed processes prior to the release of any new product, service, or update on its platform. It pioneers innovative technologies with a mission to provide security and sustainability to decentralised applications, systems and societies globally.


Cardano’s blockchain infrastructure features two main layers: The Cardano Settlement Layer, which verifies transactions and hosts the network’s native token, ADA, and the Cardano Computation Layer, which enables its smart contract functionality. This separation allows for streamlined handling of ADA transactions independently from the complex computations performed by smart contracts, optimising network performance and scalability.

Cardano adopts a proprietary Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism called Ouroboros, which leverages ADA staking to validate transactions and secure the network. Proof-of-stake protocols employ significantly less energy than Proof-of-Work due to this alternative consensus mechanism. With the Cardano blockchain, delegators get rewards every epoch (five days) and can also access or withdraw their ADA at any time. Additionally, Cardano has no slashing penalties, which means delegators have complete control over their ADA.

Token supply model

ADA has a maximum supply of 45 billion tokens, with 30.9 percent initially reserved for staking incentives. New ADA tokens are issued from the reserve at a controlled inflation rate of 0.3 percent per epoch. To ensure sustainability, this is designed to decreased over time and with the expectation that rewards will primarily come from transaction fees.

From these rewards, 20 percent is allocated to the treasury, and the remaining 80 percent is issued to staking operators and delegators. ADA’s total supply is capped at 45 billion tokens.

Key value drivers

The increasing demand for scalable and interoperable blockchain solutions may contribute to Cardano’s long-term growth potential. Additionally, its strong commitment to rigorous peer review could make it a preferred choice for enterprises and developers prioritising sustainability and proven security.

Cardano staking

Sygnum offers an institutional-grade staking service for the Cardano protocol.

Learn more about Sygnum’s secure, fully-integrated staking service and which tokens can be staked with this service here.

This information was prepared by Sygnum Bank AG. This information may contain forward looking statements and may be subject to change. The opinions expressed herein are those of Sygnum Bank AG, its affilitates, and partners at the time of writing. This is for informational purposes only and contains general material. It does not constitute any advice or recommendation, an offer or invitation by or on behalf of Sygnum Bank AG to purchase or sell assets or securities. It is not intended to be used as a general guide to investing, and it should be used for informational purposes only. When making an investment decision, you should either conduct your own research and analysis or seek advice from an expert to make a calculated decision. The information and analysis contained here have been compiled from sources believed to be reliable. However, Sygnum Bank AG makes no representation as to its reliability or completeness and disclaims all liability for losses arising from the use of this information.

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