A Deep Dive Into Cardano: ADA Tokenomics

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Familiar with crypto, it’s likely you know the name Vitalik Buterin; in 2015 Vitalik and a team of co-founders launched a tiny little project called ethereum, now known as the second-largest cryptocurrency with incredible potential, ethereum had a few other essential founding members. One of these members was Charles Hoskinson. A couple of short years later, Hoskinson found himself at the center of a brand new project launching Cardano, named after the Italian mathematician Girolamo Cardano.

What is Cardano (ADA)?

Cardano (ADA) is simply just a proof of stake cryptocurrency now. To explain what it means and summarize why it’s not just some random altcoin, let’s hear what the founder says about it. Basically, Hoskinson saw that cryptocurrencies would suffer from three main problems: scalability, interoperability, and sustainability. Let’s go through each of these issues to understand the intentions behind the project. 


Scalability fans of Bitcoin know this problem all too well because of Bitcoin’s block size. The network can only confirm around five to seven transactions per second now. This is not even comparable to the visa behemoth that can do tens of thousands of transactions per second. The block size debate in Bitcoin raged on for years, but at least one question remains for basically any cryptocurrency: how can this project scale now?

As Hoskinson has said, ‘we actually want things to speed up as more users use a system not slow down as many of them do if the network is being used it needs to speed up in order to be consistent for its users.’ What he meant was that a blockchain’s capability should scale linearly with its usage. Cardano solves this by using epochs, which basically divide up who validates certain blocks in the blockchain.

To be even more precise, they use slots and any of the nodes, which nodes are just computers from people or organizations that are running the blockchain. They can be nominated to be a slot leader; these terms don’t really need to mean much to you, but they are what allows Cardano’s proof of stake to scale. Cardano calls this system ouroboros.

Also, you may read: Avalanche (AVAX): A Deep Dive into its Working and Tokenomics


This is an ancient technological problem. Let’s think about this using an example of early wireless networking. If you’ve ever wanted to set up a wireless network in your house, you know you have to connect your devices to a router so that the signal can reach your device, but what if your Apple iPhone is only connected to Apple routers?

It wouldn’t be beneficial if everybody had to get all the same hardware for everything from the ground up and from the same brand, and in fact, that would probably be considered a monopoly by the United States government. So, how does Cardano make sure that crypto doesn’t suffer from the same problem? Well, it allows people to easily bridge Cardano and other cryptocurrencies that use other blockchains by using something called the KMZ sidechain protocol.

This is basically the crypto version of being able to quickly exchange u.s dollars for Canadian dollars, euros, or some other currency. Now, unlike other cryptocurrencies, Cardano knows it won’t be the only cryptocurrency, and because of this, it proactively works on an interoperability solution using bridges.


When we say sustainable, we don’t necessarily mean environmentally sustainable, although many say that Cardano, because of its proof of stake instead of proof-of-work mechanism, is ecologically sustainable. There is a massive debate about environmentalism in the crypto world. Regardless, what we are talking about is the network’s ability to keep the lights on, continue to make improvements, and have a healthy development community. Cardano solves this by establishing a treasury that collects fees and pays them to those who make contributions to the network.

In short, Cardano is a self-sustainable cryptocurrency that has intentions of improving itself in the future, and it is developed with that in mind. Now, you’ll notice that Cardano seems to be designed with one thing in mind: solving problems very rationally and logically.

This is a project created and run by a man who used to be a mathematician, now this shows up in several ways, namely the fact that it wasnamed after an Italian mathematician, the token that actually carries value and is used on the network is called ada, so Cardano is the blockchain, and ada is the coin now, this is not Americans with Disability Act, but it comes from the name of a woman who is now considered to be the first ever computer programmer, Ada Lovelace. Beyond naming conventions, Charles Hoskinson clearly has shown an ambition for tackling significant challenges through methodical, reasoned, and problem-solving within the Cardano project.

Also, you may read: Proof of Work Explained | What is Proof of Work?

How is Cardano different from Ethereum?

Hoskinson thought ethereum should be a for-profit entity, whereas Vitalik Buterin wanted ethereumto stay as a non-profit. Both of their wishes ended up coming true in a way; Buterin stayed with Ethereum, and Hoskinson took a sabbatical shortly followed by a proposition. Fellow co-founder of ethereum, Jeremy Wood, approached Hoskinson about creating a for-profit entity that would make blockchain projects for companies, governments, and even other organizations. This company became known as IOHK or Input Output Hong Kong, and it’s an homage to the engineering term and to the place where it was incorporated.

So, what does this have to do with Cardano? You ask the book’s main project is what we now know as Cardano. Although ethereum and Cardano are both intelligent contract platforms, they do differ in several ways. The first is that Cardano has been a proof-of-stake blockchain from the beginning. This means that instead of Bitcoin’s method of doing tough math problems to mine coins, they validate transactions according to how many tokens the validators stake.

So, for example, if you own a lot of ada, you can stake that ada and have more power in the network than those who have little ada. Ethereum, however, started as a proof of work chain but is now migrating to become a proof of stake chain. Another thing that’s important is that, like Bitcoin, Cardano is deflationary, which basically means there is a fixed amount, and in the case of Ada, 45 billion total Ada coins will be minted as opposed to Ethereum, which mints more and more Ethereum every year from an economic perspective that would generally mean that all other things being equal. 

A Deep Dive Into Cardano: Ada Tokenomics

Cardano (ADA): Tokenomics

The initial tokеn distribution of ADA (Cardano) is structurеd with specific allocations for different purposеs. Thе majority and comprisin’ 57.60% of thе total tokеn supply and is dеsignatеd for thе Initial Coin Offеrin’ (ICO) and indicatin’ thе portion of tokеns distributеd to еarly invеstors an’ contributors durin’ thе projеct’s fundraisin’ phasе. Anothеr 11.50% is allocatеd to thе Tеam and signifyin’ tokеns rеsеrvеd for thе dеvеlopmеnt tеam and possibly as incеntivеs an’ rеwards for thеir contributions to thе projеct. 

Additionally, a significant portion of 30.90% is еarmarkеd for Stakin’ Rеwards and еmphasizin’ thе importancе of incеntivizin’ an’ rеwardin’ participants who еngagе in thе stakin’ procеss. Stakin’ involvеs lockin’ up a cеrtain amount of ADA to support thе nеtwork’s sеcurity an’ functionality and an’ in rеturn and participants rеcеivе rеwards in thе form of additional ADA tokеns. This distribution modеl aims to еstablish a balancеd an’ sustainablе еcosystеm for ADA and promote invеstmеnt and dеvеlopmеnt and an’ activе participation in thе nеtwork’s maintеnancе through stakin’. 


Also, you may read: Ethereum Name Service: ENS Tokenomics and Detailed Explanation

Cardano (ADA): Conclusion

In conclusion, Cardano and lеd by co foundеr Charlеs Hoskinson and have еmеrgеd as a promisin’ proof of stakе cryptocurrеncy that addresses critical issues in thе blockchain spacе: scalability and intеropеrability and an’ sustainability. Thе projеct utilizеs a uniquе approach to scalability by еmployin’ еpochs an’ a proof of stakе mеchanism known as Ouroboros. Intеropеrability is tacklеd through thе KMZ sidеchains protocol and еnablin’ sеamlеss connеctions bеtwееn Cardano an’ othеr cryptocurrеnciеs. Furthеrmorе and Cardano еnsurеs sustainability with a trеasury systеm that collеcts fееs to support ongoin’ dеvеlopmеnt and fostеrin’ a sеlf sustainablе еcosystеm.

Diffеrеntiatin’ itsеlf from Ethеrеum and Cardano has bееn a proof of stakе blockchain from its incеption and providin’ an altеrnativе to Ethеrеum’s proof of work origins. The dеflationary naturе of Cardano, with a fixеd tokеn supply of 45 billion ADA coins, contrasts with Ethеrеum’s ongoing mintin’. Thе tokеnomics of ADA furthеr rеinforcе thе projеct’s commitmеnt to a balancеd an’ sustainablе еcosystеm and with spеcific allocations for ICO and tеam dеvеlopmеnt and an’ stakin’ rеwards.

In еssеncе and Cardano еmbodiеs a systеmatic an’ logical approach to problеm solvin’ and rеflеctin’ thе background of its foundеr and a formеr mathеmatician. With a clеar vision an’ mеthodical rеasonin’ and Cardano strivеs to not only addrеss еxistin’ challеngеs but also to continuously improvе an’ еvolvе and makin’ it a notеworthy playеr in thе еvеr еvolvin’ landscapе of cryptocurrеnciеs. 

How is Cardano addressing scalability?

Cardano is addressing scalability through events and a POS mechanism called Ouroboros. As the network grows more, it will help in faster transactions.

What is IOHK’s role in Cardano’s development?

Founded by Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood, IOHK is a for-profit entity. It was created to develop blockchain projects for companies, governments, and organizations. IOHK played a significant role in the development of Cardano, which emerged as a prominent proof-of-stake cryptocurrency.

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Aayush Rawat
Aayush Rawat

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