Introduction

Welcome to the central hub for Cardano documentation. Here you will find content that describes and supports the features on Cardano mainnet and Cardano testnet.

This includes explainers, information on all the core components of Cardano, details of how Cardano was designed and its architecture, how the Cardano network works, explanations of the fee structure and monetary policy, release notes, a compatibility matrix, a glossary of terms, as well as community resources. We also have content to support native tokens and how to use Plutus and Marlowe.

If you are interested in building tools on Cardano, integrating with Cardano, and connecting with the wider developer community, please visit the Cardano Developer Portal.

Cardano explained

Cardano is a decentralized third-generation proof-of-stake blockchain platform and home to the ada cryptocurrency. It is the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach.

The Cardano platform has been designed from the ground up and verified by an industry-leading combination of top engineers and academic experts in the fields of blockchain and cryptography. It has a strong focus on sustainability, scalability, and transparency. It is a fully open source project that aims to deliver an inclusive, fair, and resilient infrastructure for financial and social applications on a global scale. One of its primary goals is to bring reliable, secure financial services to those people who do not currently have access.

Cardano has been designed with security as one of its founding principles. It is written in Haskell, a functional programming language. In a functional language like Haskell, building your system using pure functions is encouraged, which leads to a design where components are conveniently testable in isolation. Furthermore, advanced features of Haskell enable us to employ a whole range of powerful methods for ensuring correctness of the code, such as basing the implementation on formal and executable specifications, extensive property-based testing, and running tests in simulation.

Cardano is developing a smart contract platform which seeks to deliver more advanced features than any protocol previously developed and will serve as a stable and secure platform for the development of enterprise-level dApps. In the near future, Cardano will use a democratic governance system that allows the project to evolve over time, and fund itself in a sustainable way through a visionary treasury system.

You can read more about Cardano on the official Cardano website and watch a summary of the mission of Cardano in this explainer video.