# blockchain

Imagine blockchain as a magical notebook that everyone can write in, but no one can erase or change what was written before. Every time someone wants to add something new, like saying they gave some digital coins to a friend, everyone checks to make sure it's true.

Then, they add it to their own notebook. This notebook is shared and checked by lots of people to make sure everything written is correct and safe, making it a very special and trustworthy notebook.

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Cardano

**What:** Cardano is an open-source and decentralized, proof-of-stake blockchain platform. Its native cryptocurrency is ADA which can be used to participate in the running of the network as well as an exchange of value. Within the Cardano platform there are two different layers: The Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL), and the Cardano Computational Layer (CCL). ADA lives on the CSL which was built to be where the accounting of value takes place. The CCL exists on top of the settlement layer, and is designed to be similar to Ethereum, enabling smart contracts and applications to run on the platform. **Why:** Cardano is a project that began in 2015 as an effort to change the way cryptocurrencies are designed and developed. Cardano design emphasis is to accommodate the social aspects of cryptocurrencies, build in layers by separating the accounting of value from complex computation while at the same time addressing the needs of regulators. The platform seeks to rebuild trust in global systems by establishing a secure, transparent, and sustainable foundation for transactions, governance, and enterprise growth, guided by scientific principles. **Risks:** It is worth noting that while Cardano emphasizes its evidence-based development approach and testing, the project has a short history as a live project with working smart contracts. There is limited information on how the network runs and how it operates under stress as well as other potential risks that are evident in more battle-tested networks. **Benefits:** As a proof-of-stake blockchain, Cardano facilitates secure interactions and transactions among parties that do not know or trust each other, fostering trust in scenarios where it might not naturally exist. Its proof-of-stake design also means the network can scale without exponentially increasing energy consumption. Additionally, through an incentivized mechanism, participants are rewarded for their contributions as stake pool operators or delegators. The governance system allows ADA holders to submit or vote on proposals for platform upgrades or development direction.

Ethereum

Ethereum is open access to digital money and data-friendly services for everyone – no matter your background or location. It's a community-built technology behind the cryptocurrency ether (ETH) and thousands of applications and smart contracts (computer programs living on Ethereum) you can use today. The Ethereum network is a network of computers all over the world that follow a set of rules called the Ethereum protocol, and it acts as the foundation for communities, applications, organizations and digital assets that anyone can build and use. Ethereum allows you to coordinate, make agreements or transfer digital assets directly with other people. You don't need to rely on intermediaries. And because no government or company has control over Ethereum it is impossible for anyone to stop you from receiving payments or using services on Ethereum. As mentioned before, Ethereum is not controlled by any particular entity and it exists whenever there are connected computers running software following the Ethereum protocol and adding to the Ethereum blockchain. Each of these computers is known as a node. Nodes can be run by anyone, although to participate in securing the network you have to stake ETH (Ethereum’s native token). Anyone with 32 ETH can do this without needing permission. ### Why Ethereum helps people and communities to coordinate in a resilient, open and trustworthy way on the internet. It also gives people the tools to have self sovereignty over their digital assets, and is particualrly important for people who have had to handle uncertainty around the security or soundness or mobility of their assets due to external forces outside of their control. The core value of Ethereum is that you can interact with the internet without trusting a central authority that could change the rules or restrict your access. The internet was meant to be a free and open space for everyone, and Ethereum builds on this premise, allowing you to control your own assets and identity, instead of them being controlled by a few mega-corporations.

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