Welcome to the Cardano Wiki
Cardano is a open-source, blockchain based technology platform that runs the ADA cryptocurrency, it is the 5th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation as of March 8th, 2018. Cardano (origin) is designed and developed by blockchain development firm Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) and led by Charles Hoskinson, former co-founder of BitShares and Ethereum, and aims to run smart contracts, decentralized applications, side-chains, multi-party computation, and metadata.
Cardano develops their currency around a Recursive InterNetwork Architecture (RINA). It uses the Ouroboros (origin) proof of stake algorithm to achieve decentralized consensus in its network. In this protocol, slot leaders generate new blocks in the blockchain and verify the transactions. Anyone holding the ADA coin can become a slot leader through Staking and Delegation.
Cardano is written in Haskell, a functional programming language well suited for formal verification of programs. The benefits of choosing functional programming over more traditional programming are immense, which explains why Haskell is an increasingly popular language in blockchain circles. This language guarantees that the code is more robust, helps to mitigate errors, and eliminates entire classes of bugs while ensuring that the data is immutable.