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A cryptocurrency is a digital value that has mathematics as its infallible support, that can be measured in fiat money (dollars, euros, ...) thanks to a supply/demand market, and that has proven to be inviolable throughout its years of life.
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The first cryptocurrency was launched on 12 January 2009, its name was Bitcoin.
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There are many cryptocurrencies today, but when it comes to Cardano many consider it to be the synthesis of Bitcoin and Ethereum, two of the best known.
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ADA, no doubt.
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Cardano/ADA began development in 2015 and was launched in 2017 by Charles Hoskinson, co-founder of Ethereum and BitShares.
According to Hoskinson, he left Ethereum after a discussion about the desirability of maintaining Ethereum as a non-profit project.
After his departure, he co-founded IOHK, a blockchain engineering company, whose core business is the development of Cardano, together with the Cardano Foundation and Emurgo.
Cardano claims to overcome the problems in the cryptocurrency market: mainly that Bitcoin is too slow and rigid, and Ethereum is neither secure nor scalable. It is therefore considered a third-generation cryptocurrency.
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Cardano is the platform that enables the development of solutions on a third generation blockchain.
ADA is the first cryptocurrency to be supported by the Cardano network.
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The Cardano platform is named after the exceptional 16th century mathematician Girolamo Cardano and its cryptocurrency, ADA, was named after Ada Lovelace, considered the first female programmer in history.
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Blockchain technology is the fundamental underpinning of cryptocurrencies, acting as the public ledger of transactions.
In more detail, a blockchain is a chain of blocks generally forming a list that are linked together using cryptographic techniques. The first block is called a genesis block and is created when the chain is created. The following blocks are created and linked to the previous one, forming a list, in such a way that it is not possible to modify one block without modifying all the previous ones, including the genesis block. As this first block is known to everyone, it can be guaranteed that no one has changed anything in the entire list of blocks. Each block created contains several cryptocurrencies, as well as the future transactions made with them.
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Blocks in a blockchain are added through an operation called mining.
To mine a block is to add it to the blockchain, usually at the end, linking it to the previous one, and this one to the newly created one.
By mining a block and adding it to the chain, the chain increases in size and since each block originally contains a certain number of cryptocurrencies, the chain increases in value.
Various ways of mining blocks have been developed over the years: Bitcoin uses proof-of-work (PoW), a rather inefficient brute-force approach, while Cardano uses proof-of-stake (PoS), which is far more efficient and democratic.
In general, whoever mines a block gets to keep the cryptocurrencies it contains.
Specifically in Cardano, when a pool creates a block, it keeps a small amount for the purpose of covering expenses and rewarding time spent.
The remainder is distributed among the members of the pool: the delegators.
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According to its creator "Cardano is an open platform that seeks to provide economic identity to the billions who do not have it through decentralised applications to manage identity, value and governance".
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Ouroboros is the name of Cardano's own Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithm.
The Ouroboros algorithm makes the network work by assigning the signature of new blocks to the pools of the Cardano network.
It also protects the network from attacks and increases its stability.
The security level of Ouroboros is comparable to that of the Bitcoin blockchain, which has never been compromised, but much more efficient.
There have been several attempts by other cryptocurrencies to develop a proof-of-stake algorithm, but all of these have proven to be potentially insecure.
Ouroboros, by using a PoS approach, provides energy cost savings and enables faster transaction processing.
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Such PoS algorithms are considered more advanced than Proof of Work (PoW) algorithms such as Bitcoin.
A proof-of-stake algorithm, also known by the acronym PoS, is a distributed consensus protocol for distributed networks that secures a cryptocurrency network by requesting proof of possession of such coins.
With PoS, the probability of finding a block of transactions - and receiving the corresponding prize - is directly proportional to the amount of coins one has accumulated, thus avoiding that confidence is given by the amount of work invested.
It is a different system to the one used in the first and best-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, to validate electronic transactions, which uses the proof-of-work (PoW) system.
They are based on the assumption that those who own the most units of a PoS-based currency are particularly interested in the survival and smooth functioning of the network that gives value to these currencies and are therefore best placed to bear the responsibility for protecting the system from possible attacks.
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A proof-of-work algorithm, also known by the acronym PoW, is a distributed consensus protocol for distributed networks.
The systems that use them, such as Bitcoin, are proof-of-work systems.
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The Cardano blockchain divides time into epochs and these, in turn, into slots.
An epoch lasts exactly 5 days, or 432000 seconds.
A slot is one second in an Epoch, so in an Epoch there are 432000 slots.
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In Cardano, a Stake Pool is a node (consisting of one or more computers or servers) with a public IP address, responsible for carrying out or validating transactions and mining blocks on the Cardano blockchain.
For such a function, the nodes of a Stake Pool must be connected to the Cardano Network with the rest of the nodes or Stake Pools that make up that network.
The person or entity behind a Stake Pool is known as a Stake Pool Operator (SPO), who may be an individual (natural person) or an established company.
Another of the main functions of a Stake Pool within the Cardano ecosystem is to ensure the integrity of the blockchain by executing the consensus protocol called Ouroboros, which uses the Proof of Stake mechanism and with which ADA token holders can participate in block production by delegating this task to the Stake Pool Pools.
Any ADA holder can participate in the block production task within the Cardano blockchain in an incentivised way, either by running a Stake Pool or by joining an existing one.
By participating in block production, both the Stake Pool operator and those who delegated him receive rewards in the form of ADA.
The rewards received by each delegator within the pool are proportional to their share of the total size of the Stake Pool, while the operator's rewards are according to values set in the cost parameters of a Stake Pool.
The more Stake a pool possesses, the more likely it is to be selected as a slot leader and to mine blocks.
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Quite a lot. Add up the initial pledge, plus the monthly costs plus the time spent, and the sum is quite large. In addition, the team or person setting it up must have a fairly advanced knowledge of Linux system administration.
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The total ADA delegated to the Stake Pool at a specific point in time.
When a new delegate joins the pool, their current stake will be increased, while if a delegate leaves the pool, their current stake will be decreased.
In other words, the current stake is the size or total amount of ADA in a stake pool at the present time.
The current stake is captured in photographs called Snapshots that will later be used for the selection of leaders for the block forging.
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This is the total ADA captured in the snapshot taken at the start of the Epoch prior to the current Epoch.
The Active Stake is the stake that is taken as valid for the production of blocks in a specific epoch.
The current stake and the active stake of a pool do not necessarily have to have the same value because the active stake represents the size of a stake pool in the past (it is a snapshot of the size of the pool in the past), while the current stake is changing all the time, according to the amount of ADA that enters and leaves the pool.
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It is the stake pool owner's share in his own pool.
It is an amount of ADA that the owner invests to secure Cardano's network and make its stake pool more attractive to delegators.
The pledge of a stake pool influences the rewards of a stake pool, as the more ADAs a stake pool has such as pledge, the more rewards it tends to receive.
The influence of pledge on the rewards of a pool is controlled by one of the blockchain parameters called the influence factor of pledge.
The higher this parameter, the greater the effect of pledge on the rewards of a pool.
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Each pool defines two types of profit margins.
The fixed margin is an amount that the pool receives at each epoch for making its infrastructure available to the network.
This is the fixed amount of ADA that will be extracted from the rewards and will be used by the pool owner for the operation and maintenance of its infrastructure.
Although the purpose of the benchmark was intended for this purpose (cost of servers and maintenance), the pool operator is free to decide how these funds will be spent.
At the moment, the minimum that a pool can set in this parameter is 340 ADA, which means that 340 ADA (apart from the margin) will be taken from the rewards and will go to the pool owner/operator.
It should be noted that this fixed cost will be charged by the pool only once per epoch, and only if it has confirmed at least 1 block during the epoch.
In addition, each stake pool can define a variable profit margin.
For example, if a stake pool defines a variable margin of 1%, this indicates that of the total rewards received by the pool in all epochs, 1% will be allocated as profit to the owner or operator of the pool.
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Cryptocurrencies in general are bought and sold on Exchanges, public places on the web where you register, deposit fiat money (dollars, euros, ...) and from there you buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
On these Exchanges you can at any time sell all or part of your cryptocurrencies and get your fiat money back at a profit or loss.
So you have two options, buy and sell to increase the value of your portfolio, taking into account the rise or fall of cryptocurrency values. We call this "trading".
Or hold your cryptocurrencies waiting for them to appreciate in value, and then sell them at a profit. We call this "holding".
Personally I think the best strategy is holding, leaving trading to the professionals.
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An Exchange is a website specialised in buying/selling cryptocurrencies and fiat money (euros, dollars, ...). You have many sites like these, Kraken, Binance, ...
Regardless of where you buy your ADAs, don't delegate them to the Exchange; instead, move your funds to a crypto-wallet you own and from there delegate to an unsaturated Pool. It's easy.
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It is an application that allows you to effectively own and trade your ADA currencies. If you have your funds in an exchange, you don't actually own your coins. If the Exchange goes bankrupt, you will lose them.
In the Cardano ecosystem you have mainly two crypto-wallets: Yoroi and Daedalus.
Yoroi is recommended for its simplicity.
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If a cryptocurrency has a price of X at a given moment and someone on an exchange buys one of these cryptocurrencies for X+1, the price of this cryptocurrency on this exchange becomes X+1.
Put another way, a cryptocurrency has a price of X+1 if someone has recently paid that amount for that cryptocurrency.
Equally its price will be worth X-1 if someone has recently paid that amount for that cryptocurrency.
It is the market and supply and demand drive the price of cryptocurrencies.
Note that I am talking about price, not value.
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The price and the value of something is different, although sometimes they may coincide.
Price is the monetary value that someone places on something they own.
The value is the utility that something has for the person who wants to acquire it.
Things are bought or sold when price and value coincide (or the value is higher than the price).
In cryptocurrencies, price is something to be aware of, but not afraid of.
If you buy something and its price goes down, don't worry, it will go up.
It is the value that you have to take into account, what the cryptocurrency means to the world, what it brings, its value.
If a cryptocurrency increases in value, it will increase in price over time.
If a cryptocurrency decreases in price, its value does not have to decrease.
Never buy or sell with your heart, use reason and calculate its value.
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Compared to Bitcoin, ADA is better because of its use of Proof os Stake and the Ouroboros algorithm, which make the Cardano blockchain much more efficient than Bitcoin.
Regarding Ethereum, ADA is also better because of the use of Proof os Stake and the Ouroboros algorithm, but it is even better than the Ethereum 2.0 version (which will be PoS) as the latter will penalise pools for errors.
In Cardano you will never be penalised and you can never lose your ADAs no matter what the pool you delegate to does.
With respect to the other currencies, Cardano surpasses them to a greater or lesser extent, either because of the above-mentioned characteristics or because of the decentralisation and democratic superiority of his approach.
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It is not possible to predict the price of ADA or any cryptocurrency in general, for the same reason that it is not possible to know with certainty whether it will rain in 30 days' time in the yard of a particular house.
But it is possible to make estimates, in fact there are professionals who do this and who have learned in the traditional stock market.
In the long run ADA has a long way to go, a possible long term price could be close to $10, but this is an opinion.
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In general you can delegate your ADAs to any pool, but I recommend that you delegate to the pool named HELEN, because it is our pool and we can vouch for it.
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If you delegate your ADA to our pool, you can expect between 5% and 6% per annum. In ADA. I do not recommend that you delegate them in the short term; it is neither profitable nor useful.
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Delegate your ADAs to a pool that is not saturated and has a high pledge (more than 50k ADAs is fine).
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The Cardano protocol for delegation mining, Ouroboros, is programmed to ensure that no one has more opportunities than others and always seeks equality between participants. One of the rules it contains is to put a limit on the size of the pools, limiting the rewards if the number of delegated ADAs exceeds a certain amount.
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The Cardano network is all about equality of participants and decentralisation of the mining process (and rewards). If we were to allow a pool to grow without limits, we would eventually have a centralised network. And that is something we don't want.
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In the medium to long term between 5 and 6% per annum, measured in ADA.
In the short term (say a couple of epochs) it depends on the pool.
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No, it is impossible to lose them due to SPO negligence. The worst that can happen is that you don't get your rewards, in which case you simply switch pools.
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You can delegate your ADAs via Yoroi or Daedalus, Cardano's two main cryptowallets.
Yoroi is a very easy to use browser extension, just install it and you have an interface in your favourite browser to manage your portfolios.
Daedalus is a bit more complicated, as by installing it you become a small node, with the power to participate independently in the Cardano network.
In both of them you can easily find the instructions on how to delegate your ADA funds to the HELEN pool.
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Yes, Cardano and ADA's blueprint for the future is such that we are likely to see ADA above Ethereum and very close to or even above Bitcoin in the next few years.
This is a view shared by many very intelligent people.
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Holding ADA or any other cryptocurrency consists of buying and storing cryptocurrencies in the hope that they will appreciate in value.
In general it is the best strategy, except if you are a professional trader.
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Approximately 5-6% per year, measured in ADA.
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Let's suppose that in one epoch one of our pools has mined 5 blocks.
In each block there are approximately 750 reward ADAs.
In total, therefore, we handed out 3750 ADAs in these 5 days.
The pool is left with 340 ADAs of fixed commission, and a variable percentage of the remainder (currently 1%), some 34 ADAs.
The remainder, 3376 ADAs, is distributed among the delegators in proportion to the amount they delegate in the pool.
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ADA, Ada or sometimes simply ada, is the token or label of the native cryptocurrency or token of the Cardano blockchain.
The maximum supply will be 45,000,000,000,000 (forty-five billion) tokens and their issuance is done through the mining process, which takes place at pools and involves the generation of rewards for its participants.
An ADA can be divided into a million subunits called LOVELACE (after Ada Lovelace).
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