Cardano is a third-generation blockchain, created from the ground up using research, peer-review, and a rigorous formal development model. The story began in 2015, with a vision of addressing the three strategic challenges facing all blockchain networks: scalability, interoperability, and sustainability. Two years, thousands of GitHub commits, and hundreds of hours of study later, the first version of Cardano shipped in September 2017, and the Byron era began.

The first incarnation of Cardano allowed users to buy and sell the ada cryptocurrency – so named for revolutionary programmer Ada Lovelace – on a federated network running the groundbreaking Ouroboros consensus protocol. The heart of the Cardano network, Ouroboros is the first proof-of-stake protocol created on the basis of academic research, with a mathematically-proven level of security.

The Byron era also saw the delivery of the Daedalus wallet, IOHK’s official desktop wallet for ada, as well as Yoroi, a light wallet from IOHK’s sister company Emurgo designed for quick transactions and day-to-day use.

As much as the Byron era was about the first crucial technology developments, it was also about building a community and getting people involved in creating the blockchain of the future. Cardano has grown from a small group of enthusiasts to a global community, with ada hosted on more than 30 exchanges and with an average market capitalization that makes it one of the leading cryptocurrencies in the world.