Unlike successful protocols such as TCP/IP, there is a lack of layering in the design of many cryptocurrencies. On many protocols there is a tendency to preserve a single notion of consensus around facts and events recorded in a single ledger, regardless of whether it makes sense.
Many projects lack appreciation for prior results in mainstream cryptographic research. In many cryptocurrencies' effort for anonymity and take out central actors these projects discarded the need for stable ID's, metadata and reputation in commercial transactions.
Cardano seeks to bring a blockchain to the market that overcome these challenges.
Cardano’s multi layer protocol performs advanced functions, and has at its foundation a settlement layer that is elegantly linked to a control layer.
The settlement layer will have a unit of account, while the control layer will run smart contracts.
The control layer will be programmed to recognise identity, assisting compliance and allowing blacklisting for instance.
As a whole, the protocol’s design is geared towards protecting privacy rights of users, while also taking into account the needs of regulators.
In doing so, Cardano is the first protocol with a primary goal to balance these requirements in a nuanced and effective way for cryptocurrencies.
Completely open source and patent-free, Cardano was built in a spirit of collaboration.