Unlike the Bitcoin BTC $28,820 origin story, Cardano lacked an authoritative white paper to predetermine its position within crypto finance. Instead, Hoskinson envisioned building layers of a system to solve problems that exist within other crypto ecosystems.
The Cardano ecosystem is built as a third-generation blockchain platform consisting of two layers — a settlement layer (CSL) and a computation layer
The development of the Cardano ecosystem follows a five-step process where each step represents a set of functionalities to be implemented sequentially over time. The five steps or eras of the Cardano roadmap are Byron, Shelley, Goguen, Basho and Voltaire.
ADA is the in-house token of the Cardano blockchain that resides on the Cardano Settlement Layer. The maximum supply of the ADA cryptocurrency is limited to 45 billion tokens, to be released over time through minting. The hard limit on the total token supply guarantees a deflationary attribute to ADA. However, the ecosystem is destined to showcase an inflationary trend until the ecosystem releases a major portion of the reserves for circulation, estimated to initiate from 2030.
The Byron era represents the two years of development (2015–2017)
The Goguen era represents the introduction of smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps) in the Cardano blockchain.
The Voltaire era is the final stage of the Cardano roadmap dedicated to building a self-sustaining governance system supported by the network participants.
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