Blockchain technology is a powerful way of using and extending the internet as we know it, and it’s going to change our world. Like the internet, that change will bring lots of new opportunities, but at this point it seems very new and mysterious to most people. Finding good information about the blockchain can be challenging. Most information online is relegated to tech developer forums or heady discussions among finance wonks. Even worse, although predictable, is the proliferation of the crazies: people selling hype and snake-oil, touting this or that new coin as a surefire get-rich-quick scheme. Even mainstream news usually leaves something to be desired, since the popcorn of breaking news headlines usually lacks context and connection to the big picture.
Lido Nation is a website for everyday people & newcomers to learn about one corner of the blockchain world - specifically a project called Cardano, and it’s associated currency, ADA. We break down big concepts into digestible chunks, and provide the context to understand why you should care. Website visitors can interact in the comments, or submit article suggestions about things they’d like to learn. Every Friday at noon (Central Time) we are online for open-forum discussions, Q&A, or short presentations.
So why do we do it - or how do we make money? Lido Nation is also a “Staking Pool” - or a node in the Cardano network. Cardano processes, validates, and secures new transactions using a distributed network of node operators. When the Lido Nation node does its job for Cardano, we get monetary rewards. It’s a side hustle that could become a full-time job, and it’s a project we really believe in.
The next question is why did we choose Cardano? There are literally thousands of blockchain projects & coins to choose from. You’ve heard of Bitcoin, and Ethereum, and you are likely aware that many more exist beyond these. Indeed, there is a new “alt-coin” nearly every day. What you may not know is that most of these are NOT brand-new, original ideas. Most alt-coins are little more than copies of the Bitcoin or Ethereum protocols, with a new label on the packaging. Some of them add a bit of their own flavor with a tweak here or there, but many coins are unapologetic copycats, hoping to make a quick buck. Other coins have some original ideas, but are designed for a narrow purpose, like a specific type of financial tool, or an NFT platform. Most coins come into the market with an ICO, an “Initial Coin Offering” that raises money for the project. From there, it’s sink or swim. Some coins may become useful and valuable long-term, but many will not, if they run out of money to develop and maintain their network before it becomes widely valued. What’s more, those that rely on the same protocols as Bitcoin and Ethereum rely on heavy-duty computing power and energy usage to perform network functions, raising questions about scalability and sustainability.
Cardano is a totally different kind of endeavor. Its design is original, based on peer-reviewed academic research. It was built for long-term utility, global scaling, and humanitarian values. Let’s consider each of these:
Unlike projects that hit the skids when the money from their ICO runs out, Cardano was designed with a self-funding treasury. A tiny portion of network fees is directed to a treasury that funds network development and maintenance. This protects Cardano from the ups and downs of the world market, and ensures long-term viability and strength.
Cardano has several design elements that are key to its scaling ability. First, it uses the 3rd-generation blockchain concept called “Proof-of-Stake” to perform network functions. It also has a 2-layer architecture, with the ledger kept separate from the computational layer. Finally, it uses a record-keeping method which allows ledger updates using only the smallest functional bits of information possible. These design choices allow it to be very fast, globally scaled, and extremely energy efficient.
Cardano is notably human-centric and humanitarian in its values, structure and focus. Decisions about how the network is developed and used are proposed and voted on by the community. As a result, Cardano projects are diverse and inspiring, just like people are. Cardano projects include using the blockchain to provide secure and stable education records for students in Ethiopia, creating new financial tools for underserved populations, founding and funding blockchain research labs at universities, and prioritizing the translation of training and news resources into other languages. These endeavors are paving the way for adoption and opportunity all over the world. The idea of being “purpose driven” is apparent in all corners of the Cardano ecosystem, starting with its founding principle of “Achieving the highest level of human collaboration”, and trickling down to individual stake pools like ours, where it is common to find that a portion of of pool profits may be donated to humanitarian and charitable organizations.
People who are interested in Cardano can buy ADA. When you own ADA, you can support network security, vote on projects, and earn more ADA by delegating to a staking pool like Lido Nation. Unlike some proof-of-stake networks, staking does not lock your coins, and you retain full ownership of your coins at all times, meaning you can spend or sell your ADA any time.
Cardano holders have a choice of thousands of staking pools, and the network depends on healthy competition among many good pools. Lido Nation is setting out to raise the bar of what a staking pool should be. The baseline for any pool is that it must be ready and able to perform as a computing node for the Cardano network. Innovative pool operators realize there is more that we can and should do to attract delegators. Lido Nation is taking the values held by the community and building on it. While many pool websites feel like a club for techies and crypto insiders, we focus on content and resources for everyday people. We’re not interested in hype or making a quick mil, but we are very interested in groundbreaking technology and its impact on humans. We publish new content weekly, with headlines, insights, and explanations of complex ideas. We contribute a portion of pool profits to charitable causes elected by our delegators. Furthermore we are contributing to the development of the Cardano ecosystem by participating in Project Catalyst, which is one of Cardano’s innovation incubators. Funding, feedback, and collaboration opportunities from these efforts feed back to our pool, bringing more value to our delegators, and to the community as a whole. We believe that Cardano is the technology of the future, and that the future is for everyone.