So what is blockchain? First and foremost, blockchain is about decentralization. Instead of a world-wide-web that is mostly controlled by a few huge service and data storage providers, the best blockchain network is run by you, and me, and the kid next door, and thousands of other people around the globe. Through global decentralized participation, blockchains can offer unprecedented security, permanence, and trustworthiness. Furthermore, since it is not controlled by any central body, the services and opportunities offered by a blockchain may be more accessible and affordable than those in the “legacy” world.
>> The metaverse - the multiverse - Web3 - the 4th industrial revolution: these trendy terms all relate to the idea of a decentralized future.
Like the internet, this technology will bring lots of new opportunities, but at this point it’s mysterious to most people. Finding good information about blockchain can be challenging. Most information online is relegated to tech developer forums and articles written for finance wonks. Even worse, although predictable, are the crazies: people selling the hype and the next get-rich-quick scheme. Mainstream news leaves much to be desired, since the daily headlines lack context and connection to the big picture.
The exciting promises of decentralization can only be realized when we are all able to participate. It’s not just for techies, or young people, or risky investors. The future is for everyone - and that’s where Lido Nation comes in! There is more than one blockchain project in the world; Bitcoin was the pioneer, and Ethereum built on that foundation. In the following years, many others have come along. We are most interested in a project called Cardano, and its associated currency ADA.
So why did we choose Cardano?
There are now literally thousands of blockchain projects out there; indeed, there is a new network and “alt-coin” nearly every day. What you may not know is that most of these are NOT brand-new, original ideas. Most 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 are unapologetic copycats, hoping to make a quick million or billion bucks. Other projects have some original ideas, but are designed for a narrow purpose, like a specific financial tool, a game, or an NFT platform. Most public blockchain projects 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 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. Others focus on speed and scale, but sacrifice security.
>> 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, high security, 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 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 uses the same security mechanism as Bitcoin, which has proven itself highly secure. However, Bitcoin has a huge footprint, relying on specialized machines that require huge amounts of electricity. For Cardano, instead of having to buy an expensive, energy sucking machine to help secure the network, you instead simply have to hold the currency, ADA. Cardano’s security and ledger protocol has been mathematically proven to be secure against a dozen different types of attack, assuming more than 50% of nodes and ADA in the system are controlled by honest actors who aren’t in cahoots. The security of Cardano has also been tested in the real world - the network has been running since 2017 with no downtime or security incidents.
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 the popular catchphrase, “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.
We are here to break trails for newcomers to learn about Cardano, and join the journey to our decentralized future. Here’s what we are doing, and how you can participate:
Lido Nation is a “Staking Pool” - or a node in the Cardano network. Cardano processes, validates, and secures new transactions using a distributed network of node operators, like us. When the Lido Nation node does its job for Cardano, we contribute to the safe operation of the network, and we get monetary rewards. You can participate by buying some ADA, and staking it with Lido Nation. This is called “delegating” your ADA. When our node earns network rewards - so do you! 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.
When you stake with Lido Nation, you earn ADA rewards, but you also earn our pool token, Phuffycoin. Phuffycoins represent half of our pool’s internal rewards - which we designate for charity giving. But instead of just donating the money where we want to and telling you about it, we first give the money to our delegates, in the form of Phuffycoins. Phuffycoins have one purpose, which is to direct our pool’s charitable giving. When you earn Phuffycoins as a delegator, you get to tell us where to donate our money!
Project Catalyst is one of the most exciting differentiators in the Cardano ecosystem. Remember the self-funding treasury that pays for development of the network? One way that happens is through Project Catalyst. Through this (increasingly decentralized) experiment, people propose projects and solutions that may help the network thrive and grow. ADA holders vote on these proposals, and winning proposals receive funding to execute their ideas! Lido Nation is an active participant in Project Catalyst in various roles, including as a funded proposer. You can participate by buying ADA, and voting for projects that you like with the power of your ADA. It’s a lot like a vote at a stockholder meeting, except the stockholders can also propose the motions, or jump in and do the work!
Project Catalyst Voter Tools
Lido Nation loves Project Catalyst. We want to be part of helping it grow from its origin, as a big idea, into its future - as a huge success! To that end, we maintain a first-of-its-kind public database of Project Catalyst data. Through powerful search functions, filters, and charts, we enable you to easily research past and current projects, proposers, and outcomes. An informed electorate is one that is equipped to make smart and powerful decisions. You can use our tools to build your list at voting time, and to answer questions you may have about projects and toolmakers in the community.
Writers at Lido Nation 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. For over a year, we provided weekly articles about blockchain and Cardano - without getting paid for it. The community believed in what we were doing, and voted in Project Catalyst to fund us to continue this work. We were able to hire a third writer and to pay our existing writers to keep up the good work.
Lido Blockchain Labs
Through a winning Project Catalyst proposal, we were able to found the Ngong Road Blockchain Lab in Kenya. This is the first location of our Lido Blockchain Labs program, which provides localized mentorship, education, paid contract work, and training opportunities centered around the Cardano Blockchain. Local Hubs have been identified as an important and effective way to increase the reach and impact of Cardano into areas of the world like Africa that stand to benefit much from blockchain. You can see the work of our Blockchain Developer mentees throughout the Lido Nation site, check out the Swahili translations and audio recordings created by lab translators, and read original articles about Cardano from our lab trainees.
Multi-Language & Multi-Channel
We know that making content accessible to more people means more than just articles written in English. Through Project Catalyst funding and the Lido Blockchain Labs program, we are translating articles to Spanish and Swahili. We look forward to branching out into yet more languages in the future. Our website supports audio versions of every published article, in every supported language! The audio-article project is crowd-sourced: if you see an article without an audio version, you can click a button to record and read aloud to contribute an audio article! You can also find us on Twitter @LidoNation, where we regularly post content, and host live audio “Twitter space” shows. Our next media initiative is coming out later in 2022 - the LidoMinute will provide educational content in short snippets. LidoMinute videos are on our YouTube Channel, and the LidoMinute podcast will go live later this year. Stay tuned for exciting NFT and sponsorship opportunities being developed for the LidoMinute podcast!