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Welcome to the central hub for Cardano documentation. Here, you'll find content that describes and supports the features on both the Cardano mainnet and testnet environments.

This includes basic explainers for newcomers to Cardano, explanations of the core features, details about Cardano's design and evolution, insights into how the Cardano network operates, and platform architecture. You can also access developer resources that explain the core concepts and provide links to developer documentation for more technical tutorials.

If you are interested in building tools on Cardano, integrating with Cardano, and connecting with the wider developer community, please visit the Cardano Developer Portal.

Cardano explained

Cardano is a decentralized third-generation proof-of-stake blockchain platform and home to the ada cryptocurrency. It is the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach.

The Cardano platform has been designed from the ground up and verified by an industry-leading combination of top engineers and academic experts in the fields of blockchain and cryptography. It has a strong focus on sustainability, scalability, and transparency. It is a fully open source project that aims to deliver an inclusive, fair, and resilient infrastructure for financial and social applications on a global scale. One of its primary goals is to bring reliable, secure financial services to those people who do not currently have access.

Cardano has been designed with security as one of its founding principles. It is written in Haskell, a functional programming language. In a functional language like Haskell, building your system using pure functions is encouraged, which leads to a design where components are conveniently testable in isolation. Furthermore, advanced features of Haskell enable employing a whole range of powerful methods for ensuring the correctness of the code, such as basing the implementation on formal and executable specifications, extensive property-based testing, and running tests in simulation.

Cardano's smart contract platform seeks to deliver more advanced features than any protocol previously developed and will serve as a stable and secure platform for the development of enterprise-level DApps. Cardano's democratic governance system, being implemented based on CIP-1694 on-chain governance mechanisms, will enable the project to evolve over time and sustainably fund itself through a visionary treasury system.

You can read more about Cardano on the official Cardano website and watch a summary of Cardano's mission in this explainer video.