Ep001 - Introducing the Learn Cardano Podcast

March 29, 2021

Yep, another Cardano podcast!

Years ago, I use to host and produce the Joomla Beat Podcast, I grew quite a following and the opportunities and community that grew around the podcast was amazing, but after running it for three years, I had to take a break and focus on myself and my business.

Over the last year, I've found Cardano so exciting and has so much potential I wanted to start up a podcast again to share and educate users about the project and what potential it has to change so many industries. I did mention to my existing Joomla Beat podcast listeners that I would start up the Joomla podcast again but Cardano and cryptocurrencies is where my passion lies and if you're going to do something, you might as well do something you're passionate about.

This podcast is aimed at everyday user. The ones that may have heard of Bitcoin and have a general understanding about it and want to learn more about other blockchains such as Cardano. I plan to break down how it works, projects that are using Cardano, engage with other community members and leadership from the Cardano Foundation and IOHK themselves as it grows over time. I'll be looking into community proposals for Catalyst and run through how-to guides around everything to do with Cardano.

From time to time I'll throw in deep-dive episodes to look into the more technical side of things from stake pool operating and the rewards formulae, to smart contract programming in Plutus or maybe even some of the peer-reviewed research that Cardano is based on.

The podcast will be delivered weekly and will have a weekly news round up and hopefully an interview with a community member or key Cardano figures working on exciting projects.

You'll be able to subscribe to the podcast through iTunes, Stitcher or any other podcatcher app.

To accompany the podcast, there is also the Learn Cardano YouTube channel where I go through video tutorials and more learning material around Cardano. I'm going all out and hitting the road hard with this one.

News Updates

Cardano 360, the monthly round-up of the Cardano project made several interesting announcements this month. Two of the most notable announcements were around Stake Pools and the rewards formula around how it works and the upcoming release of the Alonzo hard fork and the transition to the Goguen era.

Stake Pool Parameters

Stake pools are the network or beating heart of the Cardano network allowing for the decentralisation of the blockchain.

Final Epoch before the Cardano network becomes fully decentralised
Final Epoch before the Cardano network becomes fully decentralised

The first major change in this space is the d=0 parameter. This factor indicates when the creation of ADA fully moves from IOHK (IOG) to the community of stake pool operators at large. In the beginning, IOHK was responsible for the creation, or genesis, of ADA on the network while stake pool operators set up their pools and joined the network. Over time, that is progressed to being fully decentralised and controlled by the community rather than one entity. This full decentralisation is set to happen at the end of the epoch that will end on the 31st of March.

The next parameter that will be examined is the a0 parameter which affects the pledge that is assigned to a stake pool. Pledge is the amount of ADA that is locked on the server itself. When you select a pool to delegate your stake to, you will see how much the owner of the pool has allocated to the wallet address on the pool itself. This amount of ADA usually doesn't move from this wallet and as such is locked in place. Currently, this parameter is linear in nature and doesn't have a huge effect on rewards for pools. Looking into how this can be adjusted can help a lot of the struggling smaller pools on the network.

Another parameter that will be looked at but not until the A0 parameter has been adjusted and tested is the K parameter. This parameter defines how many required pools are needed to mint the blocks on the network. At the moment this value of k is set to 500. Meaning 500 of the 2000+ pools are the ones that will be minting blocks. All of these factors will be looked at over time and adjusted accordingly to help the network function as best as possible.

Smart Contract Timeline & the Goguen Era

Cardano Smart Contract Rollout
Cardano Smart Contract rollout to enter the Goguen Era

Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOG, outlined the proposed timeline of when we will see the next hard fork on the project and the deployment of smart contracts. The proposed timeline leading up to a code freeze point consists of onboarding two sets of development partners.

  1. Core commercial partners such as Wolfram Alpha and SingularityNet.
  2. the second being Plutus Pioneers, more open to the rest of the community

After this phase, there may be a period pf 4-6 weeks for commercial partners to finish their integrations. If some large commercial partners, such as CoinBase, require more time, the timelines may be adjusted to accomodate.

Either way, we should see smart contracts come into play on the Cardano blockchain before the end of the year.

Choosing a Wallet

The main topic for this weeks episode revolves around obtaining a wallet to use and store your ADA.

Many users when entering the crypto market would be purchasing ADA, the token currency of Cardano, via an exchange. A point where they can purchase crypto with regular fiat currency. These exchanges, depending on where they are, may have rules and regulations around how they operate and trade and as such will most likely require you to prove your identity through a user verification process and link bank account details to withdraw and deposit funds to and from the exchange.

Exchanges such as the newly listed CoinBase make the process incredibly easy to purchase ADA in a fiat currency and store your ADA on their exchange.

The problem with these exchanges is that they are regulated by Governments and could potentially be shut down or controlled by legislation. Furthermore, you do not have the secure keys to your wallet on their servers. The exchange manages this on your behalf. In the event of a hack or security compromise, you have no control over your ADA.

Don't Keep Your ADA on an Exchange

Some common exchanges that a lot of people use include CoinBase and Crypto.com (affiliate links).

Exchanges, like commercial banks, can also do as they please with your ADA while it is on their exchange. While you have your money in a bank, those commercial banks can loan your money or invest it elsewhere for a profit leaving you with no or very minimal return for leaving the funds in the bank. This is the same with exchanges. Leaving your funds can allow for an exchange to profit from you storing on their servers. You may think this is a small price to pay, but don't forget you have already pay fees on your transactions and this further limits your ability to potentially earn more yourself than letting the exchange hold your ADA.

There are quite a few wallets now that support and hold ADA, Daedalus, Yoroi, ADALite, Exodus and hardware wallets.

All of these wallets have their pros and cons but the ones that I'll concentrate on are Daedalus and Yoroi. In other episodes and YouTube tutorials, I'll dive deeper into how these other wallets work.

Daedalus

Daedalus is an official wallet for Cardano. This wallet is a local wallet that runs on your computer. This means that it will download a copy of the blockchain on to your computer for the wallet to interact with, create transactions and send and receive ADA from. Downloading the blockchain can be time-consuming and can take a long time. Using Daedalus will usually mean that you are using it on a dedicated computer or laptop. It does however allow for the creation of a very secure wallet with unique key phrases and sending passwords for each wallet that you create. It also allows for the delegation of your ADA for staking and registration of voting on Project Catalyst.

Yoroi by Emurgo

Yoroi on the other hand is a light wallet. This runs in the web browser and connects to a node server instead of download to your computer. This is a great way to easily and quickly interact with the blockchain using your wallet with minimal setup. Check out our tutorial on creating a wallet using Yoroi, transferring ADA to your wallet and delegating your stake to a stake pool. Yoroi also comes with a mobile app for iOS and Android.

Security Tip for Your Seed Phrase

Whatever wallet you use, it is important to make sure your wallet seed phrase is secure. This phrase is what you will use to recover your wallet if your computer is destroyed or if you need to restore your wallet on another device. I've seen people press their seed phrase on to leather or use high-temperature proof metal sheets to etch their seed phrases into.

Capsule by CryptoSteel

To help our listeners and to launch the podcast, we are giving away one of these stainless steel fireproof methods of storing your seed phrase called a Capsule from Cryptosteel. They provide these unique stainless steel cylinders that hold the first four characters of your recover seed phrase. This can be used in case of an emergency to recover your wallet and funds.

To win one of these capsules, simply Quote Retweet the embedded tweet and tell us why you like Cardano. Make sure your use the hashtag #learnCardanoPodcast. My partner will be selecting a winner from all the quoted retweets for the giveaway. We'll be selecting a winner in the episode before April's Cardano 360 event.

If you enjoyed this podcast episode, please make sure you give us a 'like' and review where ever you listen to the podcast. If you want to do more, you can also delegate your ADA to our stake pool which you can find in Daedalus or Yoroi with the ticker [ADAOZ]. Until the next episode, stay safe and remember to as always, keep your crypto secure.

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