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Stake pools

A stake pool is a network node holding the combined ada ('stake') of several delegators. Stake pools yield rewards to those ada holders who choose to delegate their ada to them. Stake pools are used to ensure that everyone can participate in the Cardano Blockchain, regardless of technical experience or availability to keep a node running. These stake pools focus on maintenance and hold the combined stake of various stakeholders in a single entity. Stake pools are responsible for processing transactions that will be placed in the ledger, as well as producing new blocks. 

Stake pools can be public or private. Any Cardano user can delegate ada to public pools. Private stake pools, however, only deliver rewards to their owners.

Visit this page for more information about stake pools.

Educational Initiatives

Education is central to the Cardano mission. That’s why IOG, the Cardano Foundation, Emurgo and other Cadano participants are all committed to upskilling developers to build on Cardano blockchain. 

Through this education outreach, the Cardano community is being equipped with the essential skills they need to build on Cardano. An empowered community means a stronger ecosystem.

During 2021, IOG launched the Plutus Pioneer and Atala Pioneer programs. Together, these programs saw over 3,500 participants trained on Plutus and Atala and were very well received amongst the community. A Marlowe Pioneer Program will launch mid 2022.

Earlier in 2022, IOG launched the IOG Academy, a library of educational videos and materials covering Haskell, Plutus, and Marlowe.

IOG also recently established a partnership with the European Business University of Luxembourg (EBU), with the goal of making education accessible for everyone in developing countries. EBU has so far rolled out courses on Haskell and Plutus.

Also, IOG works with a number of universities worldwide.

In 2023, the Cardano Foundation launched the Cardano Academy. This free course requires no prior knowledge of, or experience in, blockchain, and successful completion leads to the Cardano Blockchain Certified Associate (CBCA) certification. 4 modules cover introductory to advanced blockchain topics, as well as a special focus on understanding how Cardano operates.

Additionally, the Cardano Academy is a centerpiece of the partnership between the Cardano Foundation and Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned energy company. In this partnership, the Cardano Foundation will lead blockchain education workshops for Petrobras employees, with Cardano Academy content delivered via the Petrobras University


The implementation of the native tokens feature enabled the creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Cardano.

The native tokens feature extends the existing accounting infrastructure defined in the ledger model (originally designed for processing ada-only transactions) to accommodate transactions using a range of assets.

Native support offers distinct advantages for developers: there is no need to create smart contracts to handle custom tokens, for example, which removes a layer of added complexity and potential for manual errors since the ledger handles all token-related functionality.

Due in part to the ease of creation and low minting costs, the NFT space has rapidly grown to be one of the most vibrant and creative elements of the early Cardano ecosystem, with over 400 projects and NFT marketplaces launched and live by early 2022. As of late December, 2023, nearly 9 million NFTs have been minted on Cardano.

Cardano NFT Marketplaces

Cardano is home to a wide range of NFT marketplaces, each offering unique experiences for creators and consumers. is, to date, the largest platform for NFT markets, while Kreate is home for 1/1 artists and Edition minting, and cSwap showcases an innovative NFTfi approach utilizing liquidity pools for non-fungible assets.

Cardano Native Tokens (CNTs)

The fungible token ecosystem on Cardano is vibrant, and TapTools has become the leading destination for token-trading and market analytics. DexHunter is Cardano's leading DEX aggregator, while platforms like Minswap, Wingriders, and Muesliswap stand out with the highest trading volumes.