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Cardano is a technology platform that runs the Ada cryptocurrency. Daedalus is the cryptocurrency wallet that holds Ada.
It was created by blockchain development firm Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) and led by Charles Hoskinson, former co-founder of BitShares and Ethereum, and aims to run smart contracts, decentralized applications, side chains, multi-party computation, and metadata.
Cardano develops their currency around a Recursive InterNetwork Architecture (RINA). It uses the Ouroboros proof of stake algorithm to achieve decentralized consensus in its network. In this protocol, slot leaders generate new blocks in the blockchain and verify the transactions. Anyone holding a Cardano ADA coin can become a slot leader. Cardano uses Haskell, a programming language with a high degree of fault tolerance.