Glossary

Ada

The name of our currency, named in honor of Ada Lovelace.

Address

The unique identifier of a node. Please read about Addresses in Cardano SL for more details.

Balance

Please read about Balance and Stake in Cardano SL for explanation.

Block

A fundamental part of a Ledger. Please read about Blocks in Cardano SL for technical details.

Blockchain

Please see Ledger.

Cardano SL

Cardano SL (or Cardano Settlement Layer) is a decentralized cryptographic currency designed and developed by IOHK. Named in honor of Gerolamo Cardano.

Coin Tossing

A Coin Tossing is a protocol that allows two or more parties to obtain a uniformly random value. We use Coin Tossing protocol as a base of SSC. Please read paper (page 36) for more details about Coin Tossing.

Consensus Algorithm

A way for a decentralized system to reach a consistent view on shared collections of data. Cardano SL uses the Ouroboros Consensus Algorithm, which is an algorithm based on Proof of Stake.

Cryptocurrency

A computer system which uses cryptographic protocols to generate a ledger. Please read about Cryptocurrency Basics for more details.

Daedalus

Cardano SL wallet application. It provides a GUI for users, so they can access their funds, send and receive transactions, etc. Please read about Cardano SL Wallet Frontend for more details.

Decentralization

A notion of a computer system operating through interaction of independent nodes. In case of maintaining a shared data collection such as a ledger, a consensus is required for consistency and reliability of data.

Epoch

A bigger period of time for which we know in advance who will have the right to generate a block in each slot. Please read paper (page 3) for technical details.

Follow The Satoshi

A mechanism whereby stakeholders are selected at random to forge a new block in the blockchain, with a proportional chance to get elected depending on their amount of stake in the protocol.

Guaranteed Output Delivery

Guaranteed output delivery is a mechanism that proves that the honest parties are guaranteed to successfully complete the multiparty computation (MPC). We use G.O.D. in SSC.

Honest Majority

Honest majority is a situation when the number of honest participants is strictly greater than the number of adversaries, i.e. at least 50% + 1. Honest majority is assumed by default.

Kademlia

Please see Peer Discovery.

Leader Election

A process of picking who will generate blocks during the next epoch. Leaders are elected with a probability proportional to their stake (see Proof of Stake, Follow the Satoshi).

Ledger

A collection of data that keeps track of value assigned to individuals. Please read paper (page 32) for technical details.

Lovelace

Name of a smallest unit of our currency. Named in honor of Ada Lovelace.

Minting

A process of a new block creation in Proof of Stake systems.

Node

A computer program that participates in a decentralized protocol system. Please read High-level technical overview for more details.

Paper

Official protocol report Ouroboros: A Provably Secure Proof-of-Stake Blockchain Protocol. Please notice that Cardano SL implementation differs from the paper, read about differences for more details.

Peer Discovery

A way how a node can find other nodes after running. Peer discovery we use is based on Kademlia DHT. Please read a Kademlia paper for technical details.

Plutus

Strictly typed pure functional programming language used for defining smart contracts in Cardano. Please read about Plutus for more details.

Proof of Stake

Ouroboros Proof of Stake algorithm is the most important part of the protocol. It defines the way nodes reach consensus about the state of ledger. Please read about Ouroboros Proof of Stake Algorithm for more details.

PVSS

PVSS (Publicly Verifiable Secret Sharing) is a cryptographic scheme we use in SSC. Please read about PVSS implementation in Cardano SL for more details.

Richman

Stakeholder with stake enough for participation in some action. Particularly, there are three kinds of such actions: randomness generation (for slot leaders elections process), heavyweight stake delegation and voting for update proposals.

Signing

A way to generate a proof of genuine authenticity of any kind of information we use in cryptocurrency.

Slot

A small period of physical time that is significantly larger than the expected difference in clocks on different nodes. Please read paper (page 4) for technical details.

Slot Leader

A slot leader is a node which was elected to have a right to create a block in the current slot. Please read paper (page 7) for technical details.

SSC

SSC (Shared Seed Computation) is a part of slot leader election process. This part is implemented as a Coin Tossing protocol with Guaranteed Output Delivery. As a result of SSC we get a randomness which will be used in Follow The Satoshi mechanism.

Stake

Please read about Balance and Stake in Cardano SL for explanation.

Stakeholder

A node with a positive stake.

Transaction

The data that represents the act of transferring value. Please read about Transactions in Cardano SL for more details.

Transaction Fees

Please read about Transaction Fees in Cardano SL for explanation.