Cardano is a public blockchain platform. It is open source and decentralized, with consensus achieved using proof of stake. It can facilitate peer-to-peer transactions with its internal cryptocurrency Ada. Cardano was founded in 2015 by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson.
#1 Video to watch - simply explained short video of what Cardano is
#2 Video to watch - Charles Hoskinson’s whiteboard video is mandatory as he explains the ecosystem and future of Cardano
#3 Video to watch - Ignore the thumbnail as this video breaks down Cardano into small bits
Why would you invest in ADA as opposed to Polkadot? I have absolutely no idea but both seem worth investigating.
Meanwhile I read this deep dive (Lyn Alden Ethereum Analysis) on Ethereum and it seems there are still many unanswered questions. Eth 2.0 has been in development for years so why not choose the next generation in ADA/Polkadot?
I encourage you to stake your coins, you get rewards and they compound automatically. You also help the network grow.
In terms of staking you have two options. Staking via a pool of your choice (implicitly supporting and helping decentralization) or via a centralised exchange (e.g. Binance, Kraken, etc). A good article on the difference between them two can be found here.
Personally I started by staking into a Youtube content creator’s pool due to him being the first one who introduced me to Cardano and had amazing content around this subject. However he was so good that IOHK hired him and now he makes videos for them.
I only know two very good Cardano pool tool websites:
I mainly use pooltool however adapools has some extra info which might be useful in helping you decide for which pool to go for, if you wish to go in depth. If you care about rewards and maximising them, you might need to familiarise yourself with what those parameters mean (pledge, epoch, live stake, epoch bloch, lifetime blocks, etc) and the following video does a good job going through them.
Or you can simply find a charity pool you care for to help out more than receiving rewards and stake with them. Or someone from Youtube, etc. Your choice.
I presume you meant Kraken as a centralised exchange? I will review the article and the various options (thank you!), but right now I can see that Kraken permits staking of both Polkadot and Cardano (are they acting as a validator?) and so appears to fit the bill for me even if it is not the purest way to do. It also provides me with a little more comfort over security because they are well established in the space.
Edited my reply, you are correct, centralised exchange.
Centralised exchanges are not bad, especially the big ones. However the main rule is not your keys, not your crypto. When you keep your crypto on a exchange, you do not hold the keys to it hence why people prefer cold wallets like Ledger or Trezor. It depends what sums you have and how secure the exchange is.
Either way, one thing to bear in mind with Cardano is that when you stake either with an exchange or with a pool, your coins are not locked. You can access them anytime, remove, sell, move around at your leisure. Hence there’s no wrong way to stake with a pool, just the rewards ratio. Small difference might be with some exchanges where they say that if you pull your locked ADA from staking with them, you will lose rewards.