Cardano was founded by Charles Hoskinson, a mathematician who was also the co-founder of Ethereum (link). According to the Cardano website, their vision is to develop “a blockchain platform for changemakers, innovators, and visionaries, with the tools and technologies required to create possibility for the many, as well as the few, and bring about positive global change.”
The Cardano blockchain platform is the first of its kind to be founded on peer-reviewed scientific research. The entire project is guided by academic research and all platform integrations and implementations are first researched, mathematically modeled, tested and challenged before they enter development.
Ada is the cryptocurrency token associated with Cardano. This is unlike the more familiar relationship that Bitcoin and Ethereum have where the organisation and token have the same name and both are used interchangeably. The relationship between cardano and ADA is similar to the relationship between Ripple the organisation and XRP. Ada is named after the 19-th century mathematician and the world’s first computer programmer Ada Lovelace.