How Do Cardano Nodes Work?

How Do Cardano Nodes Work?


Cardano (ADA) is a blockchain network that supports smart contracts and has its own native cryptocurrency known as ADA, which is aimed at empowering developers in the process of building blockchain applications on its scalable and sustainable network.

Throughout its time in the crypto space, it has gathered a high level of reputation due to its Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism as well as its throughput.

How Do Cardano Nodes Work?

Today, we are going to go over everything you need to know surrounding Cardano as well as its nodes.

Key Points:

  • Cardano is a blockchain project that began development in 2015 after a co-founder of Ethereum known as Charles Hoskinson began working on it. However, the mainnet was launched on September 27, 2017. 

  • Input Output (IOHK) is the main company that is behind the development process of Cardano (ADA) and is dedicated to providing improvements to the network.

  • There are numerous types of nodes that can be found within the Cardano ecosystem, and these are mCore nodes, Relay nodes, and Edge nodes, where all of them fill a specific role within the operation of the network.

  • You can set up a Cardano (ADA) node manually or connect to one using the blockchain-as-a-service provider NOWNodes if you want to quickly get access to all of the blockchain data.

What is Cardano?

Cardano is a blockchain network that utilizes a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm known as Ouroboros for the process of verifying transactions.

What is Cardano?

Cardano’s goal and reason for its creation are to facilitate transactions through the utilization of its native cryptocurrency known as ADA and to provide developers with a network on top of which they can utilize smart contracts and create scalable and sustainable decentralized applications (dApps).

The Cardano blockchain, as such, is split across two layers, including the Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL), which facilitates and even records all of the transactions made through the ADA cryptocurrency, as well as the Cardano Computation Layer (CCL), that contains the smart contract logic. The smart contract logic determines the rules as well as the conditions for each transaction. 

How does ADA Work?

To get a better perspective of how ADA works, we need to look at Ouroboros. Within it, time is split across epochs and slots. Epochs are the overarching time frames, while the slots are the 20-second increments within the epochs.

Ouroboros is deemed secure through a formal review process, and Cardano’s code is written in the programming language known as Haskell. 

How does ADA Work?

There are three types of nodes that are used to power Cardano, including:

  • mCore nodes – these can stake ADA tokens and participate in the blockchain governance process.
  • Relay nodes – these are responsible for the process of sending data between mCore nodes and the public internet.
  • Edge nodes – these create the cryptocurrency transactions on the network.

A leader gets selected at random and then needs to choose which blocks get added to the blockchain.

Only mCore nodes can be selected for this role, and there can only ever be two types of blocks that can get added to the blockchain network, which are the genesis block and the main blocks. 

As for the ADA cryptocurrency, it is used for voting on software policies that give participants an incentive to hold their ADA cryptocurrency and ensure the future of the blockchain. 

Users can also stake their ADA cryptocurrency to earn even more cryptocurrencies by securing the network through doing so.

By taking advantage of a Cardano (ADA) node, you can get access to blockchain data surrounding difficulty, block height, wallet addresses, transaction data, balance history tickers list, or anything else that you need if you want to develop on top of the blockchain.

Running Cardano Node

Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can run Cardano nodes with ease.

  • Step 1: Setting Things up

You can download and install the ADA node using cli through the pre-compiled executable files.


Alternatively, you can use a Docker image, where you would essentially download and install Docker.

  • Step 2: Configurations

Make sure that you download the correct cardano-node image by using this command:

In this case, <TAG> is the version that you require.

Then, you need to create local cardano-node-data and cardano-node-ipc volumes by using these commands:

  • Step 3: Running the node

You can run a passive node that is connected to the correct network, for example, the mainnet using this command:

This creates a docker environment for the node. Then, you can run the node with specific parameters, for example:

Furthermore, you can also run normal Cardano CLI commands, such as:

Here, you need to specify CARDANO_NODE_SOCKET_PATH to go to the current location in the container. 

Furthermore, you can also run a shell in the Docker container.

To do this, you can use bash or sh as an entry point:

Note that you can also run commands that require full access to the file systems in the container as follows:

If you do not want to manually set up a Cardano node, you can connect to one through the usage of the blockchain-as-a-service provider known as NOWNodes, which will enable you to securely connect through the usage of an API connection that has an uptime of 99.95% and can connect within less than a second.



Hopefully, now you know a bit more about the Cardano (ADA) blockchain, cryptocurrency, and what kind of node you can run.

We went over how you can manually set up and run your very own Cardano node, but do remember that if you do not want to do so manually, you can utilize NOWNodes and establish a connection within a few minutes so you can get valuable blockchain data from the network.