The Secret Meaning Behind Cardano's Name and Logo

Jan 14, 2022 3 min read
The Secret Meaning Behind Cardano's Name and Logo

Hedgehog correspondent Ryan S. Gladwin returns to unveil the fruits of his esoteric research.

Have you ever wondered where Cardano got its famous dotted logo? Or why the creators chose the name Cardano? At first glance it can appear random; once you dive deep enough on Reddit it may appear satanic. But not to worry, we're here to clear up all the confusion!

First things first, no, it has nothing to do with Satan or the mark of the beast. Rumors began flying with a Reddit post back in 2018, which claimed the Cardano logo is sending a cryptic message hailing the devil. After a Reddit user suggested the logo possessing three layers of six dots, was the mark of the beast — calling it a "legit concern."

One commenter snarkily replied: "Life is carbon based. The ground state of typical carbon is 6 protons, 6 neutrons, and 6 electrons. You shouldn't be too worried about the mark of the beast in some logo. It's literally programmed into your physical body."

Anyways, this is false. Fake news! The true origins of this logo is rooted in the name of the cryptocurrency.

The Name Cardano

So, why is the cryptocurrency called Cardano? Then the logo will start to make sense.

Gerolamo Cardano was an Italian physicist, biologist, physician, chemist, astrologist, philosopher, writer, serial gambler and, maybe most importantly, mathematician — jeez, his resume must have been five pages long!

He is most well known for his advancements in algebra, partially inventing the combination lock and even being the first to systematically use negative numbers in Europe. His achievements in math and science make him a worthy figurehead for a cryptocurrency that uses complex theories and models to operate.

Cardano was the first person to dissect the idea of probability and chance in his book: Liber de Ludo Aleae (translation: Book on Games of Chance). He'd sit throwing dice over and over in an attempt to understand probability.

He pursued this lane of research with the hope to improve his chances when gambling. The more I find out about him, the more he starts to sound like a cryptobro.

Cardano Logo Design

Okay, you're probably still confused why the Cardano logo is what it is. What if I told you, Gerolamo was the one of the main contributors to the discovery of hypocycloids? Still confused? Let us explain.

Hypocycloids, otherwise known as Cardano circles, are made by tracing a fixed point on a rotating small circle inside a large circle. They can come in many shapes, sizes and patterns.

This fun piece of geometry can be made with a Spirograph art set, which I never really got the hang of. Or can be seen in the Pittsburgh Steelers logo, with each color hypocycloid representing coal, iron or steel scrap.

Where else can you see hypocycloids? The Cardano logo.

Animation originally shared on the Cardano forum by user basia.

By creating a hypocycloid, decreasing the value of R and repeating four times, you create the dotted logo. This genesis story was posted back in 2019 by trusted member of the Cardano forum basia, and has since been confirmed to us by Frederik Gregaard, CEO of the Cardano Foundation.

Gregaard told Hedgehog: "Our namesakes left indelible marks on their fields. We are inspired by their accomplishments and their dedication to pushing the boundaries of what's possible."

Clearly, since the inception of Cardano, the team has adopted a meticulous, mathematical approach to its cryptocurrency. They are historically astute, taking inspiration from those who have laid the foundations for the world today. Maybe the hope is that one day they'll be spoken about in a similar vein as Gerolamo Cardano and his Cardano circles.


If you enjoyed this piece, check out Ryan's website, follow him on Twitter, and of course subscribe to the weekly Hedgehog newsletter!

Cardano header created by Marek Sulecki.

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