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From Wikipedia, cryptocurrency is:

A cryptocurrency, crypto-currency, or crypto is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange wherein individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger existing in a form of a computerized database using strong cryptography to secure transaction records, to control the creation of additional coins, and to verify the transfer of coin ownership.

This applies to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

So, what makes Cardano different?

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    Thanks for accepting the answer. However, it is better if we wait for other community members to come up with a much better answer. Just my humble suggestion.
    – raghu
    May 2 at 6:59
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Cardano is classified as a third-generation Cryptocurrency due to the following reasons.

  1. Smart Network It is almost impossible to have smart transactions in Bitcoin Network. In Cardano, the transactions will be programmable.
  2. Energy Consumption Cardano uses the Proof of stake concept for evolving consensus with respect to the selection of valid transactions. This reduces energy consumption for running the network by approximately a million times. Cardano can be run using embedded processors.
  3. Research Cardano is an organically evolving financial operating system with more than 100 peer-reviewed academic research papers. While Bitcoin protocol is more or less frozen since the mechanism for adaptation does not exist.
  4. Governance There is a established mechanism for governance financed by the protocol itself through treasury for continuous research, management, and guidance of the project by its stakeholders. No such mechanism exists in Bitcoin.
  5. Bottom-up Approach Cardano aims to have practical utility in the lives of millions of people neglected by the traditional financial system. While Bitcoin is just a store of value.

I am avoiding mentioning the other project being compared in the question since I feel it's a meme made with the purpose to discredit cryptocurrency and does not deserve an effort for answers.

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