Cardano is a multi-layered open-source blockchain platform designed for both financial transactions and distributed computing. The platform has its own cryptocurrency, named ADA, that allows you to use the platform, create and execute Smart Contracts, DApps, NFTs, among others. Cardano is developed and supported by IOHK and was created by Charles Hoskinson, one of the founders of Ethereum, with the aim of offering an improved alternative. It is considered a third-generation blockchain after Bitcoin and Ethereum.
With the integration of smart contracts, the Goguen era represents a big step forwards in capability for the Cardano network. Where the Shelley era decentralizes the core of the system, Goguen adds the ability to build decentralized applications (DApps) on Cardano's solid foundation of peer-reviewed research and high-assurance development. The work for Goguen has been underway in parallel with Shelley, and when complete will allow users from technical and non-technical backgrounds to create and execute functional smart contracts on the Cardano network.
Delegation is the process by which ADA holders delegate the stake associated with their ADA to a stake pool. It allows ADA holders that do not have the skills or desire to run a node to participate in the network and be rewarded in proportion to the amount of stake delegated.