It is named after Ada Lovelace: a 19th-century mathematician who is recognized as the first computer programmer, and is the daughter of the poet Lord Byron.
Ada is a digital currency. Any user, located anywhere in the world, can use ada as a secure exchange of value – without requiring a third party to mediate the exchange. Every transaction is permanently, securely, and transparently recorded on the Cardano blockchain.
Every ada holder also holds a stake in the Cardano network. Ada stored in a wallet can be delegated to a stake pool to earn rewards – to participate in the successful running of the network – or pledged to a stake pool to increase the pool's likelihood of receiving rewards. In time, ada will also be usable for a variety of applications and services on the Cardano platform.