Although Cardano is still a relatively new blockchain, it's real world applications include cryptocurrency ('ADA' Coin) and Decentralized apps (Dapps). Some Dapp categories are DeFi (Decentralized Finance), identity management, voting, games, and more. Like Ethereum smart contracts, the creative options are fairly unlimited. Cardano has been recognized for it's speed, security, and scalability.
Ethereum has the first-mover advantage as it entered the market several years earlier, which has lead to high initial adoption.
Cardano's advantage in this is learning from the mistakes of 1000's of earlier projects to design a more future proof solution however.
It's worth noting that the founder, Charles Hoskinson, was a co-founder of Ethereum originally.
6 Reasons Cardano is better than Ethereum:
DeFi opens up a new way of doing finance. Moving away from financial institutions which act as intermediaries can improve speed and trustworthiness of transactions. This is peer-to-peer finance. Startups in this space will build blockchain smart contracts into their DApps. Some uses within the DeFi market are: