Cardano (ADA) is a third-generation blockchain. What does that mean?
In a nutshell, it builds on all the lessons learned from other coins to create a layered and distributed computing platform that places a special emphasis on security and engineering rigour.
Cardano was officially launched in September 2017 under the so-called ‘Byron’ bootstrap phase. It is led by an early Ethereum and BitShares co-founder, Charles Hoskinson. The technology has been developed by a blockchain engineering firm called Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK).
Cardano adopts a slow and deliberate process of formalizing a “science” for distributed systems design. This is achieved by re-evaluating everything that has been done in the industry for the past decade. This has resulted in a lot of negative criticism towards Cardano for being slow to release many updates, DApps and projects. Some critics have even gone as far as calling Cardano a “ghost chain.” A lot of this stems from the fact that a lot of Cardano competitors follow the “move fast and break things,” model while Cardano is more focused on research and academic peer review papers to ensure they do things right before going to market.
Many feel that Cardano taking the, “take it slow and get it right,” approach is better as we have already seen issues with competitors such as the Solana network going down multiple times in 2021, Ethereum’s insane gas fees, even blockchains like Avalanche are already showing early signs of struggle in terms of network fees as these networks were released before they were deemed fit to scale. Cardano is one of the few networks that is looking to ensure that they will be able to do everything in their power to avoid the pitfalls that other networks fall into.
The team began by asking basic, foundational questions to aid the development. These include: What is a blockchain? What are the objectives of a given blockchain? How do different solutions apply to those particular objectives? What types of centralization is one inviting by choosing one approach over another?
The Cardano Project
Cardano is made up of three entities, each with their role in the project.
- Cardano Foundation: A Swiss non-profit for the Cardano ecosystem and community. It is proactively working with governments and regulatory bodies and forming strategic partnerships with enterprises and other relevant open source projects.
- IOHK: An engineering company dedicated to instrumentalizing peer-to-peer technologies. It is also determined to provide financial services to over three billion people that don’t have access to them. The group is contracted to design, build, and maintain the Cardano platform.
- Emurgo: a company formed to integrate, develop and support companies, businesses and industries that want to make use of Cardano’s decentralized blockchain and computation platform.
Haskell, Formal Methods, and Academic Peer-Review
Cardano makes extensive use of Haskell, a purely functional and statically typed language with a high degree of fault tolerance. It also uses a Haskell derived language (Plutus) to define smart contracts.
Haskell is not used as frequently as some other programming languages, but is widely utilized within the academia industries. It is considered to be one of the most secure programming languages providing extremely robust security and formal verifications. This allows for mathematical proofs of code correctness (see zkSNARKs).
Cryptol, for example, is a Haskell-based cryptographic toolchain extensively used by the NSA and in systems used by aerospace companies and defense contractors.
Such formal-mathematical proofs are of paramount importance in applications where value is at stake. Haskell is ideally suited for large scale and enterprise-level smart contract applications and mission-critical infrastructure intended to secure billions of dollars in cryptocurrency.
One of the defining features of Cardano is the level of technological scrutiny and the high assurance of software standards. They also have a number of relationships with researchers in the academic world. For example, they have partnered with the University of Edinburgh and the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
Cardano’s research-driven approach builds on a foundation of diligent, academically peer-reviewed work. This introduces extremely high standards in the space of crypto-economic theory and distributed systems engineering.
Cardano is structured as a two-layered blockchain that makes architectural distinction between a settlement, or accounting layer (called Cardano Settlement Layer, CSL) and a computation layer where smart contracts are executed (Cardano Computation Layer or CCL). Included are side chains which are used to connect transactions between the two layers.
This multi-layer architecture allows for easier soft fork updates than Ethereum does. This is because there is no clear-cut distinction between the two layers in Ethereum’s architecture.
Cardano Settlement Layer
The settlement layer provides the basic accounting ledger (think Bitcoin) and the functionality of ADA. The CSL is based on the Haskell implementation of the paper describing Cardano’s consensus engine. It is developed by IOHK in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, the University of Athens and the University of Connecticut.
Cardano Computation/Control Layer
The CCL that the Settlement Layer is to be extended with will serve as a trusted framework enabling smart contract functionality. This will be done in a manner that doesn’t necessitate the changing of the ground level protocol responsible for the native cryptocurrency. This separation makes it possible that regulated computation layers can be structured to conform to different jurisdictions.
Ouroboros: A Provably Secure Proof-of-Stake Protocol
The logic of consensus algorithms is what drives activity and the production of validated transaction blocks in distributed ledgers. This results in an updated and current state of the ledger consistent with the total history of the records. There are two broad categories of consensus mechanisms running on blockchains – Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS).
The basic idea of Proof of Stake is that instead of wasting electricity to brute force the hash before appending a block to the ledger, a node is instead selected to mint a new block. The probability of the selection is proportional to the amount of coins/tokens this node has. PoS is meant to encourage honesty and long term, engaged participation.
There are two main groups invested in the research and development of PoS mechanisms: one is Ethereum’s Casper and the other is Cardano’s particular iteration of PoS called Ouroboros, developed by IOHK scientists led by Prof. Aggelos Kiayias.
Ouroboros has gone through formal academic peer review and is supported by formal security proofs. Ouroborous is designed to be modular and future-proof. Ouroboros applies cryptography, combinatorics, and game theory to guarantee the protocol’s integrity, longevity and performance. How Ouroboros works is outside the scope of this article, you can read more about it here, but the TL;DR in their own words is that “Ouroboros exists to define the parameters of the new world. A protocol that is more secure, scalable, and energy efficient than anything that has come before.”
Quite the bold statement indeed.
Epochs and Slot Leaders
The Ouroboros protocol divides time into epochs which are subdivided into slots. These slots, which are short periods of about 20 seconds, will have exactly one block being created within it. Slot leaders are elected among all stakeholders with the probability of being selected proportional to the amount of coins a node has.
To ensure that the election process is unbiased, a degree of randomness is introduced via a multi-party implementation of a coin tossing protocol. This will produce the final result where one node is selected to verify and append exactly one block.
The Recursive Inter Network Architecture (RINA), a proposed alternative of the TCP/IP and OSI model, is to be implemented in Cardano. RINA is so engineered that it could seamlessly connect and interoperate with TCP/IP. In Cardano, this would allow for multiple epochs to be run in parallel on different chains thereby making it highly scalable.
Treasury and Monetary Policy
Cardano will have a treasury which is a decentralized bank account. This is similar in principle to the early DAO on Ethereum, but modeled on Dash’s treasury system. This special address/wallet is collectively controlled by all ADA holders for the purposes of Cardano development projects.
The participants will vote for which projects the funds should be released to. This enables the system to pay for its own improvements and ensures its long term sustainability. The treasury is funded via inflation, or deducting a small percentage of every transaction that takes place on the Cardano platform and some portion of newly minted ADA.
The ADA currency has a fixed supply, arbitrarily capped at forty-five billion. More details on Cardano’s monetary policy can be found here.
The Cardano network currently has over 3,100 staking pools, placing it among the most decentralized Cryptocurrencies in the world. Users of the Cardano staking pools are evenly distributed, ensuring decentralization. This is ensured thanks to Cardano’s K parameter which reduces staking rewards if there is too much Cardano staked in any single staking pool.
Daedalus is the Cardano Settlement Layer wallet application that holds the ADA currency. It is intended to be further developed to function as a universal crypto-assets wallet with features such as automated trading, exchanges integration and crypto-to-fiat transactions.
Scala is another language that is highly suited for distributed systems and blockchains. This is because it is concise and data immutable while adopting a functional style of writing code.
While Daedalus was one of the first, and is often considered the “main” Cardano wallet for the Cardano network, there are browser, or, “lite” Cardano wallets such as the very popular AdaLite web-based wallet, Yoroi Wallet which is considered the “Metamask” of Cardano and popular hardware wallets such as Trezor and Ledger both also support Cardano. Be sure to check out our article on the top Cardano wallets here.
The IOHK team is composed of a large number of engineers and academic researchers. Founder Charles Hoskinson is well-known and highly respected in the Crypto community. He is a trained mathematician having studied Analytic Number Theory at the University of Colorado. The other founder is Jeremy Wood who has been involved in Cryptocurrency dating back to 2013 and worked on Ethereum, managing operations before leaving to be a Cryptocurrency consultant. Jeremy started IOHK with Charles in 2015.
Charles is well known for being originally involved in the early development of Bitcoin and co-founding Ethereum along with Vitalik. He was also the founding chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation’s education committee and established the Cryptocurrency Research Group in September of 2013.
Chief Scientist and developer of the Ouroborous consensus engine is Prof. Aggelos Kiayias who is presently the Chair in Cyber Security and Privacy at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests are in the field of applied cryptography and foundations of cryptography with a particular emphasis in blockchain technologies and distributed systems. A full list of their over 300 members can be found here.
The vision for Cardano as is taken straight from the Cardano website states: “Cardano is built by a decentralized community of scientists, engineers, and thought leaders united in a common purpose: to create a technology platform that will ignite the positive change the world needs. We believe the future should not be defined by the past, and that more is possible – and, through technology, can be made possible for all. We measure the worth of a task not by its challenge, but by its results.”
Roadmap, Achievements, and the Year Ahead
Byron Era- Completed in 2017, it took the Cardano community 3 years to build the infrastructure and academic-based architecture of the core network.
Shelley Era- Completed in 2020, this phase was defined by the Cardano community developing nodes to sufficiently decentralize the network. This phase also introduced ADA rewards from Staking pools, Delegation and incentive programs.
Goguen Era- Completed in 2021, this is where things get interesting as Smart-contract capability was added to the network, opening the doors for developers to launch DApps on the network. Cardano smart- contracts will be compatible with all programming languages which is an important breakthrough as developers will not need to learn Cardano’s core Haskel coding language. Users can now utilize Cardano to create stablecoins, native assets, and use multi-asset ledgers.
Basho era– Currently underway, expected to be complete in 2022. This is Cardano’s solution to scaling. The Basho era will introduce Hydra which is a layer two scaling solution for Cardano which has been in development for over a year. The Basho Era will focus on scaling in the following six major areas:
Hydra- Hydra will make it possible for each stake pool operator to securely process transactions off-chain then submit them on-chain using cryptography. Each hydra “head” or stake pool will be able to process around 1000 transactions per second. Given that Cardano currently has over 3,000 stake pools, a number that is growing, this means that Cardano will be able to process over 3 million transactions per second once Hydra is complete.
Large scale optimization program– released node 1.3.3 which cuts sync time in half which is coming to the Daedalus wallet. Now that Cardano is moving from a correctness focus to a performance focus, users will begin to see optimizations of libraries and business processes,
Pipelining- focusing on the workload of the Cardano network and introducing a dag-like idea to utilize input endorsers. In simple terms, this means that transactions can be put into micro blocks between the blocks on the Cardano blockchain, these micro blocks can aggregate up and serialize, allowing users to process as many transactions as the network will allow, meaning that there will no longer be a constraint based on block size. The only constraint will be bandwidth and network availability which will increase Cardano’s input and output transaction capabilities.
Smart-contract optimization- Better utilization of the extended UTXL model meaning a lot more tasks can be performed off-chain for better efficiency.
Mithril- improve client experience as this makes parallel validation of the epochs so users get really fast sync for full nodes. This will result in wallets like Daedalus being a lot faster, while lite clients get full node security whether users are using a browser-based client or cell phone.
Side Chains- This is where there will be different computing models which can be layered and made interoperable with the main chain.
Voltaire Era– Also called the governance era, this introduces project catalyst which gives the Cardano community their say in determining important priorities for ecosystem growth via majority vote. This creates a powerful decentralized launching platform with a governance system for distributing valuable funds to projects.
A technical update tracker which follows github commits and roadmap progress can be found at Cardano updates. Cardano has reached a very impressive milestone recently as the number one project in the world for comments on GitHub which is a community for developers where they discuss developer activities.
Interestingly, a strong sign for Cardano’s future can be seen on the chart below that shows active development on the Cardano network has surpassed all other networks including Ethereum in 2021. As the saying goes, “if you build it, they will come,” and Cardano is building more than any other network as we head further into 2022.
Cardano is also making leaps and bounds as it passed Ethereum in 24hr transaction volume in January 2022, with one of the highlights here being that Cardano users only paid fees totalling 66,000 dollars for $7.02 billion dollars worth of transactions which is very impressive when compared to transaction fees hitting a staggering 45 million for just $5.41 billion dollars in transaction volume on the Ethereum network.
Since 2017, the Cardano Ecosystem has grown to over 2 million people, firmly establishing itself as a top ten project. Cardano currently has over 130 DApps being built and has over two million assets and counting issued on the network. The team has proudly executed on all major updates without any significant issues or downtimes, and hundreds of billions of dollars worth of value has been transferred around the Cardano network in 2021. The Cardano foundation continues to contribute to the entire blockchain space, having written 130 academic papers to date and defining the entire science of proof-of-stake.
As an interesting sidenote, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin put out a poll to his 3 million Twitter followers asking which network they think would be king without Ethereum and the majority of votes went to Cardano.
Cardano has some very interesting developments coming down the line, with DApps rolling out in full force in 2022. Up until now, as the team was still perfecting the network, there has been little incentive for Cardano enthusiasts to want to hold the token as its only real value was staking rewards. Cardano often sees between 70%-80% of its circulating supply staked, meaning that there are a lot of Cardano Hodlers which effectively reduces the supply, leaving many to think that an increasing demand for ADA as DApps launch will send tye price of ADA price to moon-city.
Ethereum and NEAR Protocol Interoperability– The cross-chain bridge between Ethereum and Cardano is now open, allowing NFT creators to transfer their Ethereum-based NFTs seamlessly onto the Cardano network. This bridge aims to be further developed in 2022 to allow other assets and smart-contracts to pass between chains as well. Cardano also launched KEVM which is a K Ethereum Virtual machine to build a bridge with leading smart-contract developers on Ethereum and an Ethereum sidechain has been created called Milkomedia allowing wrapped ADA (wADA), which is a Cardano pegged asset, to be ported into the Ethereum ecosystem. The Cardano project Ardano also partnered up with Near protocol to build a cross-chain bridge between NEAR and Cardano.
IOG has also announced that they have released a testnet of their own for a Cardano ERC-20 converter that will make it possible to transfer ERC-20 tokens between Cardano and Ethereum in a trustless manner.
SundaeSwap-Set to launch in Q1 of 2022, with the Beta hitting the community on January 20th. SundaeSwap will be the first DEX to launch on the Cardano network. Think of it like the Uniswap for Cardano, providing users in the ADA ecosystem with the ability to swap tokens, provide liquidity and even has added staking features to allow users to earn passive income and NFT support. SundaeSwap will also introduce a new type of token distribution model called Initial Stake Pool Offering (ISO or ISPO) which will act similar to an ICO or IDO, as a form of airdropped token that can accompany a project’s token sale.
Among all the DEX’s launching on Cardano, SundaeSwap is the most highly anticipated with over 270k followers on Twitter, catching up quickly to the largest DEX Uniswap which has over 700k followers.
MELD- MELD can be thought of like the Aave of Cardano. In November, MELD announced the completion of their funding round which saw over $1 billion dollars worth of ADA staked as part of the initial stake pool offering (ISPO). MELD is a lending protocol that allows users to access DeFi services such as lending/borrowing and liquidity providing on the Cardano network.
Ardana-Ardana raised $10 million dollars from VC firms such as Three Arrows Capital to launch a Cardano Stablecoin Protocol.
OccamFi– The first IDO launchpad for Cardano will be launching in 2022. Launchpads are great for users who want to get their DeFi degenerate hands on token releases as early as possible. The biggest gains to be made in Crypto are often had by gaining access to tokens before their public sale launch and OccamFi will allow users to get involved in the Cardano ecosystem.
Cardano NFTs– CNFT is the largest NFT marketplace on Cardano. Launched in mid-2021, Cardano NFTs have been seeing a lot of action in the back half of 2021 and as we enter 2022 as the world is going crazy over NFTs. Some Cardano NFTs have already sold for over a million dollars as the NFT market is heating up on Cardano. EMURGO also announced that it would be creating an NFT marketplace on Cardano called Fiborite.
Cardano Metaverse- Project Pavia is the first Metaverse project to launch on Cardano. While this Metaverse is still in its infancy and not much is known other than it will be like Decentraland on Cardano, Metaverse enthusiasts are already getting involved, purchasing land plots with some going for over 60k worth of ADA, and the majority of land plots selling out almost instantaneously.
There are so many amazing projects launching on the Cardano network in 2022, I would have liked to have covered them all but you’d be here reading this article all day. More Cardano projects being launched in 2022 can be found here.
Chainlink- Cardano announced a partnership with Chainlink as its go-to data oracle which surprised many in both the Cardano and Chainlink communities due to the historic friction between both communities… Come on Crypto Chaps and Gals, can’t we all just get along? We are all on the same team after all.
Coti- Cardano has announced that they will be working with Coti, which is a fintech start-up company based out of Israel. Together, Cardano and Coti will work to create the world’s first platform for developing stablecoins and decentralized payment systems. Coti is developing a network to bridge the gap between traditional fiat and cryptocurrencies. Coti will also help with the launch of Djed, which will be Cardano’s US value pegged stablecoin. Cardano’s Djed stablecoin will be the first stablecoin to use formal verification to eliminate price volatility.
Dish Network- In September 2021, Input Output Global announced a partnership with the Dish network, one of the biggest telecommunications companies in the United States to help provide digital identity services to Dish Customers.
Formation of UTXO Alliance- In October of 2021, a consortium of crypto projects that use the same transaction format as Cardano joined together with a vision to cultivate innovative solutions to advance interoperability, programmability and scalability across the crypto industry.
Veritree- Cardano has teamed up with the global land restoration and tree planting company to verify and secure its records on Cardano’s Blockchain. To celebrate this, Cardano and Veritree launched the First Global Cardano Impact Challenge, inviting the global Cardano community to make donations to Veritree using ADA tokens which were used to launch the first #CardanoForest.
Rival- eSports giant Rival has partnered with Cardano to develop agnostic NFT marketplaces, fan rewards and more, which will see Cardano facilitate the ability to create and distribute NFTs, redemption of NFTs for physical goods, and marketplace-based royalties within the Rival platform. Some of Rival’s clients include the likes of NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, NBA’s Detroit Pistons, and others.
Samsung- Making a big announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, tech giant Samsung announced that they will be working with Veritree, which utilizes the Cardano network to facilitate their 2 million tree planting land restoration efforts. This is a big sign of confidence as Samsung also announced their TVs will have direct exposure to an NFT marketplace. Perhaps it will be Cardano NFTs?
Cardano is often criticized for poor, if not downright strange price action. With a tendency to sleep for months, wake up for a sprint, then sleep again, and occasionally fall down some stairs with some nasty red candles, Cardano’s price action has been frustrating, and often boring for many ADA holders.
Truthfully, these criticisms often come from crypto investing tourists who are looking to get rich overnight. Many early Cardano buyers seem to forget that they purchased tokens for a chain with no DApps launched yet, meaning there is little use or demand for the ADA token, so why they would expect explosive gains is beyond me. That being said, even with no DAapps built, the Cardano token was able to achieve an impressive price rally from $0.026 at its initial launch all the way up to an all-time high of just over $3.
There is no way to sugarcoat the fact that Cardano had some rough price action in the back half of 2021, falling worse than many other altcoins, leaving Cardano holders feeling the hurt even more as they had to watch competitors such as Avalanche and Solana skyrocket. Aside from little demand of the ADA token before DApps, much of Cardano’s poor price action likely stems from the fact that Cardano does not have the VC funding or “hype,” as many other projects like Solana. As we have seen with Doge, hype alone is enough to pump price more than the utility or use cases of a network.
As Cardano is more community-focused, VC funding is not one of their priorities. This lack of funding has also resulted in many projects on Cardano, along with IOG and EMURGO needing to sell their ADA to fund projects and cover costs which has also been causing sell pressure.
Price troubles started back in September of 2021 right after the launch of the Alonzo testnet hard fork which caused Cardano to rally to its all-time high of over 3 dollars. It would appear that this was a very extreme example of “buy the rumour, sell the news”…and sell the news they did, dropping ADA’s price significantly.
Another reason for the crash after Alonzo was caused by the concurrency issues many Cardano projects faced during Alonzo testnet, namely minswap. At that point, it became painfully clear to investors that DApps would not be deploying on Cardano anytime soon. This seemed to greatly reduce the morale of many Cardano enthusiasts for the months that followed. To make matters worse, the circulating supply of ADA had also increased by 1.5 billion since August which further suppressed the price.
January of 2022 has seen Cardano back in the spotlight being among the best performers out of many of its peers with the anticipation of SundaeSwap launching and with more DApps being released. This will cause more demand for ADA and a supply shock as holders continue to stake. Many are holding on and excited as 2022 could be a very intense year for Cardano. For some additional hopium, there have also been a lot of institutional funds gaining exposure to ADA such as Grayscale’s Digital Large Cap fund and on-chain analytics show that many institutional funds have been accumulating ADA over recent months in anticipation of the expansion of the network in 2022.
Those looking to purchase some ADA tokens now can find the token on pretty much every major excahnge, and many minor exchanges as well.
Powerful Use Cases
While Cardano is no doubt developing revolutionary blockchain technology, the real benefit lies in real-world use cases such as the article from Long Finance that was published, a 78 page long report that is sponsored by the Cardano foundation.
This examines the economic impact of smart/distributed ledgers on world trade and global capital flows. It also hints at Cardano’s scope of ambition to serve as a framework and operating system upon which human civilizations could flourish and prosper. As stated in the publication:
Conceptually, the impact of Smart Ledgers will be realised by reduced cost frictions associated with processes such as paperwork and identity checking, facilitating the creation of new business opportunities, and reducing the volatility associated with international trade.
Cardano’s mission is particularly focused on developing and third-world countries that are encumbered by corruption, arcane bureaucracies and lack of access to financial services. Cardano envisions that their blockchain will be used for high impact solutions such as the ability to verify people’s access to water rights, shipping and logistics tracking, creating voting systems to overcome the trust that has been lost in the American political system, increased transparency of government spending, verify consent with the digital signing of contracts, authenticating and verifying any sort of licenses and certifications, significantly reducing issues like identity theft by storing individual identities on the blockchain and more.
When watching Charles in interviews, it is clear that he is passionate about blockchain technology being able to provide people with the ability to have self-sovereign identity rights and data protection to end surveillance capitalism conducted by companies such as Facebook and Google.
Path to a Billion Users and Social/Environmental Causes
We already mentioned some of the environmental endeavours that Cardano is focusing on such as becoming carbon neutral, the planting of the Cardano Forest and their Partnership with Veritree. To grow the social impact of Cardano, several projects are running in Africa including Empowa, which aims to make property affordable to everyone. Among all the Crypto projects in existence, Cardano is among the most dedicated to making the world a better place as it states directly on their website. This is in part to the multiple altruistic and charitable endeavours undertaken by the Cardano community.
This has had a snowball effect as what started as the core team doing good deeds across the globe has now attracted an army of developers and projects who also have goals aligned with the Cardano Foundation in terms of wanting to help those in need. Many Cardano community projects are now running initiatives for supplying fresh water, power, and education for the African people. In 2021, Charles completed his Africa tour, vising South Africa, Burundi, Zanzibar, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Egypt looking to change the lives of the people who need it most. A link to his recent interview about this can be found here.
$100 million Cardano Ecosystem fund– EMURGO launched a $100 million dollar Cardano fund to help invest in early start-up and growth-stage companies making positive impacts in the world. Emurgo also announced the establishment of EMURGO AFRICA which will aim to support 100 local start-ups on Cardano within 3 years.
In this interview, Charles discusses how nearly every domain and system that is frustratingly nepotistic, corrupt and inefficient can be made better through the use of Cardano’s blockchain technology. Government technology is one of Cardano’s areas of focus which shows with all the work they are doing in Africa. If governmental infrastructure built on Cardano roll out successfully in Africa, the sights will be set on other global governments such as the United States.
The Go-To Blockchain for Enterprise Companies?
As it stands today, Cardano is the only network with a path to contingent staking that will comply with the 2023 infrastructure bill. Cardano Foundation partnered with Coinfirm for FATF and 6AMLD compliance. Coinfirm has verified that they will be able to provide AML/CFT analytics for assets minted on Cardano. This allows Coinfirm to track Cardano transactions in accordance with the FATF’s recommendations. More can be found about FATF’s “recommendations,” by checking out Guy’s video here.
As companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Google look to expand into Web 3.0, adopt blockchain solutions and venture into the Metaverse, their primary focus in this new venture is not going to be how to further expand their reach and grow customer acquisition, nor will their primary focus be partnering with whichever blockchain network will make them the most money. These companies have already achieved hypergrowth, massive profits and dominate the market and are already experts in those fields.
What they are going to be most concerned with are compliance and regulations and ensuring that they are operating within legal confines and the regulatory framework. They are going to be looking to work with crypto projects with a strong focus on safety, regulation, compliance, and software quality which Cardano are the leader in those areas, far surpassing any of their peers.
There is a good argument that Cardano may become the institutional network of choice. While partnering with major corporations could be great for ADA holders who only care about capital appreciation, the Cardano network has come under quite a bit of scrutiny from the Crypto community as Cardano seems to be bending to the pressure of regulatory scrutiny and are opening the doors to working with corporations, which many in the Crypto community consider, “the enemy.”
Cardano’s partnership with transaction tracking companies and their KYC/AML focus, along with already complying with the FATF’s recommendations is concerning many Crypto users who prioritize privacy and access to financial instruments without the need for KYC. If an anarchy style, libertarian type future is what you are after then Cardano may not be your favourite project and you may want to consider privacy coins such as Monero. This is clearly some artistic liberty on my part, but maybe Charles has a master plan of partnering with these, “evil,” corporations as he knows they won’t be able to be as evil in a true Web 3.0 and blockchain environment.
- cardano.org is the main place to keep up with all the news on Cardano.
- Cardano Foundation is the best place to stay up to date on all the endeavours behind the Cardano Foundation and their mission to make the world a better place, along with their blog.
- Cardano Hub is the main Cardano website housing all information and resources.
- Cardano Block Explorer for searching addresses, transactions, epochs and slots on the Cardano network.
- Safety guidelines for avoiding falling victim of phishing attacks and scams.
There is also extensive technical documentation by IOHK which can be viewed here.
Cardano is without a doubt, one of the most advanced, if not, the most advanced blockchain network in existence today. The network is ultra-fast, highly decentralized, scalable, cost-efficient and eco-friendly. The Cardano team has learned from the mistakes of many of their predecessors which has positioned them well with a competitive advantage where they are overcoming foreseen issues before fully rolling out and preventing issues before they arise.
This foresight and heavy reliance on peer-to-peer reviews and extensive research is progressing the entire blockchain industry and benefitting the entire Crypto ecosystem. Though it is Cardano’s focus on perfectionism which also puts them at risk of falling behind their competitors as their competition consistently beats them to the markets albeit with inferior networks and features. Cardano has accepted multiple double-edged blades as perfectionism is respectable but may also be their downfall as they are slow to move, and their community-first focus, while noble and is great for the Crypto community, poses a risk to ADA holders as lack of VC funding, marketing and attention can negatively impact a project’s growth.
Despite all this, Cardano has remained in the top ten in recent years even with no DApps, which means it is still incredibly early days for Cardano and there is so much room to grow, especially in 2022 as this will be the first time we see dozen of projects launch on the network. To me, this feels like being invested in Ethereum in 2015, and I cannot wait to see how the Cardano network grows and evolves in the coming years.