Cardano is one of the preferred cryptocurrencies with long-lasting staying power. Its ADA coin sits comfortably in the top ten cryptocurrencies ranked by market capitalisation. It’s actually been in this top ten ranking since its launch in 2015. Today it’s in sixth place after Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin, XRP and Tether. But the landscape is volatile, and only a few weeks ago it was in third place. So things change rapidly.
Cardano blockchain – Photographer: fabio | Source: Unsplash
What is Cardano?
Cardano certainly has several good things going for it. Its technology is superior to many of its peers, and it has strong community backing.
ADA is the digital currency associated with the Cardano platform. It’s named after Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer.
IOHK (Input Output Hong Kong) is the research lab behind Cardano. Its focus is on decentralization and the challenges it poses to existing global financial systems. The Cardano development team are academics and scientists, and they work closely with academia to have everything peer-reviewed and transparently shared. The Cardano Foundation and EMURGO, along with IOHK govern Cardano.
Is ADA a coin or a token?
ADA coin is the name of the cryptocurrency that’s used on the Cardano platform. But ADA tokens can be used to vote or for staking in the Cardano ecosystem.
Within digital currency wallets, such as Exodus or Daedalus, you can easily stake Cardano ADA for rewards. Once you stake your ADA coin, it becomes an ADA token, which is then used to mine for ADA. If you find some, you’re rewarded with a stake.
Staking is a popular practice among altcoin owners. It is the proof-of-stake (PoS) part of the blockchain network that Cardano is striving for. And this is being developed into a decentralised application (DApp) development platform, complete with multi-asset ledger and verifiable smart contracts.
Last month Graph Blockchain Inc. (CSE: GBLC) invested $300,000 into Cardano for the purpose of staking the ADA coin.
Meanwhile, over half a billion US dollars worth of ADA is currently being delegated to charity-focused initiatives on Cardano through mission-driven stake pools.
Cardano is for the greater good! We are delighted to share that over US$500,000,000, yes, half a billion U.S. dollar worth of ada is currently being delegated to charity-focused initiatives on Cardano through mission-driven stake pools. Read more https://t.co/9l55kBRGtv
— Cardano Foundation (@CardanoStiftung) March 31, 2021
Cardano’s charitable focus – Staking ADA for charity
Why Cardano could replace Ethereum
Cardano is a smart contract platform, as is Ethereum and Polkadot. Many die-hard Cardano fans believe it will eventually displace Ethereum thanks to its high-speed tech and fee free transaction setup.
Ethereum’s value has soared this past year as more high-profile clients jump aboard. Ethereum is also the backbone of the non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, which has been subject to NFT mania this year, further boosting the Ethereum price.
And Ethereum is also profiting from notable decentralized finance (DeFi) projects which are built on its blockchain. However, Ethereum is expensive to use, and its transaction times suffer from lag. Cardano intends to beat it on both these counts, due to its lightweight design.
Cardano recently undertook a major update called ‘Mary’ which took it a step closer to emulating Ethereum. The Mary upgrade is a hard fork, transitioning the Cardano ledger. This changes its capabilities from simply holding ADA on its blockchain to allowing multiple tokens to be created and exchanged.
WE’RE ON!! We can today confirm that the ‘Mary’ #Cardano protocol update is now fully confirmed for March 1st. Another key milestone in the #Goguen rollout, the update introduces native tokens & multi-asset support, bringing exciting new use cases for #Cardano 1/3 pic.twitter.com/FFK0cGNbmD
— Input Output (@InputOutputHK) February 24, 2021
Cardano’s Mary hard-fork Goguen rollout
This allows it to support stablecoins and users to create NFTs.
Who founded Cardano?
Cardano was in fact founded by none other than one of Ethereum’s original co-founders. Charles Hoskinson stepped out on his own a year after Ethereum was launched in 2013.
He believes Cardano has the potential to help billions of people thanks to its laser focus on the vision of helping people achieve a better quality of life. By building Cardano on DeFi, it’s targeting some of the poorest, hardest hit regions of the world. Hoskinson believes that proving the technology works in places that are close to being deemed a lost cause, will allow its success to speak for itself. This should naturally bring mass adoption elsewhere.
Access to fair and transparent banking has the power to lift millions of people out of poverty to a sustainable level of living. However, with no access to electricity or smart phones then using crypto is impossible. That said, there are many areas of the world where it could make a real difference. So, the kind of customer Cardano is targeting may be a farmer in Ethiopia looking for a way to pay for fertiliser. Or on a larger scale, implementing a fair election process in Senegal. The company has people in these African countries working with the locals to move forward with its vision.
ADA’s price fluctuations
ADA’s price is up 16% in a month and an eye-popping 3,557% in a year.
So what makes its popularity stick? There are three principal reasons. Being widely available to trade is a big one. Coinbase began supporting Cardano (ADA) in mid-March and around the same time, it appeared on the Bloomberg Terminal. This has certainly helped boost its popularity. With a market cap above £40m, it’s also a highly liquid market and institutional investor interest is readily growing.
Ethereum is up 115% year-to-date. Meanwhile, ADA is up 517% year-to-date.
Cardano is operating a low fee, secure, trusted, blockchain system. It aims to provide a balanced and sustainable ecosystem. So, while this continues, Cardano’s ADA is likely to remain a popular cryptocurrency easily rivaling Ethereum and Polkadot.