On the 18th of March, 2021 Cardano’s native token ADA peaked at 1.37$, growing almost sevenfold compared to the beginning of the year. At the time of this writing, it is the 6th largest crypto with a market cap of 38.65 billion USD. So what exactly is this sudden hype about, and why has Cardano been dubbed Ethereum killer?
ADA was named after the world’s first programmer, Ada Lovelace. Its creator Charles Hoskinson is CEO of Input Output Hong Kong, – and ex-cofounder of BitShares and Ethereum. Charles left the latter in 2014 and moved on to create Cardano – a new-generation platform that aimed to learn from the experience of top cryptocurrencies, address their shortcomings, and ultimately take their place in the market. In particular, it would fix such problems as Bitcoin’s high fees, low speed, and inflexibility, as well as Ethereum’s vulnerabilities, poor scalability, and excess centralization.
Cardano is written in Haskell (a programming language used in banking and defense), and based on the proof-of-stake Ouroboros protocol. According to the platform’s website, it is the first peer-reviewed blockchain protocol with mathematically-proven security, that allows to safely scale the network, and drastically improve its performance.
“You can run your DeFi project on my system for up to 1/1000 of the cost”, boasts Hoskinson. He mentioned to Bloomberg that more than a hundred companies are in the process of switching from Ethereum to Cardano, but this information has not yet been confirmed, – and we know that many of the platform’s features are still under development.
There are two layers in Cardano’s blockchain: the Settlement Layer, where all ADA transactions are recorded, and the Computational Layer (CCL), which works with dApps and smart contracts. However, smart contracts haven’t been introduced yet, as developers are taking the steps to prepare for their implementation. After the “Mary” hard fork in March, Cardano became a multi-asset platform. At the next stage, smart contracts will be moved to the mainnet in August.
Whether Cardano outperforms its elder sibling remains to be seen. But it looks like, as all the promises are fulfilled, and Ethereum 2.0 adopts proof-of-stake, we will at least see a very interesting competition.