Cardano (ADA) is a decentralized public blockchain and cryptocurrency project. Cardano is fully open-source and developed by IOHK. The team behind Cardano created the first Proof-of-Stake algorithm, called Ouroboros, which is now used by several other projects.
[Notice: Before investing in any cryptos, do your own reach to make better decisions and minimize the risks]
As the crypto world continues to evolve, there is one question on everybody’s mind, will Cardano (ADA) be as big as Ethereum? To get to the bottom of this, through the HARO platform, we asked two crypto experts for their opinion. Here’s what they had to say:
Stefan Grasic, Global Director of Research at Business24-7: This is an interesting question to ask at this time given Ethereum’s recent completion of the almost mythical ‘Merge’, as no one knows for sure exactly how things will look for Ethereum in the medium/long term. We’ve still got the Surge, Purge, Verge, and splurge to come!
That said, there has to my mind been one stand-out Ethereum alternative over the past few years, and that promises to remain the same going forward. I’m sure you’ll receive this answer a lot, but In my opinion, the project over at Cardano has been and will continue to be, the best alternative to Ethereum- even if it isn’t a so-called Ethereum Killer.
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The project is still in its relative infancy, only having launched in 2017, but there’s a lot to like about it. Several years into its development, Cardano is a relatively established proof-of-stake blockchain network, with the project’s USP being that it is the brainchild of a team of academics and experts. Their mission, they say, is to create blockchain technology by adopting “a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach”, including extensive peer-reviewed research.
The attraction for investors is immediately obvious; in theory, this should be one of the most sophisticated and well-developed blockchain technologies around, given that it is the product of years of hard work from some of the smartest and most talented people in the business.
One of those talented people, in fact, is Charles Hoskinson, the co-founder of Ethereum. In many ways, this in and of itself gives Cardano an edge over other crypto projects when it comes to acting as an alternative to Ethereum. Who better to challenge Ethereum as a major player than someone who was once at the heart of it?
History is littered with examples of co-founders going their separate ways, with one co-founder going off to launch their own business that ultimately rises to challenge the business led by the other. The German brothers Rudolph and Adi Dassler, for example, were once partners in a shoe company, before a falling out prompted them to launch their own respective companies; Puma and Adidas.
This is of course not to say that this makes Cardano’s continued expansion and growth a given, but the historical precedent is always worth considering…
Of course, there are plenty of arguably more sensible reasons to believe Cardano is the best Ethereum alternative. First of all, despite the completion of Ethereum’s ‘merge’ many of the associated upgrades have yet to take place, and it will be a long and slow process.
That means that at the time of writing this pitch, Cardano remains a significantly faster platform than Ethereum, clocking in at 250 transactions per second (TPS) as opposed to Ethereum’s sluggish 15 TPS at best.
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Combine this with the fact that Cardano’s Gas fees are typically significantly cheaper than Ethereum’s, sometimes by as much as 10 times, and it’s easy to see the attractiveness of Cardano. In our fast-paced 21st-century society, few combinations are as highly valued as speed and cost-effectiveness.
Beyond speed and cost-effectiveness, crypto investors also, understandably, want blockchain networks to be as secure as possible. Cardano is arguably the most secure blockchain network on the planet, given the significant number of experts involved with the project and monitoring the code to check for and correct- any errors. By correcting errors promptly, the code is more secure, and there’s less opportunity for ill-intentioned actors to exploit errors for their own purposes.
Ethereum’s recent merge has negated, to an extent, one of Cardano’s key selling points, which is that Cardano had established itself as an environmentally conscious crypto project. Whereas Bitcoin’s annual energy usage stands at 130 TWh, about the same as the entire country of the Netherlands- and not much more than Ethereum’s pre-merge usage of 112 TWh- Cardano uses a mere 6 GWh.
This is a tiny, tiny fraction of the amount used by the “big two”, a result of using a Proof of Stake (PoS) system rather than a Proof of Work (PoW) system. Now that Ethereum has switched to PoS too, it’s expected that it’ll use 98% plus less energy, which could be a shrewd move on Ethereum’s part.
With the climate one of the defining issues of our times, I just don’t see how the big cryptocurrencies can justify such a huge carbon footprint, especially as alternative technology exists. I’m sure the longer Bitcoin sticks with PoW the more questions it will be asked.
Whether Cardano can actually rise to challenge the big two remains to be seen, but there’s a lot going for it; it certainly doesn’t do any harm to have a reputation as an academically driven crypto project with sustainability and environmentalism front and center.
Ziga Breznik, Owner & Head of Research, Public Finance International: For my money, the best alternative to Ethereum, and the most likely of the much-vaunted ‘Ethereum killers’ to make a genuine attempt at challenging Ethereum is Cardano (ADA).
So why is it a potential Ethereum killer? If you would have asked me this question prior to the merge, I would have said that the biggest weapon that Cardano has in its arsenal is its use of the less energy-intensive proof of stake mechanism and its associated reputation as the most established environmentally friendly crypto project.
In many ways, Cardano’s environmental credentials remain its strongest asset, but Ethereum’s recent merge- and switch to the 99.9% more energy-efficient proof of stake system- could be a game changer. There’s no doubt that the merge may have stolen Cardano’s thunder somewhat, but Cardano’s reputation as a project which set out sustainability and environmentalism as one of its goals still sets it apart from Ethereum. Ultimately, I suppose, it depends on the success of the merger in the medium to long term.
One thing that is clear to me is that any crypto project that sets out with environmentalism and energy efficiency as a goal will, going forward, have a significant edge over those that don’t. Trying to get a handle on the climate crisis is going to be one of the defining issues over the next few decades, and I think as people become more aware of crypto- and the enormous amounts of energy used by miners- it simply won’t be tenable.
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Just look at the figures on energy usage from earlier this year; Bitcoin, 130 TWh, Ethereum, 112 TWh, Cardano, 6 GWh. That’s the big two using the same amount of energy as a medium-sized country, whereas Cardano is using just 0.01% of this amount, proving that blockchain networks don’t have to destroy the climate in order to function.
Still, Cardano’s strength isn’t just down to its sustainability versus some of its competitors. Gas fees are significantly cheaper than Ethereum’s, and Cardano was at one point both 10x cheaper and much quicker than Ethereum 1.0. Other than speed and transaction cost, one of the most sought-after qualities of any crypto platform is security.
Naturally, with people having such large amounts of money tied up in them. The good news regarding Cardanol is that it’s arguably the most secure blockchain technology around, with significant numbers of experts involved in the project and monitoring the code.
This means that any errors in the code are spotted quickly and fixed promptly, leaving less time for them to be exploited and resulting in a lower security risk. This is also due in part to the simplicity of the coding language compared to competitors like Ethereum, which has a significantly more complex code that only a handful of developers are familiar with.
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Will Cardano be as big as Ethereum? Only time will tell. However, crypto experts seem to think that Cardano has a lot of potentials and may even surpass Ethereum in terms of popularity and widespread use. So, if you’re thinking about investing in ADA, now may be the time to do so. Of course, no one can predict the future of cryptocurrency with 100% accuracy, so it’s always important to do your own research before investing in any coin.
But if you’re looking for a coin with a lot of upside potential, Cardano may be worth considering. Do you have any thoughts on Cardano or Ethereum? Leave them in the comments below!