Cardano (ADA), the promising vaporware coin

Cardano (ADA), the promising vaporware coin

After seeing Cardano jump into the top ten relatively recently I was surprised, especially after doing my research into the coin.It has some promising features but seems like vaporware for the near future – offering little improve over other cryptocurrencies. But let’s get into what Cardano is before I lay out my opinion on it.

Cardano

Cardano is a currency. It’s main focus is a security focused blockchain that uses academic research to back their developments. Cardano is creating a platform for decentralized applications and smart contracts. The smart contracts and applications are processed by something called formal verification. The verification allows for proof of code correctness and secure smart contracts. This verification is ideal for people with high value smart contracts that need to be very secure – more secure than typical blockchains like ethereum.

But Cardano, unlike ethereum, layers it’s protocol into two layers. One layer is for moving of payments, Cardano settlement layer (CSL), and the other layer is for smart contracts, Cardano computational layer (CCL). Layering is a wise computer science move as updating either layer won’t dramatically impact the other. This means that potential upgrades to the system will likely be easier for Cardano in comparison to other blockchains.

Further, Cardano’s underlying tech is called Oroborus. It is a proof of stake system that secures the blockchain by defining how nodes reach consensus. It’s suppose to be better than other PoS systems because it’s designed to strengthen the weaknesses of PoS systems and prevent attacks.

It’s the only PoS system that has been peer reviewed and accepted by other academics – for now.

The project purports to be faster, more secure, and less memory intensive than similar smart contract platforms.

Team

Cardano’s team is split into three different groups.

  1. Cardano foundation – it’s a swiss non-profit that is trying to work with governments and regulatory bodies to ease the acceptance and adoption of cardano. Further, they are tasked with forming partnerships and open source projects to further global adoption.
  2. IOHK – A engineering company based in Hong Kong that is trying to use peer to peer technology to bring financial services to people who don’t have them. They will be with the project until their contract runs out in 2020. It’s unknown if they will continue with the project. But rumors are they will.
  3. Emurgo – A company formed to facilitate Cardano’s adoption and give support to companies using Cardano’s blockchain.

How is the team funded?

As this project is fairly ambitious it needs a good funding model. Well the project plans to create a funding model similar to Dash’s – some of the block reward goes to the Cardano foundation. So they should be able to continue fluid development and servicing the project.

Unique to Cardano

  • As mentioned above, Cardano is the only project to have a peer reviewed proof of stake system.
  • Cardano is built using Haskell, a complex mathematical programming language, that is seen as one of the most secure languages within the coding community. This minimizes the errors and possible exploits in the code. This allows formal verification because of the mathematical nature of Haskell. Which formal verification is mathematically checking if the code is correct or not.
  • Finally, Cardano’s applications – when there are some – will be built with government regulation in mind. But they are also highly customizable by both the developers and end users. This will allow users their privacy and allow them to opt into which applications they want to use, and those they don’t. Presumably, this will allow more privacy than other blockchains.

However, Cardano has yet to implement most of those things…

Currently Cardano is mostly an idea. I hesitate to invest in projects with nothing really released yet. Although, I am not immune to this. I invested in Salt before they had a working product.

Proof of this can be seen by just looking at their roadmap which shows major developments are in the works. But their major features – namely CCL, CSL, smart contracts, and applications – are all still a work in progress under the Goguen update. Not to mention for applications to be developed they will have to incentivize developers to develop apps on Cardano over other blockchain projects.

This is one major roadblock to Cardano’s future adoption is the amount of applications on the platform. Haskell is a rarely used programming language, for three reasons, it’s fairly new, not popularized in universities, and a completely different way of looking at coding. Coding has its roots in mathematics but it has its own logic. Haskell, as far as my understanding goes, is much more mathematically based than python or C++. So if you have few developers who know the Haskell language it’s unlikely you’ll have a large amount of applications ready for consumer or enterprise use. 

I do not think this has the ability to remain in the top ten for the remaining year – given the current state of things. This looks like another Tron coin – but not quite as bad as Tron. However, it’s a fairly new project – Cardano had a long winded ICO which started in 2015 and it’s main net launched towards the end of 2017 – which means it still needs to implement it’s designs.

Summary:

Cardano has ambition. It’s seeking to do many things and is trying to do them well. It’s backed up by solid technological underpinnings that are peer reviewed. The code base is strong and it has designated teams for each of the major issues facing cryptos – regulation, adoption, and tech/design of the platform.

However, Cardano is currently vaporware. Many of the features they are purporting to offer haven’t been developed yet. Although, it’s promising that they are IN development and If/once the Goguen update hits my reservations of the project might be reversed. But until it drops I would not personally be investing in this. Realistically, the total amount of apps will be smaller due to the coding language used but it could carve out a nice niche in the market for people concerned about security and have a liking for a rock-solid code base.

It has ambition but lots of ambitious projects fail. I think the crypto community should be supporting projects with a real platform. Ultimately, this bubble will pop and the cryptos left standing will be the ones with real projects and real use cases…

Disclaimer:

I try to be as unbiased as possible but my opinions are my own. I do not own any Cardano.

As always, do your own research and do not invest more than you can afford to lose. Best of luck.

4 Replies to “Cardano (ADA), the promising vaporware coin”

  1. Cardano will not require Haskell for dapp development on its platform. Any recent interview with Charles Hoskinson will confirm this. He’s touted the system’s ability to run dapps coded using JavaScript if developers desire (not that he prefers JS). But interoperability is a major pillar of their strategy.

  2. Really? I think you are 100% against Cardano. You should go back and do more researches about the coin to figure out who is the heart of this project. How do you not mention the person who was CEO of Ethereum and now he is the main figure in this ambitious cryptocurrency?
    You either hate him or hate the people who invest in this coin. Clearly, you are bad if not worst at learning new subjects. Please, put aside your envy and do it in a fair and balance ways.

    1. I think you may have missed an important part in my article “If/once the Goguen update hits my reservations of the project might be reversed.” But you are right. I was and still am against the Cardano project. I think until the main goals of the project are up and running it’s still vaporware. I personally try to avoid investing in promises and hopes. I like solid, working projects – at least as much as we can get in crypto.

      In addition – you’re right. I failed to include a comprehensive portion on the team which I will consider doing now.

      I do not hate him and I think he’s a interesting person within the space but have not researched Charles enough to speak fairly about him. But there is no need to resort to personal attacks. Thank you for your criticisms.

  3. Thank you for this informative opinion piece on Cardano. It confirms my reservations about this project. I first invested in ADA in dec and saw a 120% return in a day or 2 and sold, never to buy back again. I bought on rumours at the right time and have avoided buying back after doing some research. First of all, it looks like the only traction it has is due to how they brag about having Phds on their team, and a “massive team” as Charles Hoskinson likes to claim on Twitter. If they had so much Phds hard at work, where’s the progress? It’s important to note people in academia are not business people or decision makers, and thus don’t get anything done unless they quit academia and join a corporation like Google, Amazon or Apple with real leadership.

    Hoskinson is a totally uncharismatic CEO and that gives little faith into the future of this coin. Also leaving in Japan I know that the promise of ATM rollout is completely bogus. They like to give the impression they are big in Asia because no one knows what’s going here but I can say with certainty no one knows what Cardano is and were they to rollout ATMs it would have no use whatsoever. When you know this, you start to see either an attempt by Cardano’s management to instil in people in the West the belief that Cardano has great momentum in Asia while it has really none, or they are deluded in their belief Cardano will be so big there will be a need for ATMs. I would guess it’s a mixture of both which shows poor leadership, lack of realistic vision, and overall a failure to make anything work in the real world.

    I’m sure 10 years from now no one will be talking about Cardano. It will go in the trash-bin of crypto history.

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