Cardano and the associated ADA cryptocurrency are not newcomers to the industry – launching in late 2017, before the peak of that year’s boom. Yet, major advances in the project have brought it to the forefront in recent days. A recent analysis by Morningstar Research called Cardano out by name – alongside Bitcoin and Ethereum – as cryptocurrencies that will make up the ‘mainstream’ face of the industry as it moves forward.
Certainly, Cardano’s community remains one of the most supportive in the space. While founder Charles Hoskinson made several claims in the middle of last year, reality has not aligned with his predictions. However, despite delays, Cardano continues to hit road map milestones consistently over time, rapidly approaching their minimum viable product phase. Their Alonzo fork is poised to roll out smart contract functionality to all developers – one of the final major features that ADA lacks.
Cardano (ADA) Versus Ethereum (ETH)
Cardano famously emerged from a schism between Ethereum co-founders Vitalik Buterin and Charles Hoskinson. Buterin remains firmly committed to a non-profit model, while Hoskinson felt that a more venture capital-based approach would better benefit the project. In a sense, it mirrors the split between Ripple and Stellar Lumens, albeit in the opposite direction.
Cardano is doing something right, as their Ouroboros protocol paved the way for many of the proof-of-stake protocols in the market today. Even Ethereum intends to move away from the environmentally damaging proof-of-work algorithm as soon as possible. While ETH boasts a robust smart contract infrastructure before the change, high transaction fees and slow speeds generate questions about its viability before the switch.
Cardano’s Alonzo Upgrade and Road Map
Cardano’s development team always intended to include smart contracts, but the process of making them available has taken longer than first envisioned. However, with the Alonzo upgrade, that functionality will be rolled out in full – making Cardano an attractive platform for new decentralized applications.
Cardano’s road map is publicly available through 2025, showcasing their intention to make ADA a self-sufficient, scalable platform. Eventually, they will move away from their current semi-centralized model to a full decentralized one, completing the road map and realizing their plans.