Before we explore the question, what is Cardano, lets take some time to reflect on how far DeFi has come in such a short time. It was nonexistent even half a decade ago, and now it is rapidly becoming one of the most lucrative segments. It is thus no surprise that some experts have compared the crypto market with the early days of the dot-com era. If those comparisons are even somewhat accurate, we should expect some projects to prevail over others.
With that said, several projects serve as the foundation layer where these decentralized applications are being built and platforms that help serve as a launchpad giving investors a level of protection.
Cardano is one of those blockchains strategically positioned to take advantage of the growth potential derived from the decentralized internet, and in this article, we'll break down why.
Cardano is a proof of stake blockchain created by an organization called Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), founded by Jeremy Wood and former Ethereum developer Charles Hoskinson. Hoskinson's decision to leave Ethereum stemmed from a difference of opinion with co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who was determined to pursue a non-profit approach.
Hoskinson and Wood wanted to embrace venture capital and a profit-based model while also incorporating a peer-reviewed research approach to Cardano's development. This peer-reviewed approach became one of Cardano's strengths as it continues to verify any developments on the network. In turn, these peer reviews create lots of excitement which has appealed significantly to early investors.
The Cardano blockchain was named after Gerolamo Cardano, a famous Italian mathematician who lived in the 1500s. In addition, Cardano has its native token called ADA, named after Ada Lovelace, a renowned Italian polymath in the 19th century.
The native cryptocurrency ADA is currently used as a store of value, with many adding it to their investment portfolio.
As of 2021, ADA is one of the biggest cryptocurrencies, presently fourth in market capitalization, with many investors believing in Cardano's platform and future development. ADA also allows for staking to insure a decentralized network and paying for transaction fees when doing any transactions on the Cardano network.
IOHK is the central organization responsible for overseeing all the developments on the network. This includes all the protocol developments and the financial solutions designed to transform Cardano into a blockchain powerhouse.
The other organization backing Cardano is Emurgo, a global initiative created to support enterprises, startups, and developers that create blockchain solutions. And finally, the Cardano Foundation hopes to protect, promote and standardize the Cardano protocol.
Demand for blockchains on which developers can deploy decentralized apps has been rapidly rising in the last few years. So much that networks like Ethereum have been experiencing much congestion primarily due to transaction limitations.
Cardano is well prepared to overcome such challenges if it manages to onboard as many projects as Ethereum because it's been designed to handle up to 1 million transactions per second (TPS), making it one of the fastest blockchains.
Such a high transaction speed combined with its peer-reviewed approach makes Cardano highly appealing to developers, meaning that the Cardano Foundation could very well be on the right track.
The blockchain platform can achieve its impressive speeds and processing power because it leverages a layered blockchain approach that consists of two layers. The Cardano settlement layer or CSL is where transaction settlement takes place. While the Cardano computation layer, which mainly handles security, will be the base layer on which smart contracts are deployed.
Cardano is a proof of stake blockchain protocol that allows pool operators on the network to run nodes that facilitate the minting of new blocks. Pool operators are required to generate cryptographic keys if they wish to become slot leaders. It takes roughly 20 seconds to create a new block on Cardano, meaning a random node can become a slot leader. However, it is essential to note that the time required to mint a new block can be adjusted.
Each registered pool on the Cardano blockchain conducts a rapid analysis every second to determine if it has been assigned slot leadership at any given point in time. If it confirms that it is the slot leader, then it can proceed to mint the block. This approach ties into the high level of security on the network without compromising transaction speed.
The block creation approach requires a pool to create a cryptographic proof which the other nodes can easily verify. Therefore, the Cardano network can achieve a high level of security and facilitate a cost-effective approach to block creation without sacrificing decentralization, thus helping overcome the blockchain trilemma. If you're interested in learning more, we highly recommend the Cardano White Paper.
This section will investigate how Cardano stacks up against popular blockchains like Solana, Bitcoin, and Ethereum. With so many blockchains competing with each other, it's important to remember that the primary goal of decentralized cryptocurrency networks is to solve the double-spending problem without the need for a central authority like a bank or similar entity. Each blockchain has created its solution but will stay relevant in the next decade or so is up for debate.
Bitcoin and Cardano are vastly different in their blockchain technology. On the one hand, Bitcoin operated on a proof of work consensus algorithm, widely criticized for being energy-intensive. On the other, Cardano runs on a groundbreaking proof of stake mechanism.
Proof of stake is more energy-efficient, making it more appealing, especially when compared to Bitcoin's environmental impact. In addition, Bitcoin is limited in terms of scalability due to its slow block time of 10 minutes compared to the 20 seconds it takes to create a block on Cardano.
Cardano is designed to support decentralized applications, while Bitcoin serves as a store of value and a way to move assets.
At the time of writing this, there's roughly 32 billion ADA currently in circulation compared to the 18 million circulating supply of Bitcoin.
Presently, Ethereum runs on proof of work but will soon transition to proof of stake with the rollout of Ethereum 2.0. Although Ethereum 2.0 and Cardano will operate on the same consensus model, the similarities end there, especially when we see how applications have already been built on Ethereum.
The developer ecosystem on Ethereum continues to grow mainly due to it being the first to integrate smart contracts.
Meanwhile, Cardano still doesn't support contracts, yet many are still looking forward to future developments with its rollout in late 2021.
Given its current market cap, many anticipate Cardano's adoption, especially when factoring in its high TPS and significantly lower transaction costs. Gas fees and transaction bottlenecks have greatly hindered the user experience on Ethereum in the last few months. Cardano presents itself as an efficient alternative that might encourage more developers to migrate or deploy cross-chain capabilities.
Both blockchains focus on high transaction speeds, with Solana achieving an impressive 50,000+ transactions per second. Some even say that Cardano can achieve a higher TPS when compared to Solana.
However, Solana is much further ahead in smart contract support, with several developers creating decentralized applications within the Solana ecosystem today.
Another advantage Solana has is block time, which clocks in at 400 milliseconds compared to Cardano's 20 second block time.
The one significant technological difference between the two blockchains is that Solana's consensus model is built on proof of history, achieved through the development of an internal clock. On the other hand, the Cardano blockchain does not have a cryptographic timestamp and instead only stores transaction information on the blocks.
Solana's blockchain also allows staking to validate transactions, a process that enables validators to earn network rewards.
Cardstarter is a launchpad or project accelerator that helps crypto projects launch on Cardano. It primarily functions as a decentralized bridge between innovators on Cardano and donors.
The platform allows donors or investors to gain early access to projects while providing a pipeline through which the developer teams can access vital funding. Cardstarter is one of the premier projects nurturing development on the Cardano network with project development support and events like hackathons.
One of the most attractive aspects of Cardstarter is that it provides low-risk opportunities for investors because their investment is insured against the risk of financial loss associated with vaporware and DeFi exploits. It achieves this through its insurance treasury, where each project launching on Cardstarter has to contribute to providing the community donors a sense of assurance against potential project failure. In addition, the platform has a vetting process that ensures that only serious crypto projects are accepted. This step is critical for investors looking for crypto opportunities that can deliver robust growth with low risk.
Cardstarter makes it possible for crypto projects to raise capital without deployable contracts using vouchers. Proper funding is one of the cornerstones of many startups. However, finding the right investors or enough financing can still be difficult for many projects given crypto scams of the past, most notably during initial coin offerings, aka ICOs. These problems introduce distrust which makes it difficult for projects to secure funding.
Fortunately, IDOs seem to be the ideal solutions, which is why platforms such as Cardstarter exist to help overcome those challenges. As a result, Cardstarter is one of the best launchpads for crypto projects that want to boost their potential for success through proper funding and support while creating a safe space for investors.
Cardano's impressive features, such as its high transaction throughput, high level of security, and Cardstarter, make it ideal for a crypto project such as Matrixswap. In addition, Cardano is planning to introduce smart contract compatibility in the next few months, which will have a more robust offering for future decentralized applications.
The combination of smart contracts, a high TPS, robust blockchain capabilities, low transaction costs, and the Cardstarter launchpad make the Cardano blockchain ideal for Matrixswap.
These features alone make it an appealing platform, and we are so excited to be one of the first DeFi applications to utilize this blockchain when Cardano supports smart contracts.
It's important to remember that Matrixswap will be available on multiple blockchains since we believe the future is multi-chain. But one of the most significant steps towards this vision is our Initial Decentralized Offering (IDO) on Cardstarter, where the public will finally get access to a limited supply of $MATRIX tokens.
We're looking forward to you joining us on this journey and giving you all the tools needed to play within the world of DeFi.
Cardano's features are ideal for running a decentralized application like Matrixswap. The goal is to leverage Cardano's high transaction throughput and low fees so that traders can execute leveraged trades on any asset that was once limited to centralized exchanges like Binance and Kraken.
The world is already shifting towards decentralized finance, and trading platforms are in high demand. With our IDO just around the corner, thanks to Cardstarter, we're ready to take the world by storm along with Cardano's future development.