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Launched in 2017, Cardano was designed to be an all-in-one cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, which uses the blockchain to let people send and receive tokens to each other, was the first generation of cryptocurrency.
You can think of Ethereum as the second generation. This unlocked the real potential of blockchain technology in the form of “smart contracts”, which are programs designed to do things automatically on the blockchain.
Cardano might be the third generation and has the goal of overcoming the problems other currencies have encountered. It was specifically designed with the aim of offering fast and direct transfers as well as a platform for financial applications. Its goals are incredibly ambitious, but there are a lot of issues Cardano will need to overcome to achieve these goals.
|Algorithm type||Ouroboros proof of stake|
|Launch date||September 29, 2017|
Cardano (ADA) is currently worth about $1.30, but things are looking up as it gains momentum due to its eco-friendly image. By December 2021, Finder’s panel of crypto experts gave an average predicted price for the coin of $27.25.
However, this average is heavily impacted by one outlier. While the rest of the panel gave predictions of between $0.50 and $8 for ADA’s value by the end of 2021, CEO of Unocoin Technologies Sathvik Vishwanath thinks the value of Stellar could hit $400 at the end. It’s a similar story with future predictions, with Vishwanath giving speculations of $800 by December 2025 and $1,100 by December 2030.
The median projection for the panel is one of more modest growth with valuations of $2 for December 2021, $4.01 for December 2025 and $15.00 for December 2030.
Morpher CEO Martin Fröhler is one of the more bullish on the coin going forward, believing the coin could push Ethereum and thinks its value could go as high as $8 by the end of 2021, hitting $40 in 2025 and $120 in 2030.
"Cardano is the only real Ethereum challenger. It is a well-designed protocol built on a strong scientific foundation," he said.
Banz Capital CEO John Iadeluca sees the value of the coin dipping in the short term to $0.90 but thinks its strong proposition for blockchain developers will help its value going forward, giving year-end predictions for 2025 and 2030 of $7.20 and $40, respectively.
Comparing it to Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), he adds, "Cardano has a very strong proposition for blockchain developers of which will incentivize many of the industry's key talent to build the future on Cardano. While it still requires a large amount of progression in order to be a contender against the value of ETH or BTC, its future is nonetheless bright."
Senior lecturer at the University of Canberra John Hawkins sees Cardano's value tracking in the other direction, believing the coin's value will steadily decrease in value, falling from $1 at the end of 2020, $0.20 in 2025 and eventually nothing by the close of 2030.
"Despite technical differences, there seems to be high correlations between prices of different cryptocurrencies excluding stablecoins," Hawkins said.
Can ADA surpass ETH or BTC?
Cardano's image as an "eco-friendly" financial product along with its ability to process transactions much faster than Ethereum has led many to wonder whether Cardano could challenge industry leaders like ETH or BTC.
However, the bulk of our panel (61%) doesn't think ADA will be able to surpass ETH or BTC as one of the most widely transacted coins. But just over a tenth (11%) do think Cardano could overtake Bitcoin, with only 3% thinking it'll impact ETH.
|Sagi Bakshi, CEO, Coinmama||Kate Baucherel, Digital Strategist, Galia Digital||Sarah Bergstrand, COO, BitBull Capital|
|Konstantin Boyko-Romanovsky, CEO & Founder, Allnodes||Jeremy Cheah, Associate Professor of Cryptofinance and Digital Investment, Nottingham Trent University||Justin Chuh, Senior Trader, Wave Financial|
|Paul J. Ennis, Lecturer/Assistant Professor, University College Dublin||Pedro Febrero, Head of Blockchain, RealFevr||Josh Fraser, Founder, Origin Protocol|
|Martin Fröhler, CEO, Morpher||Martin Gaspar, Research Analyst, CrossTower||Ryan Gorman, Co-founder, Trade The Chain|
|James Harris, Director, CryptoCompare||Justin Hartzman, CEO, CoinSmart||John Hawkins, Senior lecturer, University of Canberra|
|Julian Hosp, CEO, Cake DeFi||John Iadeluca, CEO, Banz Capital||Sukhi Jutla, COO, MarketOrders|
|David Klinger, Founder, Coteries Corporation||Paul Levy, Senior Lecturer, Brighton Business School||Vetle Lunde, Analyst, Arcane Crypto|
|Nicholas Mancini, Research Analyst, Trade The Chain||Desmond Marshall, MD, Rouge International & Rouge Ventures||Alex Mashinsky, CEO, Celsius Network|
|Bobby Ong, Co-founder, CoinGecko||Daniel Polotsky, Founder/Chief Advisor, CoinFlip||Forrest Przybysz, Senior Cryptocurrency Investment Analyst, Token Metrics|
|Joseph Raczynski, Technologist & Futurist, Thomson Reuters||Dr Iwa Salami, Senior Lecturer in FinTech Regulation, University of East London||Fred Schebesta, co-founder, Finder|
|Xavier Segura, General Partner, Morgan Creek Digital||Avinash Shekhar, Co-CEO, ZebPay||Matthew Shillito, Lecturer in Law, University of Liverpool|
|Ajay Shrestha, PhD Candidate, University of Saskatchewan||Lee Smales, Associate Professor of Finance, University of Western Australia||Elvira Sojli, Associate Professor, University of New South Wales|
|Aleks Svetski, CEO, Amber||Simon Trimborn, Assistant Professor, City University of Hong Kong||Jean-Philippe Vergne, Associate Professor, UCL School of Management|
|Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO, Unocoin Technologies Private Limited||Imran Yusof, FX/Crypto Market Strategist, Quantum Economics||Jonathan Zeppettini, International Operations Lead, Decred|
With a saturated blockchain market, Cardano needs to ensure it remains competitive against other development blockchains, such as Ethereum. While many believe the blockchain deserves its market cap position, there are others that question if Cardano will live up to promises. The outcomes of development can heavily influence future prices.
Cardano communicates all future development plans through its roadmap. Within the roadmap, the blockchain separates each stage of evolution into 'eras'. In order, these eras include Byron, Shelley, Goguen, Basho and Voltaire. Each era increases the functionality of the Cardano blockchain and although being launched consecutively, are worked on in parallel.
The era of Byron saw the launch of the Cardano mainnet in 2017. The subsequent Shelley mainnet was then launched in 2020. The Shelley mainnet focused on increasing the decentralisation of the network. By increasing the number of nodes, the developers now claim that Cardano is 50-100 times more decentralised than comparable networks. At the time of writing, the blockchain is now focused on finishing its third development phase - Goguen.
Goguen will focus on the integration of smart contract functionality, which has so far been lacking from Cardano's arsenal. Updates from Goguen have taken place from July 2020, and are expected to finish with the 'Alonzo' update in September 2021. Here are some key aspects that have been worked on over the last 12 months:
The Goguen era will finally enable decentralised applications to begin developing on the blockchain. If the number of users on the blockchain increases, the demand for ADA should increase significantly.
After Goguen is complete in September 2021, the Cardano team will focus on implementing the fourth era - Basho. This next mainnet will focus on optimisation and scaling.
Once functionality exists, the team plans on improving the underlying architecture of the system so that it is able to handle higher transactional volume. To facilitate the higher volume Cardano side chains will be developed.
It’s also important to be aware that Cardano isn’t the only project being billed as a next-generation blockchain platform. As well as battling with established players in the crypto sphere, it will also face competition from other new projects. The following are some other currencies you may want to keep an eye on:
Built on scientific philosophy and peer-reviewed academic research, Cardano offers a different approach to many of the other smart contract platforms. It’s backed by a strong development team, has a clear timeline of goals and offers a host of benefits over the largest smart contracts platform, Ethereum.
However, it’s still only in the early stages of development. While the Cardano team are currently working on launching its virtual machine, smart contracts capability and a host of other features, its competitors will also be getting their own houses in order. Most notably, Ethereum will be working on scaling solutions to improve transaction processing times, and the progress it makes in this area could have a big impact on the price of Cardano.
The bottom line with Cardano and its ADA cryptocurrency is that it’s still very new. While it’s a platform with plenty of promise and potential, that promise and potential is some way off from being fully realized. It’s also far from the only exciting project with lofty goals, and predicting which platforms will achieve widespread adoption and which will struggle for relevance is extremely difficult.
With this in mind, the best advice is simply to do your own research. Find out everything you can about the fundamentals behind Cardano and what the project hopes to deliver. If you’re optimistic about its chances of success and the potential for price gains, you can then think about buying some ADA.
At the time of writing, the author holds IOTA and XLM.
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