Confidence is building around cardano, a blockchain launched in 2017, after it overtook Binance’s BNB coin to come in third on the crypto ladder, behind bitcoin and ethereum.
What is cardano?
Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain with a cryptocurrency called ADA, which takes its name from mathematician Ada Lovelace. It was founded by ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson and aims to compete directly with the current decentralised crypto platform heavyweight, ethereum.
Cardano earns all its comparisons to ethereum. It calls itself the first third-generation cryptocurrency aimed at tackling scaling and infrastructure problems that first cropped up in bitcoin, a first-generation cryptocurrency that introduced the idea of digital coins, and ethereum, a second-generation crypto that expanded use cases for crypto coins to smart contracts. Specifically, cardano aims to solve problems related to scalability, interoperability (how blockchains communicate with one another) and sustainability on cryptocurrency platforms.
What is a smart contract?
A smart contract refers to a computer program that lives on the blockchain. These programs automatically run when predetermined conditions are met. With the help of smart contracts, the blockchain network becomes a programmable platform that can host other applications — like how apps work on your phone’s operating system. Smart contracts have become a game changer in the cryptocurrency market and its subcategory, the decentralised finance (DeFi) market.
What makes cardano special?
Cardano has long been hailed as the potential “ethereum killer” as it seeks to offer many of ethereum’s most compelling capabilities, such as robust smart contracts. Here are some other benefits:
- Solving scalability and high fees: Cardano was designed to support fast transactions with minimal transaction fees. It is believed that cardano will be able to process up to a million transactions a second. For perspective, Visa handles about 1 700 transactions per second.
- Reducing blockchain energy consumption: With many people, including Tesla’s Elon Musk, worrying about the energy consumption required to secure blockchain networks, cardano has been built to be an energy-efficient blockchain since day one. While this is a vastly debated number, it is believed that bitcoin uses around 90TWh of energy per year, ethereum 45TWh and cardano only 6GWh. Therefore, Cardano uses just 0.007% and 0.013% of the energy usage of bitcoin and ethereum, respectively.
- Limited supply: For all the hard money enthusiasts out there, cardano has you covered. Unlike ethereum, cardano has a strict cap of 45 billion coins on its total diluted supply.
- A scientific, peer-reviewed cryptocurrency: ADA is the only coin with a “scientific philosophy and research-driven approach”. In practical terms, this means its open-source blockchain undergoes a rigorous peer-review process by scientists and programmers in academia as it goes through any upgrades.
How does cardano’s blockchain work?
Unlike bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW) model, which uses a lot of computing power and electricity to verify transactions, cardano uses a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism to process transactions and secure its blockchain.
A PoS is a mechanism that allows for the network of users to act in their own best interests, and through this action they inherently end up securing the network. Rather than relying on computers racing to mine the block, the idea behind a PoS protocol is that participation is determined by ownership of the coin supply that you are staking on the network. Users who want the opportunity to be selected to add blocks to a PoS blockchain are required to stake a certain amount of the blockchain’s cryptocurrency in a special contract. The number of coins staked determines their chances to be selected as the next block producer. Yet, if users behave maliciously, they may lose their stake as punishment.
This is a similar concept to having equity in a company you work for. Suddenly you have a vested interest in the company and you really care about how it performs from one quarter to the next. You have a stake in the company’s success, and now you’re a “stakeholder”.
We’ve recently seen cardano starting to show a rather large price appreciation, but what has this growth been driven by?
There are several factors that are at play:
- The overall cryptocurrency market has seen a strong recovery from the July lows.
- The growing interest in the smart contract sector.
- But, most importantly, it was the announcement that cardano’s software update will bring the long-awaited release of cardano’s smart contract capability.
Below we can see how Cardano has outperformed many other investment assets over the past 12 months.
A single R1 000 investment in cardano would have translated into R16 196. This is substantial when compared to many alternative investments. In fact, this is a return on investment over four times greater than if you had invested in bitcoin over the same period (R3 681).
Where do I buy cardano?
Cape Town-based crypto investment platform Revix, which is backed by JSE-listed Sabvest, is adding cardano to its crypto product offering on Friday, 27 August 2021.
Due to the hotly anticipated release of cardano on its platform, Revix has decided to run a two-fold promotion:
- The first 600 new sign-ups will receive double their initial deposit up to R500 using the promocode DOUBLEUP. This promotion is valid from 17 to 31 August 2021, so do not miss it.
- There will be zero buying fees with rand and British pounds on Cardano purchases for one week (27 August to 2 September).
Through Revix, you can also gain access to their ready-made “crypto bundles”. These bundles allow you to own an equally weighted basket of the world’s largest and, by default, most successful cryptocurrencies.
Revix brings simplicity, trust and great customer service to investing. Its easy-to-use online platform enables anyone to securely own the world’s top investments in just a few clicks. Revix guides new clients through the sign-up process to their first deposit and first investment. Once set up, most customers manage their own portfolio but can access support from the Revix team at any time. For more information, visit Revix.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. The views expressed are not and should not be construed as investment advice or recommendations. This article is not an offer, nor the solicitation of an offer, to buy or sell any of the assets or securities mentioned herein. You should not invest more than you can afford to lose, and before investing, please take into consideration your level of experience and investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary.
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