Cardano coin (ADA) has the potential to be the cryptocurrency that disrupts the disruptors.
A "third-generation" cryptocurrency, the Cardano coin was in development for two years, going live in September 2017. It borrows elements from and improves upon the cryptocurrencies that came before it, particularly Bitcoin and Ethereum.
And while Cardano is still very new, with many of its planned features under development, the realization of its road map will make it an extremely robust, versatile cryptocurrency.
Optimism over the coin, which trades under the symbol ADA, pushed the Cardano price from just over $0.02 at its debut to an all-time high of $1.26 on Jan. 4 - a gain of 6,200% in just three months.
Since then, the price of Cardano has declined along with other cryptocurrencies. Now it trades at about $0.29 (which is still 1,350% higher than its debut price) and ranks No. 6 by market cap on CoinMarketCap.com.
The folks building Cardano are confident their creation will quickly catch up to - and surpass -the other major cryptos.
"Within six months or a year, we will be pound-for-pound better than Ethereum and Bitcoin in every dimension and aspect, just based on how our roadmap is rolling out," Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson told Finance Magnates.
Here's why ADA could be the best cryptocurrency to buy in 2018...
What Makes the Cardano Coin Special
With more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies in existence and new ones popping up all the time, it's hard to stand out. But Cardano has many advantages over rival coins - so many that it appears destined to be one of the most dominant cryptocurrencies over the long term.
Let's start with the developers. They're the folks who write the code. And the Cardano team is especially impressive. The group operates out of a company called IOHK, which also develops Ethereum Classic.
Cardano has more than 30 top-notch developers devoted to the project. IOHK was founded by Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood, both of whom have a long history with cryptocurrencies.
For Hoskinson, IOHK is his third crypto-related project. He previously worked on Invictus Innovations (which created the Bitshares platform), and Ethereum, where he served as the first CEO.
Unlike most cryptocurrencies, Cardano didn't start as a "white paper" (an outline of the project's technology and goals). Instead, the project started as a set of "design principles, engineering best practices and avenues for exploration."
The code that resulted from the team's research was made open source and subject to peer review, just as with any serious scientific endeavor. That's unheard of among cryptocurrencies, which too often consist of code copied from other coins by a handful of anonymous developers.
Cardano's code, by contrast, was built completely from scratch. It's built in a programming language called Haskell, an advanced system in which code can be written more precisely, reducing errors and making the platform more secure.
And that's just the start...
How ADA Will Take on Bitcoin and Ethereum
One way Cardano improves on cryptocurrency design is by separating its two main functions into two distinct layers: one for the transfer of value ("Cardano Settlement Layer"), and one for the storage of data ("Cardano Control Layer").
Limiting the duties of the settlement layer makes it more secure and preserves privacy for basic transactions that don't require metadata.
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And having a separate control layer is better for Cardano as a platform, such as smart contracts, distributed applications (Dapps), and even as a foundation for initial coin offerings (ICOs). It allows the control layer to be optimized for these uses, while Ethereum's single-layer system must do double duty.
Best of all, the two-layer design means each can be upgraded separately as needed.
Cardano also is on the cutting edge of how it confirms its blocks on the network. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum use something called "proof of work," in which miners solve a difficult mathematical riddle, with the winner earning a monetary reward.
Cardano uses "proof of stake," in which holding ADA tokens gives you a "stake" in the network, and the stakeholders receive rewards for validating the blocks and securing the network. As with just about everything associated with this project, Cardano's proof-of-stake protocol, called "Ouroboros," was designed and built by its developers.
As Cardano executes on its road map, it will be capable of doing everything Bitcoin and Ethereum can do, but more efficiently and more securely.
Two ICOs, Sp8de (SPX) and Traxia (TMT), have already launched on the Cardano platform.
"I'm building this over a long term," Hoskinson told Finance Magnates. "I want ADA and Cardano to be used 50 years from now, I want this to be like TCP IP. Our vision is for Cardano to be the financial stack of the developing world."
But all this begs the question: If Cardano coin is so great, why isn't the ADA price going gangbusters?
Here's why crypto traders are holding back - but won't be for much longer...
This Could Send the Cardano Price Up More Than 17,000%
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For now, Cardano suffers from being in a very early stage of development. Many of its most impressive features aren't yet live.
Because of that, and the scam-plagued history of cryptocurrencies, many crypto investors have adopted a wait-and-see approach to Cardano. In short, many investors want to see the project deliver on at least some of the promised features before jumping in.
But given the pedigree of Cardano's development team, it's a pretty good bet these features will materialize as expected. That's why now is an ideal time to invest in Cardano.
The next major Cardano release is codenamed Shelly (the current release is Byron). In a YouTube video posted yesterday (Sunday), IOHK Director of Engineering Duncan Coutts explained the rollout plan.
Rather than do a "big bang release," with a lot of new features at once, Coutts explained the team will release features as they are ready, at intervals of about four to six weeks.
Features like a functional proof-of-stake network, multi-signature wallets, human-friendly addresses, integration with a debit card, quantum-resistant signatures (making its cryptography protocol stronger than Bitcoin's), and sidechains will definitely get the attention of the crypto investing community.
And as these features appear - confirming the validity of the project - the Cardano price will rise accordingly.
The price could easily triple to $1 by August. The ADA consensus price for December 2018 on Finder.com is $2.33, a 700% increase from the current price.
But a couple of individual forecasts have Cardano going to $5. And one from February's survey, by Spendher founder Skye Dunworth, sees ADA soaring to $50 - a gain of more than 17,000%.
"The scalability and interoperability of Cardano has huge potential," Dunworth said. "If they can get moving on wider-spread implementation, we will see some substantial if not exponential upward movement this year."
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- Finance Magnates: Interview with Founder of Cardano: ADA "Will Be Better Than BTC and ETH" in 1 Year
About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.