It’s difficult to quantify the variables present when starting a company, and it only gets more complex when entering the financial technology industry. There are two general approaches to launching a cryptocurrency: introduce a minimum viable product to the market as soon as possible, or take your time and play the long game.

Cardano (ADA) has, for the most part, chosen the latter of these two options, taking an academic approach backed by peer-reviewed research and fiduciary responsibility. At the moment, these claims are theoretical, and only time will reveal how genuine they are.

While direct competitors like EOS and Ethereum have early movers advantage, they may have jumped the gun, allowing a more fundamentally sound project like Cardano to pass them in terms of overall value. If Cardano can mitigate further delays and stick to their plan, they have a legitimate chance of making 2019 their own.

Cardano Q4 2018

After a series of developmental delays throughout 2018, Cardano’s fourth quarter turned out to be an eventful time. A lengthy blog post detailed an internal rift in the Cardano Foundation, one of three branches making up the executive Cardano team.

The post made the case that former CEO Michael Parsons should resign due to inadequate performance, and that due to their 3-tiered structure, the project would be able to continue regardless. In mid-November 2018, Parsons resigned, and Pascal Schmid has been elected as interim.

The way the situation was handled sent positive sentiments throughout the Cardano community, as many members prefer issues to be solved in a transparent and timely manner, rather than swept under the rug. Clearly this is how problems should be handled, but in the fast-paced world that is cryptocurrency, it’s vital.

Cardano 1.4 Officially Released

Cardano 1.4, named the “most significant” update so far, was officially launched December 18th, 2018. Version 1.4 brings four major updates to the Cardano ecosystem:

  1. Cardano Testnet — A platform for Cardano developers to test software without running the risk of damaging the Cardano blockchain.
  2. Rust — Programming language used by many mobile and web developers to create software for industrial use.
  3. Optimized Block Storage — Instead of downloading 1.5 million files to sync their Cardano desktop wallet, users only need to download 200 files now. This creates a more user friendly process and a quicker network overall.
  4. Linux Desktop Wallet — Linux is an operating system popular within the developer community, and Cardano has released the Linux v1.1 for their desktop wallet, Daedalus.

It’s also worth noting that Cardano founder and CEO Charles Hoskinson does regular video updates, and his most recent update reviews Cardano in 2018.

2019: The Shelley Update

The Cardano roadmap is one of the most detailed roadmaps in the crypto game, and even features a countdown timer until the next roadmap update. The first stage of their project was labeled Byron, and with the release of Version 1.4, the next stage is set to begin as soon as Q1 2019.

Shelly, the second stage of Cardano, will make significant strides in bringing their plans to life. Shelley’s main goal is the complete decentralization of the blockchain, stake pools, hardware wallet support, debit cards, sidechains and more.

The Shelley update will take Cardano to an entirely new level. In regards to price, the introduction of staking pools could be a catalyst for a massive move upward.

Staking Cardano

Cardano will use a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, allowing users to stake their ADA tokens, and receive ADA tokens in return. This also allows users to vote on changes to the network by staking ADA.

There are currently a fairly large number of Proof-of-Stake coins on the market, all with their own approach. After conducting research and experiments, Cardano discovered they’d be able to handle 1,000 different staking pools, theoretically maximizing decentralization.

This also allows all Cardano holders to earn ADA through staking regardless of how much (or little) ADA they own. Some PoS tokens require a minimum amount of tokens to be staked, which generally leads to money flowing to the hands of fewer and fewer people.

Incentivizing Cardano holders to stake their tokens has a direct application to the supply and demand of the token. Since there’s a limited supply, and no new tokens will be minted, locking up a significant portion of ADA means the market price will likely increase.

IOHK, Hoskinson’s development firm behind Cardano, released an academic paper just before the end of 2018, detailing the implementation of sidechains in a Proof-of-Stake ecosystem — marking a significant milestone for the entire cryptocurrency industry.

Moving Forward

Cardano’s rise to becoming a top-10 cryptocurrency was accomplished with promising academic papers and impressive communication, and little to show in terms of a working product. This puts the project in an interesting place, and could be part of the reason why its marketcap ranking is on the decline.

That said, the completion of Byron has given them a solid foundation to work with, and if they can successfully move through Shelley in a timely manner, 2019 is Cardano’s for the taking.


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Who you’re reading:

Matt Laxen is a full-time cryptocurrency writer and traveler, excited to see what decentralized technology holds for our future. When he’s not writing in his favorite workspace, he’s doing research, building businesses, lifting weights, or headed to the beach.

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Disclaimer: Any and all opinions expressed here are those of Matt Laxen alone. The article is for educational and/or entertainment purposes only, so please use it at your own risk.