As a top ten cryptocurrency by market cap, Cardano’s approach to development is unique. Rather than emulating a corporation or community, Cardano’s organization is purely academic. Operating like the board of a major research institute, they rigorously peer review every potential development factor and only update the blockchain when a full consensus can be made. As such, their platform holds a privileged place of trust in the industry.
In the past several months, we’ve seen Cardano make great financial strides. Their listing on Huobi bolstered their ADA token’s presence in China. In the western world, Binance expanded their trading pairs to include Binance Coin (BNB) and Tether (USDT). Of course, Cardano is not just a financial instrument. The blockchain exists to one day supplant other blockchains through superior technology, and recent news pertains mostly to these development timelines.
Solving the Proof-of-Stake Question
Proof-of-Stake often sounds like the perfect solution to the ever-present problems with the Proof-of-Work mining ecosystem. The large-scale deployment of ASIC mining hardware is only one component, but it feeds into many of the others. Increasing centralization due to ASIC mining mega-farms like Bitmain defeats the original purpose of cryptocurrency. This increases the potential of the dreaded 51% attack that could cripple prominent blockchains. Not to mention the sheer electrical consumption that comes from running hashing algorithms 24/7 on hundreds, if not thousands, of machines. Proof-of-Stake itself solves some of these problems but suffers from others.
Until now, Proof-of-Stake systems could not ‘bootstrap’ new or desynced nodes from a single starting block. Proof-of-Work is capable of this, and it prevents checkpoints or other theoretically ‘trusted’ parties from becoming corrupt. Cardano’s Charles Hoskinson recently released a peer-reviewed research paper outlining the process through which they created Ouroboros Genesis. This unique variant of the Proof-of-Stake algorithm solves the problem of bootstrapping and creates a system that can compete directly with Proof-of-Work mining. This could mean big things for Cardano, but also for the entirety of the cryptocurrency world. Given the extreme energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining, reductions in this process benefit everyone. It also helps to prevent hostile centralization by ASIC mining farms.
Cardano’s Global Expansion
Cardano’s addition to Huobi and progress in the Chinese market is well known by now, but the academic blockchain did not rest after this accomplishment. Instead, they looked to emerging markets that might benefit from blockchain integration. To this end, Cardano signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Ethiopia. Blockchain can offer the African country several benefits – efficient agricultural monetization, secure governmental processes and more. The partnership remains in the opening stages, but new developments are sure to come – and we will watch with great interest.
Further, alongside Ethereum and the OmiseGo team, Cardano chose to boycott the upcoming Consensus 2018 forum. Citing concerns with how the forum’s parent company operates, Charles Hoskinson tweeted at Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. The latter announced that he would not be attending the conference, with Hoskinson vehemently agreeing. The combination of refusing parties gives credibility to some complaints about the conference – and the company behind it.
Looking Forward with ADA
In brighter news, the Cardano team received an invitation from major cryptocurrency event Eurocrypt 2018. The development team will speak at length about their Ouroboros Genesis protocol and how it can be used to bring Proof-of-Stake algorithms up to speed. Eurocrypt is a well known and academically rigorous event that fits well with Cardano’s company vision.
Further, Cardano’s recent release of two new test nets furthers their technical accomplishments. Both test nets appeal to developers specifically, and the full Cardano product release remains some distance off. However, considering the standards that Cardano set for itself, there’s no surprise that progress moves more slowly than the less scrutinized blockchains that make up the rest of the top ten. Seeing as Cardano’s value doubled over the course of the month of April, investors do not seem bothered by the speed of development.
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Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.
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