Both the US and Europe’s economies are officially in recession. Here in the UK, inflation is at 7% (forecast to rise to 10% in the coming months), with fuel, energy, and food prices being the major concerns for most people. In an effort to curb inflation, the Bank of England is gradually increasing interest rates, meaning the cost of borrowing is going up too. Investors have noted stock markets globally tumbling, and cryptocurrencies have recently experienced the most dramatic of falls. Did I mention we have an ongoing war in Europe too? It all feels quite dystopian. Especially if you’re aged 30 or younger: meaning you were below 18 years of age at the time of the Great Financial Crisis (2008) and therefore haven’t experienced anything like this in your adult life up to now.
Crypto market’s current outlook
One crypto that caught the headlines in the last week was Terra (LUNA) which dropped 99% in value overnight when linked stablecoin UST (which is supposed to have a 1:1 relationship with the US dollar) depegged, meaning it could no longer support that 1:1 value with USD. This wiping out of $40bn in value of a single asset overnight has spooked the crypto market more broadly. For example, Bitcoin, which acts as a bit of a bellwether for all cryptocurrencies, is down 23% vs. its 30-day high. Some people are speculating that this spells the beginning of the end for crypto, that the bubble is bursting. Meanwhile, crypto veterans have been reflecting on their experience of previous crypto winters. They have advised newer crypto investors to be patient. So if being a long-term holder is key to crypto investing (some would argue its key to all types of investing) then which cryptocurrency provides the strongest long-term outlook?
What is Cardano?
At the time of writing, Cardano (ADA) is the 7th biggest cryptocurrency by market cap ($19.5bn). It is a blockchain similar to Ethereum in the sense that it’s designed to be used as an applications layer i.e. a platform on which apps run and intercommunicate (via smart contracts).
What are the use cases for Cardano?
The Cardano website lists a range of verticals that stand to benefit from Cardano. Such verticals include Education, Retail, Agriculture, Government, Finance, and Healthcare. There are a bunch of decentralized apps (Dapps) actively being developed that will run on the Cardano blockchain. These apps will allow for the transacting of ADA tokens and NFTs.
Cardano’s philanthropic and environmental goals
Since its inception, Cardano has set out to be fully decentralized (which it already now mostly is) and sustainable. Delivering on Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is an important part of Cardano’s mission. ADA looks to offer the world an alternative to fiat currencies and payment networks that are at the mercy of banks of governments.
Much has been written about the energy-intensive nature of maintaining other blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum, however, Cardano is much less energy-dependent. This is in part thanks to Cardano adopting a proof-of-stake (over a proof-of-work) protocol for validating transactions.
Who is Cardano’s founder?
Charles Hoskinson is the CEO and Founder of Input Output (the parent company of the Cardano project). Prior to Cardano, Charles was co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain, and so he’s no doubt an incredibly experienced and credible leader. It is said that Charles Hoskinson learned lessons from the mistakes made in the early days of building Ethereum and applied these lessons to Cardano.
Cardano’s approach to development
Cardano is the first blockchain to be founded on peer-reviewed research. They have adopted a “measure twice, cut once” approach to development and believe this is the only way to deliver a structurally sound platform as complex as that which they are building. The project isn’t VC-funded and therefore the team doesn’t feel the pressure to rush development and doesn’t seek to optimize for short-term gains.
How many Cardano tokens are in supply?
Cardano cryptocurrency is similar to Bitcoin in the sense that it has a fixed supply: only 45 billion ADA tokens will ever exist. This is important as an investor in Cardano because scarcity is an important factor to consider when attempting to determine the future value of ADA vs. the growing demand.