Skip to main content

What about Cardano (ADA)?


Every coin has its pros and cons, and so an unbiased objective take is impossible. Cryptocurrency is a free market of ideas and voluntary involvement, and the best coins must prove themselves in it, including BCH. Readers are encouraged to explore the communities, apps and events that other coins have to offer and hear both sides of the argument. However, as a candidate for being the global reserve currency, other coins tend to have serious flaws that make them a less viable candidate than BCH.

Similar to Ethereum with Vitalik Buterin, Cardano is somewhat "socially centralised" around its founder Charles Hoskinson. While his charisma or authority may add to the network in the short term, it makes influencing him an attack vector on the network and bets very heavily on his individual ability to steer the project optimally.

Cardano adopts an "academic" approach to cryptocurrency. An enormous amount of time, money and ink is spent on a vast array of interconnected research papers that "rigorously prove" a number of claims about cryptocurrency or Cardano specifically. This is fundamentally flawed, as in the immortal words of Yogi Berra "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not." The cryptocurrency market learns ground-up by constant trial and error on the free market (hence why there are 10 000+ cryptocurrencies) rather than top-down by academic direction. Even Satoshi commented that he wrote the first source code implementation for Bitcoin before writing the whitepaper, to convince himself that his idea was feasible in practice and not just in theory. A strong focus on neat academia instead of messy experimentation is an appealing idea, but inevitably leads to oversights and sandboxed enthusiasm for grand ideas that cannot survive under real world conditions.

Charles often likes to point out that Bitcoin is a "homogenous" system (meaning every Bitcoin node is interchangeable). According to him, this is a problem, since if analogised to nature it would be like having only a single-cell organism. To develop a more complicated lifeform takes a "heterogeneous" system with specialised eye, skin, muscle and so on tissues. By this reasoning, he thinks Cardano benefits from having multiple types of nodes with individual capabilities. This is a catchy thing to say, but misses a more important point. Satoshi's design for Bitcoin was deliberately simple because it makes fault tolerance very high and engineering complexity low. The whitepaper explains that dropped messages, dropped blocks, or nodes leaving and rejoining the network are all accounted for. The more specialised types of nodes and variables Cardano introduces, the more fragile and convoluted its ecosystem becomes. Charles overlooks that nature developed more complicated, robust lifeforms by trial and error over millions of years, which is the exact opposite of his academic approach described above.

Charles also has a flawed approach to regulation and crypto to fiat exchange interfaces. He correctly notes that they are inevitable, but his approach is to try and accomodate or even encourage both, instead of the Bitcoin Cash approach which is to bypass them whenever possible. The Cardano ecosystem will spend a lot of effort making it easier for banks to interface with their blockchain, which is less effective than other communities building organic and robust peer to peer trade networks that skip banks altogether. Accomodating an earlier paradigm in a new paradigm adds weight that destroys the potential of the new paradigm - like thinking it necessary to strap a horse to a racecar. Compromising with banks, will limit the potential and weaken the ultimate value of the Cardano ecosystem.

See also: Why Bitcoin Cash instead of another cryptocurrency?

See also: Nothing is perfect, why NOT Bitcoin Cash?