In a bull market, it’s all fun and games… In a bear market, things stop being fun – and start getting real. So, it’s quite a moment to revisit a video clip about Cardano (ADA-USD) that’s just resurfaced, in which ADA’s getting trash-talked by the founder of Solana (SOL-USD).
Last August, it was the height of the “NFT summer,” and Solana was red-hot. That’s when its founder Anatoly Yakovenko appeared on a Solana-centric podcast called Superteam, where he was asked to rank competitors like Cardano.
“I used to be a Haskell programmer,” Yakovenko said, referencing the language Cardano uses. “The approach that they’re taking is so extremely esoteric, with such a huge stick up their (bleep) about correctness. This is why they’re never going to ship.
“They’re trying to build something that’s like a cathedral,” Yakovenko continues. “As an engineer that had to ship code and get paid for it, it’s just – that stuff doesn’t work. You’ve got to, like, kiss a couple frogs in your design and ship stuff and just get it done!”
Now, fast forward to this summer: Nearly every crypto’s fallen way off its perch – SOL and ADA included. But while SOL is just kind of churning down at its lows, ADA is bouncing higher. (It’s only about +10% in a week… But that’s far better than most other crypto majors – so we’ll take it!)
But WHY is Cardano is coming out the gate so strong in June – after May was so brutal (for everyone)? Here are three key factors for investors to be aware of now:
Upcoming Catalyst: Vasil Hard Fork
While Cardano developers have spent five-plus years building their “cathedral,” the crypto price tends to get its boosts from major milestones on the Cardano roadmap:
When developers have major upgrades for the blockchain, they ask all validators to implement them at once, and only the new version of Cardano will be valid now. It’s called a “hard fork,” and ADA has a history of rallying beforehand, as I’ve mentioned before…and which is abundantly clear on its chart:
Here in June, the next hard fork, “Vasil,” is expected on the 29th. Where previous hard forks added new features – smart contracts and the ability to create your own crypto or NFT on Cardano – Vasil will be about scalability. The goal is “increasing throughput and reducing latency in block transmission, to “allow for the network to process a larger number of transactions…without affecting network performance.”
Right now, Cardano transactions could take 10 minutes, according to Kraken. That compares to 40 minutes on Bitcoin (BTC-USD) – but only five minutes on Ethereum (ETH-USD)…and “near-instant” on Solana or Cosmos (ATOM-USD).
This is why “Layer 2s” tend to pop up for the bigger, slower networks, like BTC’s Lightning Network and ETH’s Arbitrum and Optimism (OP-USD), which are also near-instant – and cheaper to use! In fact, Cardano developers are looking to deploy one (called Hydra) this year, saying: “In a layer 2 system like Hydra, it is possible to achieve confirmation times of less than one second.”
The hype tends to create a “FOMO” trade, as Cointelegraph notes. The Vasil hard fork seems to be providing this FOMO now; historically, ADA prices cool off in-between, so Hydra may very well be the next major catalyst this summer or fall.
Social Media Spotlight on Cardano
Another thing Cardano has going for it is its legion of devoted fans.
Its founder, Charles Hoskinson, may come across as a villain in “The Cryptopians” by journalist Laura Shin, which chronicles the founding team of Ethereum… But his prickly outspokenness has also made Hoskinson really, really good at Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit.
And social-media interest is a key element of success for any crypto project. So, those trends are closely followed by analysts – and as we see on this chart from Santiment, ADA enjoyed spikes in social volume this past Friday and yesterday.
Some of the buzz centered around Cardano’s foray into celebrity NFTs. Yesterday, the comedian Martin Lawrence appeared with Hoskinson in a live Twitter event to reveal that he will be partnering with Cardano on “30 unique, exclusive, one-of-one NFTs,” with another “special announcement coming soon.”
Lately, Cardano seems to be popular among ‘90s and ‘00s celebs. On Friday, rapper Soulja Boy tweeted this:
#Cardano NFTs looking really spicy right now! What should I get?
— Soulja Boy (Big Draco) (@souljaboy) June 3, 2022
My guess is that he’s been seeing what Champ Medici and his dad, Snoop Dogg, have been doing with Cardano NFTs:
In April, Snoop dropped a collection of music NFTs on Sound.xyz (on Ethereum) – plus “Clay Mates” on Cardano. These claymation 3D animated characters will eventually get the holders of their NFTs into a metaverse “festival and event space,” Clay Nation, and holders can buy virtual land there, too. (Martin Lawrence also noted his “good friend” Snoop’s success with crypto and NFTs in his own announcement Tuesday.)
An even bigger tweet was this one yesterday, from popular crypto Twitter account Watcher Guru: “Cardano has surpassed 1,000 projects being built on its network.” (Aside from Ethereum and Solana, most projects have a few hundred!)
But far more of the trending tweets about ADA and Cardano referenced:
All the Trouble for Solana
The Solana network suffered hours-long outages on April 30 and again on June 1. The former was essentially a bot attack to automatically mint NFTs at huge volume, but according to Laine (a blockchain company that operates Solana validators), the latter was “a known bug that was being fixed.”
Even so, Solana has seen multiple outages – whether partial or full, like these – since September, and particularly since January. Compare that to Ethereum and Bitcoin, which have both had 99% uptime! And “to date, the Cardano chain has had 100% network uptime,” reports CryptoSlate.
“This a direct demonstration of how & why #Cardano is built differently,” as prominent ADA investor Dan Gambardello tweeted on June 1. Solana’s downtime “simply reveals a big foundation to my $ADA investment thesis…Cardano is reliable.”
And I’d wager he’s not the only one:
Grayscale Investments raised its stake in ADA this week for its Smart Contract Platform Ex-Ethereum Fund. Cardano now represents 33.3%, with Solana at 21.1%. These are by far the largest holdings… But when Grayscale launched the fund in March, it held 25.3% ADA – and 23.3% SOL.
I wonder if Grayscale – and/or other major crypto fund managers – was among the “whales” spotted buying Cardano on June 3?
“Cardano saw 39 whale transactions worth $1m+ between 2pm and 3pm UTC Friday. Since this hour, $ADA’s price has risen +32%,” Santiment tweeted Tuesday.
After all, Solana and Cardano are commonly viewed as key competitors… so bad news for SOL can be good news for ADA. And Anatoly Yakovenko’s criticism of Cardano “building a cathedral” while Solana just moves quickly out the door is less convincing with all these outages.
Now, I’d be remiss not to note that Solana quickly fixed the bug that caused the last outage… Especially since members of our subscription services will have seen Luke Lango, Charlie Shrem, and their analyst team recommend both ADA and SOL in the past!
Speaking of Luke and Charlie: On Tuesday, they will hold a free briefing on the current crypto collapse – and why it’s a seismic shift that will create a new era. Thousands of coins are about to get killed… but the right coins will create profits beyond anything cryptocurrencies have produced so far.
To navigate this new world, it takes more than savvy picking, or even connections! It takes a powerful system that can constantly evaluate thousands of coins at once. Click here to get a seat at Luke and Charlie’s (virtual) presentation on Tuesday, where you’ll hear their top crypto pick now. And when you RSVP, you get their brand-new special report, 10 Widely Held Cryptos Knocking on Death’s Door.
On the date of publication, Ashley Cassell did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines. To have more news from The New Digital World sent to your inbox, click here to sign up for the newsletter.