Cardano vs Polkadot comprasion is a hard choice if you select only one of them. However, before chosing one over another, it is important to note that Polkadot (DOT) and Cardano (ADA) aren’t just competing with each other. They are competing with Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC) which will have smart contracts and Internet Computer (ICP). For decentralized finance, Solana (SOL) and Terra (LUNA) are the you should consider. Therefore, such selection is not related coin. It is related to the platform wars where there can be only … 3 or maybe 4?
I own them all, but if I had to pick between Cardano and Polkadot , I’d just slightly prefer Cardano. I’ll explain in three points.
1) Cardano vs Polkadot Fundementals
Ok, so that we’re all on the same page, let’s review some points.
Both protocols are proof-of-stake decentralized platforms developed to host other projects on their network, as Ethereum hosts D’Apps currently.
Both Gavin Wood (DOT founder) and Charles Hoskinson (ADA founder) originally worked on Ethereum and left because they were dissatisfied with the project and the trajectory of its development.
Both are thus self-conceived Ethereum competitors but are years later to the game. They do not have first-mover advantage, then, but they do have the advantage of hindsight.
This is the basic truth: Ethereum is their biggest competition. Right now ETH 2.0, which is transitioning to Proof of Stake, might come out before either of these projects reach both functional smart contracts and scalability.
If it does, then I imagine that there will be only one platform: Ethereum.
But if that doesn’t happen, then you might want to consider two key features for long-term success: decentralization and project road maps.
2) Decentralization & Road Maps
Decentralization matters because it ensures that a blockchain is secure and cannot be manipulated. In this regard, ADA has something of an advantage.
ADA has the most decentralized staking v. DOT has 1000 maximum validators
80% of ADA is in the hands of the community v. 50% for DOT
This is not an overwhelming advantage, however, since the blockchains need to get to the point that decentralization matters.
So, you might want to check their roadmaps for development. Presently, Cardano has moved onto their third phase: Goguen.
This means that Cardano is going to have smart contracts go live in August of 2021 (at least that’s the plan). At that point, they’ll be able to host D’Apps just like Ethereum. In simpler terms, they will be a functional platform.
But they won’t have the speed yet (that’s stage 4).
Polkadot, by contrast, is already focusing on their parachain rollout. That is the scaling and speed solution.
The problem for them is that these parachains won’t be interoperable just yet. So, they haven’t achieved scalability just yet and won’t until the next phase.
So far, then, it’s mostly a draw. Yet even if these projects solve scalability + smart contracts, it’s adoption that matters.
3) Cardano vs Polkadot In Terms Of Community Adoption
The reason you own an iPhone or an Android phone, and not a Windows phone, isn’t because the Windows phone platform sucked. It was actually quite good.
The problem is that Microsoft couldn’t get enough developers to write apps for their ecosystem. And without ever getting that critical mass, the phone interface just didn’t matter.
Right now, Ethereum has all the distributed apps (D’apps) that matter. If ADA or DOT is going to survive, then community development matters more than the tech.
In this regard, Cardano has done a better job thus far. Charles Hoskinson has a near-daily vlog going and is working with specific early adoption communities in Africa seed his launch.
His videos also get lots of views. Here’s a random example.
They aren’t snazzy, but they are the real deal. And people are watching. That engagement is what will matter for adoption and right now Cardano is doing a better job than DOT.
If you look at performance during the current crypto-winter, Cardano has lost only 39% while DOT is down an unbelievable 68.75%.
As a trader, this suggests that just by returning to its previous all-time high, DOT would do more than 100% from here.
For Cardano to hit Ethereum’s current value, it would do about 5x.
If Cardano increase to the value of Ethereum’s all-time high, it would do about 10x.
Likewise, if DOT were to hit Ethereum’s current value, it would do 17.87x.
If DOT were reach Ethereum’s all-time high, it would do about 27x.
Those are all achievable numbers and suggest that both are good investments. DOT stands to gain more, even if it doesn’t win out. It is also underperforming in developing community adoption, so it is less likely to succeed long term than Cardano.
Right now, the market seems to be pricing these appropriately. Longer-term, I slightly prefer Cardano, but there is far more growth potential with DOT.
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