Cardano is a popular third-generation blockchain project launched in 2017. It promises to deliver smart contract functionality similar to Ethereum, but so far, this has not materialized.
This guide considers Cardano’s progress and whether it could be vaporware. We will also consider some of the applications of the project, if it can displace Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency and if it’s a good investment.
Is Cardano vaporware?
On Wikipedia, vaporware is defined as a “product, typically computer hardware or software, that is announced to the general public but is late or never actually manufactured nor officially canceled.”
Based on that definition, Cardano isn’t vaporware for various reasons. The project was launched back in September 2017.
According to its roadmap, Cardano is designed to be launched in five phases, which are:
- Byron era: The first version of Cardano plus the release of Daedalus wallet, the official wallet from IOHK to store ADA token, Cardano’s native cryptocurrency.
- Shelley era: IOHK sought to decentralize the Cardano network by incentivizing the community to participate in running staking pools. They reached 100% decentralized block production in April 2021.
- Goguen era: Cardano is currently in this phase designed to introduce smart contract functionality. Smart contracts were launched in test net in September 2021, and once the testing stage is done, the functionality will be available in the mainnet.
- Basho era: Cardano core developers will focus on scaling the network by introducing significant changes improvements such as sidechains.
- Voltaire era: The blockchain will gain independence from the IOHK influence by changing the voting and treasury systems.
The first two eras are already live on the network while the core devs are working on the rest of the improvements. So far, the Cardano blockchain is functional, allowing its users to interact with the settlement layer where they can send and receive payments.
The main feature of Cardano is the smart contracts, there is ongoing active testing for the launch of the computation layer (CCL), and this is in line with the roadmap.
What is vaporware Crypto?
Vaporware, in the blockchain space, means any cryptocurrency project that is announced to the public but never gets launched.
Many vaporware projects were announced during the bull season of 2017/18 when the ICO (initial coin offering) model of fundraising was dominant.
Platform developers would typically announce their projects, but it never actually got launched because:
- The project was a scam.
- The developers had a falling that led to the project failing.
- The project became unviable during the course of development.
Also read: Is Cardano a shitcoin?
What are the applications of Cardano?
Cardano was designed to have two broad applications:
- To support payments.
- To host smart contracts like Ethereum.
Once the second layer is fully launched on the Cardano mainnet, it’ll have wide applications in several industries, including the following:
- Education: IOHK has designed an ID and credentials solution custom-built to be compatible with Cardano blockchain dubbed Atala PRISM that will be useful in verifying academic credentials;
- Retail and healthcare: Atala SCAN is another IOHK solution designed to combat counterfeit and substandard goods in the retail and healthcare sectors;
- Agriculture: Atala Trace is another IOHK-built blockchain solution designed to offer supply-chain tracking capabilities making it easy to trace the source of food supplies and its journey through the supply chain to the grocery stores;
- Government: ATALA PRISM can also be used to verify national and local identities, licenses on a digital interface.
- Finance: Blockchain solutions such as ATALA PRISM can be built to enable identity verification and KYC provisions for various players in the financial sector.
Is Cardano a failure?
Whether Cardano is a success or a failure is a subjective matter. Sure, Cardano has been sold to the public as an Ethereum killer, but it’s still too early to judge whether it will replace Ethereum as the leading altcoin and smart contract platform.
In other areas, Cardano is relatively a big success. It is a fully-fledged blockchain with a vibrant community enabling users to make fast and cheap payments across borders, and it has successfully implemented the Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanism making it a highly scalable and eco-friendly blockchain network.
Also read: Is XRP Vaporware?
Is ADA the next Bitcoin?
ADA is Cardano’s native cryptocurrency that was introduced to facilitate value transfer within the blockchain.
So far, ADA and bitcoin are used to make payments, but ADA is poised to become much more once Cardano launches the computation layer that supports running smart contracts.
So technically, ADA can take up the role of Bitcoin but we have to wait and see.
Is Cardano a good investment?
Cardano can be a good investment depending on an investor’s definition of ‘good,’ goals, and timing.
Typical goals relate to why they want to invest. Is it to gain returns or to support the network? Is it to participate in the nascent Cardano community and participate in staking which earns them the right to contribute towards the development of the project.
All in all, there are many factors to consider before investing in any cryptocurrency initiative. For example, speculators will consider the timing to ensure that they do buy, hold and sell ADA at the right time.
Cardano may not have launched all its promised features but it is en route towards achieving that goal. The core developers are still hard at work to see it come to fruition therefore it is still too early to declare the project vaporware.