Cardano (ADA): The Golden Hand?

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. The hard part is recognizing the opportunity.


The Cardano opportunity is a risk.

Life…is a risk.

The news today…the news any day…the last few crypto-days…is mixed.

From a layman’s point of view – one who has made a few good calls – I think that the next great cryptocurrency opportunity is here. The early cryptocurrencies were the introductions, the experiments and the tests.

A lot of people have made a lot of money in this space since 2009. Some of these newly minted multimillionaires have used this opportunity to push Fintech further. To create a second generation of cryptocurrencies with smart contracts and added tokens. To allow others to use their blockchains for good or ill.

From Bitcoin to Ethereum. Public blockchains that allowed innovators to dream and make their dreams into reality. The reality, the regulators, pushing back, but not yet winning.

From Bytecoin (stay away) to Monero (use at your own risk). And we must not forget the private angle. Others in this new space felt that the current governments obstructed the development of this technology as they, the Darknet users, actively created systems to hide behind a wall of code. Or give the user the choice to secure his accounts or make them public.

The principal problem with the private angle, is that we the users, do not often know who created these coins. We have no customer service. The risk, therefore, is great. To state otherwise is to be oblivious or perhaps to take that risk in hopes of a great return.

Is there a third way, however? A third generation of cryptocurrency? Not a compromise, as I have postulated before, but a “realist” coin? One that exists and uses the regulations to its benefit, rather than subjecting itself to the laws of all nations? In other words, can Cardano (ADA) use the law of nations to its advantage, while enticing a new breed of users?

We live in the real world after all. We earn and save and spend our money on real things in real stores, where real people stuff our groceries in real bags. We use fiat money, by and large, to do this. And there are many advantages to using fiat, except for micropayments across borders. Cryptocurrency handles the latter much better. But cryptocurrency has other problems.

Although, I’m no supporter of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) its current director made some interesting remarks recently.

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director at the IMF, indicated in her speech recently, “…this is not about digital payments in existing currencies—through Paypal and other “e-money” providers such as Alipay in China, or M-Pesa in Kenya…”

What does that tell you? Aside from the fact that she said it? Is Lagarde sounding the alarm or is she helping to clear the way for the banking industry to adopt the blockchain technology? If so, what type of cryptocurrency would governments accept? After all, the governments are the banks.

In the US, the company with the cheapest product wins the government business – a lot. Yes, there are affirmative action quotas (reverse discrimination policies) to follow, but the product used, needs to be under budget – until later, when the corruption and incompetence is discovered and the whole project exceeds the projected budget, plus some.

Would PoW cryptocurrencies be used by governments? Unlimited budgets are things of the past. Yes, China and Russia can offer inexpensive power (electricity) to cryptocurrency miners, having built the power stations on the backs of their subjects (tax and spend), however, freer countries cannot often hide such corruption for long.

PoS cryptocurrencies might fit the bill, however. In fact, Ripple is fitting the bill nicely now. More and more businesses and banks are signing on. But Ripple is not really PoS, is it? It does not encourage people to save and earn interest, it only entices them the buy, hold and sell. Perhaps to use their system. It is no longer user-friendly – if it ever was. But it is a pre-mined animal for the current financial system. Centralized and existing in the regulatory environs – and earning money for its investors.

Back to Lagarde. She also said, “For now, virtual currencies…pose little or no challenge to the existing order of fiat currencies and central banks…[b]ecause they are too volatile, too risky, too energy intensive, and because the underlying technologies are not yet scalable. Many are too opaque for regulators; and some have been hacked.” (Underlining emphasis mine.)

Volatility is a given with cryptocurrencies. They are not often pegged to a basket of goods or a fiat money supply. On the other hand, they are not – in theory – able to cause inflation.

Energy. There’s the big one. Bitcoin, for example, uses as much power as hundreds of thousands of homes, certainly. And there are worries, that continued unchecked, the blockchain beast might use as much electricity as entire countries.

That is a non-starter for whole countries, if they are constrained by objectivity and budgets. So, what is better? What kind of cryptocurrency would entice the average Joe, the high-power banker and, at the same time, dissuade governments from clamping down on the process? Where whole nations could participate?

It would need to be – IMO – a cryptocurrency (or more than one) with wide acceptance, ease of use, an international governance structure, economical, secure, and transparent under certain circumstances. (By that I mean, an objective set of published rules whereby the ‘coin’ would, under the circumstances outlined, provide identity information to third parties.)  Whatever else the cryptocurrency could add, given the needs and desires of the populace, would be up to them. Smart contracts. Machine to machine payments etc.

Naturally, the acceptable cryptocurrency would require scalability. In other words, be flexible enough to increase business in an efficient fashion.

Such a cryptocurrency, could become a new world reserve cryptocurrency, if it was not subject to the whims and laws of every separate bureaucracy – used a system of governance akin to Maritime Law – as has been suggested. It can be argued that Bitcoin is like this today.

This would be, as some have called it, the third stage in the evolution of cryptocurrency. And, perhaps, a stage in the re-development of a base or reserve monetary system, decentralized at its heart and beholden to its users, not its users’ users.

Efficient, secure, regulatable, sustainable and trusted, all based upon the original concepts of peer to peer networks. With the added benefit of creating a voluntary user base to extend the network.

Let’s face it, Bitcoin would be much faster if everyone connected and kept their computer on. But why waste energy? Why download the blockchain when cryptocurrencies like Cardano offer more efficient ways of participating – and obtaining PoS rewards?

The trick will be in the regulation. And how Cardano can manage what will certainly absorb much of their nest egg, that we the user must be willing to provide.

Can Cardano outpace Ripple and become a serious international player in short order?

Read between my lines.

 


The above should not be considered investment advice. It is solely the opinion of the author. The author who had DASH when it was wet behind the ears, Ethereum when the nerds were wrecking “DAO” havoc, Bitcoin too late and Aeon, at pennies on the dollar. Now it is the time for Cardano — methinks.


 

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Cardano (ADA): “PoS”itive Outlook?

Updated October 5, 2017


Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts,

Trust, trust, trust — or baloney?

In each other, we trust?

Trust, but verify…especially with cryptocurrency?

It seems that we have three developments occurring simultaneously, now — in the Fintech Crypto-World.

  1. Proof-of-Work (PoW) is moving to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
  2. Public is moving to Private or “choice.”
  3. And governments are trying to regulate.

Did I tell you something you don’t know? I hope not.

PoW. It was the most trusted way to create and maintain a person-to-person (P2P) network. But what happened? Has the crypto-space evolved?

PoW has become labor intensive, energy hogging and increasingly centralized. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin etc. Ethereum is attempting to move to a PoS system or at least use some of its protocols. Really? Again, why?

Why was the PoS protocol developed in the first place? Peercoin, Blackcoin, Cloakcoin and others. Were there long term issues? Security disadvantages? They drew less power, were faster, but they were essentially a pre-mine. But they reward those who maintain balances – and help to secure the network, right? Reward with an ever growing supply of cryptos, unless that supply is fixed — which appears to be the plan for Cardano.

What were (are) the results of PoS? Marginal success. Can a new PoS protocol reverse that trend?

Peercoin, for example, had problems with their code early on. Their primary developer is anonymous. Cloakcoin has changed hands.

What was worse, these PoS coins were more vulnerable than PoW types – less secure. So, why is Ethereum attempting to move in that direction? Aside from the official reports, I mean?

Competition from Cardano?

We know Cardano was developed – at least in part – by a former Ethereum developer, turned Ethereum Classic developer/supporter. To, me, that smells of trust. That smells of new blood — underdog — PoS+ blood type.

But the underdog is only in name. Like Ripple, Cardano has removed the curtain to reveal that it too is willing, at some level, to cooperate with regulators. They are willing — and able — to compromise. If we look to Ripple, they are succeeding.

To roll back the blockchain, as Ethereum did, to stop one criminal – okay, one “advantage taker” – smacks of centralization. (See the DAO Incident.) At that juncture, no matter how benign a dictator, Ethereum lost its way. One cannot punish the whole, to catch one mistake.

So what stain does Cardano have? As a free market supporter, the stain is called compromise? Or is it realism. In other words, Cardano is not seemingly attempting to create a separate cryptocurrency and/or protocol, as much as it is attempting to “get along” with the regulators. It wants to identify you, at least on one level. KYC — know your customer. The smart contract-currency platform that might be too smart for its own good.

And, in my mind, Cardano, unlike Ripple, wants you to participate. Game changer?

Ethereum Classic is “righting” the wrong of Ethereum. Still, the system – the protocol – is slow. It devours resources. Energy for mining. Power hungry.

So, what is the solution?

A PoS Ethereum, with new math: Cardano?

Now, we must decide. Do we trust the PoS? The pre-mine with a large chunk of coins held back for the “company.” Do we trust corporations? They act in their own interests, right? They must make a profit to survive, certainly. How much is enough?

And they are willing to share profits if we support the system?

Many cryptocurrencies are headed by corporations today. Mining warehouses keep many coins alive – corporations regulated by their respective governments. Of course, letting governments create cryptocurrencies will be a cluster-fork, of enormous proportions. But it’s heading that way today, in many countries.

Bitcoin’s reality is that it is managed by people with differing points of view, but they must come to a consensus to move forward. Hence the slow-to-change mentality. Is it outliving its usefulness? Some will tell you it has.

It seems that the move to privacy coins, created by unknown players, is an accident waiting to happen.  We need – IMO – the human factor. The “part” in the virtual machine that is not virtual. To service the humans who use the crypto. Or do we?

Privacy coins obscure their process, as to be non-auditable (or having a choice to audit), in a way that gives many the willies. Not because we want cash-like privacy, but because we wonder who else is using the protocol and why.

So, what can we say. Cash has no feelings. It’s just cash. True. But if you have the protocol to trace the bad actor and you don’t? What does that make you? An accomplice?

The one weakness in that cash-privacy crypto, one which you might hold on your flash-drive, is the customer service angle. If the currency “forks” and you didn’t update in time, what then? Get on Reddit and start complaining? Really?

Where is the “Complaint Department?”

Grandma likes to call people, right? The old school likes warm voices, emails to real organizations, faces to names. The old school lives and saves, on trust. Is Cardano that trust? The new Savings and Loan of Fintech Crypto?

And isn’t that what it’s all about? If we strip away the layers of protocols, unload the software, and just listen – who do you trust to keep your money? I’m not talking about playing the crypto-markets, drifting from one coin to the other, riding the emotion-horse. I mean, the bare-bones of it.

It is not the machines we trust, yet. It’s the people.

Isn’t that what it boils down to?

The fact that governments want to regulate may not be the best reason to flee into the “dark” coins. They will chase any entity that threatens the fiat empire. The darkness only eggs them on.

Regulations change because of force. What is the force of millions of cryptocurrency wallets, worldwide? It is a wave. A tidal wave.

Put your ship in the deep water.

A cryptocurrency that is backed (or less regulated by whole countries), will place pressure upon the bankers of old – the money-changers of the past. Especially, when it is trusted by people everywhere.

How would the empires of old stop that?

Can they, ICANN?

I don’t know if Cardano is the answer, but maybe they are onto something.