Cardano, the cryptocurrency developed by Inside Outside Hong Kong (IOHK) and CEO Charles Hoskinson, has developed a significant amount of interest in the crypto space since breaking onto the market in November 2017.
Not only in Hoskinson at the helm of a dedicated, talented team of cryptocurrency and blockchain developers, but he represents a long-standing figure in the industry, having co-founded Ethereum and a played a role in the early years of its meteoric rise. Now, through the Cardano protocol and ADA cryptocurrency, Hoskinson and his group at IOHK are seeking to improve upon the industry standards of network-based cryptos. As opposed to the trend of Proof of Work coins, modeled in the vein of Bitcoin, Litecoin and other industry mainstays, Cardano broke the industry mold to pursue Proof of Stake (PoS).
Even Ethereum, second ranked cryptocurrency by market capitalization and industry leader in smart contracts and decentralized applications, has recognized the advantages of Proof of Stake and will be transitioning to the model in the coming year. Proof of Stake provides an improvement in the efficiency and energy cost of network maintenance, shunning the overworked, raw hash-rate generating power of Bitcoin and other PoW currencies.
Cardano also provides a significant advantage over the market in the form of staking, one of the most interesting innovations to come out of Proof of Stake. While Proof of Work relies upon the computational power of numerous machines to verify and insure the security of network transactions, Proof of Stake relies upon the “staked” resources of investors and network users. ADA holders can pledge a certain amount of coins to staking through the Cardano wallet, which has the effect of increasing and improving the overall network services. Therefore, the utility of the network increases with the number of users willing to participate–a feature that could prove to be a substantial windfall in terms of efficiency if cryptocurrency adoption takes off.
In return for staking coins, investors are rewarded with a dividend/interest paid in proportion to the resources they offer up. Last week, Coinbase Custody announced support for Tezos staking to institutional clients willing to store their XTZ through the exchange as opposed to individual wallets. The move represents a shift for crypto exchanges to both offering coin security to large capital investors, while allowing them to benefit from rewards like staking interesting.
In addition, Coinbase has been tied to ADA since announcing the coin as one of five cryptocurrencies under evaluation for addition. Since that initial press release in mid-2018, the four other coins included have been added to the exchange.
Following the most recent addition of XLM to Coinbase, only Cardano remains to be listed on the exchange, leading many investors to assume that a Coinbase/ADA pairing is forthcoming. While cryptocurrency just saw a massive rally that took Bitcoin above $5000 and generated double digit gains for most top cryptos, ADA outpaced the market, gaining 42 percent at the height of it run.
ADA, as of writing, has started a retraction in price consistent with the broader market. But the most recent, massive gains for Cardano relative to other coins was likely driven by investors anticipating that Coinbase still has its target set on ADA.