What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is a decentralized layer 1 blockchain which executes peer to peer application code called smart contracts. Smart contracts enable people to transact with each other with a trusted authority.
Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap beaten only by Bitcoin. As of today it has a market cap of $135 billion. Ethereum was founded in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood.
Ethereums native token Ether is used for paying fees, staking & sending transactions. Ether is the token while Ethereum is the network that the token is hosted on. Tokens and dApps on Ethereum are ERC-20 tokens.
With Ethereum being such a giant it has proven itself to be sustainable and stable to host smart contracts on. With the wide range of functions that Ethereum offers such as smart contracts and the use as a digital currency Ethereum has become the number one choice for a lot of developers and users alike.
One advantage that Ethereum has is its decentralization. This is what brings a lot of people to the Crypto space and in a way makes them feel more safe. Ethereum offers this.
Ethereum is still very much a work in progress, with new developments happening every week and the network continuously being made more efficient. With Ethereum being the biggest network for developers to build on there is a very large community of developers working on Ethereum and making it better.
Ethereum currently runs on the proof of work (POW) consensus however is in the works to be switched over the proof of stake (POS) which will lower transaction fees. The testnet has recently been switched to POS and they hope to have POS live on the mainnet this year.
With Ethereum currently being POW and there being so much traffic on the network the gas fees have slowly creeped higher and higher. Gas fees can range anywhere from $8 per transaction right up to $100 per transaction, depending on how much traffic there is on the network.
As Ethereum plans to make the move to proof of stake this should lower the gas fees and help Ethereum with its scalability issues. Switching to proof of stake will phase out the need for miners. Proof of stake will require participants to stake their Ether to participate in the transaction process.
It is estimated that switching to proof of stake will minimize Ethereums carbon footprint by 99%. This is due to proof of work using expensive crypto mining equipment such as high end graphics cards to mine the transactions, which consumes a lot of energy.
Development Learning Curve
Ethereum has a large learning curve for any new developers wanting to make the move from more centralized networks. Ethereum development work is written in the language Solidity.
What is Cardano?
Cardano is a layer 1 blockchain which is designed to be flexible and scalable for running smart contracts. Cardano is the 8th biggest crypto currency by market cap with a market cap of $15 billion. Cardano runs proof of stake allowing for it to be more scalable when developing dApps, tokens and more.
Cardano was founded in 2015 by Charles Hoskinson.
As of today Cardano is yet to roll out its smart contracts and has been having development issues trying to do so. Cardano has the goal to be the most scalable, flexible and energy efficient blockchain and intends to achieve that by using proof of stake rather than its energy heavy partner proof of work.
Much like Ethereum having Ether has its native token Cardano has a native token called ADA. ADA will be used for paying fees, staking and making transactions on the network.
The biggest pro Cardano has over Ethereum is the network running proof of stake which once launched will enable the network to have low transaction fees and a very low energy usage. Until the smart contracts go live on the network we will not know for sure how the network compares to other layer 1 blockchains such as Ethereum, Solana and Avalanche.
The most clear negative that Cardano has is the fact that the network does not work. With smart contracts not being live and the developers having failed to launch them in the past this should make any investor question whether the network will ever come to fruition. With Cardano being founded in 2015 and launched in 2017 you would think they would have capable and working smart contracts live by now, especially with the funding that they have.
Cardano VS Ethereum is very much the same as saying a not working block chain vs a working blockchain. Ethereum has live smart contracts and a sustainable and relatively scalable blockchain while Cardano is struggling to launch their own smart contracts.
Until Cardano can get the network live and have developers starting to build functioning dApps on the blockchain most investors will stare clear of Cardano. A lot of new and uninformed investors still gravitate towards Cardano due to its high market cap and strong online community.
With Ethereum 2.0 being planned to be launched later this year it will bring some much needed updates and fixes to the blockchain which will result in the previous cons mentioned being wiped out. As Ethereum moves to proof of stake rather than proof of work we will see the gas fees drop rapidly.
As always do your own research and make any investment decision yourself.
Read more on the battle of the layer 1 blockchains.