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Cardano vs Polygon is an interesting match up with both networks being technical and advanced both with their own respective pros and cons which we explore today. In this article we’ll explore both Cardano and Polygon to explain the differences and how they stack up against each other both fundamentally and technically.

Cardano vs Polygon

What is Polygon?

Polygon is a layer 2 blockchain built alongside Ethereum as an EVM compatible chain designed for its speed, security and scalability. As a layer 2 Polygon was designed and built to help Ethereum with its scalability and congestion issues it experiences during high traffic times, due to this and being the “flagship” layer 2 of Ethereum Polygon has quickly gained popularity and traction developing a thriving ecosystem.

Polygon is built using a proof of stake consensus mechanism which allows users to stake their MATIC tokens with validators that help keep the network secure and process transactions, this is what enables Polygon to have such a high transaction output and low transaction fees. Users can choose which validator to delegate or stake their MATIC tokens with while earning passive incomes/rewards.

Polygon Ecosystem

Polygon has a thriving ecosystem built up of protocols from all sectors such as DeFi and the NFT space, due to its low transaction fees and fast transaction speeds many people chose to use Polygon over Ethereum as Ethereums gas fees rise and transaction speeds slow.

As Polygon is an EVM compatible chain supporting the same languages as Ethereum developers have been able to build and deploy their dApps on both Ethereum and Polygon without having to make changes to the program. This is one of the large factors that helped Polygon experience its explosive growth in 2020 as flocks of users and developers moved to Polygon.

Currently there are over 58,000 dApps deployed on Polygon which is a huge amount and is over a 200% YTD growth, this is mostly made up of DeFi protocols however Polygon has recently started gaining transaction in the web3 and crypto gaming space with developers choosing to build games on Polygon rather than other layer 1 networks as Polygon can offer the game users faster transactions which is important when it comes to crypto games.

Polygon Transaction Speeds

Through Polygons proof of stake consensus mechanism it is able to achieve transaction speeds of up to 65,000 transactions per second which in comparison to Ethereums average of 15-20 transactions per second this is a huge improvement. This is able to be achieved by the network having the ability to process transactions in a single block rather than taking multiple confirmations like a lot of layer 1 networks have to do.

Polygon Transaction Fees

One of the big factors that helped Polygon gain so much mainstream adoption is its low transaction fees which were especially utilized in the NFT and gaming sectors. This is also one of the big issues that Etehreum was experiencing that Polygon was built to help fix, while Ethereums transaction fees or “gas” can range anywhere from $8 right up into the hundreds during congestion Polygon on the other hand offers transaction fees as low as $0.02 making it one of the cheapest layer 1 and layer 2 networks.

Polygon Pros

  • EVM Compatible
  • Low Transaction Costs
  • Large DeFi and NFT Ecosystem

Polygon Cons

What is Cardano?

Cardano is a decentralized layer 1 blockchain developed to deploy smart contracts and dApps with speed and ease. Designed for its speed, sustainability and scalability Cardano and its native cryptocurrency ADA has become one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the space.

Cardano, similar to Polygon, runs a proof of stake consensus mechanism called Ouroboros which is designed to be more energy efficient than the alternative proof of work mechanism that blockchains such as Bitcoin and previously Ethereum utilize. One of the big areas Cardano is trying to break into is interoperability, starting with their side chain Milkomeda which is EVM compatible offering developers somewhere to build and deploy their Dapps originally built for Ethereum.

Cardano Ecosystem

Cardano has a very wide range of dApps being built on the network however not as many live dApps as Polygon or other blockchains currently competing for market share. With Cardanos recent launch of Milkomeda which is an EVM compatible sidechain many think that this could bring a whole new wave of developers and users to the network.

Cardano Transaction Speeds

Cardano through its proof of stake consensus mechanism can achieve upwards of 250 transactions per second which is vastly lower than Polygons however it is still a vast improvement from both Bitcoin and Ethereums transaction speeds. Cardano developers are currently working on a solution to increase these transaction speeds called Hydra.

Hydra uses what the team call “heads” which are chains that run parallel with the main Cardano chain and can help to process transactions before sending them back to the main chain, in testing environments Hydra has been able to handle upwards of 1,000 transactions per second on each head.

Cardano Transaction Fees

Cardano recently had a rather large update to their systems with the Vasil Hard Fork which is expected to make the Cardano network faster and cheaper. We have already covered how this will make the network faster with Hydra but how can it make it cheaper?

Once again through Hydra, having transactions split between the “heads” validators will be able to access the information needed to process transactions much faster than they previously could resulting in both faster and cheaper transaction fees. Currently Cardano transaction fees sit around 0.16 ADA per transaction however once this update is rolled out they are expected to drop significantly.

Cardano Pros

  • High Level of Security
  • Scalability
  • Interoperability

Cardano Cons

  • Low Adoption
  • Slow Transactions

So which is better? Cardano vs Polygon

Polygon is a better blockchain both technical and fundamentally wise with higher transaction speeds and lower transaction costs while also having a much more established and deeper ecosystem made up on NFT projects, DeFi protocols, games and more.

However that is not to write Cardano off as the network has a lot of potential and possibly a bright future with a lot of updates to be rolled out which should increase the performance of the network technically and also increase its user base and developer numbers.