For all the hype surrounding it, Cardano (ADA) hasn’t been performing that well lately. The currency peaked on the 18th of July with the price of $0.192/2590 satoshi before entering a lasting downtrend that doesn’t seem to be close to an end. The currency mostly fell throughout the last two months and has continued to do the same in September as well.

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IOHK recently published an update on the current stage of Cardano development called Shelley. Q2/3 goals were successfully completed (except the Core DIF Design) and the stage is nearing its completion. The end of the year should see delegation/incentives Core (front and back) sorted out, Delta Q measurements completed, implementation of a communication protocol, Core DIF implementation and the full testnet deployment. Shelley has been a long time coming, with Charles Hoskinson promising it will be ready by Q1 of 2018. Still the goals have apparently been shifted and Q1 of 2019 should be the date we finally see this stage up and running.

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The project also confirmed the launch of Marlowe, a smart contract language for the Cardano blockchain. The language is a Domain Specific Language (DSL) and is aimed primarily at writing smart contracts based on financial transactions. The language has been modeled after the Haskell but from an algebraic dimension with the ability to execute small-scale semantics. IOHK felt they needed to provide a way to write smart contracts without knowing how to code highly secure programs and have created a language that can easily be read and understood by all parties. Marlowe currently runs inside the browser in a system that simulates a blockchain called Meadow. Meadow is a web tool which allows for easy prototyping and development; Marlowe will eventually run on its own testnet and then run as part of the Cardano mainnet.

Hoskinson recently had an interview with Andrew McDonald, where he criticized Ethereum for having design decisions that are counterproductive to becoming a world’s supercomputer.

“Design decisions that went into Ethereum were counterproductive to being a world computer, such as treating every transaction the same. The DAO was treated the same way as every other smart contract.

In poker, do we really care about putting every step of that game onto the chain? Poker is a fair game and there is conservation of value, but you don’t care about every hand you’ve ever played dating back 7 years with time stamping and immutability – this is too high of a burden [for a blockchain]. Inventors of TCCIP had no idea about wifi or 4G or other layers we have today, but their protocol is the bedrock for these technologies because of the design. You can gracefully add things into the system, and that’s what we’re trying to build at Cardano.”

He also compared EOS and Cardano, admitting that Dan Larimer had good intentions with his design (large scale, consumer grade adoption). Still, he criticized EOS’ DPoS consensus mechanism for its lack of decentralization and censorship resistance and added that Cardano is trying to do things differently:

“The purpose of Cardano is to step back and have a more layered architecture,” said Hoskinson. “With Cardano we are doing innovation, and that moves the tradeoff profile [between centralization, security, and speed]. What Dan Larimer did was say “I have a philosophy that this tradeoff profile is acceptable, so I am going to take old ideas and make them new.”

Overall, it’s just more of the same from Cardano. They’ve shown multiple times they can “talk the talk”, but the community is starting to get anxious about their ability to “walk the walk”. Q1 of 2019 should give us a better idea if Cardano is capable of putting on those big-boy shoes of having a functional product.

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