Cardano’s hotly anticipated ‘hard fork’ was met with something of a damp squib in Monday’s early deals.
ADA, the tradeable Cardano crypto token, was down 10%, changing hands at around US$2.35 in a broadly negative market for digital assets.
Bitcoin and Ethereum - the two cryptos that are larger than Cardano – were this morning down 3% and 6% trading at US$44,554 and US$3,208 respectively.
On Sunday evening, the Cardano blockchain was upgraded successfully with a ‘hard fork’ which will enable the use of ‘smart contracts’, which provide the basis for an ecosystem of decentralised applications, decentralised finance and, most likely, increasingly popular NFTs.
Cardano is designed and is being developed uniquely through a phased roadmap and is based on peer-reviewed computer science. It is among a number of newer blockchain systems that aim to provide more environmentally sound cryptos versus Bitcoin and challenge the popularity of Ethereum.
Sunday’s hard fork is the latest step in that progression for Cardano.
The approach to smart contracts on Cardano is said, by its supporters, to be more scalable and provides more predictable transactions fees. Critics highlighted the time it has taken for Cardano to add smart contracts, as rival systems have been up and running quicker.
The Cardano team itself both celebrated and also sought to manage early expectations.
IOHK, the company behind Cardano, in a blog post, said: “There are high expectations resting on this upgrade. Some unreasonably so.
“Cardano watchers may be expecting a sophisticated ecosystem of consumer-ready DApps available immediately after the upgrade. Expectations need to be managed here.”
IOHK added: “We expect to see the first simple smart contract scripts deployed on Cardano within hours of the HFC [hard fork] event.
“It will take a while longer for more sophisticated DApps to start rolling out via the public testnet. With hundreds of projects building behind the scenes, we expect to see projects deploy through September and October, and accelerate through Q4.”
ADA’s price has advanced strongly in recent weeks rising from around US$1 in July to peak at nearly US$3 in early September as the hard-fork timeline was rumoured and then confirmed.
With the price at around US$2.35 this morning, ‘buy the rumour, sell the news’ would be the adage familiar to many experienced investors.