The cost of becoming a Cardano millionaire

On 13th May 2021, Cardano’s token ADA broke an important all-time-high by hitting the $2 mark.  Plus, it was the only top-ten cryptocurrency rising in value during a historic sell-off period. Remarkably, given its price, it is the fourth most valuable token in the world.

Isaiah McCall writes, “I’m confident it will be the next Ethereum and have a massive role in web 3.0,” and if he is correct, it may be a good time to ad Cardano to your portfolio before the price rises even more.

Cardano community members believe that one day ADA will reach $100. To do that, it would need a market cap of $3 trillion. That’s an issue, as Bitcoin’s market cap has a 1 trillion market cap and has been around since 2009. To put this in perspective, Cardano is 4-years-old and has a current market cap of $61 million.

Cardano’s battle will not really be with Bitcoin, which serves an entirely different purpose. Instead it will be with Ethereum, and Cardano has already positioned itself as the ‘Ethereum killer’ (or its fans have). This does make it sound as if it is a heavyweight boxer looking for a title fight.

Both Ethereum and Cardano are smart contract platforms, and McCall says they “stand to become crypto-Google (and maybe crypto-Yahoo).” Google’s market cap is $1.5 trillion, but McCall suggests that the smart contract platforms can double that.

However, here is what you need if you fancy becoming a Cardano (ADA) millionaire. Based on ADA reaching $100, (it’s just under $2 at the moment) you would need to buy anywhere between $15,000 to $20,000 worth of Cardano to become a millionaire. It will take several years to get to this point – McCall says about four to five years – but Cardano is using some interesting tactics to speed this up.

Cardano’s founder Charles Hoskinson invited Elon Musk to tea and a chat about ADA and Tesla on 13th May, and it could be that Musk will see the value in this particular blockchain. McCall says, “Cardano is an institutional investor’s wet dream. It’s available on every mainstream exchange, doesn’t have any SEC allegations against it, unlike XRP.” It is also a more stable blockchain.

You don’t need to be Elon Musk to benefit from a Cardano investment, although as with every market there is risk involved, so please don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose. Its proof-of-stake protocol means transactions are much more fluid by not rewarding miners with a block reward but with the transaction fee.

Furthermore, there are massive amounts of on-chain liquidity on Cardano’s blockchain. Around $16 billion ADA is circulating around the network and $22.2 billion is staked on the Cardano blockchain. According to the stats, Cardano is also the second most staked blockchain, coming in just after Polkadot.

While Ethereum has the first mover advantage on smart contracts, Cardano arguably has it on POS. although Ethereum is transitioning to POS this year. What it does need, and it is something that Etheruem has, is “institutional support and an ecosystem of dApps to become the next Ethereum.”

But it is still worth taking a punt on Cardano, even if it has a relatively small share of your crypto portfolio, and certainly while its price remains in single digits.

The Black Wall Street App: A Road to Financial Inclusion

Consensus 2021 is always a fount of new ideas and initiatives, and the Black Wall Street App is one of them. As Jordan Muthra writes at Coindesk, it aims “to increase access to financial education in Black and other communities of color.”

The project from Hill Harper and his team states on its home page, “You can’t be free if the cost of being you is too high.” Not only is this the world’s First Black-Owned Digital Wallet, it has also been built and designed by the Community, with the Community and for the Community.

Last week, Harper told CoinDesk’s Consensus 2021 event, ““When you really, actually peel back the onion, 90% to 95% of the financial products and services that have historically been offered to Black, brown and marginalized communities have been either predatory on their face or hidden predatory.” Perhaps this is an aspect of finance you haven’t considered, or to say it as Black Wall Street app does – Black Cash Matters™.

Muthra points out, “We are entering a phase of increased collective consciousness but not without a wide wealth gap, institutional racism and proud racists surfacing.” What is more, as he says, we have become jaded “by the widespread evidence of prejudice due to the proliferation of social media,” and this has a tendency to stop us thinking about the many facets of prejudice and how they are intertwined.

It is systemic prejudice that is behind Muthra writing the following, “As a community, Black folks have always strived to own and operate both infrastructure and the means of production but have been continually held back by structural inequality and attacks from extremists and the government alike.” If it didn’t exist, this would not be a necessity. Nor would the existence of the Black Wall Street app be necessary, but it is.

I’ll leave you with this thought: Black Americans hold only 1% of US wealth, and are systematically refused access to the financial system. With this app, people can learn about financial wellbeing and investing, invest in cryptocurrency, start building wealth and send/receive cash and crypto with community members. Being in charge of your finances and understanding the system, as well as making it work for you, is a necessary step on the road to freedom at a bearable cost.

Total anonymity or enhanced privacy for payments?

Anonymity in payments is a complicated topic with no easy answers. There are those who favour complete anonymity, and then there are those who see that position as dangerous. Even the regulators aren’t too sure about which way to turn, as evidenced in the US Government Accountability report on “Emerging Regulatory, Law Enforcement, and Consumer Protection Challenges” (May 2014). It concluded, “that virtual currency systems “may” provide greater anonymity than traditional payment systems.”

Fintech expert David G.W. Birch, who has been pondering the issue for some time, and who has a ‘pseudonymity’ solution, examines it by looking at lottery winnings. He cites the case of a US lottery winner who took a case to court (as Jane Doe) because she wanted to retain privacy about her winnings. Why was she so desperate to do that? Perhaps another case Birch tells about explains it: “In November 2015, Craigory Burch Jr. matched all five numbers in the Georgia Fantasy 5 drawing and won a $434,272 jackpot only to be murdered in his home by seven masked men who kicked in his front door.”

However, in the case of Jane Doe it is clear that even if she managed to keep her winnings private, some people would know about it, namely the lottery people and her bank. As Birch says, “Being anonymous is really difficult in an infrastructure that has no anonymity.” On the other hand, if you have an anonymous system it is relatively easy to add non-anonymity to it if desired.

So, if we are designing future infrastructures, should they allow for the kind of anonymity the lottery winner wanted? Birch gives the example of New Hampshire, which allows people to form anonymous trusts and these trusts can buy lottery tickets. However, the money still has to go to a bank account.

Cryptographics could be the answer. For example, if you win the lottery, your money can be sent to your cryptocurrency address (which is in the ticket) without the lottery owner or anyone else having the slightest idea to whom it belongs.

However, there is resistance to the idea of electronic money, and central bank digital currencies in particular, to be anonymous. But there is a case for “a privacy-enhancing digital Dollar. This would be very appealing on a global scale in contrast to digital currencies subject to continual state surveillance.”

If that can be achieved, it will be to the advantage of digital currencies.

Turn to high-yield crypto for better interest rates

There has been much talk about cryptocurrency as a hedge against inflation, but it is now becoming clear that this is not the sole reason for entering the crypto ecosystem – it also has the potential to offer high-yield rewards and be an alternative to low interest rates. This is especially important as bank interest rates have remained at their lowest point for some time and there doesn’t seem that much movement is likely in the near future.

DeFi has made earning interest on crypto a reality

This new benefit has largely come about with the growth of DeFi products over the past year. The summer of 2020 has been called ‘the DeFi summer’ by some, and since its explosion last year, “the optionality has only increased, along with the amount of “money legos” that are being combined in different ways,” as Benjamin Powers writes at Coindesk.

Consensus 2021 talks up interest rates in crypto ecocsystem

This week Consensus 2021 is in full flow, with lots of interesting ideas coming out of it. For example, Felix Fen, co-founder and CEO of Set Protocol; Zac Prince, CEO of BlockFi; and Stani Kulechov, Chief Executive Officer of Aave, formed a panel to discuss “how people seeking out higher yield on their crypto assets can access a variety of services, and what the tradeoffs there can be.”

Prince said he saw real value in using interest rates to translate something really powerful that’s happening in the crypto ecosystem in the terms that everybody is already familiar with. What exactly does he mean by that?

He said: “If you try to explain how the blockchain works, or why Bitcoin has value, or some of the other more complex and in-the-weeds topics to folks when they’re on their journey into the crypto ecosystem, they might struggle to wrap their heads around it. Everybody knows what an interest rate is. And everybody knows that earning 8.6% on something is better than earning 0.2%.” Furthermore, he quite rightly points out that traditional banks are a long way off “from being ready to finance the crypto ecosystem in a meaningful way.”

Kulechov spoke about how the Aave community governs the parameters of the interest rates, which are then determined by supply and demand and are transparent. “The fact that everyone can participate in affecting what the interest rate will be in these markets is a very big thing because, traditionally, big interest-rate movements have been decided by the banking industry; for example, by a few people sitting down with a room in London,” Kulechov explained.

Fen talked about the variable nature of interest rates. He suggested that users evaluate the risk of a protocol in terms of its insolvency and take that into account when considering where to allocate funds. He also emphasised evaluating the protocol’s community when making a decision. “How stable is a parameter selection, how conservative or aggressive is a community in terms of its parameter selection, and how decentralized is the protocol overall?” he said. “I think those are some of the elements that we look at when thinking about yield, and so not all interest rates should be just looked at as a headline number. One has to dig a little bit more into this.”