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Cardano Ecosystem

Finbold

09/06/2023

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Cardano and Base battle it out in total value wars

In a vast space of network layers and protocols competing with each other for builders, users, and capital — a new battle surges between the layer-1 decentralized blockchain UTXO-based, Cardano (ADA), versus...

Cardano and Base battle it out in total value wars

In a vast space of network layers and protocols competing with each other for builders, users, and capital — a new battle surges between the layer-1 decentralized blockchain UTXO-based, Cardano (ADA), versus the Ethereum’s layer-2 blockchain developed by Coinbase, Base.

While one side pointed out a close to three times higher value in Base, the other side pointed out the centralized network going offline unreliably due to a few component outages as recently as September 5.

The battleground was X (formerly Twitter), as Parul Gujral (@whoisparul) — founder of the cryptocurrency wallet Snowball Money and a Forbes contributor — posted a comparison between the Total Value Locked (TVL) of $422 million on the recently created Base, and the $168 million from the six years old Cardano.

Base is already three times bigger than Cardano, but the difference is Cardano has been here since 2017, while Base is only 1 month old.$ADA is the flop nobody talks about. pic.twitter.com/8m3A0ITM1v

— Parul Gujral 🦇🔊 (@whoisparul) September 4, 2023

Notably, 30% of Base’s TVL is made by stablecoins, with high dominance of Circle USD (USDC), which was also controlled by Coinbase before the SEC lawsuit against the centralized exchange. While Cardano has less than 10% of its total value locked in stablecoins, with a higher dominance for its native token ADA, and protocol tokens.

What is TVL and how it can be used to compare projects

TVL measures the total amount of capital that is being used in the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) chains and protocols. Usually summing up all the tokens that are staked by validators, liquidity pools, in lending smart contracts, or launch pools for new IDOs.

This metric helps investors to evaluate these projects in a highly competitive ecosystem, getting insights into protocols’ utility and users’ confidence. Moreover, it can also be used in comparison to a cryptocurrency market cap in order to find tokens that could be oversold or overbought.

Interestingly, considering the MCap/TVL rate from DefiLlama, Cardano has a score of 57.85, meaning that there is one US dollar in TVL for each $57.85 in market cap. This score makes ADA the most ‘expensive’ chain among the 15 largest chains by TVL on the platform.

Top 15 DeFi chains by Total Value Locked. Source: DefiLlama
Top 15 DeFi chains by Total Value Locked. Source: DefiLlama

Having a score under 1.0 would mean that the chain has a higher total value locked than its token has in market capitalization. Base does not have any MCap/TVL scores, because it does not have its own token.

Is Base better than Cardano?

Amid all these data, Base supporters could imply that the layer-2 network controlled by the centralized exchange Coinbase is better than Cardano, but, as it usually happens, being “better” will mostly depend on a subject perception of value, that will change from person to person.

Both projects have different trade-offs, and the Total Value Locked shouldn’t be considered in isolation when evaluating them.

As pointed out in a comment by Conrad (@conraddit), COO at Kora Labs — a software developing company working mostly with the Cardano ecosystem, the Base Network stalled on September 5, being unable to produce any new blocks, or validate any transactions until it was restarted.

Notably, Base went offline after an issue with 6 components (or entities), where 5 of them had a major outage, and 1 of them had a partial outage.

Having a score under 1.0 would mean that the chain has a higher total value locked than its token has in market capitalization. Base does not have any MCap/TVL scores, because it does not have its own token.

Is Base better than Cardano?

Amid all these data, Base supporters could imply that the layer-2 network controlled by the centralized exchange Coinbase is better than Cardano, but, as it usually happens, being “better” will mostly depend on a subject perception of value, that will change from person to person.

Both projects have different trade-offs, and the Total Value Locked shouldn’t be considered in isolation when evaluating them.

As pointed out in a comment by Conrad (@conraddit), COO at Kora Labs — a software developing company working mostly with the Cardano ecosystem, the Base Network stalled on September 5, being unable to produce any new blocks, or validate any transactions until it was restarted.

Notably, Base went offline after an issue with 6 components (or entities), where 5 of them had a major outage, and 1 of them had a partial outage.

Base Network status. Source: Coinbase
Base Network status. Source: Coinbase

Cardano would require a significantly higher number of entities to have partial or major outages, in order for the network to suffer any negative consequences.

Actually, Cardano went through a short-lived outage that affected over 50% of the network but was automatically solved within minutes on January 21, 2023. Before that, the Cardano network had over 20 million transactions without a single outage in four years of existence.

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