# Solana vs Cardano: Comparing Each Layer-1 Blockchain

In this guide, we provide an overview of Solana vs Cardano, including the pros, cons, tradeoffs, and potential future of each layer 1 blockchain and their native tokens.

2 months ago   •   9 min read

By Mike Sak

With crypto trading gaining more popularity amongst mainstream investors a popular strategy is to try to find the next Bitcoin or Ethereum. Altcoins like Cardano and Solana have been two of the best performing projects over the past couple of years, and both networks find themselves in the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap.

In this guide, we will provide an overview of each layer-1 blockchain, and determine if either of these projects deserve the nickname of ‘Ethereum killer’. Without taking a maximalist view for either token, we will instead dive deeper into how Cardano and Solana will play a role in secular trends like Web3.0, DeFi, NFTs, and gaming.

We will cover the following topics in our comparison of Cardano and Solana:

• An overview of Cardano
• What is Proof of Stake?
• Ouroboros Consensus Mechanism
• The Future of Cardano
• Pros and Cons of Cardano
• An overview of Solana
• What is Proof of History?
• Solana Network Instability
• The Future of Solana
• Pros and Cons of Solana
• The Case for Cardano
• The Case for Solana

This guide should not be used as financial advice, rather it is to provide a closer look at the benefits, drawbacks, use cases, and future potential for both Cardano and Solana.

# Overview of Cardano

Cardano is the brainchild of one of the original founders of the Ethereum blockchain, Charles Hoskinson. The project was founded back in 2015, and is currently, although not for long, the largest blockchain to utilize a Proof of Stake blockchain.

Cardano is often referred to as ADA, which is the name of its native token. Cardano is to ADA as Ethereum is to Eth. The Cardano network itself was named after the Italian mathematician, Gerolamo Cardano, while the ADA token was named after Ada Lovelace. Similar to Satoshis in Bitcoin, 1 million Lovelaces make up an ADA.

## What is Proof of History?

Proof of History is another consensus mechanism for trusting timestamps for transactions on the blockchain. It uses a verifiable delay function, which basically means that every inbound and outbound transaction has a sequence of events. As the name suggests, the blockchain is able to maintain its validity by using this proof of historical transactions. It’s not a simple concept to wrap your head around, but for the purposes of investing in Solana, Proof of History provides the ability for the blockchain to process transactions at lightning fast speeds.

## Solana Network Instability

When reading about Solana, you might come across some question marks surrounding the stability of its network. In late 2021, the Solana network was hit with spam bots that caused an overload of transactions, leading to a so-called implosion of the Solana blockchain. In real-world terms, this implosion was really just transaction failures. Still, the crypto world took notice, and Solana’s price suffered.

## Pros and Cons of Solana

• Innovating Proof of Stake and Proof of History mechanisms provide Solana with unparalleled scalability and transaction speed.
• The Sol token is deflationary and has a high ceiling in terms of price action.
• Solana is one of the most used blockchains for DeFi, NFTs, and gaming.
• The instability of the Solana network will always be a concern.
• Solana is still in Ethereum’s shadow, just like Cardano and other altcoin blockchains.

## The Case for Cardano

As an investment, Cardano is attractive to new crypto traders because of its cheap token price. What we have to consider is how much it can grow in the future. The good news for Cardano bulls is that relatively speaking, the project is still in its early days.

We are only six months into the introduction of smart contracts, which exponentially broadens the scope of the Cardano network. Next comes true scalability, and the implementation of the Ouroboros Hydra upgrade could mean that Cardano finally sees the same TPS as Solana and Proof of Stake Ethereum. Thus far, Cardano’s blockchain hasn’t really seen any major hacks and has not shown itself to be a network susceptible to malicious activities. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but so far Cardano has emerged relatively unscathed.

Although it is in Phase 3 of its roadmap, Cardano is still in its infancy in terms of project growth. A majority of the development will come after the implementation of smart contracts and the upgrade to a higher TPS. Can Cardano lure developers from Ethereum? Only time will tell.

## The Case for Solana

The case for Solana is a lot more cut and dry than it is for Cardano. Solana is already being used across the DeFi, NFT, and gaming landscapes, and its technology is proving to be unparalleled in the crypto industry. The only question mark for Solana remains in the instability of its network.

Can Solana ever be trusted as a network as large as Ethereum? Users and developers will have to, but we have already seen in the past that Solana is susceptible. In the long-term, it’s hard not to be bullish on Solana though. Not only does it have the approval of the crypto industry, but it is also receiving mainstream and institutional acceptance. With the integration of partnerships with platforms like OpenSea and PUBG, Solana is widely seen as the second most usable blockchain for major projects, after Ethereum.