All through Q1 of 2019, there was a lot of buzz around Cardano (ADA), driven mainly by Shelley. However, since Shelley missed the Q1 release deadline, followed by loads of miscommunication from the team, that enthusiasm has turned into confusion and frustration. There is a genuine reason behind the frustration.
The average Cardano investor is not a developer, and wants clarity on where the project stands, and why there are delays. It’s their investments that are on the line, after all. These disgruntled voices may be frustrating to the technical people working on Shelley, but that’s just how things work in the financial markets. Investors like results, and when they are not delivered, their unhappiness is often reflected in the price. But delays in the release of Shelley go beyond short-term price speculation, there is also the fact that other projects are moving fast, and may outcompete Cardano in the long run. Building an amazing product is good, but if you build it when everyone else has done it, may not add much, in terms of the marginal value of the innovation. In this context, several other projects are already delivering on what Cardano promises to deliver.
One project that seems to have got everything right is Tezos (XTZ). Tezos has experienced a healthy organic growth, since the beginning of the year, and its fundamentals warrant it. Tezos seems to have everything that projects like Cardano are aiming to achieve. For instance, Tezos already has governance right.
The project’s on-chain governance, has a formal process through which, all stakeholders can take part in governance. Its governance structure also allows innovations to be implemented, without the need to fork the project. Tezos has also got it right on the issue of security. Tezos smart contracts are formally verified, which ensures that they can never have buggy code. With such strong competitors, Cardano cannot afford to delay too much. It might end up with an amazing product, when it’s too late.
However, to give credit to Cardano, the IOHK team has come a long way. In slightly over a year, Cardano has achieved so much, and the Shelley delay is just a bump on the road. Once Shelley is released, Cardano will still be one of the most competitive projects out there. Charles Hoskinson has already promised that it will happen with 2019, and that’s a win. It’s a win because, in all fairness, blockchain adoption is still its infancy, and things aren’t likely to change any time soon. Real adoption could even be up to 5 years away. Therefore, as long as Cardano can get things done within the year, it still has a huge competitive edge.
In essence, patience on the part of investors is key. Things may be moving slow, but once Shelley goes live there won’t be any turning back. That’s why it’s best that the developer team be allowed to get all the major things right. It will be more rewarding that releasing a buggy system that isn’t fit for purpose. It’s all about taking the risk to wait, and see how things turn out.