Cardano: what is the green crypto, how does it work, share price - and can it rival Bitcoin and Ethereum?

Cryptocurrency coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Binance Coin, XRP and Dogecoin have experienced market highs and significant drops in May

Cryptocurrency prices have fluctuated dramatically throughout May.

From record highs and market gains to significant drops in value sparked by a series of blows to Bitcoin, which was felt across the crypto universe, and trading rules in China.

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Yet one crypto that has defied the downturn is top five performer Cardano, which trades under the ADA tag, that saw its price increase in the wake of Tesla’s u-turn in accepting Bitcoin.

Cardano claims to be "the most environmentally sustainable" cryptocurrency on the market. (Pic: Shutterstock)

Elon Musk announced on Twitter the electric car company was no longer accepting Bitcoin as payment for its products due to environmental concerns over the crypto’s mining process.

Cardano, which claims to be “the most environmentally sustainable” cryptocurrency, saw gains in excess of 20% and reached an all-time price high of £1.77, according to Coinbase.

Here’s all you need to know about Cardano.

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What is Cardano crypto?

Cardano is one of the top performing cryptocurrencies on the market in 2021.

Founded in 2015 by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson, Cardano was initially set up as a public digital ledger of transactions known as a blockchain platform.

It is a decentralised online community run network with an internal crypto - ADA - which can be used to pay for goods and services, and seen as an alternative to physical global currencies.

Cardano (ADA) has attracted a wide range of investors, due to its large market gains as well as its energy-efficient process, which is seen as far more eco-friendly than the likes of Bitcoin.

With a market cap of £40 billion, it is backed to rival the valuations of global tech firms Netflix (circa £157b) and eventually Facebook (circa £656b), according to a Cardano forum post.

How does Cardano work?

Cardano is different to the likes of Bitcoin as it depends on proof-of-stake rather than proof-of-work, which requires super-powerful computers to complete.

Its approach doesn’t require miners to solve complex equations, which uses up vast amounts of energy, like its crypto competitor to order more digital coins or process transactions.

Instead, the proof-of-stake blockchain values the volume of digital coins the user holds rather than taking into account the processing power and rigs the miner possesses.

Hoskinson estimates that Cardano’s entire system uses less than 0.01% of Bitcoin’s network.

What is the share price of Cardano?

Following on from the double hit dealt to cryptos in the middle of May, Cardano has more than held its own with a 57.81% increase in share price over the past month.

In comparison, Bitcoin has experienced a 20% drop in value over the same time period.

Yet Cardano still has some way to go to rival the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum at the top of the crypto price performance table, with the two rivals boasting £28,394.58 and £2,024.45 values.

Like other cryptocurrency coins, Cardano enjoyed a fruitful start to 2021 following active crypto discussions on Reddit and Twitter mentions from public figures such as Musk and Snoop Dogg.

Cardano’s price has risen 2,743.46% in the last 12 months, to £1.23 per coin at present.

How can I buy Cardano in the UK?

It can be a tricky field to navigate for the uninitiated but if you're confident in buying cryptocurrencies then there are numerous places to go.

Cardano (ADA) digital coins are listed on many popular exchange platforms, including Etoro, Coinbase, Exmo, BC Bitcoin, Revolut and CEX.IO.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warns people about the risk of investing in cryptocurrencies, referencing price volatility, product complexity, charges and fees, marketing materials and consumer protection.

He said: “I’ve said a number of times, ‘only buy bitcoin if you’re prepared to lose all your money’. It doesn’t mean you will lose all your money, it doesn’t mean the value will go to nothing, but it has no intrinsic value. People may want it, they may want to collect it, but it doesn’t have any intrinsic value at all.”