Strong Hands Don’t Worry About Ardor
It’s well established that Ethereum is the current darling of the crypto world.
It has enabled countless companies to raise money for countless projects, many of which would not have been considered by traditional venture capitalists and investors. As a result, the value of Ethereum has skyrocketed as it has become a viable store of value.
Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin is correctly lauded as a genius and, at the tender age of 24, he is rightfully considered to be one of the elder statesmen of crypto. He travels the world to impart his knowledge and when he talks, people listen.
This has led other blockchain projects to assume that the only thing they need to ignite the thrusters of their crypto-rockets and launch them to the moon is a marketable front-man who can be relied upon to deliver a timely soundbite which will cause the markets to shake with the satisfaction of a collective crypto-gasm.
At this juncture, I’d like to talk about the fickle nature of celebrity. In my view, there are two types.
Firstly, you have the old-school celebrity. In the case of singers and bands, they started by performing in dingy bars for peanuts before moving on to clubs, then theatres, then festivals and then stadiums. These are people who paid their dues and who powered through multiple failures to become household names because their talent and their drive put them head and shoulders above their peers.
Their fame transcends any generational barriers — in a hundred years time, people will still be listening to Elvis and Frank Sinatra.
You also have the phenomenon of modern-day celebrity. These people tend to be the product of clever marketing. These are people who, due to the popularity of cheap-to-produce reality TV, have been given a stage, whether deserved or not. These are people who would probably be flipping burgers if it wasn’t for their appearances on programs like ‘[INSERT COUNTRY HERE]’s Got Talent’ or ‘Real Housewives Of [INSERT CITY HERE]’.
These are people whose ‘style over substance’ time in the spotlight is finite.
Like a building, true celebrity can only grow if it has strong foundations to build upon. Failure to lay the correct groundwork will invariably end in disaster as things come crashing down.
Vitalik Buterin’s status in the blockchain world is an example of old school celebrity.
People look at him now and pay homage to his expertise and the way his creation has become a game-changer but people forget that he was a cryptographer before it was cool and he worked for years to hone his craft.
Now, let’s go back to the dim and distant past of mid-2015 and discuss the first eighteen months of Ethereum.
According to Coinmarketcap, Ethereum was priced at $2.83 on 7th August 2015 before dropping to just $0.43 less than three months later on 21st October 2015 — a loss of around 85% of its value.
Of course, elements of the notoriously skittish and impatient cryptocurrency community were quick to call Ethereum a scam.
People who didn’t understand the technology were incensed and shouted down the people telling them to be patient. As far as they were concerned, the short-term price drop was indicative of a failed project and many of these naysayers sold their holdings for peanuts. Their short-term outlook, coupled with their desire for instant profits caused the weak hands to fold and move their profits into coins that had better marketing.
It took six months for Ethereum to recover its initial price before shooting up to $10 in March 2016, where it spent the next year bouncing between $8 and $20.
Enter 2017 and the year of the ICO. It’s no surprise that’s when Ethereum began its meteoric price rise. People started to wake up to the fact that Ethereum wasn’t another Bitcoin clone. All of a sudden, people started using Ethereum for exactly what it was intended for. They were using it to build decentralized applications and raise money.
In short, people started to use Ethereum in real-world cases as opposed to just currency speculation, and the resulting price rise turned Vitalik Buterin into a crypto-celebrity.
Enter Ardor, a project near and dear to my heart.
Like Ethereum, Ardor was created with a specific purpose in mind. The forward thinking developers foresaw the issue of ‘blockchain-bloat’ before anyone else. They knew that the architecture of both Bitcoin and Ethereum would only allow a limited number of transactions to occur in each block before significant bottlenecks occurred. The Ardor developers knew that this issue was a show-stopper and would be a huge barrier to the mainstream adoption of blockchain technology.
Cut to January 2018 and after eighteen months of development, Ardor is successfully launched with a fully-working product that solves the issue of blockchain-bloat.
Unfortunately, the price immediately dropped due to a combination of a major market correction and the glacier-like pace that markets like Bittrex took to implement the technology. The meteoric, but hype-based gains of December 2017 were wiped out, and Ardor retraced back to it’s late November 2017 price.
Predictably, the short-sighted day traders were incensed. Like with Ethereum a couple of years beforehand, people started to call Ardor a scam.
People who bought into Ardor at the all-time high started talking about the apparent lack of marketing that Jelurida, the parent company were doing. People were livid that after just two months, Ardor had not been pumped by the feel-good, yet frequently bullshit, stories that go hand-in-hand with the world of crypto.
In short, people were angry that instead of ‘talking the talk’, the Ardor developers chose to ‘walk the walk’ and release a genuinely ground-breaking ecosystem that solves a genuine problem.
Of course the irony is that these are the same people who tend to speculate wildly on ICO white-papers with non-existent, and often non-feasible products.
These are the weak hands, the people who laugh when somebody dares to suggest that Ardor could be a serious competitor to Ethereum.
In the same way that Ethereum started with a trickle, which then became a flood, the signs are overwhelmingly positive for Ardor too. New decentralised applications are already being developed on the platform and new ICO’s are already in the pipeline.
Of course things take time. It took nearly two years before Ethereum became the mainstream store of value that it is today.
We are already seeing many of the better marketed projects start to crash and burn. People who invested in untried and untested technologies like Neo “The Chinese Ethereum” are starting to realize that the marketing hype will only go so far and that once the bluster is over, they’ve invested in nothing but hot air.
The moral of this story is that slow and steady wins the race.