. Key Takeaways
Cardano (ADA) founder Charles Hoskinson recently took to Twitter to address growing accusations that Cardano’s blockchain has become overloaded, with blocks that are too full to take in additional transactions.
This comes in stark contrast to longstanding criticisms of Cardano as a “ghost chain” with little to no real utility. So which is it? Is Cardano’s network overloaded or underutilized? Hoskinson maintains neither characterization is accurate.
In recent days, Cardano users have been pointing to its growing usage, with one X user saying the smart contract platform wasn’t “ready for mass adoption.”
In his tweet, Hoskinson wrote: “I can’t help but watch with glee all the concerns floating around about Cardano’s blocks being too full. I recall the ghostchain narrative for years, the no use and utility. Suddenly we are too busy?”
He went on to claim that “in reality, Cardano is designed to operate at these loads” and has “a huge design space” to further scale capacity.
In the context of blockchain, a block is a set of transactions securely linked together in a chain—hence the name. This chain records all transactions and keeps them secure and inalterable.
So where are these recent accusations stemming from? Hoskinson attributes it to misunderstandings related to Cardano’s accounting model for transactions. Unlike some other major blockchains, he explained in the tweet’s video link : “Cardano has to ‘insert’ multiple entities in one block, and then… redistributes funds among them; this makes numerous transfers per each Cardano block de facto possible.”
However, according to Hoskinson, this mechanism can make it look to some blockchain analysis sites as if transaction counts are lower than the actual levels—hence the previous “ghost chain” criticisms. Now transaction volumes on Cardano-based decentralized apps have surged, but some observers are still using the same tracking sites and mistakenly thinking the blockchain itself is overloaded. Hoskinson emphasizes that Cardano was built to handle high loads, and current levels are not straining network capacity.
Although, according to one author on cexplorer.io in an article posted on December 18, increasing user activity and growing use of DeFi applications is leading to a problematic higher network load and almost full blocks. This situation, while indicative of the network’s popularity, raises concerns about possible network congestion and a worse user experience if the Cardano network cannot efficiently handle the increasing volume of transactions.
Still, these recent accusations speak to an important shift in Cardano’s trajectory. For years the blockchain seemed full of potential but lacking in real-world use cases. The launch of DeFi platforms like SundaeSwap and Minswap on Cardano have changed that narrative.
Hoskinson cites the recent growth as a validation of Cardano’s community-driven approach, allowing organic adoption without reliance on investors or influencers.
Cardano’s total value locked (TVL) has also been on a record-breaking trajectory. It began November at approximately $200m before spiking to $444m on December 14. At the time of writing (December 19 2023), it is still considerably up at approximately £411m.