The rivalry between Cardano and Ethereum continues to simmer as Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson took a sarcastic jab at Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin over staking innovations.
In a recent interview with DeFi news outlet The Defiant, Buterin proposed redesigning Ethereum’s staking system to address centralization issues plaguing the network. The two camps and their supporters have only recently argued about blockchain scaling solutions, and whether Ethereum had copied Cardano’s Hydra.
Ethereum’s suggested changes involve adopting an unspent transaction output (UTXO) model similar to the one used by Cardano (and Bitcoin) for years. Yet Buterin did not acknowledge Cardano as a source of inspiration.
This omission did not sit well with Hoskinson, who has consistently championed Cardano’s staking architecture as superior. He posted on X sarcastically: “No worries, Ethereum 3 will have it all sorted.” His biting remark implies that while Ethereum scrambles to upgrade its staking design, Cardano already has a robust decentralized solution working for years.
Hoskinson later clarified that he was not trying to stoke hostilities, but expressed bewilderment that Cardano rarely gets recognition as an innovative ecosystem from Ethereum developers. “I am truly at a loss that Cardano can never be mentioned as an innovative ecosystem over on team E.”
“[Vitalik] is rediscovering what we’ve been working on for almost a decade, and it’s like a new revelation,” he stated on X .
The rivalry is fueled by both projects’ ambitions to lead the blockchain space as the preeminent smart contract platform. While Ethereum dominates in decentralized finance (DeFi) currently with over $25 billion locked , Cardano has been steadily gaining ground with its focus on scalability, efficiency, and decentralization.
While both Cardano and Ethereum use proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus to achieve greater energy efficiency and scalability, their implementations differ significantly. Cardano’s Ouroboros PoS mechanism has been operational since the network launched in 2017. It utilizes peer-reviewed academic research to provide mathematical security guarantees, rivaling the assurances of Bitcoin’s power-hungry proof-of-work.
In contrast, Ethereum’s PoS beacon chain only went live in 2020 and its consensus layer merge was just completed in September 2022. Where Ethereum falls short (for many) is decentralization. Cardano engineered Ouroboros deliberately for decentralization, using mechanisms like stake pools that allow smaller players to participate in block production.
The two giants of crypto have had a long-standing rivalry since working together on Ethereum in its early days. Buterin and Hoskinson were both founders of Ethereum back in 2013 along with several others.
However, creative differences soon emerged. Hoskinson left Ethereum in 2014 over disagreements on whether the platform should be a for-profit company. While Buterin envisioned a non-profit open ecosystem. Hoskinson went on to found IOHK and eventually launched Cardano as a competing smart contract platform.