Cardano vs. Ethereum: Which blockchain is the future of smart contracts?

We often compare Cardano with Ethereum because both provide users with similar services, including smart contracts. Developers use Cardano and Ethereum for similar functions, including building programs or decentralized applications and running customized programming logic or smart contracts. Cardano is also sometimes known as the Ethereum Killer due to its rapid growth. The tagline is also because of its lower fees and faster transaction speeds. In this article, we will discuss the two blockchain networks and focus on each network’s scalability and performance, adoption and ecosystem, and decentralization and governance to decide how smart contracts will change the future.

Understanding Cardano

Cardano is an open-source, decentralized public blockchain platform with smart contracts. The features are similar to Ethereum, but many believe it is better. Cardano’s smart contracts are built using any one of the three languages – Plutus, Marlowe, and Glow. Integration of Cardano smart contracts does not require any middleman to keep or carry out the contracts to expedite the process. The smart contract lies on the decentralized network and is tamperproof. All data stored on the Cardano network gets stored with all backups. 

They provide sustainability and security to decentralized societies, systems, and applications. A Cardano smart contract is created based on a research-driven scientific philosophy. It is more sustainable and transparent for users to exchange and transact, businesses to grow, and systems to monitor and govern. The unique approach of Cardano smart contracts involves a focus on peer review development and academic research.

The Ethereum Ecosystem

Ethereum establishes a unique peer-to-peer decentralized blockchain network that safely verifies and executes application codes, also known as smart contracts. Ethereum smart contracts allow users to transact without any trustworthy central authority. Every transaction record is verifiable, immutable, and securely distributed across the blockchain network, giving participants full visibility and ownership of transaction data. When it comes to the application layer of Ethereum, smart contracts are the basic building blocks guaranteed to execute based on the rules defined by the codes that can never be altered once created.

Scalability and Performance

Cardano uses a special Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism called Ouroborous that has been algorithmically proven to be secure, scalable, and energy efficient. The design makes it one of the most formidable alternatives to the Proof-of-Work consensus. Cardano, along with the Ouroboros PoS mechanism, focuses more on removing scalability challenges.

Ethereum, on the other hand, initially started with a PoW consensus mechanism similar to that of Bitcoin. However, the shift of Ethereum towards Ethereum 2.0 marked a change in its operation on the Proof-of-Stake mechanism that improves its energy efficiency and scalability. Cardano and Ethereum smart contracts allow developers to build decentralized applications, but the former has proved more accessible and functional than Ethereum. Additionally, Cardano has elevated and excelled in its PoS algorithm to make it more scalable, energy efficient, and faster than Ethereum’s PoW mechanism, saving heavy energy costs and ensuring quick transaction processing.

Adoption and Ecosystem

Although Cardano has a growing community and robust technology, it is still in the initial stages of the global adoption journey. There are various platforms that are adopting Cardano as a payment method at an exponential rate. Many online Cardano casino sites and other betting platforms have started to accept payment in ADA, which has further boosted the adoption rate of the crypto. 

On the other hand, Ethereum boasts a more mature and vast ecosystem since it is the first mover in the blockchain space to build smart contracts. Ethereum is home to several decentralized applications, tokens, and the entire DeFi sector. Both Cardano and Ethereum leverage advanced blockchain technologies to build decentralized ecosystems. Additionally, they embody various solutions and approaches to reach the goals. However, Ethereum uses its first mover advantage to build a rich developer ecosystem, whereas Cardano makes its presence with its research-driven approach and strong emphasis on interoperability and sustainability.

Decentralization and Governance 

Cardano has witnessed a massive step forward with its Genesis key system to establish clear processes for the protocols, governance, and parameter updates and to address the issues of consensus mechanisms among entities. Cardano’s governance structure includes a tripartite system of a social consensus voting system such as Catalyst and official approval processes by trustees to ensure decentralization and transparency. The governance model allows a more decentralized, inclusive decision-making.

Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) include technical specifications, application standards, and network upgrades for Ethereum. There is no rule set for who can build the applications or send transactions. Being completely permissionless, Ethereum’s EIP is unrelated to how applications and people use the protocol. However, to propose any changes in the core protocol, a special process is required to allow decentralized apps to run. Since users rely on the stability offered by Ethereum, there is a high coordination limit, especially for core modifications, including technical and social processes, to ensure all changes in the Ethereum ecosystem are widely supported and secure.

The Future of Smart Contracts

Both Cardano and Ethereum smart contracts can improve efficiency through automation of contract execution and eliminating the need for manual processes. With smart contracts, users can enjoy faster execution and a reduction in the potential for errors and delays. Although smart contracts are still young, there is great potential to revolutionize various industries, including finance, real estate, online casinos, and sportsbooks. It will change the world by opening up doors to cross-border money transfers for users who do not have access to banks or local currencies. However, smart contracts will heavily transform those industries that adopt the new technology, whereas enterprises that fail to adopt it may experience the risk of falling behind the competitors. Overall, smart contracts provide several benefits over conventional contracts with their special, unique design to operate on blockchain technologies that are transparent, decentralized, and secure ledger systems.


To conclude, several factors need to be considered while comparing smart contracts on Cardano and Ethereum. For users preferring a more vast and mature platform with comparatively higher security, Ethereum smart contracts may be a better alternative since it has a more straightforward value prospect in the long term. However, if the focus is more on growth potential, innovation, and future development, Cardano smart contracts may be more attractive since they require users to deliver consistent outcomes to underpin the potential value of the technology.

While both Cardano and Ethereum aim to revolutionize the digital space with their capabilities with smart contracts, the approaches differ significantly. The first mover advantage and agile development of Ethereum have brought itself a vast ecosystem and community. However, the research-driven approach used by Cardano has also appealed to many who value methodical progress and rigorous scrutiny.

Trevor Holman

Trevor Holman follows crypto industry since 2011. He joined CryptoNewsZ as a news writer and he provides technical analysis pieces and current market data. He is also an avid trader. In his free time, he loves to explore unexplored places.

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