Will Cardano shake finance to its foundations? Jim Duffy comment

Duffy says Cardona means you can pay for your African coffee beans knowing exactly where they came from. Picture: YakobchukOlena/Getty Images/iStockphoto.Duffy says Cardona means you can pay for your African coffee beans knowing exactly where they came from. Picture: YakobchukOlena/Getty Images/iStockphoto.
Duffy says Cardona means you can pay for your African coffee beans knowing exactly where they came from. Picture: YakobchukOlena/Getty Images/iStockphoto. | Getty Images
I recently had to send some money internationally.

As usual, despite me owning the money, I had to pay fees. The currency fee loaded in with exchange rates and the fee to the company that handles the exchange. In the 21st century, it all seems a bit caveman.

But it is designed this way so banks and financial providers can make money – off your money. There must be a better way. And within weeks, a major milestone in banking is about to come to fruition. Of course, like all innovation, it takes time and there is massive resistance to it. But those building this new financial platform are aware of this and have not been in a rush. Allow me to introduce you to Cardano.

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Within the next five weeks the team at Cardano will launch the next phase of their game-changing technology. It has been a long time coming. So, what is it? In short, Cardano is a cryptocurrency, a digital asset. There are 25 billion “coins” floating about and the current price is around 6p.

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But, unlike any crypto projects, Cardano is not about creating a piece of tech that nearly works, iterating it and trying to get it on as many digital exchanges as possible to drive up the price. Ergo making the founders and early investors filthy rich. No, the guy in charge of this wants to change the world forever, not trouser millions of pounds and live in Silicon Valley.

So he is building one of the fastest, hugely scalable and secure blockchain offerings the world has ever seen. This blockchain is not about building some apps or gaming plug-ins. No, the co-founder and creator of Cardano, Charles Hoskinson, has bigger ambition. How about creating a banking system for the whole of Africa for a start.

A total of 80 per cent of Africa currently “banks” via a mobile phone. But this is not easy when growing coffee crops and looking for payment from the likes of Starbucks. Getting hard local currency for producing sustainable, organic coffee is not easy as there is no local bank branch to provide accounts and sort codes for.

Facilitation

But if Starbucks could send you the payment securely, without bank fees, direct to your phone in the form of Cardano, then life become easier. You as a farmer can then use Cardano to pay for food and supplies.

No corruption, inflation, theft or fees. And it’s lightning fast and all openly logged. Closer to home, if Cardano can create the world’s new secure, tamper-proof and bank-proof financial system on a blockchain, then life gets easier for you and me.

I can transfer cash quickly across borders – all legal and tracked and you can pay for your African coffee beans at Starbucks knowing exactly where they came from, who produced them and how much they got paid. Clever and joined up – right?

Cardano unlike its competitors has had every stage of its development scientifically peer reviewed. Full transparency and an army of folks working together across the globe to reinvent finance. And the next five weeks are key as it opens up the first stages of the system, inviting the world to stake it, challenge it and adopt it.

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But this will take time. Weirdly enough, this is one of the most exciting parts of Cardano. The team have been in no rush to cash in on a faulty, clunky product. Remember the Boeing 737 Max – not quite right. Well, Cardano aims to produce financial aeroplanes and runways where there are never any faults or collisions. In short, seamless, faultless and open 24 hours. It really feels like Nirvana in finance.

But, with that comes massive scepticism and nervousness. It could ruin banks, small countries and businesses who do not want to get on board. It will change “banking” the same way Henry Ford got us off horses and into motor cars. And this is the mountain that Hoskinson and his team are scaling as we speak. This cryptocurrency is not about getting rich quick and mega market capitalisation.

It has been designed to challenge the status quo and solve a real-world problem. Right now, as more money is “printed” the ever before, our problems are getting bigger and kicked into the long grass.

Jim Duffy MBE, Create Special

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