Cardano vs Solana: which is the better crypto to buy?

on Feb 7, 2023
  • Cardano and Solana are well-known brands in the blockchain industry.
  • Solana’s insiders and VCs have a substantial holding in the coin.
  • Cardano could benefit from its EVM sidechain launches.

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Cardano (ADA/USD) and Solana (SOL/USD) are some of the best-known Ethereum killers in the industry. They are well-known names with a market cap of over $13 billion and $8.25 billion, respectively. In 2023, ADA price has jumped by about 55% while SOL has risen by over 130%. They both remain sharply lower in the past 12 months.

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Cardano vs Solana

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Cardano and Solana are big players in the crypto industry. According to DeFi Llama, Cardano has a total value locked (TVL) of over $123 million while Solana has $598 million in assets. Solana’s TVL plummeted hard in 2022 following the collapse of FTX, as we wrote here. Its key dApps like Serum imploded because of their close relationship with FTX and Alameda.

Therefore, Solana price has outperformed Cardano as investors bet on a turnaround as the network moves past its association with FTX and Alameda. Also, investors are cheering the strong performance of its ecosystem in 2023. 

For example, Solana handled over $108 million in NFTs in January, a sharp increase from the $75 million it handled in December. In the same period, data compiled by CryptoSlam shows that Cardano handled about $9 million NFTs. 

Still, Solana’s DeFi ecosystem has some challenges. For example, while its TVL has jumped to $598 million in dollar terms, it has plunged to 26.37 million in Solana terms. That is the lowest it has been since June 2021. Cardano’s TVL has crept back up slowly in ADA terms to over A321 million.

Better buy between ADA and SOL

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Cardano vs Solana
SOL vs ADA chart by TradingView

I believe that Cardano is a better buy than Solana in 2023. First, its tokenomics is more friendly than that of Solana. For one, Solana’s ownership has been more inclined towards insiders and venture capital firms who funded it. Data compiled by Messari shows that over 63% of all SOL tokens is owned by insiders and VCs. 

On the other hand, about 16.3% of all ADA tokens are held by founders and the company. The rest, about 83% are owned by the public. According to IntoTheBlock, the concentration of large holders in Cardano is about 35%. Ethereum’s concentration of large holders is about 40%. 

Further, Cardano has some catalysts for 2023. For example, Cardano will launch its toolkit for building sidechains or layer-2 networks. In a statement on Tuesday, Input-Output announced a public proof-of-concept testnet for its toolkit. The EVM sidechain will explore the ability to extend Cardano to other communities.

Also, Cardano could benefit from the upcoming stablecoins in its ecosystem. Djed, it stablecoin has seen its TVL jump to over $11.74 million. On the other hand, Solana could suffer from negative headlines in 2023.


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