Many cryptocurrencies have taken dramatic price cuts since the fall of 2021. Among them, the smart contracts platform Cardano (ADA 0.44%) is down 90% from its all-time high of $3.10 on Sept. 2 that year.

Cardano has traded below $1.00 per token since early April of last year. The recovery attempt that started two months ago lost steam in the Silvergate meltdown of mid-February. As a result, many Cardano owners wonder whether their tokens will ever be worth $1 apiece again.

I'm convinced Cardano will not only climb back to $1 but also exceed its former all-time highs. However, these gains are not necessarily right around the corner. As always, patience is a virtue.

Let me show you why I believe in Cardano's long-term future, even if there may be more potholes in the road ahead.

Hoskinson's vision: the birth of Cardano

Cardano is a cryptocurrency with some serious intentions, meaning it's not just trying to make a quick buck. It was started by Charles Hoskinson, who turned away from the traditional cryptocurrency game to build something new.

See, Hoskinson used to work on Ethereum (ETH 0.61%), but he had some questions about the direction the leading smart-contracts crypto was going. He thought most cryptocurrencies had some big limitations -- like being unable to handle many users -- and he wanted to fix that. So he founded Cardano in 2017 to create a more sustainable, accessible, and secure blockchain platform.

Sure, Ethereum is going through a series of ambitious technical upgrades to right many of its wrongs, but why not start over with a new cryptocurrency platform and better system design from day one?

Cardano is distinguished by its approach to development, rooted in the scientific method. Rather than rushing to implement changes without a deep understanding of their implications, Cardano project leaders take the time to study and test their ideas before making any significant decisions. This ensures Cardano remains a well-planned and thoughtfully executed platform.

In addition to its scientific approach, Cardano also stands out for its unique governance structure. In the traditional cryptocurrency community, a small group of individuals or companies typically make all the decisions. However, Cardano's governance structure is decentralized, meaning everyone has a say in how the platform is run. This approach is strangely rare in the world of cryptocurrencies, but it reflects a more democratic, inclusive approach that is vital to the platform's success.

Cardano logo, blue on white background.

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Cardano's momentum: building for the future

Although Cardano is still relatively new compared to other cryptocurrencies, it has already gained momentum. It is attracting developers and projects, several already being built on its platform -- good signs for the company's future success. However, like any new technology, questions remain about how it will compete with other cryptocurrencies over time, especially in light of the evolving regulatory system for cryptocurrencies in the U.S. and worldwide.

However, Cardano's unique approach to development and governance makes it an exciting platform to watch. That's part of Hoskinson's better-than-Ethereum system design, drawing strength from the wisdom of crowds.

The climb back to $1 and beyond may not happen overnight, but I do expect this name to stick around the cryptocurrency industry for the long haul. Cardano's vibrant developer community and robust technical underpinnings provide plenty of potential for long-term success.