Cardano Plunges 15% as Developer Warns of 'Catastrophic' Issues. What It Means for Investors

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KEY POINTS

  • As Cardano's Vasil hard fork approaches, there's tension in the Cardano camp over whether more testing is needed.
  • Cardano's price fell 15% in 24 hours while Bitcoin and Ethereum each fell around 9%.
  • Charles Hoskinson says the upgrade has been thoroughly tested, but it's up to the community to decide what next.


Cardano founder says accusations are "bizarre and alarmist."

Crypto prices plunged this morning, potentially on the back of wider market jitters. Smart contract crypto Cardano (ADA) was badly hit in particular, as the price drop coincided with a dramatic warning from one of its developers. Find out why the Cardano community is worried about its latest upgrade and whether the Twitter row reflects wider issues.

Why developer says Cardano could face a catastrophe

Developer Adam Dean took to Twitter to share his misgivings about Cardano's much-anticipated upgrade. He wrote, "It's important to point out today that the #Cardano #Testnet is **catastrophically** broken due to a bug in Cardano Node v 1.35.2." Version 1.35.2 is crucial to Cardano's Vasil upgrade.

Without getting into the technical details, the Vasil upgrade is a big step for the blockchain. It should make it easier to build decentralized applications on the Cardano network and improve capacity. Dean says the rollout of the upgrade is being rushed, and that more testing is needed. "If there were a 'nuclear clock' for #Cardano we got perilously close to hitting 'midnight,'" claimed the developer.

However, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson hit back at the accusations, labeling them "bizarre and alarmist." He assured his followers that the offending code has been removed and that the planned upgrade has been thoroughly tested.

Nonetheless, Hoskinson said the community could choose to delay the rollout, even though he argues the code has "been tested a dozen times and is already running." However, this would have an impact on dApp developers who are waiting for the upgrade. Ultimately, as Cardano is a decentralized blockchain, it's up to the community to decide.

What it means for investors

Cardano fell around 15% in 24 hours following Dean's tweet, according to CoinMarketCap data. To put that in context, both Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) fell by around 9% in a similar time period. However, Dean's claims are worrying. If Cardano further delays its upgrade, it will erode confidence. If it pushes ahead with a technically flawed upgrade, it could indeed be catastrophic.

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One of the difficulties of social media is that it's difficult to know when a developer is raising real concerns about a project and when someone is venting internal frustrations that are a normal part of any development process. There's almost always tension when deciding if a project is 100% ready, and some camps always want to test more.

The challenge is that Cardano has always positioned itself as a safe pair of hands. Long-term investors like the fact that it tests and peer reviews all developments. This makes accusations that it is rushing through an upgrade all the more concerning. However, we're being told by Hoskinson that the code is ready.

Cardano's critics say it moves too slowly with its upgrades and that there aren't enough applications running on the network. There's a danger that if Cardano continues to delay the Vasil and other upgrades, developers will opt to use other Ethereum alternatives such as Solana (SOL) or Avalanche (AVAX) instead.

In some ways, Cardano is in a no-win situation: It's being criticized for moving too slowly, and also being criticized for rushing through changes. The recent public spat is, in part, a reflection of these pressures.

Don't rush into any decisions

If you're considering buying Cardano at this lower price, bear in mind that the price could fall further. The Vasil upgrade may get delayed, there may be technical issues, and the wider crypto market could be in for a bumpy few months. Do your own research, make sure you understand the risks, and only invest money you can afford to lose.

If you own Cardano and this news has made you wonder about selling, don't rush into a decision. There are times when it makes sense to sell a crypto investment. One is when you no longer believe in its long-term potential -- particularly if your original investment thesis no longer holds true. Research Dean's claims carefully to decide if you think this is a resolvable issue or a fundamental problem with the blockchain that could impact it long term.

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