Let's see what happened in Cardano ecosystem after the smart contract mainnet through some important news and updates.

In photography, panorama means a picture containing a wide view. As a result, we call this series panorama in order to help readers get an overview of blockchain systems as well as useful insights. Therefore, Cardano Panorama #1 is the first and the beginning of this panorama series of Cardano.

Before reading further, you should check out the Cardano ecosystem.

In September 2021, the Alonzo Hard Fork of Cardano was released, which marked the end of the Smart Contract era Goguen. This means projects can now deploy their ideas on the Cardano blockchain. Over hundreds of new projects are rushing to be the first to operate on Cardano.

In this article, we’ll discuss important news and updates about Cardano and its ecosystem. Furthermore, there will be some insights given by Coin98 Insights. Let’s find out!

Cardano Overview


Cardano Roadmap. Source: Cardians_

The Cardano roadmap is halfway through since the 3rd Goguen era ended in September 2021. The 4th era is Basho - the scaling era. In this era, multiple updates have been announced by the three Cardano core organizations.

The most notable upcoming update is the layer-2 scaling solution Hydra that was mentioned in the Cardano Summit meeting. Hydra is a game-changer and the core feature of the scaling era Basho.

Basically, it allows the Cardano blockchain to speed up the transaction speed since most transactions will be executed off-chain in layer-2 Hydra nodes. As a result, the Tx speed of Cardano could theoretically be millions of transactions per second.

Top-tier blockchains. Source: Coin98 Analytics

Currently, the speed of the Cardano blockchain is about 1 TPS (Transaction Per Second). The maximum TPS of the Cardano blockchain is about 250 TPS which was initially tested in 2017. When compared with other operating blockchains (in the following picture), the TPS of Cardano is currently faster than the 2.0 blockchain but relatively behind similar 3.0 blockchain platforms.

In the next upcoming months, there will be hundreds of new projects running on the Cardano blockchain. Therefore, the demand for smart contract execution will quickly increase and the blockchain will have to handle numerous transactions and smart contracts at the same time.

Cardano Summit

Cardano 2021 Summit. Source: Cardians_

On September 25th and 26th, 2021, the Cardano Summit event was held in 32 countries over the world. The main meeting was live-streamed via the virtual web-based platform. At the Summit, countless virtual avatars represented meeting participants all over the world. 

Furthermore, Cardano distributed NFTs to the virtual event participants to incentivize them for future engagement in Cardano. This is a practical example of a metaverse where people are connected together via a virtual platform. As a result, we can anticipate that NFTs and the metaverse might strongly be supported by Cardano in the future.

The Cardano Summit Virtual Meeting

In the meeting, Charles Hoskinson - the CEO of Input-Output HK - depicted a scenario of the Cardano blockchain and the ecosystem where everything becomes decentralized. Besides the vision, the Cardano Foundation has announced partnerships with the following companies and organizations.

  • Dish is a telecommunications company listed in the US Fortune250.
  • Veritree partnered with Cardano to plant 1 tree for each ADA donated. The donors will receive 1 Veritree verification token in return.
  • Rival is an e-sport company that partnered with Cardano to bootstrap the NFT market.
  • AID:Tech plans to apply the blockchain identity solution to financial services, payments, and insurance.
  • Cardano partnered with Chainlink to provide secure DeFi data feeds for developers to build DeFi applications.

As mentioned above, Cardano’s new partners are all big and operate successful businesses. Those partnerships help Cardano bridge the gap between the crypto world and the real world for a bigger expansion.

Project Catalyst

Project Catalyst is the community-governed platform that is currently managing over 500 million ADA for funding projects on Cardano. Basically, everyone can propose the ideas benefiting the Cardano ecosystem to receive specific funds for development. Each proposal will be voted by ADA delegators who staked their ADA in staking pools.

Project Catalyst Treasury

As described in the chart, the Catalyst treasury is increasing linearly in quantity and exponentially in value. Instead of big incentive programs, Cardano uses Project Catalyst similar to a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) to bootstrap new ideas, which will be decided by the community.

After 5 rounds of Project Catalyst, the Catalyst fund 6 with $4M worth of ADA had over 800 submitted ideas as we can see the increase in quantity. Furthermore, with support from the community, submitted projects are more well-prepared than in the previous 5 funds.

Project Catalyst Submitted Ideas. Source: Cardians_

The fund 6 is still in the voting process, so we will update further information on the Cardians Twitter account in the next panorama series.

Highlight Numbers

In this section, we will indicate some highlight numbers around the Cardano blockchain and its ecosystem to bring useful insights for readers’ convenience.

Emurgo $100M Incentive Program. Source: Cardians_

Like other blockchain platforms, Cardano along with EMURGO released the $100 million incentive program to support DeFi applications and blockchain educations. They announced plans to invest in three projects: ADAVerse, MilkodemaM1, and Adanian Labs. They are all new projects granted by the incentive program.

The $100 million incentive program is comparatively small corresponding to the $65 billion market capitalization of ADA. However, this movement of EMURGO shows the attention is shifting to DeFi projects. As a result, the development pace of DeFi projects is still behind other blockchains like Solana or BSC.

Total Mint Transactions of Cardano. Source: Cardians_

At the writing time, over 1,500,000 mint transactions were conducted on the Cardano blockchain to create NFTs. This impressive number proves the increasing demand for executing mint transactions on Cardano and we’ll discuss further later in the NFT section.

Ecosystem Analysis

It’s fair to say that the Cardano ecosystem is developing at the pace of the turtle when compared to other blockchain platforms like Solana and Fantom. In mid-October 2021, DeFi projects on Cardano are yet to operate. However, the NFT section is taking the spotlight since an NFT marketplace was released in October 2021.

The Cardano ecosystem has increased to over 150 projects bigger than a few projects in the last months. As a result, we will find out the most recent activities of the DeFi lego and the NFT one inside the Cardano ecosystem.

The Cardano Ecosystem. Source: Cardians_


Decentralized Exchanges on Cardano are still in the development process with no official product. Some DEX platforms have stepped ahead since they raised funds from the community and investors via ISPO and IDO programs.

  • ISPO: MinSwap and MirQUR.
  • IDO and token sale: ADAX, DeFire, Orion Protocol, and YaySwap.
Dexs on Cardano. Source: Cardians_

SundaeSwap was invested in by Alameda Research, which successfully invested in projects on various blockchain platforms such as Coin98, 1inch, Alpha Finance, and Messari, etc.

Ardana recently announced that it was invested in by Three Arrows Capital founded by Zhu Su. Like Alameda Research, this VC (Venture Capital) has successfully invested in DeFi projects such as AAVE, SushiSwap, dYdX, Trader Joe, and Tranchess, etc. Three Arrows Capital is especially famous for its investment in Axie Infinity which had exponential growth in 2021.

This means big VCs are noticing projects inside the Cardano ecosystem. These are a few notable examples of VC investment, indicating that VCs are shifting to a new land and adding to their portfolio more Cardano-based projects.

In September 2021, MinSwap released its beta platform, and users had a concurrency problem with the testnet. Right after that, multiple other projects such as SundaeSwap, OccamFi, and MinSwap have proposed the solution for this problem.

DEXs on Cardano are expected to be released as soon as possible for users to experience the trading service. 


Like DEXs, lending platforms on Cardano are rushing to release their services to the community. The lending race is hotter than ever since multiple projects are raising funds from investors or running the ISPO program. 

Lending Projects on Cardano. Source: Cardians_

Notably, MELD is running the ISPO program with over 600M ADA staked in the MELD staking pools. Moreover, Meld is going to launch its IDO on VENT Finance in Oct 2021. This means MELD is accelerating the development pace to catch up with the upcoming wave.

MELD is going to be launched on VENT Finance. Source: Cardians_

Paribus is a cross-chain lending protocol primarily built on Cardano, which launched its IDO on Cardstarter in August 2021. They have just released the detailed plan to increase the long-term value of PBX tokens by a part of the protocol fee for the burning-token strategy and PBX staking rewards. As a result, PBX has been rising in the last few days in spite of the prices of other projects’ tokens going in a narrow range.

First Look of Paribus. Source: Cardians_


Launchpad is probably the most active lego part of the Cardano ecosystem. The first two projects that have been operating for months are Cardstarter and Occam Finance. They are the two biggest launchpads on Cardano, bootstrapping new projects with prominent ideas.

On OccamRazer (launchpad of Occam Finance), there are 5 DeFi projects that are going to launch their IDO to raise funds. As a result, the platform is keeping the fast pace to support projects inside the Cardano ecosystem.

Projects launched on Occam Finance. Source: Cardians_

To heat the IDO market, Cardstarter is going to launch Photo Chromic on Nov 8th, 2021. 

Photochromic Overview. Source: Cardians_

The Cardstarter team released a Solana-based launchpad named StarLaunch which is still in the development process. The plan of Cardstarter is to build a launchpad on Solana similar to its successful model with an insurance treasury and a tiered system. This strategic movement of Cardstarter to the Solana ecosystem shows the fast expansion after the initial success inside the Cardano ecosystem.

Currently, Cardstarter and Occam Finance are having the downside point that they are running on Ethereum, and IDO participants have to hold ETH to buy the IDO tokens, which might not incentivize the demand for ADA.

IDO platforms on Cardano. Source: Cardians_

Besides those two launchpads in operations, we will discuss about the following IDO platforms on Cardano:

  • VENT Finance is going to launch the first project on its platform in late October 2021 which is a lending platform MELD.
  • Adapad is going to launch PulsePad which is the IDO platform for Pulse Chain.
  • Synthesis is still in the development process.

In general, with 2 frequently active launchpads and other upcoming ones, the Cardano ecosystem is now attracting funds from investors and is probably expected to have functioning projects soon.


NFT (Non-Fungible Token) on Cardano is rapidly growing in quantity since countless NFT projects are released and hundreds of NFT collections are sold. However, Cardano-based NFTs are still in the beginning stage. 

Currently, over 1.5M mint transactions have been made to create new NFTs. The number illustrates the growing supply of NFTs and the NFT market of Cardano is quickly expanding.

NFT/Gaming on Cardano. Source: Cardians_

Besides the sold NFT collection, the NFT marketplace plays an important role in the NFT world as it connects the NFT world together. It is truly a race since multiple new projects want to be the first and catch the market sentiment.

Especially, SpaceBudz released its NFT marketplace then continued to release a platform upgrade to version 2 recently.

One-page SpaceBudz. Source: Cardians_

As we can see from the growing number of new NFT projects and there’s one NFT marketplace in operation, NFT is advancing faster than other DeFi sections inside the Cardano ecosystem.


To sum up, below are the key highlights of the Cardano panorama for readers’ convenience:

The smart contract era has been finished and scalability will be the core feature of the next era. Hydra is the scalability solution for the Cardano blockchain.

In the Cardano Summit, 5 major partnerships were announced by the Cardano foundation. This means Cardano is expanding beyond the DeFi world. We’ll see the practical application of blockchain in the next year.

The Catalyst treasury is now over $2 billion worth of ADA that will be used to bootstrap the DeFi ecosystem as well as other creative projects on Cardano. This can be considered as an incentive program that is autonomously governed by the community.

DeFi legos are accelerating the development process since they raised lots of funds from investors. Especially, IDO platforms on Cardano are actively launching new projects. This possibly indicates the cash flow is pouring into the Cardano ecosystem.

The NFT section is leading the Cardano ecosystem with over 1.5B mint transactions.

And that is all you need to know about the most recent updates of the Cardano ecosystem. I hope you’ve gained the overview and our insights will be useful to you. There will be more new Cardano panorama articles in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!

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