The not-yet-well-known cryptocurrency Cardano has made it to third place among the largest cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalisation, behind Bitcoin and Ethereum. Its listing on one of the most strictly regulated exchanges in the world has also contributed to this.

Since 25 August, the Cardano cryptocurrency ADA can be traded in Japan on the leading stock exchange in Tokyo – even though the financial centre is considered one of the most strictly regulated globally.

Japanese clients could now trade Cardano ASA on BitPoint because the digital currency has managed to comply with the strict regulations in place at the exchange. BitPoint is the first crypto exchange in Japan to allow Cardano trading. Only a few other cryptocurrencies have managed to list so far, including Bitcoin, Ether and XRP.

Charles Hoskinson, the founder of the blockchain platform Cardano, expressed his delight at the news on Twitter. He had been waiting for this day for a long time, he explained, ending his tweet with a haiku by Matuso Basho, one of the best-known poets of the verse form, which is extremely popular in Japan.

To be listed, the digital coin had to meet strict regulations, as evidenced by the manageable number of cryptocurrencies that were able to achieve a listing in Japan. To protect Japanese investors, who may be exposed to high volatility and other risks, especially in the crypto segment, the Japanese regulator has launched its crypto section, which reviews and initiates regulatory measures related to initiatives in the crypto sector. 

However, according to yahoo!finance, some lawmakers in Japan consider this practice insufficient and believe that the current licensing rules are not strict enough. Citing calls to the financial authority in Tokyo, the portal reports that calls for tightening the rules have recently become louder.

On Twitter, meanwhile, many people reacted positively to the news that Cardano’s cryptocurrency ADA can be traded on a Japanese exchange, with many expressing the conviction that Japan could raise its profile in this context. And the news was also positive for Cardano and ADA itself, which was also reflected in the recent price development.

But the positive performance of the digital asset is also due to another cause: The increasing environmental awareness of many crypto market participants. Due to its conception, Cardano is considered a green alternative to the top dog Bitcoin, as it uses the “proof-of-stake blockchain model”, while Bitcoin & Ethereum use the “proof-of-work model”. The first method is considered more sustainable because this mechanism does not require a global network of computers to be in use simultaneously when a transaction takes place. The high computing power required for this had recently brought Bitcoin in particular sharp criticism and was one of the reasons why Tesla boss Elon Musk reversed payments with BTC.

But that’s not all: As the Cardano developer IOHK revealed in a video announcement in mid-August, the next major update is about to be released. The hard fork, which is being developed under the project name “Alonzo”, will be released in a test environment as early as 1 September, as product manager Nigel Hemsley announced in the video conference. 

If the test network runs stably and all possible errors have been eliminated in time, the official introduction of the Alonzo upgrade is planned for 12 September. With the new hard fork, it should be possible to run smart contracts on the Cardano chain. This would allow Cardano to catch up with other cryptocurrencies such as Ether. The new feature also opens up the network to third-party applications. Utilizing the specially developed programming language Plutus, which will be delivered with the Alonzo upgrade, the creation of smart contracts will also be made possible for users who do not necessarily have a technical background, according to the financial portal The Motley Fool.

It remains to be seen whether the ADA price can continue to profit from the hopes of the Alonzo upgrade in the next few days and what the actual release of the hard fork means for the price trend. According to t3n, analysts expect a price target of between 4 and 5 US dollars by the end of December.

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