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Cardano’s loss to Base leads to ‘zombie chain’ tag

2min Read

The disparity in the TVLs highlights how the Base has won the hearts of market participants while the Cardano hasn’t been exactly attractive.

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  • Base’s TVL flipped Cardano, causing another round of criticism for the latter.
  • ADA active addresses decreased while development activity spiked.

Cardano [ADA], often hailed for its approach to smart contracts, has recently faced criticism following the apparent drop of its Total Value Locked (TVL) below Base, a Layer Two (L2) scaling solution built by Coinbase.

Read Cardano’s [ADA] Price Prediction 2023-2024

Unimpressed by the chain

One person who has heavily criticized Cardano is Evan Van Ness, a ConsenSys member and Ethereum [ETH] advocate. According to Van Ness, Cardano was now a “zombie chain” because it was two places below Base’s TVL. 

Interestingly, this is not the first time that Van Ness has blasted Cardano. Eleven months ago, the Ethereum faithful pointed out Cardano’s lack of transactions. At that time, Van Ness opined that the Charles Hoskinson-led project may not be able to compete with other projects in the DeFi space, especially as it had a higher market cap than Uniswap [UNI].

That time, Van Ness repeated the notion that Cardano could not boast of an impressive number of transactions, saying,

“There was barely more than 0.5 transactions per second yesterday.”

At press time, Cardano’s TVL was 161.72 million- a 9.83% decrease in the last 30 days. Base’s TVL, on the other hand, was $185.9 million as it gained 10.18% in the last seven days.

Cardano TVL

Source: DefiLlama

The TVL measures the unique deposits coming into a protocol. When the metric increases, it signifies an increase in trust. But when the TVL falls, it means that a project was not at its highest health level, so, market participants are avoiding making deposits into the protocol.

Therefore, the disparity in the TVLs highlights how the Base has won the hearts of market participants while the ADA hasn’t been exactly attractive to investors.

Development up, activity down

While Cardano may have disappointed in terms of the TVL, development activity picked up pacd. According to Santiment, ADA’s development activity was high at 91.9.

The development activity of a project that tracks the work done in the project’s public GitHub repositories. So, the hike in the project’s development activity means that there was a lot of dedication and code commits targeted at a secure upgrade of the Cardano blockchain.

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Meanwhile, Cardano has not had the same development activity experience with its active addresses. At the time of writing, the 30-day active addresses were down to 639,000 from a peak of over one million around mid-June.

Cardano development activity and ADA active addresses

Source: Santiment

The decline in active addresses aligns with Van Ness’ opinion that Cardano lacked traction. However, this is not a confirmation that unique addresses would continue to overlook the ecosystem. 


Victor Olanrewaju is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. Settled in Lagos, his fascination with blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency market arose out of his love of freedom and everything free. As a Nigerian, Victor understands the impact unfounded financial restrictions have on a population. He sees Bitcoin and cryptos as a way to circumvent these obstacles, as a tool for value creation despite all the setbacks. A graduate in Physics, Victor previously worked as a Senior Marketer at Melange Technologies. Before that, he dealt with crypto-marketers on a regular basis in his capacity as Copywriter at Ventrix Media. At AMBCrypto, Victor’s focus is on assessing the real effectiveness of both on-chain and off-chain developments on a project and its community sentiment.
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