The price of ADA, the native coin of the Cardano blockchain, fell today to $1.60, its lowest point since August 9—and 48% off of its all-time high of $3.09 on September 2, according to data from CoinGecko.
The price movement comes on the heels of restrictions on U.S. holders of ADA and TRON by crypto trading platform eToro. Citing “business-related considerations in the evolving regulatory environment,” eToro will not allow new ADA or TRX buys after December 25. The platform will also pull support for staking of ADA and TRX starting December 31.
Current users can maintain their holdings or sell them—although eToro says it will begin limiting ADA and TRX sales in early 2022.
eToro accounts for roughly 1% of ADA’s trading volume over the last 24 hours, but the news is contributing to an outsized drop in the currency’s value, which shrank by over 9% in the last 24 hours. TRX, which has a market cap of under $7 billion compared to ADA’s $52 billion, also stumbled, losing 6% on the day.
IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano, refused to call it a delisting, tweeting, “Ada is still on etoro and non-US customers can freely trade.”
In some ways, it’s the least of Cardano’s troubles as token price was already trending downward; ADA is worth 24% less than it was this time last month. Though the arrival of smart contracts on the network in September boosted the price, decentralized applications—the DeFi, gaming, and NFT protocols that use those contracts—have yet to really take off on Cardano.
DeFi Llama, which tracks the amount of cryptocurrency dedicated to decentralized exchanges, lending apps and liquidity protocols, does not yet list Cardano—suggesting its “total value locked” is below Ethereum competitors such as Solana, Avalanche, and Terra.
But if the rise of Solana has taught us anything, it’s to not discount the desire for a less-congested alternative to Ethereum as that protocol scales from proof of work to a theoretically faster and cheaper proof-of-stake algorithm. Just six months ago, Solana had under $1 billion locked into protocols on its network and a market cap below $8 billion. Now, those numbers are $14 billion and $62 billion, respectively.
Cardano users are hoping its recent numbers are just a blip on the way to bigger things.