Ethereum vs Cardano: Which Crypto Should You Buy in 2021

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This guide comparing the cryptocurrencies will highlight all the critical differences between Ethereum vs Cardano and to find out if Ethereum or Cardano are worth investing in and which out of the two is the best investment for you.

The financial world received a shake-up in 2020 and many prominent industry experts were surprised by just how well the cryptocurrency market weathered the COVID storm. In fact, as faith in traditional economies was rocked, many investment funds and large-scale corporations found themselves looking to invest in Ethereum, Bitcoin, Cardano, and suchlike, to hedge against future uncertainty.

This shift did not go unnoticed by individual investors and a renewed appetite for digital currency saw bull runs for all the major tokens, as more and more people chose to invest in cryptocurrency in 2021. 

Whilst Bitcoin has been a go-to choice for several years, many forward-thinking traders have also chosen to invest in the leading altcoins. Two of the most notable being Ethereum and Cardano. But should you invest in Ethereum or buy Cardano in 2021? We’ve put together the following comparison to see how each token measures up against one another, as well as how they slot into the wider crypto market. 

Cardano vs Ethereum: A Comparison Between ETH and ADA

Anyone looking to invest in cryptocurrency in 2021 may have already earmarked Ethereum and/or Cardano for inclusion in their portfolio and both tokens have great potential. But is one a better option than the other?

Before we get into any price analyses, it’s important to understand the key differences between the two cryptocurrencies. If we want to accurately compare Ethereum vs Cardano, then we need to know in which ways they are effectively competing and in which ways offer something completely different from one another.  

Cardano Vs Ethereum: What Are The Key Differences Between Them

Here are the most important ways the two assets differ:


Ethereum is arguably the second most famous cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin. Heralding the first wave of second-generation cryptocurrencies, the Ethereum blockchain went beyond offering a simple payment system and presented far more functionality than the original cryptocurrencies and their respective blockchains.

Launched in July 2015, Ethereum is driven by its native crypto token, Ether, but also allows the exchange of smart contracts, intended to streamline the transfer ownership assets and trust agreements. The Ethereum platform also allows ĐApps to be developed and run without any third-party influence and its proprietary programming language opens up a world of further possibilities. 

The recipe seems to have proved a success so far and Ethereum is the second-biggest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalisation. As such, the decision to buy Ethereum in 2021 isn’t as risky as it might be with a less established altcoin. 

Cardano was developed in 2015 with a very similar objective to Ethereum - that is to offer a platform that would not only allow the sending and receiving of a native cryptocurrency, but would also facilitate smart contracts and the development of distributed apps.

The similarities between Cardano and Ethereum are no coincidence either. Cardano was actually developed by ex-Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson. However, under the surface, Cardano has several notable advancements on the Ethereum blockchain. 

Cardano is the world’s first peer-reviewed cryptocurrency, having been scrutinised by several prominent academic institutions. It also has a unique two-layer architecture, one for handling general transactions and the other dealing with smart contracts. 

Of course, this is all very impressive on paper - but does it make it a good idea to buy Cordano in 2021? Well, ADA has consistently been in the top 5 - 6 cryptocurrencies by market cap (currently around $27.5 billion) so, once again, it is one of the safer bets in the crypto sphere. 

Transactions and Speed

Aside from its virtually limitless potential, another of Ethereum’s standout qualities is its fast block creation times. The Bitcoin blockchain takes up to 10 minutes to add new blocks, whereas Ethereum has an expected creation time of between 10 and 20 seconds. But is this reason enough to buy Ethereum in 2021?

At the time of writing, Ethereum is still using the proof of work concept. This involves computers on the network effectively competing against each other to solve equations in exchange for a reward of around 2 ETH. In this sense, Ethereum is similar to many first-generation cryptocurrencies, save for the fact it relies on the ethash mining algorithm rather than the SHA-256 algorithm utilised by Bitcoin. 

You can find more information on the proof of work concept in our explanation of crypto mining, but anyone looking to invest in Ethereum should note that the network is in the process of shifting over to a proof of stake consensus mechanism -  which is expected to boost both efficiency and security. 

This is part of the Ethereum 2.0 network upgrade and, whilst a timeline for the completion of the switch is yet to be finalised, it could have a significant impact upon the price of Ether.

Ethereum significantly improved upon the transaction speeds of Bitcoin, but at an estimated 15-20 transactions per second (TPS), this still pales in comparison to Cardano, which has been tested to at least 257 TPS. 

Cardano’s speed is already fairly impressive, but with the Hydra 2 scaling solution implemented over the existing proof of stake protocol, Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK, the company responsible for the development of Cardano (ADA), claims that simulations show the network is capable of processing over one million transactions per second. 

The impressive performance is of course made possible by the two-layer system and could well be reason enough to buy Cardano in 2021, however, investors should remember that the one million-plus TPS touted by Hoskinson are yet to actually be realised. 

Supply and Demand

A key concern for anyone looking to invest in Ethereum - or any other cryptocurrency - will always be how supply is managed. After all, any digital currency can be generated on a network and is not tied to any physical asset, so in order to hold value, there must be a protocol to foster scarcity of some kind. 

There is currently a total cap for the total amount of Ether, as there is with Bitcoin. However, as per its initial principles, there is a limit on how many tokens are released into the Ethereum ecosystem per year.

Ethereum developers have previously mooted the idea of setting a cap on the number of tokens available, but investors should note that Ethereum has different objectives than other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Ethereum is intended as a platform for decentralised services and, as such, there is much speculation as to whether a cap would help or hinder success in this area. 

Just as with Ethereum, anyone looking to invest in Cardano will probably have questions about the supply of the ADA token. 

Cardano differs from Ethereum in that it has a total supply cap, much in the same way Bitcoin does. At the time of writing, the supply limit was 45,000,000,000. What’s more, Cardano also has declining stake reward, which acts as an in-built deflationary mechanism and increases potential scarcity, which can of course have a positive effect on trading prices. 

From the demand side of things, those thinking to invest in Cardano should be aware that ADA is not currently traded in Coinbase - one of the largest crypto exchanges - and the token was not in the first selection of cryptocurrencies supported by Paypal. 

Ethereum vs Cardano: Should you invest in Cardano or Ethereum?

Choosing whether to invest in Ethereum or buy Cardano in 2021 will inevitably depend on your investment goals. Of course, there's no reason to choose one over the other, but for the sake of comparing Cardano vs Ethereum there are a few key metrics and indicators we can use to differentiate between the two with regards to investment opportunity. 

First and foremost, cryptocurrency price forecasts are usually based on technical analysis of historic price movement. Having reviewed this, we can then see the predictions made by some of the leading platforms in the industry. Finally, expert insights can be a great way of garnering further information and gauging mainstream appetite for a particular cryptocurrency. 

Ethereum Vs Cardano: Price History

When looking at the price history of Ethereum vs Cardano, we see two very different pictures. Previous price movement can’t exactly tell us which cryptocurrency to invest in 2021, but it can give us a chance to form more realistic expectation of each coin’s potential. 


There wasn’t much to write home about with regards to Ethereum’s price movement in the first year or two of its existence. Prices saw very few significant increases until January 2017, when Ether was trading at around the $10 mark. 

As with Bitcoin in its early days, there was something of a delay before the potential of Ethereum started to get noticed. However by January 2018 ETH had soared to a record high of almost $1,400. But Things were less than stable for ETH over the next few months and at one point prices dropped back down to $85. 

Suffice to say, things continued to bounce around for Ethereum and the altcoin struggled against a barrier of $250 for well over a year. However, things picked up for ETH in 2020 and at the time of writing it looks as though it has ridden the COVID storm well, having hit a new high of  $1,773.33.


If you’re looking to invest in Cardano then you may already be aware that its price trajectory is somewhat different than many other altcoins. 

ADA very quickly reached parity with the US dollar during the first few months of its trading lifecycle and its all-time high of $1.18 was reached in January 2018. However, the surge was short-lived and Cardano quickly plummeted to less than $0.10 per token - finishing the year at around $0.03.

Cardano stayed subdued and did not peak above $0.10 until the summer of 2020 - shortly after the COVID pandemic had struck. ADA then seemed to turn a corner at the end of the year, as there was a rush to invest in Cardano. Prices soared by over 500% until reaching $0.92 by the end of January 2021.

Ethereum Vs Cardano: Future Price Predictions

As we have seen, there is little comparison when it comes to Ethereum vs Cardano on previous price movement. But how do their respective histories relate to future predictions? Here we will take a look at the forecasts of some top crypto analysts. 


Based on its technical analysis, DigitalCoin is predicting steady growth for ETH in the year ahead, amid a renewed interest from those looking to invest in Ethereum. The platform believes that Ethereum will hold on to its impressive price run and trade well above its previous record for the rest of 2021, ending the year at an impressive $2,726.19.

Elsewhere, TradingBeasts is also optimistic about ETH’s potential, although with a more subdued forecast. The platform believes that Ethereum will maintain a high price throughout the year, but will close 2021 slightly under its current trading price ($1,773.33.) finishing at around $1,624.

Finally, WalletInvestor falls somewhere between the two predictions detailed above. The platform is predicting fairly linear growth for ETH but has the token closing the year at around $2,100. 

Naturally, these forecasts will be music to the ears of anyone who has thought to invest in Ethereum - but always remember that predictions are effectively informed guesswork and are by no means guaranteed. 


Anyone looking to buy Cardano in 2021 can hardly expect the same numbers as seen with the price of ETH, but several platforms are predicting substantial growth. WalletInvestor has ADA prices increasing by approximately 50% throughout 2021, increasing steadily over the summer and closing December at around $1.46. 

TradingBeasts are also forecasting steady appreciation for Cardano throughout 2021. The platform has the token maintaining its recent price before following a steady upwards gradient, finishing the year around 20% up on its current price, at around $1.07.

The price per token might not be anything to write home about, but anyone looking to invest in Cardano should remember it’s all about growth and returns of 20% to 50% would mark a very successful addition to your portfolio. 

Cardano Vs Ethereum: What the Experts Say

The opinions of significant finance industry experts can tell us a great deal about investor appetite for a particular cryptocurrency and in some instances can even be enough to drive prices up in themselves. 

Anyone looking to invest in Ethereum in the coming months won’t have to look far to find support from key commentators. For example, Messari CEO Ryan Selkis has recently said that, whilst Bitcoin’s performance has been impressive, “it’s Ethereum that has taken flight as crypto’s most important platform… one that could power an entirely new financial system, and a more open, resilient internet.”

Elsewhere Simon Dedic, co-founder of Blockfyre and managing partner at Moonrock Capital, has predicted that Ethereum will eventually hit a staggering $9,000 per token. 

There are fewer clear-cut predictions for Cardano, but Altcoin Daily host and crypto trader Austin Arnold has voiced his support latest Goguen Mary update, citing it as  “a big reason that the Cardano price is rising this month [February]

Cardano Vs Ethereum: Conclusion

It’s difficult to decide an outright winner when looking at Cardano vs Ethereum as an investment potential. Whilst Ethereum is far more established and with a much higher price, history shows us that it isn’t immune to sudden price drops.

Those looking to invest in Cardano are also able to get a much larger holding - with tokens currently trading at less than a single US dollar. Ultimately, investment growth is measured in percentage and both coins are predicted to perform well throughout 2021.

Whether you choose to invest in Cardano or buy Ethereum in 2021, it’s important to manage your expectations. Both coins have experienced sudden, sustained price drops and the cryptocurrency market is notoriously volatile - even though it is currently going from strength to strength, there are no guarantees this will last.

How to Invest in Cardano and Ethereum

Assuming you are approaching the cryptocurrency market with realistic expectations and a solid investment strategy, then it could well prove to be profitable to invest in Ethereum or buy Cardano in 2021.

If you don’t already have a trading account, you’ll need to find a reliable broker. We recommend eToro, as it is one of the most established names on the market and offers plenty of tools for both novice and more experienced traders. 

However, you measure up Ethereum vs Cardano, using a platform with plenty of analytical tools like eToro will allow you to keep your finger on the pulse and react to price movements in real-time. 

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Ethereum vs Cardano - FAQ

How do I choose between Ethereum vs Cardano?

Many would-be investors start out by comparing cryptocurrencies to decide which ones best fit their portfolio objectives. However, comparing Ethereum vs Cardano risks overlooking one for the other, when in actual fact they both present plenty of opportunity as part of a diversified portfolio. Whereas Ethereum may be the more established of the two, a much larger holding of Cardano can be obtained for a relatively small outlay. 

Where can I buy Cardano in 2021?

Cardano is regularly amongst the top cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalisation, yet there are some exchanges - including Coinbase - which are not listing the token. If you’re looking to buy Cardano in 2021, then we’d recommend using eToro. The platform doesn’t exclude any of the major tokens and allows quick and easy access to the markets.

Cardano vs Ethereum - which is the better investment?

Both Cardano and Ethereum present promising investment opportunities in 2021. Analysts vary on exact price movement, but most agree that ADA and ETH will appreciate over the coming years. 

What are the top cryptocurrencies to invest in in 2021?

Choosing to invest in cryptocurrency in 2021 could prove to be a very smart move, as the market is expected to grow exponentially. However, the outlook for some coins is better than others. Coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano and Litecoin are comparatively ‘safe bets’ whilst any coins outside of the top 10 in terms of market cap carry considerably more risk. As such, they should only be included as part of a diversified portfolio.

Why Ethereum Might Be a Good Investment in 2021?

With the price of Bitcoin (BTC) skyrocketing at the end of 2020 and hitting new highs in 2021, the second cryptocurrency by market cap is many investors' primary pick as the next big thing in the investment space. 

Ethereum (ETH) has the second-largest market cap in the world as of February 17, 2021 standing at $208.87bn. Ethereum is referred to as smart contracts or DAPPS (Decentralized Digital Applications). It is an open-source blockchain for conducting transactions and it is more than just digital money. Ethereum’s secure blockchain technology could help in revolutionizing industries in the education, e-commerce, social media, and telecommunications, legal and healthcare industries.

Ethereum has played second fiddle to Bitcoin for several years but it is gradually making waves into not only the crypto limelight but the whole investment landscape. Currently, its popularity means that novice crypto investors may not primarily use BTC as their first test experiment in the crypto market since BTCs price is above the trial price several novice investors are used to.

The biggest drivers of Ethereum are its fans who feel that this blockchain technology would form the basis of the internet in the not-so-distant future. It is therefore not surprising that there are several Bitcoins that have been wrapped up on Ethereum’s blockchain network.

By making even its primary competitor Bitcoin compatible with smart contracts, users would find it easy to unlock and create traditional instruments such as insurance and loans. Many future applications would run on Ethereum’s blockchain so any investor who would want to see enormous gains should consider adding the crypto asset onto their portfolios.

Unlike other cryptocurrencies which offer just digital money, Ethereum is open to creating a system that allows others to use their blockchain and more importantly, ensure the human side of individuals can be fully expressed online.

 Will Ethereum Go Up in 2021?

Ethereum has recently seen an extremely bullish run. It was only in September 2020, when Ethereum was extensively researched about and at the time its market capitalization was a paltry $43.9bn with a price of $390.30 and 112,450,000 in circulation.

The current price the crypto is enjoying comes in the wake of what Bitcoin has done in recent months and as a result has gained the special attention of several individuals (novice and experienced traders) who feel it may become the next safe haven for investors.

Inasmuch as this statement holds strong, there are other factors behind the rally which certifies that Ethereum could potentially go up in 2021 and cross several price boundaries just as its crypto sibling has done.

Factors Could increase the Ethereum price further in 2021:

  1. Innovation on Its Platform

  2. The Launch of Ethereum 2.0

The Pace of Innovation on Its Platform is Massive

Ethereum’s technology is the future of the internet and plans are being made so that it will take the current web from 2.0 to new heights in Web 3.0 Almost all activities which take place in the space of cryptocurrencies happen on Ethereum. According to Dharma co-founder Brendan Forster, there was a meeting at the polychain offices in San Francisco in 2018 to discuss the future of digital currency. Astonishingly, all 150 people who turned up for the meeting agreed to one common theme, “decentralized finance (DeFi)”.

In 2020, when the pandemic brought the stock market to its knees, numerous startups started cropping up using the DeFi model and this has certified Ethereum’s course as not only the second-largest blockchain by market cap but the crypto which has so far been persistent enough to survive and be fully accepted.

Decentralized Finance aims to cut off the middle man (banks) and introduce a peer-to-peer finance system which is enabled by decentralized technologies built on the Ethereum blockchain. With this, users can invest, lend and borrow through smart contracts via protocols and financial instruments such as Yearn Finance, Compound and Aave. DeFi like all forms of startups is extremely risky to trust but this has in no way stopped investors.

According to Forbes, approximately $20.5bn has been invested in DeFi projects as at January 2021. Additionally, users can also purchase insurance coverage to help protect their holdings. Nexul Mutual provides cover for smart contracts and this protects users against any unintended use of their smart contract codes. Users can also generate additional income on their crypto holdings through their “ether tokens''.

The Launch of Ethereum 2.0 Has Added Security and Scalability to the Blockchain

The upgrade went up in the fall of 2020 and has made the platform extremely enjoyable to use. Its primary aim is to enhance the speed, efficiency and scalability of the Ethereum network by easing bottlenecks and processing more transactions.

Ethereum 2.0 employs a proof of stake (PoS) mechanism whereas Ethereum 1.0 used a proof of work (PoW) mechanism.

The network in Ethereum 2.0 supports 100,000 transactions per second whereas the network in Ethereum 1.0 supported up to 30 transactions per second. Additionally, most PoS networks have decreased network security because it has a small set of validators which makes it more centralized. But the new upgrade is secured because it is decentralized and requires a minimum of 16,384 validators.

Ethereum is not only a digital currency but it offers a platform which is going to host the world’s finance. Considering the fact that many people are tired of being controlled psychologically and denied freedom to do whatever they want with their money, decentralized finance will gradually become the new norm or as Global Fintech Co-Head Lex Sokolin puts it “We are a stone’s throw away from the global financial industry running on a common software infrastructure.” Ethereum has a bright future and will rally based on its own achievement and not on the exploits of its elder sibling (BTC).

Is Ethereum a Good Investment?

Ethereum’s price has rallied in the last few months and will continue to soar in the coming months. Prices of coins like stocks, commodities and metals thrive on the laws of demand and supply. As more people are educated on the financial possibilities of blockchain and crypto, more investments will go into Decentralized Finance through market exchanges.

As Ethereum is the second-largest blockchain platform, Crypto experts believe that ETH is a good investment compared to other cryptos and assets. analysts believe that the price of Ethereum could grow further in the long-term.

One of the factors that will influence Ethereum's price is the increasing use of blockchain technology, which attracts more and more successful crypto investors.

Another reason makes Ethereum a good investment is Ethereum 2.0, the second iteration of Ethereum. Ethereum 2.0 will focus on energy efficiency and staking instead of mining.

A great example of this can be attributed to Uniswap, an Ethereum-based protocol which empowers traders, developers and liquidity providers in a financial marketplace which is accessible and open to all. Uniswap’s decentralized exchange hit $100 billion dollars in trade volume on Monday, February 15.  This is the first Decentralized Exchange (DEX) to reach this whopping number. In January 2021, Uniswap hit $20 billion in monthly volume for the first time.

This is extremely important for investors who are considering investing in Ethereum in the long term. This is because trade volume is one of the important trading elements you cannot miss. While trading volume is not the only tool, it adds invaluable insights into your investment decision. As Dan Moskowitz of Investopedia puts it “logically, when more money is moving a stock, crypto, commodity or metal, it means there is more demand for that asset”.

Ethereum Price Prediction in 2021

The current price of Ethereum has been ranging from $1,700 to $1, 842.88. In February 2021, the biggest news or statement has so far been made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk who walked the talk and in a filing on Monday, February 8, 2021 bought $1.5 billion in Bitcoin which was reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Musk has been one of the keen advocates of the use of cryptocurrencies. The Company (TESLA) went on to state that it was “moving towards allowing customers to pay for its products with the cryptocurrency”. Considering almost all cryptos have some form of association with Ethereum as a result of its advanced software, it means that any investment made in one crypto directly affects the price of Ethereum positively.

Just as a major name in the technology sector has made a bold statement in one crypto, several investors will follow suit and since Ethereum is the second most popular crypto as well as holds the second largest market cap, it is the next in line to become the safe haven for investors.

In the following months, Ethereum will carry on with its enormous promise of being an investment as well as technology. Many experts such as Blocktown Capital’s James Todaro is of the view that “Ethereum could be worth as much as $9,000.”

His views are based on fundamental analysis which sees Ethereum making strong gains through its Decentralized Finance (DeFi) trend and could be the second crypto to hit the $1 trillion market cap milestone since Bitcoin (BTC) rally means it will surely be the first. This notion is also shared by Managing Partner at Moonrock Capital and Co-Founder of Blockfyre Simon Dedic who also estimates Ethereum being worth $9,000 per coin in 2021.    

How to Invest in Ethereum?

As cryptocurrencies become popular, there are several exchanges where you can make investments. Based on experience and ease of use, eToro provides a great platform where you can buy and invest in Ethereum.

The first step as always in having an account online is to SIGN UP. Ensure the details you provide are authentic.

The second step is ACCOUNT VERIFICATION. To ensure security of your account and as part of KYC (Knowing Your Customer), you will be required to upload your driver’s license or passport) and proof of address (internet bill and bank or credit card statements) to help prove your identity.

The third step is DEPOSIT FIAT CURRENCY. Upon successfully going through the verification process, you can follow the instructions and deposit fiat currency (USD, GBP, or EURO) which is a necessary step to make purchase of ETH possible.

The last step is MAKE YOUR FIRST ETHEREUM PURCHASE. With funds in your account, simply navigate the “Ethereum” page and your first purchase is on its way.

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