Ardana (DANA), a once-exciting new stablecoin and DeFi ecosystem on the Cardano blockchain, has halted development due to “funding and project timeline uncertainty.” The DANA token was down ~99% since its all-time high, and it fell another 85% following Ardana Labs announcement that the team was done working.
Ardana Labs seemed like it was doing everything right. It launched during the bull market on Cardano, a blockchain with serious liquidity but almost no DeFi ecosystem. As Cardano developed its smart contract implementation, DeFi would become possible on the blockchain and Ardana could capture a serious portion of Cardano's ~$40B in liquidity. Or at least that was the thinking last year. Today, the Cardano blockchain's DeFi TVL is just $58M, which is tiny compared to its ADA token's $11.2B market cap.
Clearly, Cardano doesn't have the DeFi adoption Ardana needed to survive. Ardana Labs raised a $10M round led by Three Arrows Capital and some Cardano-backed funds in 2021, but now 3AC is dead and Cardano isn't throwing Ardana a life raft after Ardana’s devs spent months attacking Cardano's devs in public.
This isn’t the first time a Cardano DeFi project has openly criticized the Cardano blockchain’s poor smart contract implementation. SundaeSwap famously published then deleted a Medium post about how it devised a fair system for swaps on its DEX that accounted for the Cardano blockchain’s poor scalability.
Ardana was already a weaker Cardano project. The DANA token crashed violently when Cardano and the rest of the market went down, and DANA struggled to find adoption among Cardano holders. Ardana Labs is planning to open source its code and is hoping that someone will step in to run the project.