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Cardano continues staggering climb, becomes third-largest crypto

August 20, 2021, 5:03 PM UTC

Cardano, a cryptocurrency that was largely unknown at the start of the year for many people, has powered its way to become the third-largest crypto on the market.

The digital coin hit an all-time high Friday of $2.58, a jump of more than 18%. Year to date, it has seen returns of 1,294%, according to CoinDesk.

That has boosted its market cap to nearly $82 billion, enough for it to become the third-largest crypto, surpassing the Binance Coin. Only Bitcoin and Ethereum are more valuable. Both have a substantial lead, but less momentum.

Friday’s rally is likely due to an upcoming test phase of an upgrade that will, among other things, allow smart-contract functionality and allow for a range of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications to be used on the Cardano network. That update is expected to land as early as Sept. 12, though it could take a bit longer.

The lack of smart-contract functions has been pointed to before as the crypto’s biggest Achilles’ heel. Smart contracts are a way to ensure agreements can be validated securely—and are seen as one of the biggest strengths of Ethereum.  

The launch of those will bring Cardano into the third phase of its launch, known as Goguen, which will also include fungible and non-fungible tokens.

Cardano was founded by Ethereum cofounder Charles Hoskinson four years ago.

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