- Cardano jumped 25% in a two-day surge that catapulted it to the third-biggest cryptocurrency.
- The surge was fueled by a looming protocol upgrade to cardano called Alonzo that would bring full-functionality smart contracts to the blockchain.
- Cardano’s last major leap – just last week – was also driven by Alonzo upgrade news.
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Cardano’s ada token leaped to as high as $2.58 on Friday from a Wednesday closing price of $2.05. The token, launched in 2017, has seen startling growth in 2021, exploding 1367% in price this year.
The surge was fueled by a looming protocol upgrade to cardano called Alonzo that would bring full-functionality smart contracts to the blockchain, in a clear challenge to ethereum. The upgrade is set for early October, though some market participants are skeptical of that launch date, according to CoinDesk. The upgrade was previously bumped from September to October.
The higher price made Cardano’s ada the third-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap at more than $80 billion, ahead of Binance coin at $69 billion. However, it still has a ways to go before displacing ethereum, worth some $380 billion.
Cardano’s last major leap – just last week – was also driven by Alonzo upgrade news. Investors “were hyped on the optimism that a supposedly superior blockchain infrastructure with the possibility to support the next generation of smart contracts is on the horizon,” executive director of crypto exchange CEX.IO Konstantin Anissimov told Insider at the time.
Cardano’s price action comes as interest grows in exploring ethereum alternatives. Users have long complained that ethereum’s high “gas” fees limit the cryptocurrency’s reach, a problem that the recent EIP-1559 protocol upgrade is trying to address.
Cardano was trading at $2.54 as of 12:05 p.m. ET, up 19.4% in the last 24 hours.