Cardano reaches a new all-time high, becoming the third-largest crypto

    Cardano has achieved a new all-time high of $2.54 in the early hours of trading Friday morning. ADA’s market capitalization topped $80 billion compared to Binance coin’s (BNB) $72.1 billion, according to Messari provider’s data. It has surpassed Binance’s native token in total market capitalization, becoming the third-largest crypto in the world.

    Cardano (ADA), the native cryptocurrency powering Charles Hoskinson’s public blockchain, hit an all-time high Friday of $2.58, a jump of 20% in the past 24 hours. ADA rose 40% in the past week, overtaking Tether and Binance Coin in market capitalization. Within the past 2 weeks, ADA has risen over 80%.

    Year to date, it has seen returns of 1,294%, according to CoinDesk. Cardano has the third-highest market capitalization for a cryptocurrency at over $80 billion. Only Bitcoin and Ethereum are more valuable, but both have substantially less momentum.

    Friday’s rally is likely due to an upcoming test phase of the Alonzo 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 the Alonzo upgrade will bring Cardano into the third phase of its launch, known as Goguen, which will also include fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

    Cardano differs from its competitors through its academic approach, aiming to address scalability and other issues through research. It utilizes a team of engineers and academics that have published more than 100 scientific papers on the underlying technology.  Its team thoroughly peer reviews and stress tests all its work before implementation. This means the final product is likely to be more robust and work smoothly. However, it is also the reason why it has taken so long to introduce smart contract functionality. Hoskinson also frequently recalls the company’s motivating developmental goals. For instance, in a recent interview with Bloomberg describing Cardano’s work in Ethiopia, Hoskinson highlighted his company’s commitment to human rights. “We’re a big believer in quality human rights,” he claimed.

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