The Ethereum blockchain gained prominence on the back of its myriad use cases, and now one of its chief competitors is looking to replicate that success. Roughly a month after the Ethereum platform got its significant London Hard Fork, Cardano today announced the successful rollout of its Alonzo Hard Fork.
Hard Forks are upgrades to the blockchain platform underneath a token, which makes fundamental changes to how the platform functions.
In Ethereum’s case, the London Hard Fork introduced a new crypto mining system that makes it more environmentally sound, while the Alonzo update introduces smart contracts to Cardano. Smart contracts are self-executing programs which are executed when certain predetermined conditions are met. They allow platforms like Ethereum and Cardano to be put to use for newer applications, like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi) apps and more.
“The Alonzo upgrade will bring highly anticipated capabilities to Cardano through the integration of Plutus scripts onto the blockchain. These will allow the implementation of smart contracts on Cardano, enabling a host of new use cases for decentralized applications (DApps) for the very first time,” wrote Tim Harrison, Marketing and Communications Director of Input Output Global, the creators of Cardano in a blog post.
Cardano is often considered to be one of the chief competitors to Ethereum. The cryptocurrency’s price has increased by over 100% in the past month, with investors getting 150% returns when it hit its all-time high of $2.56.
The Ada token, which is Cardano’s native coin, had a market capitalization of over $82 billion on September 12, almost double the $40-42 billion market cap seen in August. According to Coinmarketcap, Cardano’s ADA token is the third largest cryptocurrency in the world right now, in terms of market capitalization.
However, Harrison warned the Cardano community to keep their expectations in check. He noted that it took Ethereum two years for the first decentralized app (DApp) to be built on the Ethereum platform, so Cardano might take time as well.
The fact that an alternative to Ethereum can do well is well documented by the growth of homegrown blockchain firm Polygon, whose MATIC token breached the $10 billion market cap in May on the back of increase real-world application and user adoption.