Cardano (CCC:ADA-USD) continues its bullish run upward as ADA prices reach new highs. News that Cardano’s Alonzo upgrades are progressing according to plan have pushed the ADA-USD price above $3 for the first time ever.
Developers began upgrades on Sept. 2 which will allow smart contracts to be built on Cardano’s network. This means that network functionality will increase, making Cardano a true competitor with Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD), and to ether’s smart contract functionality.
The price spike brings Cardano’s market capitalization above $95 billion, ranking it No. 3 behind Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) and Ethereum. They have market caps of $930 billion and $454 billion, respectively.
Cardano Fork Progressing Well
Cardano has been garnering significant attention over the past month. The attention of course relates to the Alonzo hard fork which will denote true smart contract functionality.
The upgrades have been part of a larger, iterative process with a color-coded naming scheme. That process began with Alonzo Blue, progressing to Alonzo White, and then Alonzo Purple. As the project progressed through those colors, its scale was increased each time.
It is clear from the latest news that the so-called testnet has been a success. Cardano has iteratively proven that it is ready to release smart contract functionality to its entire user base.
As noted, developers began implementing the full upgrades on Sept. 2. They are expected to be fully functional and available to all users later this month.
That means that investors will be keenly awaiting a definitive date for that drop. It is fair to anticipate that prices will again spike on the date full smart contract functionality occurs. I would also anticipate that prices will spike on or around the announcement date, as well.
Why Do Smart Contracts Matter?
As I mentioned, smart contract functionality brings Cardano into direct competition with Ethereum. It also means that Cardano will soon also be in direct competition with Solana (CCC:SOL-USD), which like Ethereum, offers smart contract functionality.
Beyond simply competing with those firms, you’re probably wondering what utility smart contracts provide. The answer is that smart contracts provide evolving utility. Right now, smart contracts allow users to exchange information, assets, and capital based on conditions, not people. That’s the unique ability of smart contracts: Once a specified condition is met, the contract is programmed to execute a specified set of instructions.
One benefit of smart contract functionality is that they eliminate the intermediary, often a fallible human, from the transaction. That implies that security will be improved and errors reduced, if not eliminated.
But smart contracts are more important than those simple ideas. In fact, smart contracts are so valuable because their utility will solve big, important problems.
A good way of understanding it is to say that smart contracts improve the agreement process. Traditional agreements suffer from serious issues, or fatal flaws, as this article from DataDrivenInvestor notes.
The issues include extreme centrality, contract conflict of interest, enforcement, and transparency. The article goes into great detail flashing out those four issues and how smart contracts solve them.
It is worth reading to get a better understanding of smart contract utility. I don’t have enough space here to flesh out the ideas one by one, but it can be summarized as stated: “Smart contracts solve these by being decentralized, fully-transparent, auto executing pieces of code that don’t need to rely on a third-party intermediaries.”
Cardano will soon possess that functionality. I don’t fully understand the importance of it all, not even close. But I do get the strong feeling that it is something that will define a new era.
It sounds hyperbolic, but for lay people like you and me, it could mean large returns. And Cardano is now part of that, or soon will be. That’s why we should not expect it to slow down moving forward.
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Alex Sirois is a freelance contributor to InvestorPlace whose personal stock investing style is focused on long-term, buy-and-hold, wealth-building stock picks. Having worked in several industries from e-commerce to translation to education and utilizing his MBA from George Washington University, he brings a diverse set of skills through which he filters his writing.