As Cardano’s Alonzo Purple upgrade launches and the full roll-out of smart contract support is teased, the price of ADA — the native cryptocurrency of the Cardano blockchain network — surged more than 20% in the past 24 hours. ADA was trading at US$1.71 at press time — its highest in over two months, according to CoinMarkCap.

Fast facts

  • Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson, speaking to the community on Periscope and Twitter, said the company would announce on Friday when Cardano would fully support smart contracts. He did reveal, however, the launch will be before the upcoming Cardano Summit, which is to be held next month.
  • “We’ll be able to announce when the Alonzo hard fork is going to happen, and at that point you’ll be able to run smart contracts on Cardano,” Hoskinson said.
  • Cardano began onboarding users to its Alonzo Purple testnet over the weekend, marking the third and final stage of its Alonzo upgrades, following the rollout of the Blue and White upgrades. While Alonzo White had limited support for a closed group of 500 users to run smart contracts, Alonzo Purple will be the first fully public mainnet to facilitate decentralized finance.
  • Ethereum has been the dominant network for minting non-fungible tokens (NFTs) up until this point, however that could change as the Alonzo Purple hardfork brings further applications to the world’s fifth-largest coin by market cap. The upgrade is also expected to support an ERC20 converter, allowing ETH tokens to run on the network.