Market watchers were startled as cryptocoin Cardano surged by 150% as trading ended on August 23rd, making it third among the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies.

While trading expert Peter Brandt warned of a potential price fall, Cardano managed to defy expectations to surge to its highest value in history. The altcoin price level hit a record $2.91, boosting expectations that its impending network upgrade could finally give it the leverage to break through the $3 ceiling. 

Referred to as Alonzo, Cardano’s most recent upgrade now allows for smart contract functionality, removing the need for intermediaries in trading. The update is slated for rollout on Sunday, September 12th.

The token saw its value rise by over 1,300% earlier this year, and its performance has left its closest competitor Binance Coin in the dust. 

In May, however, while the token hit a then all-time high of $2.41, it could not sustain its gains thanks to the inability to handle smart contracts.

Will smart contract tech become Cardano’s gamechanger?

The impending Alonzo upgrade to Cardano’s public blockchain network is expected to change the cryptocurrency game for the token. The inclusion of smart contract technology will enable Cardano to become more active in the rapidly expanding decentralized finance (DeFi) scene through NFTs, sub-category markets, games, lending protocols, and even decentralized exchanges.

Smart contracts are, essentially, transactional protocols or programs installed on the blockchain. These are programmed to run automatically under a predetermined set of conditions. When in use, smart contracts transform blockchain networks into programmable platforms for hosting a variety of applications.

Not exactly late to the game

Some critics say that Cardano’s use of smart contracts is a bit late in the game, seeing how competitor Ethereum has been able to work more efficiently thanks to the addition of the technology to its blockchain and now holds 80% of the overall DeFi market.

However, Cardano’s developers have opted to take a slower, steadier approach to make its network more scalable, effective, and secure. Indeed, its transformation team Input Output Hong Kong implemented a multi-phase approach for its development.

The Alonzo upgrade, in particular, has undergone a wide-testing process involving several stages that were developed to support additional testnet users. As a result, according to creator Charles Hoskinson, the third iteration of Alonzo – Alonzo Purple – works more smoothly than its predecessors Byron and Shelley.

It looks like Alonzo will cement Cardano’s status as a legitimate player in the DeFi scene. The token continues to be a great favorite among those new to cryptocurrency trading. It’s priced relatively low and positioned to rise as one of the industry’s leading innovators.