A little-known digital token linked to the Cardano blockchain has just become the third-largest virtual currency in the world as network developers look to ride the boom in decentralized finance.

With the so-called ADA cryptocurrency jumping around 50% over the past week alone, optimism is rising that new technological enhancements will allow smart contracts on Cardano by its announced goal of Sept. 12. That will enable its network to offer lucrative services like DeFi, where Ethereum currently dominates.

In a rally met with skepticism by some big industry names, the ADA token now has a market value of more than $69 billion — bigger than all rivals except Bitcoin and Ether, according to tracker CoinGecko.

“The Cardano aficionados have been awaiting — some impatiently — for what seems like an eternity for some news on smart contracts,” said Antoni Trenchev, managing partner and co-founder of crypto lender Nexo. “Cardano is tussling with no. 2 crypto Ethereum to be the preeminent blockchain offering smart contracts.” Cardano’s ADA Token Is Now World’s Third-Largest Cryptocurrency – Bloomberg

By block head

Block Head is a blockchain journalist.