On Sept. 12, Cardano released its highly-anticipated Alonzo upgrade. Following the upgrade, the blockchain network can now support a wide range of crypto applications, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and smart contracts.
Alonzo is named after American mathematician Alonzo Church, who is considered to be one of the founding fathers of computer science.
In addition to supporting NFTs and smart contracts, Cardano can now be used for decentralized exchanges.
In general, Alonzo puts Cardano in the same class as Ethereum, the world’s leading blockchain which supports other applications other than its native Ether token. Smart contracts, for instance, are one of the cornerstones of the decentralized finance sector — and Cardano now supports smart contracts.
In February 2022, the number of Cardano wallets broke the three million milestone. Since December 2020, it has surged by 1,200%, from 190,000 to over 3,000,000. This coincided with an increase in smart contracts following the Alonzo Upgrade, and Cardano surpassed the 1,000 smart contracts milestone on Jan. 27, 2022.
Another indicator of the ecosystem’s explosive growth is developer activity: Cardano boasted the most developers contributing to its Github, beating out more developed blockchains like Solana. On average, more than 50 contributions are submitted to its repo per day.
However, the network is still struggling with implementing its smart contracts, and users had complaints about a sluggish launch of its SundaeSwap decentralized exchange in January 2022.