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All eyes have been on Bitcoin recently, as the cryptocurrency surpassed the $10,000 historic milestone for the first time in its nine-year history. The cryptocurrency’s rally continued its upward trajectory, up to $11,082 at press time. Its market cap hit $185 billion, and its dominance is currently at 55.2%. The cryptocurrency ecosystem’s market cap recently hit $335 billion.

While Bitcoin surged, a somewhat unknown cryptocurrency, Cardano (ADA) was surging as well. In the last 24 hours, Cardano surged 142.41% to a $3.5 billion market cap. The cryptocurrency’s ADA token, whose circulating supply is of 25.9 billion and max supply is 45 billion, saw its value surge from little under $0.03 to over $0.14 in the past week. At press time, the price seems to have corrected to $0.12.

Behind the surge seems to be the anticipation of the project’s next roadmap announcement, expected to come this weekend. Cardano has notably partnered with leading cryptocurrency development company IHOK, and has a team of academics and cryptographers, including Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson.

Another factor that presumably allowed the cryptocurrency to surge was a new trading pair with Ethereum on the Bittex exchange. Some of the cryptocurrency’s proponents believe its technology is better than that of Ethereum, and as such that it will take over.

According to CoinMarketCap, Cardano’s ADA token is currently only trading in two exchanges, with most its volume being on Bittrex’s ADA/BTC pair.

What is Cardano?

The cryptocurrency’s surge allowed it to gain a position among the top 10 cryptos, as it surpassed NEO, Monero, and Ethereum Classic. Given its sudden rise, most cryptocurrency enthusiasts are likely not even aware of its existence, let alone its potential to reach the top 10.

Cardano is essentially a blockchain that works both as a cryptocurrency and a smart contract platform. Its development began in 2015 with the goal of being the “first blockchain project to be developed from a scientific philosophy.” As mentioned above, its partnered with IHOK and has an impressive team of academics and cryptographers behind it.

Cardano offers users a new consensus algorithm that has been developed in the last two years. It relies on a proof-of-stake algorithm known as Ouroboros, which claims to defend the blockchain against an array of attacks, while allowing developers to compose protocols which enhance functionality. Ouroboros reportedly facilitates the creation of sidechains and allows the network to keep protecting the privacy and security of its users.

Furthermore, Cardano aims to become the go-to platform for smart contracts. It has developed a new functioning programming language known as Haskell, which allows for code to “be written in a more secure and reliable manner as it has a mathematical approach.” It also has Plutus, a “strictly typed pure functional programming language used for defining smart contracts in Cardano.” The programming language is expected to allow for a formal-verification approach to programming, effectively reducing the amount of bugs that in the past have led to numerous losses.

Furthermore, Cardano is set to launch an ADA debit card, which will be linked to an app that can be topped up via its wallet, Daedalus. The move, if successful, will help close the gap between the cryptocurrency ecosystem and general commerce.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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