Cardano, the world’s fourth-largest crypto by market cap, was trading around a three-month high on Friday as rumours swirled that the network could be on the verge of enabling smart contract functionality.
In mid-afternoon trading in London, the ‘green crypto‘ was up 15.5% in the last 24 hours at US$2.04 having hit US$2.06 earlier in the day, its highest value since late May.
The sudden surge came following speculation from some market analysts that the blockchain network that underpins the digital currency could be about to launch smart contracts.
Smart contracts are self-executive computer programs that allow certain transactions to be conducted without an intermediary. The use of smart contracts for a wide range of activities such as games, lending and the trading of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has led to the growth of a number of blockchain platforms, most notably Ethereum.
Cardano’s founder, Charles Hoskinson, previously said that he would reveal the data at which smart contracts would be enabled on the Cardano network on Friday. This change will be made through a process known as the ‘Alonzo Hard Fork’.
A Hard Fork is when a blockchain network makes a fundamental change to its computer programming which separates it from the old version of the network. Hard Forks have occurred on a number of major crypto networks including Bitcoin and Ethereum, the latter’s most recent being last week.