Cardano’s ADA Overtakes XRP to Become Fourth-Largest Cryptocurrency After ‘Mary’ Hard Fork


  • ADA just flipped XRP in market cap, establishing a firm lead over the latter.
  • Blockchain projects are seeing significant gains as many look for Ethereum alternatives.
  • 2021 already saw significant shifts in the crypto rankings as the industry continues to adapt to new developments and price movement.

In what is the latest seismic shift, ADA, the native cryptocurrency for blockchain platform Cardano, has now flipped XRP to break into the top four crypto rankings.

Mary Making Moves

According to data from CoinMarketCap, ADA is now the industry's fourth-largest asset, reaching its highest market cap metric over the weekend. As of press time, ADA the asset has gained 90 percent in the past seven days compared to XRP, which has lost 26 percent of its value in the same period. ADA now holds a market cap of $20.5 billion. With the asset holding over $1 billion in market cap gains over XRP, this new reality could hold on for a while.

The Cardano ecosystem has been witnessing some significant change recently. Last week, the Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) team, the blockchain project's developers, announced an update to the blockchain to take it one step closer to the Goguen era.

Dubbed “Mary,” the update will essentially bring the blockchain closer to being a multi-asset, decentralized smart contract network platform. With it, developers will be able to create user-defined native tokens that can easily be transacted across the Cardano network.

The update will also allow other projects to migrate or offer part of their token supply to the Cardano blockchain. Unlike networks such as Ethereum, Cardano uses a mechanism that handles all tokenization on its ledger instead of smart contracts. So, all tokens in the blockchain can follow the same support system instead of requiring the creation of multiple layers like those in ERC-20 tokens.

IOHK believes that this new approach will improve the Cardano blockchain's performance and scalability, while also reducing transaction costs. Amongst others, the hope is that the update will encourage decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol developers, who have been growing increasingly frustrated with rising gas costs and other features that have maligned the Ethereum blockchain.

“Mary” is one of two hard forks that will allow Cardano to move into the Goguen era. It is expected to be implemented on the Cardano mainnet by the end of the month, depending on IOHK's tests' outcome.

Blockchain Projects on the Rise

ADA was one of the biggest winners of 2020, gaining over 600 percent as the Cardano blockchain became more popular as a possible Ethereum substitute for DeFi protocol developers and more.

The asset is also seeing significant gains in staking – a part of the crypto industry that is buzzing with activity. Data from Staking Rewards shows that ADA is now the highest digital asset by staked value, with $14.3 billion, 71 percent of its total circulating value, locked in staking pools.

So far, several blockchain projects have seen significant gains in price this year. 2021 already saw the rise of DOT, which has eclipsed names like Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin to become the sixth-largest digital asset. With $18.5 billion in current market cap, it could be making a run for XRP soon as well.

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