Smart contracts have finally come to Cardano, fixing what many considered a glaring deficiency with the world’s third-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap.

The Alonzo upgrade that adds smart contract functionality took effect around 8am AEST today, and already dozens had been deployed.

“By allowing Plutus scripts to be written and executed on-chain, we’ll have the backbone for a new decentralized application platform, enabling numerous DApp and decentralized finance (DeFi) use cases – from simple swap type apps to decentralized exchanges (DEXs), and more complex computational programs such as Oracles and crypto-backed algorithmic stablecoins,” wrote IOHK marketing and communications director Tim Harrison in a blog post.

But he added that users should expect some bumps in the road, with imperfect user experiences, issues with early decentralised applications and perhaps hacks from bad actors looking to exploit poor coding practices.

At 11am AEST, Cardano’s ADA tokens were down 0.5 per cent to US$2.55 (A$3.59).

Crypto is notoriously tribal, and some backers of other smart contract platforms had bet against Cardano being able to offer them on time – literally.

But prediction market Polymarket was now showing the bet resolved. Crypto fans had bet $890,684 on it.


Shane Stevenson, chief executive of Australia’s Cointree exchange, said that the upgrade would help Cardano rival Ethereum.

“If Cardano continues the performance it has had over the last month, it wouldn’t be surprising to see ADA hit A$5 by the end of the year,” he said, adding that many of Cointree’s top traders hold ADA in their portfolios.

“We see a multi-chain future as the cryptocurrency industry continues to grow and we expect Cardano to be a major competitor to Ethereum.”

Cosmos soars

Cosmos (ATOM), the No. 19 coin, was up 30 per cent to US$34.76, and had earlier this morning hit an all-time high of $36.58.

Osmosis, a decentralised exchange for trading tokens in the Cosmos ecosystem, was the biggest gainer in the top 100, rising 30.7 per cent to US$6.38.

It had earlier this morning hit an all-time high of $6.81.

The No. 96 coin, Osmosis was trading under $2 as recently as mid-August.

Overall the crypto market was up 3.3 per cent to US$2.2 trillion, with Bitcoin up 2.2 per cent to US$46,057, reclaiming its 200-day simple moving average.

Still, Bitcoin chartist @MICKrypto (formerly @bitcoin_charts), wrote on Twitter that there were a “few bullish developments on the chart, but please be aware that there are still more bearish points than bullish.”

crypto market

Solana had cooled off after days of strong gains, falling 6.4 per cent to US$163, while XRP had regained the No. 6 spot with a 2.3 per cent rise to US$1.09.

Ethereum was up 3.9 per cent to US$3,389.

Polkadot, the No. 8 crypto, was up 15.9 per cent to US$35.91 after a successful weekend hackathon.

Harmony had also hit an all-time high this morning, of US22.5c, and at noon was up 20 per cent to US21.4c.

Avalanche, Raydium, Serum, Luna and Arweave all hit all-time highs over the weekend.

Other big gainers in the top 100 were Tezos (up 21.6 per cent), Algorand (20.3 per cent) and Tron (18 per cent).

On the flip side, Quant was down 9.7 per cent and Fantom had fallen 7.6 per cent.