Cardano (CRYPTO:ADA) has seen one of the most significant price jumps of any leading cryptocurrency in 2021 so far. Priced at just $1.85 as of this writing, the coin is more than 10 times more valuable than it was on January 1 and currently sits in the top five cryptocurrencies by market cap.
The recent crypto market crash has erased much of Bitcoin's (CRYPTO:BTC) recent gains (although it's still up about 32% since January 1), and at least temporarily dampened Ethereum's (CRYPTO:ETH) electrifying surge -- it's down about 35% from its recent all-time high. However, Cardano has kept more of its upswing action intact amid increased market volatility.
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Cardano isn't as well-known as Bitcoin or Ethereum, and its market cap and daily transaction volume are a fraction of those leading coins. But that's part of the appeal: cryptocurrency investors see vast potential in the so-called "Ethereum killer," which is on the verge of a massive blockchain network upgrade that could help it live up to that moniker.
Here are five reasons why investors are so bullish on Cardano right now.1. It's getting much smarter
Cardano will soon implement "smart contract" functionality, which essentially means adding code that enables automated, self-executing contracts. Smart contracts allow developers to build apps on top of blockchain platforms, such as Ethereum's enormously popular Uniswap decentralized exchange. The entire decentralized finance (DeFi) industry is built on smart contracts, much of it on Ethereum, and Cardano is about to join the party.2. Cardano can handle high demand
Ethereum's blockchain can only handle a very limited number of transactions right now -- around 15 per second -- which has led to immense congestion on the network. That means longer waits to complete transactions and high "gas fees" (or transaction fees) that you'll pay to send them through.<...