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Cardano (ADA) has experienced a significant expansion in its smart contract capabilities this year, showcasing robust growth and positioning itself as a formidable competitor to established platforms like Ethereum (ETH).

As of December 26, Cardano’s Plutus smart contracts platform housed an impressive 14,302 smart contracts, combining both V1 and V2 versions. This marks a substantial increase of over 200% from just 4,731 smart contracts at the beginning of the year, as per data from Cardano Blockchain Insights.

This surge in smart contract numbers coincides with Cardano’s focused efforts to enhance the functionality of this feature. The team has been working on expanding script capacity, culminating in the recent Plutus V2 Cost Model network upgrade.

Ongoing Development and Improvements

The latest end-of-year report reveals that the core technology team has deployed an update in preparation for the v9.0 release, giving teams adequate time for necessary adjustments.

The Plutus team has made significant strides in improving the costs and sizes of most scripts, while the scaling team, Hydra, has released version 0.14.0 to bolster the resilience of the Hydra network.

Key network statistics also show robust activity. Total ADA transactions have exceeded 80 million, with over 9.17 million native tokens. The blockchain is bustling with activity, hosting over 1,300 projects in development and 153 projects already launched.

ADA Price Dynamics

Currently, ADA is priced at $0.61, observing a 0.72% increase over the last 24 hours. Despite a slight -0.49% drop over the past week, it has gained a substantial 53.66% in value over the past month.

The past year has seen ADA’s price surge by 134%, outperforming 65% of the top 100 cryptocurrencies. The current trading trends show ADA is above the 200-day simple moving average, signaling a bullish trend. Moreover, the asset has registered 17 days of positive gains in the last 30 days, reflecting its positive trajectory since its token sale price.