Cardano is now the third-largest nonfungible token (NFT) protocol by trading volume, according to a report by blockchain and decentralized apps (dapps) analytics firm DappRadar.
The network’s overall NFT volume reached $19 million in the 30-day-period ending on Sept. 30, trailing only Ethereum
The increase in trading volume is largely attributed to the network’s Vasil update, which went live on Sept. 22 after a series of delays and increased the network’s operating capacity while reducing transaction time. The update kickstarted the launch of Plutus v2, the network’s smart contract language, that made it easier for developers to build on the chain.
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Cardano dapps are “experiencing large increases in users engagement”—decentralized exchange Minswap saw a gain of 21% in unique active wallets in the past 30 days and JPG Store’s rose 17%, according to DappRadar’s report.
Though the Ethereum Merge is the shining star of blockchain and protocol updates in the second half of the year, it was Cardano’s that had perhaps the most tangible results, with network transactions surging to 82,880, its largest number since May, according to the report. However network transactions have only increased in the last 15 days, hitting a peak of 108,781 on October 25 according to Cardanoscan. Network activity had significantly decreased in June, hitting all-time lows as the Vasil update kept getting pushed back from its initial June date.
But the road for Cardano from here is not easy. Total value locked (TVL), a common measure of the chain’s size, is minimal, compared with rivals Ethereum and Solana. Cardano network transactions are a mere fraction of Ethereum’s, which weigh in at one million a day according to data from Etherescan.
While Cardano is the preferred choice for large projects because of its “scalability, interoperability and sustainability,” according to a blog post by DappRadar, its $66 million TVL is minimal when compared to Ethereum’s $31.4 billion and Solana’s $955.5 million.
Updated Nov. 2 to change Cardano’s 30-day NFT volume to $19 million following a correction by DappRadar.