The price of Cardano (ADA), the native token of the eponymous blockchain project, is up by 13.2% over the past day, hitting a 12-week high of $2.03 today.

According to data from CoinGecko, the asset has gained 44.1% in value in the last week, which makes it the biggest gainer among the market’s leading cryptocurrencies.

The latest upward movement pushed the token’s market cap to $64.74 billion, or 3.23% of the total value of all cryptocurrencies. This resulted in ADA overtaking Tether as the third-largest cryptocurrency and going ahead of Binance Coin (BNB).

The top 4 cryptocurrencies by market cap.
The top four cryptocurrencies by market capitalization at press time. Source: CoinGecko

ADA is currently changing hands at $2.03, with the 24-hour trading volume over $6 billion. This is, however, still some 20% away from the altcoin's all-time high of $2.45 recorded on May 16.

Created by Charles Hoskinson, one of Ethereum’s original co-founders, Cardano is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain platform that will let developers build decentralized apps once its smart-contract functionality launches. Smart contracts are bits of code that automatically execute commands and instructions.

Currently, Cardano is preparing for the Alonzo hard fork, which will deploy the smart contract functionality on the mainnet.

Announced by Hoskinson earlier this week, the upgrade will see Cardano tap into the world of decentralized finance (DeFi), allowing users to leverage the power of smart contracts to lend, borrow, and trade without intermediaries.

DeFi hopes to swap lines of code for banks, offering users lending, borrowing, and trading services without the need for intermediaries.

The network’s cryptocurrency saw some positive developments in recent weeks as it was included in the investment firm Grayscale’s Digital Large Cap Fund, with the asset making up 4.26% of the fund.