Cardano, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency network by market capitalization, now has over 70% of its circulating supply staked ahead of a major upgrade that will bring smart contracts to its network, allowing decentralized finance applications to be deployed on it.

According to data from PoolTool, first spotted by Cointelegraph, 71.66% of ADA’s circulating supply is now staked across 2,672 pools. A total of 672,217 addresses are staking their funds. Staking funds on Cardano allows users to earn passive income from their ADA without having to lock up their assets.

Cardano is now by far the cryptocurrency network with the most valued being staked, as Ethereum is far behind with $11.78 billion. Next on the list come Solana with $10.79 billion and Polkadot just over $10 billion. Users on ADA get over 7% per year, while on Ethereum the rewards are of little over 6%, and on Solana 4%. On Polkadot, rewards go as high as 13.2%.

The amount staked on Cardano has been rising ahead of the Alonzo upgrade, which will bring smart contracts to the network. These smart contracts will allow DeFi applications to be built on top of Cardano, allowing it to compete with Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Polkadot, and Solana.

The Alonzo hard fork is part of the network’s “Goguen” era, named after Joseph Goguen, an American professor of computer science from the University of California and the University of Oxford. The Goguen era comes after the Shelley phase, in which Cardano became a decentralized blockchain and community members became validators.

Alonzo will be rolling out in a series of phases, with each one opening up more of the public until it’s fully integrated. The first, blue, is the one being rolled out in the testnet for now. The process is reportedly going to take 90 days in total, and as such smart contracts should be enabled on Cardano by the end of August.

Earlier this year, as CryptoGlobe reported,  the Cardano network hit a new milestone, as one million wallets have now been created on it. The milestone was reached at a time in which thousands of new wallets are being created every day as presumably more users join the network in anticipation of the smart contract rollout.

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