The number of Cardano ($ADA) wallets has grown over 1,200% year-over-year from 190,000 to 2.5 million, showing that adoption of the cryptocurrency’s network has been steadily growing, partly thanks to the implementation of smart contracts.

According to data shared by the Cardano Foundation, from last Christmas to now, the number of ADA wallets has grown by over 1,200%. According to available data, the price of the cryptocurrency has grown nearly 780% over the same period, even after plunging from its all-time high near $3 to $1.44 at the time of writing.

As CryptoGlobe reported, Cardano Foundation CEO Frederik Gregaard has published a blog post looking back at 2021 as a “year of incredible growth” for the cryptocurrency network.

According to Gregaard, 2021 was a year in which the Cardano protocol “sustained growth, technical innovation, community expansion, and partnerships” that helped it move forward. The CEO highlighted some on-chain developments which to him mean adoption has grown.

Notably, the number of active addresses on the Cardano network quadrupled from October to November as on-chain activity picked up and transaction fees on the network dropped from $0.45 to $0.38 on average.

According to CryptoCompare’s recent Asset Report, in October there were 50,506 active addresses on the Cardano blockchain, while in November there were a total of 216,072 active addresses.

Gregaard added that the Cardano ecosystem has seen its utility and adoption grow partly thanks to the successful launch of the Alonzo hard fork, which brought “programmability to Cardano,” allowing it to accommodate smart contracts and with them decentralized applications, of which the decentralized finance (DeFi) space is built around.

Supporting smart contracts has seen a number of platforms move to become the first Cardano-powered decentralized exchanges. In his post, Gregaard also noted that Cardano also formed a number of new partnerships which include e-sports platform Rival, fintech firm UBX, and non-profit organization Save the Children.

Over 70% of ADA’s supply has been staked on the network, earning holders interest as they wait for new decentralized applications to be launched.

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