The popular smart contract platform Cardano ($ADA) has maintained its top stop in cryptocurrency development activity after surpassing the “blockchain of blockchains” Polkadot ($DOT) and its public pre-production environment Kusama ($KSM).

That’s according to data from on-chain analytics firm Santiment, which noted that Avalanche ($AVAX) followed in fourth place, ahead of other major digital assets. Notably Optimism ($OP) entered the top 10 cryptocurrency by development activity, according to the firm.

The term “development activity” refers to the amount of work completed by a cryptocurrency project’s developers on the project’s public GitHub repositories within the past 30 days.

Unlike other measures, Santiment’s metric focuses on “events” rather than the total number of commits. Events encompass various actions taken on GitHub repositories, such as pushing a commit, forking a repository, or creating an issue.

This approach provides a more accurate representation of the developers’ actual work, as it prevents duplication or inaccuracies that may occur when measuring development activity solely by commits.

For instance, forking creates a duplicate copy of a repository, including all previous commits. By counting the forking action as a single event, Santiment avoids falsely attributing older commits to new developers.

Santiment’s data comes at a time in which the total value locked on Cardano’s  decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols has recently soared past the $400 million mark over the price of the network’s native token, ADA, surging more than 9 % over the last seven days, and more than 150% so far this year.

The Cardano network has been growing exponentially this year, with IOG’s weekly development report earlier this month showing that the network has seen the launch of 152 projects and 1,307 currently building on top of it. The platform has facilitated 79.7 million transactions, demonstrating the increasing adoption and utilization of the Cardano network.

Regarding token metrics, the report revealed that 9.1 million native tokens are circulating within the ecosystem, governed by 81,621 token policies. Additionally, the deployment of Plutus scripts—a set of tools for smart contract development—has reached 6,260 for version 1 and 4,981 for version 2, showcasing Cardano’s steady progress in smart contract deployment and execution.

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