Cardano Delivers : Shelley Hardfork

Cardano Logo

Shelley Hardfork Initialization Complete – Mainnet Incoming

Extremely exciting developments from Cardano, who’s glacial progression towards launch has sometimes been criticised. But slow and steady wins the race, and the doubters can take a back seat now that the launch of Shelley mainnet is set for tomorrow.

“The Cardano Shelley rocket is on the launchpad. We have initiated the upgrade and are go for the hardfork on the 29th!” – Charles Hoskinson.

One of the most interesting and mature blockchain projects to date, the inception of the Shelley mainnet is a culmination of many years of work, involving a complex universe of entities – IOHK being the parent company, founded in 2015 by Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood.

With so many lessons learned from what has become known as the second generation of chains – the Ethereum generation – this is the first mature 3rd generation blockchain project to launch, and it’s arguably the most serious contender out there. Not that this is a zero sum game in my opinion – I’m with Andreas Antonopoulos when he suggests that there will be ‘one network, many chains‘ – but that’s a whole other set of topics!

Cardano is a decentralized third-generation proof-of-stake blockchain platform and home to the ada cryptocurrency. It is the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach.

The Cardano platform has been designed from the ground up and verified by an industry-leading combination of leading engineers and academic experts in the fields of blockchain and cryptography. It has a strong focus on sustainability, scalability, and transparency. It is a fully open source project that aims to deliver an inclusive, fair, and resilient infrastructure for financial and social applications on a global scale. One of its primary goals is to bring reliable, secure financial services to those people who do not currently have access.

Cardano has been designed with security as one of its founding principles. It is written in Haskell, a functional programming language. In a functional language like Haskell, building your system using pure functions is encouraged, which leads to a design where components are conveniently testable in isolation. Furthermore, advanced features of Haskell enable us to employ a whole range of powerful methods for ensuring correctness of the code, such as basing the implementation on formal and executable specifications, extensive property-based testing, and running tests in simulation.

Cardano is developing a smart contract platform which seeks to deliver more advanced features than any protocol previously developed and will serve as a stable and secure platform for the development of enterprise-level dApps. In the near future, Cardano will use a democratic governance system that allows the project to evolve over time, and fund itself in a sustainable way through a visionary treasury system. You can read more about Cardano on the official Cardano website.

Technical / Github

  • Cardano Node 1.18.0
  • This is the final planned release before the Shelley hard fork. It is necessary to use this 1.18.0 version to successfully cross the hard fork.
  • This release delivers the complete set of Shelley features together with the mechanism that will be used to transition from the federated Byron era to the decentralised Shelley era (the hard-fork combinator).

You can see just how much work is going on currently by taking a look at Cardano Updates.

Get Involved!

You can now begin to look at how to operate a stake pool, delegate to a stake pool, or even spin up a node! LINUX support primarily, but the shelley -cli info says it will work on MacOs, so I’m looking into that and how to assemble the code using;

The Haskell Cabal – Cabal: Common Architecture for Building Applications and Libraries

Check out the Documentation site for further technical overview. You can also look into the other tesnets that have been used to work on the Smart Contract side of things with the Marlowe platform developed using the Plutus language/library for Haskell.

Further Details

Cardano is a decentralized blockchain and cryptocurrency project that is fully open source. The project is lead by a triumvirate of organisations: IOHK (engineering), Emurgo (business) and the Cardano Foundation (community leadership).

from Cardano Wiki

Sebastien (EMURGO Co-VP of Eng. & Cardano PM) talks about how long you should expect for various tools to upgrade for Shelley support.


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