At 10:44 PM BST (11:44 PM GMT) on March 31st, the Cardano community celebrated d=0, which means that the block production of the network has become fully decentralized. This phase will be followed by the decentralization of governance and network.
The d parameter was initially set at 1 when the Shelley upgrade was implemented through a HFC (Hard Fork Combinator) event, this meant that at the beginning blocks were produced by IOHK’s federated nodes.
With every epoch, which takes 5 days, the d parameter gradually decreased, which allowed Stake Pool Operators (SPOs) to create more and more blocks.
Today, all the blocks on the Cardano blockchain are created by its community of over 2000 SPOs, who, alongside people delegating ADA to them, receive rewards for securing and decentralizing the network.
Charles Hoskinson celebrated this historical moment with a live video on YouTube in which he congratulates everyone working and contributing to the Cardano ecosystem.
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) March 31, 2021
In the video he explains that the best days are ahead, and that this milestone is just the very beginning of Cardano, which, according to him, is poised to become the financial operating system of the world, on which entire countries can run their services, with no discrimination of race or social status, leading to the creation of a fair world where things can be done in a transparent and accountable way, as opposed to the current opaque and corrupt way.
Aparna Jue, Product Director at IOHK, said:
“Since the Shelley update in July last year, we’ve been working with our stakepool operator community to ensure that the steady transfer of responsibility for block production in Cardano is predictable and smooth. This is a key milestone in Cardano’s development, as it is the first component of the handover of control to the community. This is a process which will continue throughout the rest of this year. Peer to peer network decentralization is next in our sights, along with implementing advanced governance features to hand control of the blockchain over to the Cardano community.”
What follows Cardano’s decentralization of block production?
The d=0 day concludes the Shelley era. The next major event will be the Alonzo hard fork, which is the third phase of the Goguen era and which will finally add the smart contract functionality to the Cardano blockchain.
In the latest edition of the Cardano360 show, Charles announced the roadmap for Alonzo, which will culminate with the HFC event in August if everything goes as planned.
Smart contracts are being eagerly awaited by many developers, both from within the Cardano community, but also from projects that are currently struggling with the high fees on the Ethereum network.
It looks like a migration is on the horizon.